It’s not entirely clear why, but reports have confirmed that AT&T has stopped selling their iPhone through via onlines sales to anyone in the New York metro area. The iPhones are still being sold in AT&T and Apple stores throughout the area, but is blocking online iPhone orders from anyone with an NYC zip code. Earlier today, The Consumerist reported that an AT&T customer service representative, named Daphne, said that New York just didn’t “have enough towers to handle the phone.” Another AT&T customer service representative told Gearlog that the reason for halted online iPhone sales was “increased fraudulent activity in that area when ordering the iphone.” Hmmm.
Higher levels of iPhone sales fraud in The Big Apple sounds like a fairly plausible reason for suspending online sales. The iPhone is still being sold in New York area Apple and AT&T retail stores, which lends more credibility to that line of thinking. There is, however, a more provacative motive underlying the iPhone-freeze. AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega recently mentioned that AT&T is thinking about managing wireless data traffic in some way. Limiting iPhone sales in dense metros might be one way of doing that. But, then again, that’s all just speculation.