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Few tech events are as exciting as when that latest gadget actually ships (except maybe for when it actually arrives, of course). Over the weekend, Apple started sending shipment notifications for the iPhone 4 as customers watched their order status change from “Not Yet Shipped” to “Prepared For Shipment” and finally “Shipped”. Unfortunately, not everyone appears to be so lucky.
iPhone 4 orders placed on Apple.com during the pre-order apocalypse on June 15 are now starting to ship, with one of our own MacLife.com handsets (a 32GB black model) showing as “In Transit” from Lantau Island, Hong Kong after being picked up in Shenzhen, China by FedEx. While our particular device shows a “Deliver by” date of June 24 as it should be, some customers have seen a June 23 date on their shipment notification. If you’re one of them, don’t get too excited, Apple generally works with the shipping company to make sure no devices arrive early.
Unfortunately, the happy occasion is not being shared by all -- on Saturday, as many customers found their device now showed “Prepared For Shipment,” others were shocked to discover that their order status had now been changed to “Cancelled,” as reported by MacRumors and others.
“I ordered one 32GB for my line and my wife got a 16GB on the 15th. Both from Apple,” writes one such MacRumors forum member. “Both were successful with order acknowledgments and temporary holds on the card. Today the 16GB order shows cancelled. No email, no call, nothing, just a cancellation on the order status page.”
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive reason for the cancellations as yet, but AT&T’s terms and conditions appear to be the root of the problem. Many such customers report long wait times to get Apple or AT&T on the phone to find out what happened, only for each company to point the finger at the other.
One thing seems certain: Last Tuesday’s iPhone 4 apocalypse continues to reverberate and a second tsunami is surely on the way this Thursday as customers actually receive their devices and try to activate them via iTunes. Godspeed, fellow iPhone 4 buyers!
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter