Apple takes 600,000 iPhone 4 pre-orders

Steve Jobs iPhone 4.Despite the insane problems during the iPhone 4 pre-order launch, Apple still sold more than 600,000 pre-orders on day one, according to a company statement. That number includes all the carrier sales, which may not have been recorded in full considering pen and paper was being used at one point and it could take some time to log those orders.

From the Apple press release:

Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Appleā€™s new iPhone 4. It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.

At first, 600,000 seemed a little low, but that’s just the people fanatic enough to go out and order the first day it became available.


iPhone 4 pre-order was full of snafus, still sold out

Steve Jobs iPhone 4 launch.

After today’s crazy iPhone 4 pre-order problems, it’s hard to imagine what the 24th is going to look like.

As I mentioned here earlier today, website pre-ordering was down for both AT&T and Apple for most of the day. I finally got one ordered through Apple, still confirmed for delivery on the 24th as far as I can tell, but a lot of people were stuck staring at an error screen, or worse yet, an AT&T retail store for a few hours.

In case you missed the fun, there were reports of errors in the AT&T system that were granting access to another user’s account when you would log in. The AT&T upgrade system was down to the point that some stores were breaking out pens and paper and the old knucklebusters to take orders. Some stores were only taking down phone numbers and credit card info and then calling customers back to finalize the details of the sale. All in all, it was a crazy day full of AT&T’s failure to manage the load on their system, and the phone still sold out.

Here’s the official word from AT&T:

“Because of the incredible interest in iPhone 4, today was the busiest online sales day in AT&T history. As of Tuesday afternoon, customers who preorder iPhone 4 moving forward will receive their device on June 25 or later, depending on when the order is placed. We’ll email customers with confirmation once their order is placed, and again when it ships. In addition, we will have devices available on a first-come, first-serve basis in our stores beginning on June 24.”

As ever, the resounding sentiment from the tech world sounds something like “jesus christ will you idiots end the AT&T exclusivity already?!?” Seriously, Apple, people want the phone so badly they are willing to put up with mountains of carrier-related bullshit to get the thing. Find someone that doesn’t suck, make them pay you to sell your awesome phone. Thanks.


iPhone 4 pre-orders are totally borked

I woke up early this morning all excited to pre-order my iPhone 4. I was up a bit late last night and noticed that the store was down, and with the iPad, pre-orders were available around 8:30am EST, so I planned accordingly. Much to my chagrin, the online system at Apple wasn’t working. Neither was the AT&T system. In fact, it seems the whole pre-ordering process has melted down.

I started digging around the web to find other experiences, and even the people in brick-and-mortar stores are having trouble pre-ordering. The problem, it seems, is on AT&T’s end (who’s surprised?). Requests for account information aren’t being handled properly, and presumably because of the massive traffic AT&T is receiving, every step of the upgrade process is causing errors. As in, you fill out the data for step one (which renews your contract), press enter and get an error. Resubmit until it goes through. Now you have a new contract, but no subsidized phone until you can get step two or three to work.

This especially sucks for the people in brick-and-mortar stores. Cross step one and you’re stuck in the store until AT&T’s system deems you worthy to leave or, as I mentioned, you get a renewed contract but no new phone. Hopefully this will get fixed at some point today, but knowing AT&T, that’s not going to happen. If you have a couple hours to kill and feel like testing your boiling point, head on out to your nearest AT&T retailer for a little fun.

Photo from fOTOGLIF


AT&T Hopes Seth Can Placate The Masses

AT&T Death Star.“Look we see the discussions on the web,” says Seth Bloom. He’s also known as “Seth the blogger guy,” and he’s featured in a new video by AT&T. The video attempts to describe the MMS delay we’ve experienced and explain away our complaints with talk of network traffic and increased smartphone use.

The video, which you can see below, is just flat out insulting. It seems to suggest that AT&T’s service sucks by no fault of their own, and that maybe if you just took the time to understand a cellular network you would realize that fact. I’ll grant AT&T the fact that the iPhone probably would have crippled any network, but the responsibility would still lie with the carrier. It’s time to stop pretending AT&T isn’t making billions of dollars by not providing the service millions of people signed contracts for.

If anything, Seth should be decrying American carrier exclusivity contracts or the ridiculously low standards to which our wireless carriers are held. But Seth won’t do that, because he’s only here to humanize AT&T, to explain away our woes, and to get us to really feel for a company that can’t provide what consumers are paying for.

The worst part of this video is that people are going to gobble up this bullshit and regurgitate it to all of their friends. Even reputable news sources, sources that should know better, are blaming the iPhone for strangling AT&T networks, like AT&T just watched as Apple muscled its way onto the carrier’s network and starting eating up bandwidth. Let’s not forget, people, that AT&T helped orchestrate this thing. The fact that they weren’t and still aren’t prepared to handle the network load is no one’s fault but their own.

Every time I read an article lauding the giant sums wireless carriers spend to upgrade their networks I want to vomit. These companies aren’t dying. They aren’t struggling. A lot of them are growing as much as 5% year over year in the face a recession. That’s not exactly the profile of a company I can feel sorry for.

As consumers we need to stop believing this trash. Stop listening when AT&T says it’s “working on it,” and instead continue to write letters. Continue to lodge complaints. Hell, continue filling lawsuits for breach of contract on the part of AT&T. Videos like this are doing nothing more than telling you to accept shit service lying down because there’s nothing to be done about it. There is, we just aren’t loud enough to make AT&T pay for it yet.