Both Apple and AT&T issued statements today after their systems were overwhelmed by people attempting to pre-order the iPhone 4. Apple said 600,000 people tried to snag the hot new device.
It was widely reported that AT&T was suspending pre-orders of the iPhone 4 this morning in order to allow the company to recover from yesterday's record-breaking number of pre-orders. Now, AT&T has suspended pre-orders completely for the foreseeable future.
AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom said in an email, "iPhone 4 pre-order sales yesterday were 10-times higher than the first day of pre-ordering for the iPhone 3G S last year. Given this unprecedented demand and our current expectations for our iPhone 4 inventory levels when the device is available June 24, we’re suspending pre-ordering today in order to fulfill the orders we’ve already received. The availability of additional inventory will determine if we can resume taking pre-orders."
AT&T also indicated that its site saw 13 million eligibility checks by its existing customers looking to upgrade to the new iPhone. That's three times the previous record number of eligibility checks for a single day.
We know that AT&T's servers were hit hard, but so were Apple's. Apple issued its own statement about the number of iPhone 4 pre-orders.
Apple said, "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."
In other words, if you weren't one of the lucky 600,000 who were able to get your pre-order in at some point yesterday, it looks like you're going to be out of luck during opening week sales.
What neither Apple not AT&T say are exactly how many phones were pre-ordered in the U.S. for AT&T. Apple said 600,000 and its "carrier partners." Since the iPhone is going to be available in more than one country on day one, many of those sales were outside the U.S.
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