Home Hardware iPhone Sells Out Despite On-Line Ordering Disaster

iPhone Sells Out Despite On-Line Ordering Disaster

Strange, amazing, and well, strange. Given the total breakdown of the online ordering system for Apple and AT&T’s ordering system for the new iPhone, I didn’t expect to see this news. Apparently the first allotment of the new iPhone sold out by about 4:30 ET yesterday. AT&T was out of stock earlier according to reports and prior to that was taking orders using pen and paper, so who knows how many of those orders will get fulfilled on June 24. Orders taken now specify a July 2 ship date, so you won’t be taking video of 4th of July fireworks with that new HD camera. From the way the news was running yesterday I wouldn’t have been surprised to see that sales figures were down. Or maybe, they just don’t have enough stock in the initial run. Remember no white iPhones were available for pre-order.

The engineers may have been pulling their hair out trying to make things work, but apparently the worked well enough to make the bean counters smile big this morning. There are still questions that I’m sure we’ll hear over and over again about this crazy sales launch. Talk of a security breach at AT&T still lingers and sooner or later other companies will start using this meltdown in their marketing somehow. Or at least they should. I do note that Verizon and Motorola will be officially announcing the Droid X on June 23, the day before the lines will form to pick up all those iPhones at Apple Stores that folks couldn’t get ordered for home delivery. Engadget has a preview. Maybe they’ll be reading reviews and watching promos of the Droid X while standing in line. Unless the videos are in FLASH.

Picture via TechCrunch

UPDATE: Apple has issued a statement on the problems.

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.

Apple is saying they sold 600,000 phones yesterday.

And AT&T has suspended orders until they can get caught up with all the pen and paper orders they took yesterday and also deal with the collapse of its system. Word is (unconfirmed) that AT&T had installed new software over the weekend and that may have led to some of the problems.

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2 Comments

  1. Mark

    06/29/2010 at 1:27 pm

    LOL!!! I hadn’t heard about AT&T installing new software before the frenzy but man, that is SO AT&T it actually made me laugh out loud. Good old AT&T…if they were a person they’d be the kind of person that would take a knife to a gunfight.

    On the upside, I was one of the lucky 600,000 and it was actually a very nice and easy experience. To start with, I avoided Apple like the plague as those folks are usually as warm and cuddly as a vat of acid on a good day. I went to AT&T where a very nice man wrote down my order for two iPhones on paper, put my plastic through the old fashioned credit card imprint swipe thing and everything. He told me AT&T was going to close off public access later so stores could enter their orders and that I’d receive emails when the orders were accepted. Sure enough, around 10pm that evening, I received two emails that the orders were in. Several days later I was back at AT&T at 10am picking up both phones. I walked out of the store in less than an hour with two working phones. It could not have been easier.

    In contrast, I suppose, are those people who were also in the AT&T store yelling and screaming at the AT&T people as though the second coming of Christ was under way and they were leaving the planet at any moment. I was really impressed at how cool and calm the AT&T folks were under that kind of pressure. As impressed with them as I was dismayed at the idiocy that was going on around me. Even worse was the Apple store which had police posted at the door. Seriously….armed police.

    It was pretty cool to be “rewarded” for treating people like human beings.

    Reply

  2. Mark

    06/29/2010 at 1:33 pm

    Oh…later came the reception problem. I have an EE and soon realized that a case was all that was needed so I was back off to the store. For some reason I decided to stop by Apple first where I was greeted at the door by a girl who had such attitude that you could see it coming off her like heat off the top of a car in the summer. She wanted to know what I wanted and I said I needed a case for two of the new iPhones. With a cop on either side, she spat that they didn’t have any cases. End of story, I suppose, she said nothing else and went back to staring at the unchanging screen of her iPad. Okey dokey…sad thing is I wasn’t the least bit surprised by any of this. So I went to the AT&T store. They didn’t have any cases for the new iPhones in any obvious place so I asked a woman who wasn’t being screamed at if they had any at all. She said sure and led me to a desk drawer full of them and let me pick a couple out, even let me open one, snap it on and see if I liked it. I did, it looked good, fit well and eliminated the reception problem entirely so I grabbed two, paid and left. Again, it paid to treat the woman like a human being.

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