AT&T has resumed taking iPhone orders from New York City residents through its website after blocking the sale of the handsets to New Yorkers this past weekend for reasons the carrier has been unwilling to explain in detail.
The sales suspension drew hundreds of headlines from technology websites on Monday, fueling suspicions that the move was yet another sign that the exclusive US iPhone carrier was unable to support the brunt of the handset’s popularity in dense metropolitan areas.
That sentiment was fueled by a comment from an AT&T online customer service representative by the name of Daphne who told a journalist that the iPhone was no longer available for purchase online by New York City residents “because New York is not ready for the iPhone.”
“[Your area doesn't] have enough towers to handle the phone,” the rep added.
AT&T’s corporate spokespeople would later say the sales blackout was a result of the carrier periodically modifying its promotions and distribution channels, while online service rep Daphne jettisoned her earlier explanation in favor of blaming the move on “increased fraudulent activity” in New York City and the surrounding areas.
In recent months, AT&T has come under fire from customers and larger rival Verizon Wireless, who’ve combined to charge the carrier in a series of lawsuits and television spots with making false promises regarding the capacity and reach of its mobile 3G network.
The Dallas-based firm has yet to provide a clear explanation for this weekend’s sales stoppage.