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

  

Tomorrow is iPhone 4 pre-order day

iPhone 4 in white.

Tomorrow you can finally pre-order that shiny, new iPhone 4 you’ve been dreaming of. I’ll be out at some point tomorrow to put down my own pre-order and I’ll be listing my current phone shortly thereafter.

You will be able to make pre-orders from a variety of stores, including your local AT&T retailer. There’s also Radio Shack, which looks like it won’t be requiring any sort of deposit and may actually be taking your old electronics for credit toward the new phone. Best Buy is also offering pre-order for a $50 deposit fee. Both retailers are rumored to be opening a bit early for the iPhone 4 launch day. Really, though, your big day is tomorrow if you want to make sure you lock one of these bad boys down.

  

Should I be more cautious about the AT&T upgrade?

Dueling iPhonesI am unflinchingly excited for the new iPhone, and even more so that AT&T has granted me an early upgrade eligibility. But why did they do it? Supposedly the subsidy on my 3GS, which is only a year old, is built into the life of my two-year plan. Is that $18 upgrade fee really going to cover the difference of a full year of service?

No. It’s not. So why is AT&T so ready to lock me in for what would only be an additional year. Here’s what AT&T says:

The reason we’re doing it is we recognize the commitment our current iPhone customers have made to us. We listened to people last year and took steps to make the process better. And we built on it this year by expanding further the approach.

Here’s what I say: bullshit. Of course you don’t want angry customers on your hands but losing even more money on each phone by selling it off to people who haven’t made up the difference seems crazy. You have to wonder if that Verizon iPhone rumor isn’t true after all. I know, it’s been denied up and down and back and forth and whatever other way you can deny it. But come on, is AT&T really that generous?