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AT&T Reopens Pre-Orders for iPhone with Half Phone Limit

By Brian Briggs filed Thursday, June 17 3:00 AM ET

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Cupertino, CA - Initial supply of Apple's iPhone 4 sold out in under a day and forced AT&T to stop taking pre-orders for the device. However, the company has announced that they would start taking pre-order starting Friday, but limiting customers to half an iPhone per subscriber.

Frank Patton, Vice-President of Global Communications at AT&T, said, "Customers will be able to purchase half of an iPhone for $199 with a 2-year subscription, then they will be able to purchase the other half of the phone when their contract comes up for renewal."

The company is making the move as overwhelming demand for the phone threatens to cripple AT&T's already fragile network. "Our subscribers will be able to get half the phone of their dreams, and our network will remain stable. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved."

Patton did not reveal which half of the iPhone 4 that customers would receive, but he did say that a band saw would be involved. On hearing the news Trevor Banks of Chicago said, "If they cut the phone vertically through the middle I want the right half, if it's horizontally, I want the bottom."

Other customers in line at the AT&T store said they'd prefer the left or the back of the phone. One person even imagined an iPhone cut diagonally "just like mom used to cut my peanut-butter and caviar sandwiches."

An Apple representative said it was a unique way to deal with scarce supplies of the phone, but voiced concerned with the sharp edges that might arise in the process. "Also, we don't want people to be able to get to the battery," said Fred Gorgonzola of Apple.

It's rumored that Steve Jobs said that he'd like to take "AT&T out back and shoot it in the back of the skull," but that has not yet been confirmed.

Shares of Apple were down on the news.


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