AT&T Halts NYC iPhone Online Sales

According to some reports, AT&T has apparently stopped selling the iPhone in New York City. If you listen to certain customer service representatives, it's because "New York is not ready for the iPhone." It may not be all that cut and dried, however.

The story begins as The Consumerist, where a reader discovered that he was unable to buy an iPhone online from AT&T's website when he entered his zip code (11231, or Brooklyn). He's right; we tried it ourselves and upon entered that zip or any other New York City, zip, no iPhones show up as available.

What's interesting is what The Consumerist was told when they contacted AT&T Customer Service:
Daphne: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?

Laura: Hi, I was looking at the iPhone 3Gs and the system tells me that I cannot order one in my ZIP code. My zip code is 11231. (Brooklyn, NY) Is this true? Are iPhones no longer available in New York City?

Daphne: I am happy to be helping you today . Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone.

Daphne: You don't have enough towers to handle the phone.

Laura: Thank you for your help. So the phone is not available to people anywhere in the city?

Daphne: Yes, this is correct Laura.Interestingly, BGR, when contacting AT&T, discovered that indeed the iPhone was not available, but only online. AT&T stores had plenty of stock. Meanwhile, according to BGR, Customer Service had no idea why the iPhone could not be ordered online, but only that it could not.
It seems more likely this is a site glitch and that Daphne is misinformed, or perhaps deranged. After all, Apple's website seems to have no problems selling to New York City. Meanwhile, Gearlog reports their AT&T rep says they've stopped selling to NYC because of "increased fraudulent activity in that area when ordering the iPhone." 

Assuming that is true, then perhaps it truly is some sort of new procedure that simply didn't go all the way to the top.  Or there's the other idea; it couldn't be because AT&T really thinks that NYC isn't ready for the iPhone, just because 30 percent dropped calls is the norm, could it?

Update: AT&T has resumed selling to New Yorkers via its website. It is still unclear what happened as AT&T stores, Apple stores, and the Apple website were all selling to or in New York while this "outage" was ongoing.
Tags:  Apple, iPhone, ATT