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Apple, AT&T Stagger, Split iPhone Debut

Glitch-weary Apple, for the first time in three years, plans to launch iPhone sales alone -- AT&T will follow next week.



) --


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, seemingly irked by the pre-sales bungles of its telco partner


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, has decided it will have a solo retail launch of the new iPhone this week. AT&T stores will follow next week.

AT&T said it "plans to have iPhone 4 inventory -- available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last -- on June 29 in its retail locations."

An AT&T rep said he couldn't comment on Apple's plans for the iPhone retail launch. Apple reps did not immediately respond to

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request for comment.

The move comes after a series of missteps by AT&T that caused

Apple to issue an apology

to its customers. When pre-sale kicked off last week, a crush of online iPhone orders brought

AT&T sales systems crashing down


The pre-order crash came after hackers tricked AT&T's Web site into coughing up the email addresses of its rich and powerful iPad customers.

Apple is expected to start selling the newly redesigned iPhone 4 on Thursday.

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--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.