Several online sites have been reporting that both AT&T (s t) as well as Apple (s aapl) have been canceling both online and in-store orders for both valid and non-sensical reasons. Either AT&T could not verify one’s eligibility for an upgrade (existing customers), AT&T could not verify who the customer placing the order was and therefore could not create a new wireless account (new customers), or Apple simply did not have enough devices to fulfill orders (oops, sorry). Whatever the reason may or may not be, the only thing for certain is that some orders are getting canceled.
Personally I made my purchase at a local AT&T Retail Store, and have an actual printed receipt to prove it. Unfortunately, before I got to the store, orders were being taken by hand and the information — including credit card and AT&T account information — was being recorded on paper order forms. As I waited to be summoned to a representative to help me place my order, the systems started coming back online. What started happening was all new orders were being placed electronically and the process to record information by hand stopped. What did not appear to be happening was that the huge stack of orders that were already taken manually were being processed electronically. Then by mid-afternoon, somehow the entire stock of iPhones were already accounted for.
Additionally, it appears that both Best Buy (s bby) and Radio Shack (s rsh) were performing the same service they typically do for all advance purchases of hot electronic devices like Playstation, XBox and Wii consoles and games. They take some form of deposit and guarantee your place in line. As soon as they get an iPhone 4 at that particular location, you will get an iPhone 4 from that same location. There is no way to check to see how things are progressing, and it’s very unlikely that advance notification will be coming for these reservations. And with only a rumored handful of new iPhone 4s to be allotted at each location (most likely less than 30 per location), this low-tech way of placing a reservation may still be your best bet to get an iPhone on the 24th if you got there early enough on the 15th to get your name on the list.
It appears as if Apple is informing its customers — that is, online and retail store pre-order customers — that their orders are being processed, shipped or have been canceled. As for those of us that pre-ordered from either AT&T Online or AT&T Retail Stores, many of us are still waiting to be informed of either good or unfortunate news this coming Thursday, as our orders are still “In Process.”
What about you? What’s the status of your pre-order? Has it been canceled?