Off-Message Apple Posts iPhone Record

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NEW YORK — Short supplies, the postponement of the white iPhone 4, and the welltimed announcements of highend Android-based smartphones put Apple off -message in the days before the June 24 iPhone 4 launch.

Nonetheless, Apple racked up its most success ful iPhone launch to date, selling more than 1.7 million new models in the first three days of availability in five countries, including the U.S. That compares to more than 1 million iPhone 3G S phones sold during their first three days of availability last year in eight countries, including the U.S.

In one setback, Apple said it would delay availability of the white version of its iPhone 4 until the second half of July, contending the white models “have proven more challenging to manufacture than expected.” The black version became available June 24 as planned.

In another inventory glitch, AT&T said units for AT&T customers who didn’t preorder wouldn’t be available through its stores and online until June 29, citing preorder sales that were 10 times higher on the first day of preordering compared to the first day of iPhone 3GS preordering.

For its part, RadioShack said it would make it up to consumers upset over limited iPhone 4 inventories on the phone’s launch date. RadioShack said it would extend its launch-weekend specials throughout July.

The specials include a $20 accessory credit with all iPhone 4 purchases through July 25. Special trade-in values will also remain in effect through July 25. They include a trade-in value up to $200 for the iPhone 3GS and an iPhone 3G trade-in value up to $100 regardless of memory size. In addition, the chain said its iPhone $49.99 and $109.98 accessory bundles, available to all consumers, will be available through July 25.

The chain said it “has heard their customers loud and clear” and regrets “any confusion that may have been caused by the limited devices that were made available to their stores at launch.”

Meantime, competing carriers drew attention away from the iPhone with the announcements of new high-end Android-based models. Verizon Wireless teamed with Motorola to announce the launch of the Droid X, and Samsung teamed with all four national carriers and U.S. Cellular to announce plans to offer Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S in the coming weeks and months.


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