iPhone 4 shipping emails indicate early arrival (updated 3x)

Several customers that pre-ordered the iPhone 4 for delivery have received email notifications indicating that they'll receive their precious packages on July 23 -- a full day earlier than the worldwide launch.

Several customers that pre-ordered the iPhone 4 for delivery have received email notifications indicating that they'll receive their precious packages on July 23 -- a full day earlier than the worldwide launch.

One PowerPage commenter's experience seems typical:

When I originally checked the order status on Apple's website it stated it would be "delivered on June 24th."  Two days later there was a message stating it had shipped and there was a link to direct me to the FedEx website for tracking purposes.  I checked a few times and there wasn't much information other than where the package was located in transit.  Today there was a delivery date posted of "June 23rd, by 10:30 a.m."  Skeptical, I called Apple, the representative I spoke with informed me there was nothing indicating I would not receive it on the 23rd, I repeatedly asked for assurance, and he did not change his tune.

To be thorough, I called FedEx, and spoke with two reps, a local one, and one from the international rep department.  The local guy told me that I will receive it on the 23rd.  I explained to him the levity of the situation, and that I found it very odd that a company with the stature of Apple would allow a device of this magnitude to be released to the general public prior to the widely anticipated release date of June 24th.  That's when he passed me to the international representative.  The IR told me that while he can't give me a 100% guarantee that it will arrive on the 23rd, it has been pre-cleared through customs (which is sometimes the one thing that will hold an item up).

During the runup to the iPhone 3GS launch last year, people received similar email confirmations from Apple -- but without a specific date.

While I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, it's highly unlikely that Apple will allow FedEx -- its global logistics partner -- to deliver one of the most highly anticipated pieces of mobile electronics in history in advance of the CEO's publicly stated launch date of June 24, 2010. But then again, mistakes happen too.

Update: Engadget reports that some users breathlessly tracking their iPhone 4 shipments on the Fedex tracking portal are seeing notices saying that their new iron is "On FedEx vehicle for delivery." Before rushing to track yours, two lines below it says that "Estimated delivery" is June 24 by 4:30 PM.

Update 2: And so it begins, at least one MacRumors forum member has already received their iPhone 4 in hand.

Ok, I'll be the first to say it: Why did Apple hose users that elected to pick their phones up at the Apple Store?

Update 3: One of the early recipients has posted more pictures of his iPhone 4 on his blog and promises that a video is "coming soon."

Photo: Adapted from Flickr user juznuts and Engadget.

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