The Frustrating Quest For the iPhone 4


I’m Chris, the newest contributor to and I have a shameful secret and personal frustration to share with you today. I don’t own an iPhone right now nor have I ever. I do however have one coming my way at some point in the near or distant future but that’s my frustation; the wait is terribly long!

I haven’t had to pay for a single smartphone in over four years because the company I work for supplies them for free and pays the bill. It’s a sweet deal really, and I have little to complain about in that regard. Yet from the day the iPhone was first introduced and released back in 2007 I have coveted the device to no avail. Until recently we didn’t support or offer the iPhone yet now that we do, the wait is long.

That’s because supply is not meeting demand. We’ve been given countless (and often conflicting) timelines on how long it will take. Two weeks. Six weeks. Who knows. Unfortunately because we go through a dealer rather than Telus or Apple directly, I’m not holding my breath on anytime soon. My own personal order was delayed due to corporate shenanigans so I probably won’t see it until shortly before Christmas. My anxiousness got so bad that when a package arrived yesterday I gleefully opened it thinking a miracle occurred. Instead I got a box full of crap that I don’t really care about. Dang false hope.

I can’t imagine what it’s like for those poor souls who place their unlocked phone order online having to wait two to three weeks (trust me, I would’ve taken this route but we have a newborn and limited income). Or worse yet, those of you like my buddy in Vancouver who woke up early three days in a row to line up at the Apple store. That’s if you live in a city that HAS an Apple store. Otherwise, you’re relying on carrier stock to come in.

Yet we try more often and we wait longer than most of us visit our grandma. Why? Because we are drones sucked into the hype machine? Because we are slaves to these shiny devices that improve our productivity as much as they allow us to waste time on games and facebook? That debate can be hotly contested for a millennia.

Me? I’ll just sit here waiting for my iPhone, gasping with glee every time someone shows up in my office with an unexpected package only to be let down by some boring batch of office supplies.

Tell us about your iPhone 4 quest.


  • Anonymous


    I’m at the point where I’m able to get one. Decided to get a carrier-locked version because after considering it I’m really not going to need an unlocked one as much and I’ve not had any real issues with my carrier.

    As I’m with Rogers, I started making calls to all the Rogers Plus stores within a 20 to 30 km radius of me… and no-one had any stock at all. One store I called was just selling their last phone as I was talking to them. This was also the case with Futureshop, Bestbuy, Wireless Etc (Costco’s preferred cellphone dealer), and a few other 3rd parties.

    Overall, it was a frustrating experience and I really don’t want to have to spend the morning in line at the Apple store for the hope of getting one.

    If this doesn’t let up soon, these shortages are getting to the point where I may switch to Android.

  • Ro-widgets

    boo hoo

  • Ffedurch

    You want to hear my quest? I hopped on my motorcycle at 8 am launch day and headed to the mall to the Rogers store. I was sitting at my desk at home with a new iPhone 4 at 10:30. The most frustrating part was waiting for it to activate. It didn’t go live till about 1 pm.

  • Dre

    Well my iPhone was very difficult. It started at 4:00 am is Monday. I went to a square one apple store and was 4th in line at 4:30 am in the morning. I sat there and waited with my lawn chair and food. At 8:30 a guy came out of the store and said a person will come out and talk to us in a few minutes. This brought my hopes up thinking that they had some. Sadly when the other person came out he said sorry we have no iPhones so it is beat you go home. Then he said or you can try yorkdale mall they might get some. So I quickly went over to yorkdale mall in Toronto. Unfourtnatly they dis not know if they were getting any. At 1030 am they said that they were coming and started taking down names. My name was the second last name to get written down. After I went looking at the line I saw people from square one in front of my and behind me at 6:00 my name was finally called and I went in. So it took me a long time 14 hours but it is sure worth it when you get the phone in your hand. Ps when you are at they end of the line still wait if you are cut off because so people are bound to leave due to work meeting and children. When I was there about 20 people got phones that were behind the cut off line. Also yorkdale got 164 phones that day! Thank god

  • I’m with you ! I’ve been a Rogers customer for over 20 years (when they were CanTel !)…and have used their phones exclusively. I own a iPhone 3G and loved it, right up until they updated to IOS 4…now my 3G is a virtual paperweight…even after updating to IOS 4.1 and they won’t roll it back to 3.1.2…talk about a sham!
    Anyway, I have been searching daily for the iPhone 4….the amount of time spent online and on the phone has been extensive.
    If Rogers offers an Android 2.2 phone, I’ll be ditching Apple for good.
    Or perhaps I’ll wait until Oct/Nov for the Windows 7 phone to come out….the Youtube videos of it look great ! “Live” tiles that auto-update info right on your home screen so you often don’t even need to open the apps…weather, stocks, FB, Twitter etc….and it’ll even integrate beautifully with Outlook !
    Good luck in your search….and maybe I’ll see you in line for your Win7 phone 😀

  • CharveL

    Got up a bit early realizing that there wasn’t much chance of getting one but thought what the hell…

    Drove by the Rogers store to see all you fanboys lined up 50 deep and decided to go to work. Then I thought it couldn’t hurt to stop by the Cambridge Centre’s Rogers Store so when I walked in the line was only about 10 people.

    Stood in line until an employee came down the line and asked me if I was there to get one (lol) and I told her I’d like the 32gb. She said they were spoken for and had 16 only.

    I said I’d take it then return it next week and after a bit of obfuscating she left and came back with a ticket for the 32 since someone ahead in line wasn’t eligible for the early upgrade.

    Had it activated in hand a half hour later.

  • Opus

    Don’t worry. Stock will magically appear in a week after the free bumper case program ends.

  • I spent a week (2 Weeks ago) calling every Telus, Bell, and Rogers store in the city asking about the phone, and obviously no one had one. I went to the bell store that Ive dealt with for a few years since the day it opened, and to my surprise, they had a waiting list. So $50 later as a deposit, Im not on a list to get one, only 6 more people ahead of me as of yesterday! So I’m thinking next week I’ll be converting to my First Ever iPhone from BlackBerry

  • Shablul

    If I weren’t locked into iTunes because of my many purchases (that I now regret), I would have bought an Android by now.

  • Funny! I submitted to be an author for the site as well and I have much the same story as you. I also haven’t had an iPhone yet due to the same reasons as you. Until now it’s been Blackberrys but I am looking for a chance. I was up for renewal in December and I told myself it would be smart at that point to simply wait for the iPhone 4. Seems that I was wrong.

  • Zekkye

    Sorry to be negative here, I visit this site at least daily if not more, but I come to this site looking for useful information on iPhone stuff, not an opinion piece by someone who doesn’t even own an iPhone. Isn’t this what forums are for?

  • Anonymous

    I picked mine up on Tuesday morning from a Rogers Wireless in Toronto. They told me the afternoon before that they may be getting them in on Tuesday at 10:00 am. When I went down at 10:30 am Tuesday, they had them, but they were acting weird. There was only one other person in the store getting her Blackberry fixed, but when I asked about iPhones, they started whispering. They said they had a “few”. I asked for my 16 gig, and while the guy was doing the set up several people called looking for phones. For the first couple of calls they said they had a few, but they wouldn’t hold them. After a while they started saying they only had one left, even though I was now the only person in the store and no one else had bought one. A guy then came in looking for one, and they said they had a few. He said he’d be right back, to get the phone ready, and when he returned about 2 minutes later, they said now this was the last one. When they opened the cabinet, they were very careful to block our view of what stock was actually inside. Honestly, I felt like I was buying hardcore drugs.

  • Anonymous

    I picked mine up on Tuesday morning from a Rogers Wireless in Toronto. They told me the afternoon before that they may be getting them in on Tuesday at 10:00 am. When I went down at 10:30 am Tuesday, they had them, but they were acting weird. There was only one other person in the store getting her Blackberry fixed, but when I asked about iPhones, they started whispering. They said they had a “few”. I asked for my 16 gig, and while the guy was doing the set up several people called looking for phones. For the first couple of calls they said they had a few, but they wouldn’t hold them. After a while they started saying they only had one left, even though I was now the only person in the store and no one else had bought one. A guy then came in looking for one, and they said they had a few. He said he’d be right back, to get the phone ready, and when he returned about 2 minutes later, they said now this was the last one. When they opened the cabinet, they were very careful to block our view of what stock was actually inside. Honestly, I felt like I was buying hardcore drugs.

  • You know, I was thinking of mentioning that in the article. Normally, that would irk the crap outta me but I’m actually pulling for that because I already have a case at home waiting for the phone so, no big deal.

  • Nick_P

    the wait is absoulty crazy, I got my iPhone4 32gig from Wireless wave about 2 weeks after launch.. i’ve been subsequently called 3 times by Local Rogers Plus locations to tell me they have a phone ready and waiting for me.

    Just my luck I could have 4 iphone4’s already maybe i should be buying them and selling them to you poor people

  • Chris

    Try going online with Telus got mine three weeks ago no line no hassle and showed up in my mail within a week. They have phones right now available.

  • Mitch

    I’ve had my phone since August 13, yeah I know that was a Friday, didn’t seem to hurt!
    What I did was go to the mall near me, Promenades St-Bruno on the Thursday and chatted up the YL at the Fido boutique, got her to tell me when they get their deliveries, then showed up the following day about 10 minutes before. You might need to do this a couple of times, I lucked out with one shot. BTW, I upgraded from the 3G and I gotta say this is great.

  • Xetal

    Im sooooooo pissed. My 3G is dying and i can’t get a Iphone 4 ! In Montreal it is hard as hell to get it. Ppl do crazy lineup to get them and sell them for more after. What happens to ppl with a life working day time ? I blame apple for this. They are producing over 100k phones per day and can’t even get some on the shelves. If fido was selling androids phones id switch faster then i can call this BS ! Im upset. How many calls and visit i made to each stores … Just plain frustrating !

  • Jeff

    It is kinda retarded that you are a writer on a iphone site and you don’t have an iphone. Also your article was long winded, negative and boring.

  • Noeyak

    You are so right!!!!!

  • ricky

    I’m over iPhone 4. I hate the waiting game. I am happy with my iPhone 3g for now.

  • Wilf

    This is how I got my iPhone4 in 2 days ….
    I first negotiated the best retention deal with my carrier, Bell (see below for details). On Saturday I went to 3 Bell Stores where I asked to have my name put on their iPhone 4 wait list. Two of the three stores asked for a (refundable) $50 deposit, which I paid. When they asked if this was for an existing plan or a new activation, I told them that…and this is the important part… I would be activating a new phone.

    On Monday morning I got a call from 2 of the stores. I made the mistake of telling the first store (at Broadway and Fir in Vancouver) that called that I had changed my mind and would be activating the phone on my existing Bell number. The sales rep told me that they kept 2 lists. The new activation list was shorter (less than a week) and the existing customer list was 2-3 weeks. I tried to argue that with his system new customers were jumping the queue ahead of existing (loyal) customers. He wouldn’t budge and said that if I wanted the phone I would have to sign up a new account. I didn’t want to give up my phone # or the retention deal I was offered.

    I phoned Bell Client Services where the client rep told me that in no way should Bell stores be giving preferential treatment to new sign-ups. She explained that the Bell Store sales people make commission on the new accounts and not existing plan holders. She said that this is likely why I was not given the option to get the phone on my plan. The client rep phoned the store on my behalf and tried to convince the sales person to activate the phone on my plan but he would not budge. She put in detailed complaint against the store and sales person. I have no idea whether this has or will result in any action.

    The Bell Client Services rep then phoned the second store (on 4th and Arbutus in Vancouver) and asked if they kept two lists or gave new activations priority on the iPhone wait list. They claimed that they did not. She told them that I would be in the store later that day to have the phone activated on my existing account. When I picked up the phone the sales person did the activation but gave me a lukewarm reception.

    I have since heard from friends and colleagues that they have experienced similar treatment with the other carriers.

    My retention plan details: $45+HST,300 weekday min, 6pm eve and weekends, call display, voicemail, text:100 incoming/unlim outgoing, 500 Mb data.

  • sg

    Got lucky.. walked into a Wireless Wave and they had one sitting there a few weeks ago. First try.

  • Jasonmelnick

    After going to the Rogers store in the plaza where I work many times, finally the guy asked me if I worked in the plaza, told him I did, and took my name and phone number down for a 32GB iPhone 4. After 3 weeks, I finally got it yesterday. WOOOOOOO!

  • Jbohn

    The first couple of weeks after the release date I was phoning all the stores I could think of and occasionally walking in and asking in person. I was checking in Penticton, Kelowna & Vernon. I had a paper list of al lthe locations with their phone numbers. I was not against driving a little farther to find one. But they never had any in. Sometimes the WirelessWave would have a few but not for Rogers. I only found one Rogers store in Kelowna that was creating a list so I put my name down on July 30th, but I kept looking. By the end of August I had given up and I ordered one unlocked from Apple. I was certain that the 3 weeks shipping time would be sooner than finding one in town. A few days later, the Rogers store phoned me to say my 32GB iPhone 4 was in. I went there straight after work, and it took not even a 1/2 hour to set up and I went home and cancelled the Apple order. I also had to wait on the phone with Rogers to get my plan changed over properly – they couldn’t do it in the store.

    This is my first iPhone, I am a former Blackberry user. Over all I like it so much more, but there are a few areas such as messaging and notifications where Apple needs to beef things up.

    I too thought of applying for the writing position here, but I thought 4 weeks as an iPhone user might not be enough… guess I was wrong!! LOL

  • Mynet

    Wow, this site is really going south fast. Posting a piece like this makes the whole site seem like some kids school project.

    I mean just look at the review from Gary on the iPhone 4 one month later, where there is no mention of the signal reception problem. You know, the problem that requires a case, bumper, or strong signal to fix. After reading this review a lot of people probably think there is no problem. Well, not according to Apple Support, they know all about it.

    It would be nice if this site took a leadership role in helping consumers make good purchases and resolving iPhone related problem.

  • Anonymous

    Walked into a TELUS store the morning of launch day and got a 32gb iphone4, bought it outright. Went to the other TELUS store in town and got a 16gb for the wife on HUP. All done before 10am. I guess it’s good to live in a city of only 17,000. Lol.

  • Geoff Halford

    I too have waited long…..and been abused by my carrier!!!!!

    I called my local account rep about my plan and she suggested that I contact corporate customer service as they had better latitude. I made a passing comment about the iPhone4 (my boss had just gotten an older iPhone and thought I should get one as well….and would pick up the tab for mine) and she said that she had about 100 names on her waiting list.

    I called corporate customer service as she had suggested. After reviewing my plan details, I mentioned the iPhone4 and she advised that they were shipping in 5 – 8 days……sounded better than waiting for 100 to be delivered. She advised that they would bill my account, my contract would be extended from the few months remaining to 36 months and that they had to put me on the iPhone data plan.

    After a week I contacted them as I was getting frustrated not having my e-mail to my BB. They now advised that they had no shipping date, but they would put me back on a data plan that would restore my e-mail. A few days later I got my monthly bill with the charge for the phone on it. Again I called. I questioned them billing me and expecting to pay for something that they could not even give me an idea when I would get. I was told that they would take the charge off the bill and my name off the waiting list…..nice…. Then I noticed that they had already extend my contract to 36 months. When I asked what would happen if I decided to change carries…they advised that I had a 36 month cantract and would need to pay the full penalty to break the contract. I said that the contract extension was in exchange for the reduced price that they had already charged me for the phone that they could not commit as to when they could provide. The said it was too bad and there was nothing that they could do but that they were sorry that they had no iPhones, but it was out of their control!! This is not about the inability to deliver phones and has everything to do with customer service or lack there of……

    I have decided that if I get the BB Torch before the iP4 then that’s the way it was meant to be…

  • Kerry

    I got my iPhone4 last week, almost by accident. I was visiting family in Winnipeg and called several Rogers stores and all said they didn’t have any iPhones. I phoned their Polo Park store at noon and was told, flat out, they had no phones. My cousin needed something form another store at Polo Park so at 12:30 I was there walking towards the Bay. Ahead of me, I saw a lineup of people out into the mall space coming from the Rogers store. I asked what was up but knew these people were lined up. I went to the front of the line and confirmed what they were doing. I asked one of the people closest to the front when they found, how long they’d been there. They said they had been there for just over an hour and had known since 11:00 that the store had phones.

    So, just to be clear, I called a Rogers store that had phones and was told flat out they didn’t when they clearly did. The line up when I got there was maybe 25 deep but I waited and about an hour later, I got a 32gb phone. There maybe 15 or more people behind me when I left. The store made no effort to tell them that they were running low on stock and, based on the number of phones given out before I received mine, that Rogers store clearly received more than a few.

    Why lie or mislead me when I called originally?

  • Jayo6969

    Walked in on launch day and got one …didn’t wait in line…’s good to have people in high places 🙂

  • I’ve gone to a few Rogers stores. One told me if i really wanted one i should tel him now and he would put my name on one of the five he was getting the day after, so i di. He didn’t answer his phone the day after so i went there….waited for an hour because he was out to lunch (an hour after he showed up for work) only to hve him tell me he didn’t have one for me.
    Went to another store where the guy told me i’d definitely get one within 2 weeks, 4 weeks later….i don’t have one and last time i called him i was suddenly number cirka 100 on the waiting list.

    I don’t mind that they don’t have any iPhone’s just like the other carriers….but constantly promising shit they can’t live up to….i do mind

    Nedless to say i’ve decided to get an Android phone and NOT from Rogers.

  • Jozsef Varga

    same position as you. Luckily, I only live… 5 HOURS from an Apple Store. 🙁 I can’t wait ’til mine comes in, in another two to six weeks. 🙁

  • Jozsef Varga

    I am from Penticton and I am ninth in a list of nine at André’s Audiotronics.

  • Crank

    Don’t you get it? The carriers don’t want to sell you an iphone. The phone is so highly subsidized the carriers try to wait you out until you get so frustrated you buy an Acer or a huckleberry or some other schlop phone they have collecting dust in the back

  • cwh

    I work in dt Toronto and I kept checking one or two Rogers stores – either calling them or walking in and asking. I found that by calling and if they actually had them in stock, it was probably too late by that time to go to the store as the line would be too long for their supply of phones.

    For this particular store they said that UPS usually delivers between 12-2 every day but they aren’t sure if shipments will come in consistently everyday. I tried to show up around 12 and have a peek, so basically I followed this advice and on the 4th or 5th try I got one.

    I think if you go in and ask them what time the UPS person usually comes every day and if you are close to the store, try to get there 15 minutes before. That’s how it worked for me.

  • Tigger58

    I finally got an iPhone 4 16G for Rogers 2 days ago and (to quote McDonald’s mott0) I’m loving it!

    I have small hands and it fits so much better in my hand than the bulky iPhone 3G which also had a thick, rubber Roots cover (my purchase). I just ordered the free case from Apple and altho it’s rubber, it won’t be as thick.

    Earlier this week, I was checking all the Rogers retailers in my local mall; there’s 5. I went into Best Buy Mobile and one of the sales associates said, “I’ve seen you here a lot. Give me your name and a contact number and I’ll call you when a 16G for Rogers comes in”. I did just that.

    On Thursday, 9/23 my husband went in the store and learned they had a 16G for Rogers and the sales associate was just about to call me…

    Thursday, September 23rd was a very good day! Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays hit home run #50 and after almost 8 weeks of searching, I finally got my iPhone 4!!!!

  • SmartCookie

    It’s all about who you know.

    I put in an order for TWO hups., They were both mailed out within 24hours. Tracking provided already.

    Sounds like you need a new employer.

    I use Rogers.

  • Chaotic Indigo

    I did some web design for a friend’s start-up, and to make his payment to me tax-deductable for him, I agreed to accept payment as $300 worth of Rogers gift cards.

    O. M. G. I have been calling and tramping around Ottawa for two weeks and have had ZERO luck finding any iPhones at any Rogers Plus location. On top of that all of the university-aged employees are rude and condescending, and not helpful. Thankfully the Rogers GCs don’t depreciate in value, as I suspect I will be doing a lot of calling and tramping for the next few months.

  • Bdobson

    Any chance we start a movement to drop the “fanboy” bullshit please? It is to the point of being completely juvenile and used as a way to instantly win an argument. Defend Apple, for ANYTHING, well you’re opinion is worthless because your a “fanboy”.

  • Celine Carbonneau

    Chris, hang on there. It is worth it. You will be delight and get addict like all of us with this smart phone. I’m an Apple person since 1985 and let me tell you that I was waiting for the first iPhone 2 years prior to it. I even bought a iPhone Touch 3 months before to set all my contacts, calendar and apps. Of course, I got a 3 year plan, like everyone. Was unlucky with a bad iPhone when it came out, my carrier did change it. In the 2nd year, I’ve broken the top of the phone and end up changing it for a 300$. Since then, well I have going through new IOS problems due to the 3G and we are now at 4.

    I am still waiting to make the move. I will let all of you run and wait. Hopefully the next version will be better than that 4th one.

    Even if you don’t own one, I believe you will make a good writer for it. Best of luck in sharing the up and downs of the iPhone 4th generation.

    Cheers, Celine (sorry for the typos I’m French)… Proud owner of an iPhone and Mobile me

  • Murvin

    Check out Rogers at College Square in the west end of Ottawa.