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iPhone 4 Pre-orders Hit Snag

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Well our day to preorder the iPhone 4 has come. However, for the majority of people, the process has ended prematurely as the AT&T verification service bombs out. This has been frustrating (to say the least) to many potential, and renewing customers. I understand AT&T has been trying to quell the massive data drain that iPhones have presented to its network, but this is ridiculous…

One would assume that AT&T knows enough to prepare for such an anticipated device, but it seems that three years of preparation have not been enough. Whether trying to order through the Apple Store online, or directly from, the account verification step seems to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

However, there is an alternative if you are still not having success with the website approach. (At the time of this writing, was still not working as expected, but seemed to work intermittently.) The Apple Store doesn’t seem to be able to help — they’re still bound by AT&T’s verification steps. But if you walk into a brick and mortar AT&T shop, the good people there should be ready and able to assist you. A quick run by the local store here found no crowding, but the staff was ready and prepared for a rush.

Oh, and one other thing to be aware of: while both 16GB and 32 GB models are available for preorder today, the white model won’t be available until later this summer. Perhaps it was a last minute addition to the sales offering. But whatever the case, if you want one on launch day, you can get any color you like, as long as it’s black.

What has your pre-order experience been like?

43 Responses to “iPhone 4 Pre-orders Hit Snag”

  1. JoeBin

    Fail. Got up on the West Coast 4am PST and tried to reserve for pick up through Apple. After getting error messages for 2 hours it was time to get to work. Finally, got off work and looks like we’re sold out folks. Mmmmmph.

  2. New Apple iPhone store app was crashing and server fail all day. But I successfully placed pre-order for 16G black on Apple’s web store at about 7pm PDT.

  3. Stephen

    complete disaster….I started at 6PM California time and was not able to get thru until 5PM.

    Also, visited two Apple retail stores and neither would provide any help. They said they were bound by the same system and the same problems. They offered no assistance. Needless to say, very disappointing for Apple retail. I read several other accounts where Apple store employees were able or allowed or encouraged to help, but in the heart of Silicon Valley and within minutes of Cupertino, no such luck.

    Very disappointing to say the least.

  4. Brick and mortar-hah! I was forth in line at the local ATT store. It took 2 and a half hours to buy an iPhone. Their ordering system was a shambles. It made the MDV look like a well oiled machine.

  5. alangenh

    My attempt failed. Preordering is reserved for people whose phones have not been stolen. Mine was, a few weeks ago, and I’m on a reduced rate suspension plan right now, with no phone service at all. In order to pre order, I have to go back to the full price plan first. As if it hasn’t been irritating enough losing my phone!

  6. 3 years in a row I wanted a white phone and 3 years in a row the white is not available at the time of launch. Either I need to wait, or I am not supposed to have one – oh well – black it is – AGAIN

  7. I was not able to reserve using Safari at home about 5am ET. However Firefox worked just fine on my MacBook Pro and wireless via Sprint Overdrive on the train about 6am ET.

  8. Took me close to 11.5 hours. Started at 5:30 AM EST and continued on until 5:00 PM. Started just to try to make a reservation at a local store and then switched to pre-order ship to my home. Went back and forth. Finally, after 11 plus hours, managed to pre-order my phone to be shipped to my home.

  9. derrick

    Had nothing but errors on the AT&T and Apple sites. Finally got reservation and confirmation of upgrade eligibility via the iPhone app just before noon. Pickup at local apple store at 7am on Thursday, 24th.

  10. I don’t have much patience for AT&T, but I have to say Apple’s site has been garbage on its own today. Took me hours until I could even get the the Apple Store to let me do anything. My thoughts: both AT&T and Apple fail at their own success today.

  11. I’m kinda ticked, actually. I walked into my local brick & mortar store last week to ask about pre-ordering because I was going to be out of town for two weeks. The lady there gave me her business card and told me I could simply call in on the 15th and order via phone. When I called today, the same lady told me I couldn’t do that.

  12. Simon White

    Are you sure it’s an AT&T issue. I was getting the same error here in the UK. I ended up just reserving a unit at my local Apple store. None of the UK carriers appear to be offering pricing on the iPhone 4 at all at the moment.

    Hey ho :o(

  13. I received a notice from AT&T early in the morning as a result of signing up to be notified. I never received the same notification from Apple, and I signed up for that one too. After lots of issues and frustration online on both AT&T and Apple’s web sites earlier this morning, I ended up going to the AT&T Retail Store and had the new iPhone Pre-Ordered in under forty minutes. Things were running slow, but I got a receipt and just re-verified my order online with AT&T. All looks good so far…

    • T Dotson

      yeah my ATT notice came at 9am CST and went to my bulk mail folder and I am an ATT internet customer lol… they spammed their own email FAIL FAIL FAIL..good thing I started at 8am CST only to FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL until 457 pm CST and same here never got the apple notification i signed up for… for two communications company (one of service other hardware provider) this was FAIL FAIL FAIL on the 4th attempt to have a snag free release of the most popular smart phone to date

  14. epic fail on AT&T. I ended up going to the closest Best Buy store and had it pre-ordered in 10 minutes, of course this was after 6 hrs. of seeing that stupid “Your Request could not be processed.” screen. Ridiculous.

  15. Does anyone know exactly what’s behind this? I asked reps at both Apple and AT&T, and no one will give me a straight answer. This has got to be the most pathetically flawed pre-order experience that I have ever had. It seems strange that no one seemed to expect this much demand. Maybe in the future, they should over estimate the expected demand.

    • I think its much like when AT&T experiences too much load from iPhones on their networks.

      The flow crashes when Apple has to check AT&T eligibility. Their servers aren’t built for such high loads, and when AT&T gets backed up due to all the checking, Apple gets backed up by all the requests, and it’s just a terrible chain reaction. Both companies should have anticipated a larger than normal interest in this product.

    • I agree with The Racing Winds Crew. It’s anybody’s guess where the actual problem resides. The AT&T rep that I talked to at the store blamed his company, completely unprovoked. Of course he’s just a grunt, so probably doesn’t know any better than you or I, but still, funny to hear.

      I think everyone should have anticipated the great demand for this awesome update to our favorite phone.

  16. Since about 7 AM ET I have been trying online to place a reservation to pick up in the store, with no success. The process bombs out at various points in the flow; some before the upgrade eligibility is checked, some after.

    I did manage to download the Apple Store iPhone app this morning, and made a reservation no problem through there. In the email confirmation it gave me though, it says I reserved a $599 iPhone (instead of the anticipated $199). Could this be because when doing it through the app store there is no way to validate your AT&T contract until launch day? Anyway, I’m just glad I have a reservation.

    • The reservation via the Apple Store app is just reserving one at full price because it’s bypassing AT&T’s upgrade eligibility verification step (which is why this method works and the online attempts do not). So once you get to the store to pickup your reserved iPhone 4, you’ll verify your upgrade eligibility there and leave for $199 + applicable taxes.

  17. Angie Caballero

    No problems whatsoever. Logged into my ATT account and pre- ordered this morning about 9am central time, received email confirmation and tracking number, verified charges through amex. whole process took less than 3 minutes.

    • Lauren

      The tracking number your talking about is that through the e-mail they sent and the part that says click here to view your order statue before it actually ships?

  18. Jonathon

    I was another of the few that got through before lunch…I looked at my status and it has went from recieved to processing. Was in and out in about 30 mins

  19. I’ve been in my local AT&T stores several times today. They are having the same issues getting the verifications of legibility. They are blaming Apple on this. The Apple stores I went into today are blaming AT&T.

    BP is blaming both of them :-)

  20. Took about two minutes last night (2:12 am PST) through AT&T’s website. I tried to go through Apple first but gave up after the 20 minute verifiation screen, when it would let me through it always ended up with an error before I could complete payment.

  21. CProsser

    Got to our local store at 930, 30 mins before opening. First in line. Got in and the system started to crash but the representatives resorted to old school paper order and said they would put them in the system later on when it got back up. Left at around 1050. Got a call about an hour later saying they had succesfully input my order in the system. I am pleased with how the AT&T reps handled themselves even though the system was crashing right as 20 or so people got there.

  22. I got luck and was one of the few that got through on AT&T before lunch… order has been moved from received to processing, where I imagine it will sit until it ships (hopefully the 23rd for 24th arrival)

  23. Took me around 20 minutes before I could place an order for the SIM-free version. Just checked my order and it’s listed as ‘Not Yet Shipped’. Looking good so far. :-)

  24. Anthony

    It took me 3 hours starting at 7am ET & I ended up going through AT&T around 10 & finally got through. I was ready to quit but I gave AT&T one try & it worked after saying maintenance was being performed or something