AT&T Suspends iPhone 4 Pre-orders

by Gaurav Kheterpal on June 17, 2010

The marriage of inconvenience between Apple and AT&T doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. Overwhelmed with unexpected demand for iPhone 4 preorders, AT&T’s website developed several glitches yesterday and had to be temporarily shutdown. AT&T has been forced to stop taking preorders for Apple’s iPhone 4 after just one day “in order to fulfill the orders already received”.

Apple said it sold 600,000 phones Tuesday, the day it began taking orders online and it acknowledged that the strong demand resulted in “many order and approval system malfunctions.” AT&T said it received 10 times as many pre-launch orders on the first day for the new iPhone model as it did for the previous model last year.

Clearly, the number of pre-orders for iPhone 4 has exceeded the expectations of Apple and AT&T so they were forced to take the pre-order system offline. Gizmodo reports at least three cases in which users were able to see other people’s personal information when they tried to log in and thereby leading to speculations of a major fraud update. AT&T has strong denied these accusations and said that it has been “unable to replicate the issue”. After all, AT&T messing up with customer’s private information is becoming bit of a routine.

AT&T just-released press statement says:

“Given this unprecedented demand and our current expectations for our iPhone 4 inventory levels when the device is available June 24, we’re suspending pre-ordering today in order to fulfill the orders we’ve already received. The availability of additional inventory will determine if we can resume taking pre-orders.

In addition to unprecedented pre-order sales, yesterday there were more than 13 million visits to AT&T’s website where customers can check to see if they are eligible to upgrade to a new phone; that number is about 3-times higher than the previous record for eligibility upgrade checks in one day. We are working hard to bring iPhone 4 to as many of our customers as soon as possible.”

Understandably, Apple fans are fuming over the latest incident. The state of other stores accepting pre-orders for iPhone 4 doesn’t seem to be any better. Radio Shack has suspended in-person pre-orders at its stores. Best Buy hasn’t responded to a query for pre-order status. Wal-Mart chose the safe route of not accepting pre-orders and will start selling the device it its stores on June 24. Apple’s website is accepting orders for black models only and shipping by July 2 instead of June 24.

Not exactly a dream start for the iPhone 4! It seems that AT&T and Apple aren’t learning from their past mistakes. The iPhone 3GS, sold more than 1 million units in its opening weekend after hitting store shelves in June 2009 and it should’ve been a good enough indication of the expected response for iPhone 4 pre-orders. Apple is already suffering from a severe shortage of supply of iPads and the dazzling response to iPhone 4 pre-orders is only bound to make things tougher for the company.

Did you pre-order your iPhone 4? Or were you amongst the unlucky ones to miss out?

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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AT&T: No iPhone 4 In-Store Sales Until June 29th — TheTelecomBlog.com
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