Verizon Sells Out iPhone Pre-Orders, Throttles 3G

Verizon Wireless has stopped taking pre-orders for the Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) CDMA iPhone, less than a day after the smartphone went on sale.

And, at the same time, a new memo reportedly reveals that the carrrier is planning to throttle data on its 3G network ahead of the handsets coming online.

"We are no longer taking pre-sale orders," Verizon posted on its website overnight. The operator offered its existing customers the chance to pre-order the phone on Thursday.

The phone will go on sale to the general public online at 3:00 AM EST on Feb. 9. It will be in stores at 7:00 AM local time across the U.S. on Feb. 10. The pre-order sellout suggests that stocks of the device will move fast when they become more widely available.

It appears, meanwhile, that Verizon plans to throttle back the bandwidth offered to data-hoggin' users.

The Boy Genius Report blog rooted out the change in documentation on the operator's website. Verizon said it may reduce user bandwidth if they download an "extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users."

A Verizon spokesperson, however, tells Network World that the move is unrelated to the launch of the iPhone.

Why this matters
The CDMA iPhone is clearly a hot item for Verizon customers and likely to remain so when it arrives on the wider market next week.

"I expect Verizon to sell 10 million iPhone 4s in 2011," Berge Ayvazian, senior consultant at Heavy Reading, told LR Mobile recently. Others are predicting sales of up to 13 million for the CDMA device.

Even if the data-throttling plan is not directly related to the iPhone's arrival on the Verizon network, the new provision could be helpful for the operator in managing its increased 3G traffic load.

For more
Read more on the Verizon iPhone launch:

  • Verizon Rivals Play iPhone Defense
  • Bite Into Our CDMA iPhone Coverage
  • Are You Getting a Verizon iPhone?

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

  • sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:13:47 PM
    re: Verizon Sells Out iPhone Pre-Orders, Throttles 3G

    This was Verizon's most successful first sales day in its history. Not surprising, but it acheived that in just two hours - before most of us were even awake.

    krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 5:13:46 PM
    re: Verizon Sells Out iPhone Pre-Orders, Throttles 3G

    There have been quite a few people that have stated that Verizon should have had the iPhoney first because they would have been more capable of handling the data traffic volumes.  Given their change of the terms where they plan to throttle the top users, I think it is safe to say that this is not the case.  While they are only going to throttle the top 5%, the fact of the matter is, you always have the top 5%.  Just ask Sprint; they decided to get rid of the top 5% that called or complained the most.  Not a very good policy as you have a new crop every month.


    They can say all they want that it didn't have anything to do with the iPhoney, but given that it goes into effect for new contracts and it just so happens that  it is the day they allow people to pre-order an anticipated phone.  Existing customers won’t see the throttling until their renew or their existing contract is up; so the current customer base is grandfathered in but within two-years, no more grandfathering.


    Verizon has also said that bandwidth caps are coming soon.

    There were also a few reports that the Verizon site was unavailable for some.

    Sign In