Apple, AT&T Sells Out iPhone Pre-Orders Despite Early Woes

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In about a day of making pre-orders available online for the iPhone 4, Apple and carrier partner AT&T sells out 600,000 pre-order units despite some early troubles for customers trying to place their online orders. Among the problems were some security breaches of customer account information, though AT&T has not been able to replicate the problem on its end, as well as record-setting traffic that prevented customers from placing their orders, checking eligibility, or even logging in. Continued problems and potential shortage of units have caused AT&T and retailer Radio Shack, also known as The Shack, to suspend pre-orders and Apple to push back the shipping availability date for the phone ordered online three times–initially to July 2, then to July 14, and now to July 20; early pre-orders and reservations will be served up on June 24th.

Apple has since acknowledged that the popular consumer electronics device has caused some woes for users. The company said in a statement, “”It was the largest number of preorders 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.”

For its part, AT&T noted that 13 million people checked for upgrade eligibility on the carrier’s website, which is more than three times higher than the previous record. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel 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 preordering today in order to fulfill the orders we’ve already received. The availability of additional inventory will determine if we can resume taking preorders.”

Some customers have reported to popular gadget blogs that when they had entered in their account information when taken to the AT&T eligibility check in the online process, they were greeted with another user’s account status. The issue is being investigated by AT&T, though the carrier has thus far said that it could not replicate the problem. This would be the second security breech related to AT&T and Apple in less than a month. The first security lapse occurred with the iPad in which customer email addresses may have been exposed; the carrier has contacted effected customers and apologized for that ordeal.

(via: NYT)

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About The Author
Chuong Nguyen