If you missed out on pre-ordering your iPhone 4 yesterday, then July 2 is the earliest date you'll receive one--that is if you manage to pre-order the new device at all.
Demand for Apple's new phone caused Internet chaos--including a gaping security breach that exposed people's credit card details to the world. Add to that a server meltdown at Apple's online store, which now shows the beginning of next month as the earliest available date for the new smartphone.
The security breaches at AT&T's Web site forced the network provider to issue a memo to its employees. Boy Genius Report got the memo, which was titled: "Pre-orders for iPhone 4 and iPHone 3GS 8GB," and instructed a temporary shut-down of the system.
Effective close of business on June 15, 2010, the ability to place pre-orders (new activations, upgrades and exchanges) has been temporarily suspended. There is a special team that will be manually working all pre-orders from June 15 that were held in a pending status. Under no circumstances should new pre-orders be attempted in the system.
This suspension impacts Phoenix, Premier, OPUS (COR), and System X (DMDR).
Please stay tuned to future bulletin communications for any updates.
However, it's still not fixed. Gizmodo has published a post that is being updated live as the tales of woe continue to filter in. AT&T branches have been forced to take orders using pen and paper after their in-store systems crashed, online buyers getting confirmation of purchase with someone else's credit card details on the receipt, incorrect shipping details. One man even claimed he received an email confirming his iPhone 4 order confirmation when he hadn't been in the market for one.
The fiasco won't just affect AT&T, however, which will be unpicking the knots for months to come. It comes just days after another embarrassing security gaff, in which the email addresses of 114,000 iPad owners were revealed.
As is becoming the norm with all new Apple products, the iPhone 4's pre-order day was filled with rumor. A commenter on Social Media SEO claimed that a sales rep at the AT&T store told her that the iPhone 4's ship date had been rolled back from the originally announced June 24 to July 10. This, despite one of Apple's suppliers claiming that it had ordered enough components to be able to produce a mammoth 3 million phones a month. Which can only mean two things: Apple has completely underestimated the demand for its top-of-the-range smartphone, or someone, somewhere, is pulling the Internet's leg.
Yet this is not the first time that Apple has had to revise its launch dates. Although the U.S. launch of the iPad went according to plan, its peripherals were delayed a month or so. FastCompany.com contacted Apple for a statement, but at time of publication, they had yet to respond.
Such negative publicity will, without doubt impact on Apple. Despite the fact that yesterday's events prove that anything that comes out of Cupertino is undeniably hot and must-have, people are beginning to question the wisdom of allowing just one carrier to have a monopoly on the device. It's rather like building a beautiful ship that you want everyone to travel on and then only allowing one dining table. Or one lifeboat. It's time Apple changed this.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic--yes, past the nasty icebergs marked "AT&T" and "inadequate I.T. support," the iPhone 4 is available on contract with no less than five U.K. carriers, as well as being available without a contract.
Update: Apple's just released a statement--scratch that, an apology--which is copied here in full.
CUPERTINO, Calif., June 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple'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.
Let's just look at that figure, shall we? 600,000 units pre-ordered. Six hundred thousand. That's ten times as much as the 3GS model shifted on its release last year. It took Apple 74 days to shift one million units of the original iPhone, and just over six months to get to the five million mark. 120,000 iPads were snapped up on the first day of pre-order, which translated into 300,000 sold in the first weekend, back in April. It took a month to hit a million, and less than two months to double that total--and all before it launched around the rest of the world.
Translate that to the iPhone 4, and you're looking at 1.5 million units over the first 48 hours of its availability, 6 million in the first month, and 12 in the second. Anyone want to bet on Apple putting back its launch in overseas territories by a few weeks?