AT&T already sold out of launch day iPhone 3G S pre-orders

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Signaling a likely repeat of Apple's iPhone sell-outs of the past two years, AT&T is already warning that those making iPhone 3G S pre-orders that they won't get their handsets on launch.

The US carrier's internal sales system is asking staff to tell customers that any pre-orders made on Saturday the 13th or later won't ship on launch and instead will reach retail locations between 7 and 14 days after the order is made, overshooting the release date.

Those who delayed their pre-orders long enough but who still want an iPhone 3G S the same day will have to wait at an AT&T (or Apple) store until regular availability starts at 8 a.m. rather than the 7 a.m. early access time touted earlier this week, Boy Genius hears. Any pre-orders, however, will receive an e-mail once their device is in stock.

While unfortunate for those who hadn't already set aside money for the faster, more feature-laden Apple smartphone, the sell-out bodes well for early sales, which will include not only retail pick-ups but, unlike last year, online pre-orders. Some had feared that high upgrade fees for customers who bought a previous iPhone too soon to qualify for a full discount would deter many from queuing up in the same way they had in 2008.

Besides Apple and AT&T outlets, Best Buy and Walmart locations should also have the iPhone 3G S for sale on June 19th, albeit with regular store hours.