In what appears to be either an odd coincidence or a series of thefts, several iPhone 4 purchasers have received empty boxes instead of their new phones. A sampling of reports from Apple’s Discussion boards:
lblu: “I was able to pre-order my iPhone 4 on day one and waited for it to arrive today. After signing for my package I walked into my house and realized the tape was broken on the box and nothing was inside the package. The FedEx was already long gone. I called Apple and they told me they would contact me back in 24 hours by email. I made sure the lady made a note that said I wanted them to call me. She said they will probably mail me another iPhone but has no idea when.”
lovetheduns: “Same thing happened to me. Mine looks like it had been tampered with […]”
beekong: “same thing happened to me today. my dad received the package cause i was in the bathroom. when he handed me the box, it was so light, i shook it. then i saw that the single clear tape securing the box has been cut, it was tampered.”
In an interesting revelation, some users–upon inspecting their FedEx tracking history–found that the weights of their iPhone 4 packages changed during shipment, which would appear to indicate box tampering and theft.
Such theft should be wholly surprising, as new, in-box iPhones are fetching in the neighborhood of $1,000 on eBay.
Apple and FedEx’s responses to user claims are mixed; Apple is offering to send replacement units to some users, while FedEx is generally initiating investigative procedures.
If you’ve been subject to such theft, contact FedEx and initiate an investigation, filing an official claim. Failing such a claim, check your credit card protection or homeowners insurance for potential coverage.