AT&T delays iPhone 4 for those who didn't pre-order

For fans of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 4 that were planning to purchase the new device at AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) stores, the wait just got a little longer.

Some iPhone 4s appear to have been shipped early. Click here for an iPhone 4 unboxing.AT&T, the exclusive U.S. carrier of the device, said that customers who did not pre-order the iPhone 4 last week will not be able to pick up the smartphone at AT&T's retail stores until June 29, five days after the phone officially goes on sale.

"iPhone 4 pre-order sales were 10 times higher than the 3GS last year," AT&T spokeswoman Jenny Bridges told FierceWireless. "It was a very unprecedented demand. We are committed to fulfilling the pre-orders first, and are on track to do so." Last week Apple said it had received 600,000 pre-orders for the smartphone, and AT&T suspended pre-orders due to inventory issues and the high demand.

Those who did not pre-order the phone last week will be able to get it June 29 on a first-come, first-serve basis online and at AT&T stores.

AT&T's decision appears to be independent of Apple's plans to sell the device in Apple retails stores beginning June 24. The phone will also be available at Best Buy and Wal-Mart. An Apple spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the company's retail sales plans.

Interestingly, some customers have reported receiving iPhone 4 units in the mail, but have been unable to activate them. One customer was told by Apple that the delivery was a "mistake," according to AllThingsD.

Click here for a comparison of the iPhone 4 and other high-end smartphones.The news comes just as iPhone 4 competition is heating up. Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is still heavily promoting the HTC Evo, and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) appears poised to announce at least one new Android device at an event Wednesday, likely the Motorola Droid X.

Meanwhile, reviews for the iPhone 4 have started rolling in, and, for the most part they are exceedingly positive. The consensus seems to be that, in terms of the total package of hardware and software, Apple's smartphone remains the device to beat. 

For more:
- see this Engadget post
- see this AllThingsD post
- see this AllThingsD post about the iPhone 4 reviews

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