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AT&T Eligibility at Apple Stores, International iPhone 3G Shortages Expected

AppleInsider provides some additional notes about the iPhone 3G launch on Friday at U.S. Apple Retail stores and offers some clarity to one purchasing scenario.

According to their sources, current non-iPhone AT&T customers can go to Apple Retail stores and purchase the iPhone 3G and will be billed appropriately. The confusion arose from the subsidy surrounding the iPhone 3G and whether or not Apple would be able to tell if current AT&T customers "qualified" for the lower pricing. Existing iPhone customers and individuals new to AT&T automatically qualify for the $199/$299 subsidized iPhone 3G pricing. However, individuals who are current AT&T customers but do not own an iPhone must be "upgrade eligible" to purchase at the discounted prices. AT&T has posted walkthrough videos that explains the different scenarios.

Apparently, Apple's checkout system does access AT&T's database, but only at time of checkout. So if you are unsure of your upgrade eligibility, you should contact AT&T or log into your online account to check. As a result, the only group of individuals who need to specifically go to the AT&T stores are business/corporate customers.

Meanwhile, customers in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. may see short supplies of the iPhone 3G. Smarthouse.com.au claims that the first iPhone 3G shipments to those carriers will be less than 25,000 units each. The stock is described by one executive as "next to nothing" with expectations that they will be "snapped up within minutes."

Similarly, the U.K.'s O2 expects only "a couple of dozen" iPhones for each of their O2 and Carphone Warehouse locations on launch day. In fact, no stock at all of the white 16GB iPhone is expected in the U.K. at first.

Other Notes about the iPhone 3G and Launch:

- "Push" has been turned on in .Mac/Me.com and now works for those who have iPhone 2.0 firmware.
- The shipping iPhone 3G Firmware build (5A345) is the same as the 2.0 Beta 8 Firmware in the hands of developers
- 5th Avenue Apple Store will close at midnight July 10th and reopen at 8am July 11th.
- First guy is in line in New Zealand
- New Zealand customers are unhappy about pricing plans from Vodafone. (Petition)
- Mexico rate plans also came out. Customers there are also quite unhappy.
- Australia: Optus World store at 280 George Street Sydney will open 12.00am on July 11.
- Australia: Vodafone briefly posted their rate plans but then pulled them down.
- Meetups with other MacRumors readers are being organized: click here