Blog Post

It’s Almost iPhone Day: How Are My Apple and AT&T Pre-Orders Going?

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Earlier this week, I wrote about how I ended up ordering an iPhone 3G S via Apple (s aapl) and AT&T (s t). The former had to be reserved at an Apple store (couldn’t get it delivered, I think, because I’m on a family plan, so they need in-person activation); the latter was to be delivered.

Keep in mind that neither company guaranteed I’d get the phone on Friday, June 19. They used wording that certainly implied it, but they were pretty careful to cover themselves in case they couldn’t make it. Fair enough.

So, it’s been a few days since then, and tomorrow is the big day. How are they doing?


Despite concerns I had before, they seem on top of it. I received an email Thursday morning:


It looks like I’m all set for Friday. I’m also thinking my concern about their ability to handle my AT&T Family Plan account may be less well-founded, though of course I have no way of knowing unless I show up.

Still, Apple’s ready for me, which is a nice thing to know.


As of noon PT Thursday, the status was identical to what it’s been since I ordered a week ago. The entire order was “In Progess.”


There are only four possible statuses (stati?), but one of them is “Canceled” and another is “Partially Shipped” (impossible since I only ordered one thing), so I’m looking for “Shipped.” Bummer.

However, checking back much later in the day (17:30 PT), I see a change.


Status is “Shipped!” I have a ship date of today, and a carrier of FedEx. No tracking number, but still, it looks a lot better. I assume AT&T is not shipping from China, as Apple does, but rather from one of their own stores more or less locally. Therefore an overnight FedEx shipment today could easily arrive by tomorrow.

I’d sure like to see a tracking number, and I’ll keep checking tonight, but we might just have a horse race here, folks.

To be continued…

21 Responses to “It’s Almost iPhone Day: How Are My Apple and AT&T Pre-Orders Going?”

  1. jenniver

    whats the various sim???? mine says that too… y doesnt it say iphone?? r they just sending me the sim cause thats kinda dumb if sooooo

  2. As a final update, the new iPhone went 24 hours “awaiting activation”, so I went to an AT&T store and they had it activated in about 5 minutes. It’s entirely possible had I continued to wait it might have activated on its own, but I suspect contact with AT&T was going to be necessary. A phone call would likely have sufficed, but I was out and about and there’s an AT&T store very close to me.

    While the activation issue is probably a result of selling perhaps half a million phones in one weekend, I suspect the next time I upgrade I’ll use the “reserve” option and go on in. Clearly, there are still issues with the whole “deliver it to your home and activate it there with no other human intervention” system.

  3. For the curious, it arrived at 2:10p.

    As many people have experienced today, it says it’s “Waiting for activation”, and I’m not holding my breath that it’ll activate anytime soon.

    Meanwhile, I restored it from my old iPhone’s backup, and am now syncing music to it. Initially it’ll be around 22GB of music; I’ll see what else I might add later.

  4. angrytourist

    I ordered my phone on June 9th from AT&T, and I didn’t get a tracking number until uber late last night. Unfortunately, for some reason they sent my phones 2-Day UPS, hurumpf. I’m not going to have them until Monday.

  5. AdamJT

    I knew I wasn’t going to be home for delivery from FedEx and so I ‘pre-signed’ for the new iPhone as per Apple and FedEx’s instructions.

    Well FedEx came to deliver, but just left me a Door Tag with instructions to pick it up after 6pm.

    So much for the pre-signing.

    I called FedEx and they said it was Apple’s instructions not to leave the iPhone without an in-person signature – which goes against Apple and FedEx’s instructions entirely.

  6. Tom,
    My AT&T order status has matched yours the past few days…
    I called 1877.782.8870 and AT&T gave me a FedEx tracking # and stated that it was out for delivery and will be delivered by 3pm. I checked FedEx’s site and everything looks good… Ive always received my shipments from FedEx the same same it says out for delivery…
    see FedEx screen shot at link below:

  7. The whole process has been less than stellar, but I was able to get a tracking number by calling 1-866-391-0749. You enter your order number, and the automated system retrieves your FedEx tracking number. It’s strange I have yet to receive a shipment confirmation from AT&T. Anyway, mine will be here by 3:00 p.m.

    • when you called did it say something along the lines of “you have 30 days to return your phone….etc” and then ask you if you wanted to hear the info again? it keeps doing that to me, and when I say “no” it just says it doesn’t understand what i’m saying and says to call again…i have a feeling its on purpose.

  8. I ordered mine online from Apple instead of AT&T because they could guarantee delivery today. It shipped from Middletown, Pennsylvania, actually and arrived in Newark,NJ last night. I expected to see an “out for delivery” this morning, but it’s still sitting in Newark.

    I’m just hoping I can activate it at home (I have a Family Talk plan and there was no mention of not being able to do so from Apple when I ordered). Actually, I’d just be happy to get it today as Fed Ex has screwed up a couple of deliveries recently.

  9. Tracking Number: XXXXXXXXXXX
    Type: Package
    Status: In Transit
    Rescheduled Delivery: 06/19/2009
    Shipped To: XXXX, CA, US
    Shipped/Billed On: 06/16/2009
    Product: WORLD EASE
    Service: EXPRESS
    Weight: .50 Kg

    To view additional tracking information, please log in to My UPS.
    Package Progress
    Location Date Local Time Description
    KY, US 06/18/2009 11:35 P.M. IMPORT SCAN
    06/17/2009 2:06 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    AK, US 06/16/2009 6:52 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    06/16/2009 1:48 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
    HK 06/16/2009 11:14 P.M. ORIGIN SCAN
    06/16/2009 7:49 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
    CN 06/16/2009 12:49 P.M. ORIGIN SCAN

    Tracking results provided by UPS: 06/19/2009 3:11 A.M. ET

  10. Wow. Lots of suggestions for numbers to call to get a tracking number. For what it’s worth, this number worked for me: 866-391-0749.

    I got the tracking number, and it shows my phone shipped from Memphis to arrive at my door Friday “by 3pm.”

    So far, so good. If I trust FedEx not to screw this up, than the focus shifts to the user experience in getting the phone activated (will it come with instructions for this, etc.).

  11. Iphoner

    I ordered my iphone 3gs at June 13 last week. AT&T said it would take 7-14 days to ship it. So I really didn’t expect I get it on June 19, its launch date. But according to fedex tracking, I would get it on June 19 afternoon as shown below. So I guess ordering iphone from AT&T is not that bad

    FedEx Tracking Info:

    Ship date Jun 18, 2009
    Estimated delivery Jun 19, 2009 by 3:00 PM

  12. My status (I also preordered from AT&T) looks the same as yours: shipped, but no tracking number listed. There are a couple numbers you can call to get it, try 888-333-6651 (then press 1, 2, 1 at the prompts). You should also get an email with the tracking number included as well. Mine shipped today (from Tennessee) with overnight delivery and is scheduled to be at my house tomorrow (in California). I couldn’t be happier! And I didn’t have to wait in any lines! AT&T is awesome!

  13. For those curious, as of ~22:00 PT there’s still no tracking number listed in my ATT status.

    Further, my earlier article outlines concerns I have when it’s delivered. Even if it arrives tomorrow, if I have to go to an ATT store to get it activated then I didn’t gain as much from online ordering as I’d like. Bottom line is if I see the FedEx truck pull up to my house tomorrow, I’m not out of the woods yet.

  14. Joeypk07

    Andrew, I’m in the same boat as you… mine’s been in a holding pattern in Louisville since Wednesday… Seems odd for it to get all the way from China and not make it on time because it’s been held up in Kentucky since 2a.m. Wednesday morning… I’d have to assume they’re arriving tomorrow, but there has been no change in status since then and it’s 12:23a.m. D-Day. We shall see. :)

  15. zwienerdc

    If you get two iPhone 3G S you should give one away in a drawing for the blog or something like that. It would be interesting and something that could bring people to your site and a way for someone to get a new iPhone that may be cant afford it or cant upgrade yet. Just a thought.

    Great blog and I love coming here for all my apple news.

  16. I ordered mine from the Apple Online Store and it shipped from China. I live in Alabama and UPS tracking says it is in Louisville, Kentucky and has an “exception”. It says it has been put on hold until a future date. It said that Wednesday. I’m thinking it COULD possibly make it here tomorrow because it doesn’t have far to go, but if not, then I’m really hoping Saturday.

    • Iphoner

      Thanks. My online status says mine was shipped last night. So I called following number to get my tracking number. I tried your first number in vain though.