AT&T Halts Online iPhone Sales in NYC

AT&T raised a few eyebrows over the holiday weekend when it stopped selling the iPhone to New York City customers through its Web site. So far the company has offered up only vague reasons behind the decision, leading to speculation that this was a move to deal with wireless network congestion issues in the city.

"Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone. You don't have enough towers to handle the phone," AT&T online sales support told The Consumerist.

AT&T spokesperson Fletcher Cook, however, offered up a different reason for the sales blackout. "We periodically modify our promotions and distribution channels," he said.

It also looks like the AT&T's online sales support staff later changed what it was telling customers. According to Gearlog, another sales support representative said the company's Web-based iPhone sales were halted in the city due to "increased fraudulent activity in that area when ordering the iPhone."

So far it appears that the only place New York City shoppers can't buy an iPhone is at AT&T's Web site. The combination iPod and smartphone is still available at the cell carriers retail stores, Apple's retail locations and at the Apple Web site.

AT&T has not offered any additional clarification on the matter.