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Wednesday, June 13, 2007, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

No iPhone for business account customers at launch? [More Info]

When Apple launches iPhone later this month, customers with Cingular/AT&T business accounts may be forced to purchase the device as individuals through the carrier's retail channels, according to reports.

"I just spoke to a Cingular/AT&T business representative from the headquarters of the company (not a kiosk) and was told that iPhones will not be available for purchase by business account customers until further notice," said one AppleInsider reader.

Another, who spoke with his Cingular business account manager, was also told that he would not be able to buy iPhone via Cingular business channels and instead would need to purchase the handset through the carrier's retail channels.

"Furthermore, you can not use a normal business account — only an account with individual responsibility," that reader said.

Thus far, it appears this stance by Apple and Cingular/ATT has not been put in writing and is instead being passed down verbally to business account managers by their superiors.

It also remains unclear whether the restriction is permanent, or just a temporary measure instated during the initial launch.

At its annual developers conference Monday, Apple announced that iPhone would go on sale at 6:00 p.m. on Friday June 29th. It's not certain whether the 6:00 p.m. time is Pacific time or regional.

Representatives for Apple did not respond to multiple inquiries seeking clarification.

Update: Another AppleInsider reader and AT&T business customer was told by a representative of the AT&T Business Division: "AT&T is not selling [iPhone] to business or to sponsorship accounts under a business; only retail consumers for the first few months. There is no ETA on the sale ban to business."