Is your iPhone 4 really reserved for next week?

Apple and BestBuy.com are now saying that your pre-order may not guarantee an iPhone 4.
Written by Joel Evans, Contributor

I've been writing about how I attempted to pre-order an iPhone 4, and then even started to lose interest in the idea of one. Well, today I decided to call up Apple and see if my iPhone was actually pre-ordered. The experience with Apple was very pleasant, even though the end result was far less than what I was hoping for.

I called the Apple line and after 20 minutes on hold--an unusually long time--I was greeted by David. I explained how I thought I had pre-ordered two iPhone 4 devices using Safari on the iPhone, and even had the confirmation pages, but had not yet received an e-mail confirmation. His response was surprising, since he suggested that he get the Apple store that I had pre-ordered the iPhones from on the line, and that mine wasn't the first call of this type.

Long story short, after waiting on hold for a bit he was able to have the Apple Store employee check to see if my name was on the list. Unfortunately, it wasn't, so I proceeded to order two iPhone 4 devices to be delivered the week of July 14th. Yes, it's now pushed out as late as July 14th!


The interesting takeaways from this experience are that I was informed that after a certain time on Tuesday (I couldn't find out that time) even if you were greeted with the "We'll see you at the store", you were still not guaranteed a pre-ordered iPhone. So, if you haven't received a confirmation e-mail, and even if you have, you should call and check and see if your name is "on the list". UPDATE: Check out Matt's post too since it seems there may be different levels of pre-ordering and you may end up in a line you didn't want to be in next week.

I also heard that BestBuy.com's FAQ is now stating that even if you pre-ordered, you're not guaranteed a phone on launch day:

"If you have an existing pre-order, it will still be valid. We have stopped all pre-orders due to the demand and inventory concerns. Still, proper expectations need to be set. A pre-order does not guarantee a phone on launch day and this is clearly stated on all pre-order flyers and documentation. It is simply a way of queuing our inventory whenever the store gets their quantities of iPhone 4 inventory. If your place in the pre-order queue is higher than the inventory received for launch, your pre-order will roll over to the second shipment and so on.

That being said, if you pre-ordered early you have a fairly strong chance of getting the phone on launch day. You will hear from the store a few days before launch to schedule an appointment. We will have a better understanding of what inventory we can expect to receive from Apple for launch day around the 22nd or 23rd. So, I encourage everyone to wait until you hear from your store before making assumptions."

In my case, I definitely have two coming at some point in July. Now I just have to decide if it's worth waiting in line next week to see if I can get them any earlier. As for Best Buy, the company better be ready for a tremendous amount of phone calls next week. Since they said that customers will receive a call "a few days before launch", the calls will probably start this weekend, and will all start like this:

customer: "Hi, did you call me?"

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