AT&T girds for iPhone launch on June 29 By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY
For consumers eager to get their hands on an Apple iPhone, here's the good news: It will be available in all 1,800 AT&T phone stores at 6 p.m. sharp on June 29.
The bad news? "We fully expect one or more of our stores to run out of stock on the first or second day -- my guess is the first day," says Larry Carter, senior vice president of sales for AT&T, the iPhone's exclusive U.S. distributor.
To help accommodate as much foot traffic as possible, AT&T phone stores will stay open an extra hour -- until 10 p.m. -- on the first day.
To get "iReady" for the big day, Carter says AT&T added 2,000 extra sales people to stores. Half will be there just to help handle the expected early crush of buyers. The other half, he says, will stay long-term to help with extra customers the iPhone is expected to draw to AT&T's stores.
Crowd control on launch day is a concern. In some markets -- Carter declined to name them -- AT&T is working with local law enforcement on crowd-control plans. It also has alerted landlords at shopping malls and other phone store locations to make sure nobody is caught off guard.