iPhone 4S Pre-Order Fail

By  |  Friday, October 7, 2011 at 12:49 am

I don’t think Steve would be too happy with the way the pre-order for the iPhone 4S has gone so far. It took Apple until 3:41am to get the Apple Store up, and once up it was difficult to complete a transaction: for example, existing AT&T customers were experiencing issues in reserving a device. Sprint’s site crashed within minutes of the 3:01am opening, and on AT&T it said you could preorder the device, yet it’s nowhere to be found. Verizon’s the only carrier getting high marks so far for the process on Twitter and elsewhere.

Yes, I guess we should have expected this, but it seems like these pre-order events are getting worse rather than better. Wouldn’t you think these companies would figure out how to do it right after awhile? I guess not.

UPDATE (1:15AM PT): Apple’s site is still having issues, but AT&T seems to be working sluggish but half-decent. Sprint’s site is definitely slow, and Verizon’s still doing the best. Just anecdotal, but Sprint is definitely the slowest out of the group. Not surprising, considering these folks are completely new to the iPhone, and we’re likely seeing the pent up demand there.



26 Comments For This Post

  1. Justin Says:

    AT&T SUCKS big time. Year after year their site gets overwhelmed by orders and yet they fail to learn to increase their bandwidth. Look at Verizon's site up and running.
    I'm fuking pissed.

  2. Venkat S Says:

    Trying logging into your ATT account first and then click on pre-order. You can't do it directly from the home page.

  3. Robyn Says:

    I've been trying for over an hour through my account login and this is the message I keep getting:

    There was a problem with your request.
    P1234: We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are unable to support this request online. Please contact Premier Support at 1-866-499-8008 Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time for assistance with your request. Please reference Error P1234 if you speak to a representative about this error.

  4. David Cohen Says:

    Or maybe the slightly cynical tech blogger core is just underestimating the level of demand that there is for this product, Ed.

    All the liveblogs went down on Tuesday from load, including ones that had stayed up for previous events. Apple's own site was down for a few minutes under load when they brought up the iPhone 4S product pages.

    Outside the tech bubble, maybe that massive cellphone market base that Tim Cook talked about on Tuesday doesn't care about the meh from the rumor sites?

  5. Ed Oswald Says:

    Yep David! Hey, I'll admit.. this 3GS user was one of those frustrated by AT&T's failures tonight 🙂 (meaning I'm upgrading here too heh – 16GB White 4S)

  6. Venkat S Says:

    I've been trying for the past hour…pre-order keeps failing. Damn Verizon Customers. I'm on ATT 🙁

  7. Frank Sugino Says:

    It seems that at&t's online system fails every year, and this is no exception. Makes them look bad, and Apple as well. Tim Cook & Co. must be pissed.

  8. artoom23 Says:

    I've also been trying for over an hour on ATT and it SUCKS! I've tried every way. from the apple website to the ATT website and i still can't get this nonsense done.

  9. Venkat S Says:

    UPDATE: i went on ATT site and pre-ordered my iPhone. The whole process took about 5 minutes…off to bed now 😀

    Go on the ATT site..forget the apple store

  10. David Says:

    I can tell you my whole family which I did a phone conference with in different parts of Los Angeles all pre-ordered the iPhone4S with no problems through AT&T. I am not sure if its west coast are having a easier time but that was the case with me and them.

  11. LT iPhone Says:

    ATT site has given me errors too… hope Venkat's order isn't canceled!

  12. Venkat S Says:

    I'll keep an eye on my emails. I'm buying this for my sister so i hope i don't loose the order. I'm waiting for HTC holiday.

    i'm checking the forums and alot of people received the same error. But some people are still able to get through. If you have the patience give it 15-20 minutes and try again.

  13. BDale Says:

    Managed to get through on Apple's site but it gave me a reservation number and said I'd receive a link when it is time to complete my order? Is that how it worked for everyone or is this a way for them to try to take the orders while skipping the carriers' websites?

  14. carpe diem Says:

    Apple website just let me pre-order iPhone for AT&T. Said iPhone has been reserved but they will send notification to compete transaction later when "carrier" is available.
    In other words, AT&T sucks and Apple had to take over and verify AT&T subscriber info later. It's nice that Apple still let me place the pre-order for me.

  15. Kevin Says:

    After 7 attempts on the Apple site, I tried Verizon and finally ordered a new iPhone 4S.

  16. Simon Says:

    Am I the only one that finds your opening line a bit tacky?

  17. The CW Says:

    Perhaps the "how Steve would feel about this" meme ought to be shelved before it becomes annoying. If we have to use it let's do so sparingly and for good reason.

  18. sojames Says:

    completed my order 5 mins after the opening on Verizon. Kept checking the Apple Store and nothing until almost 4 am. Sad 🙁

  19. Vulpine Says:

    If you ask me, all this does is prove all those naysayers wrong about how 'incremental' and 'worthless' the iPhone 4S upgrade really is. It appears that despite all their Anti-Apple Zealotry, a lot of people really do want this new model.

  20. Mark S Says:

    My joyous experience buying an iPhone 4S…

    Got onto apple.com at about 6:50AM EST.
    No problems.
    Got all the way to the end of the process. Can’t order 2 phones on one order? Oh well. One at a time I guess.
    Whoops my ship to address is wrong (old address).
    Hmmm. The button to change my address is grayed out
    Searching, searching…
    Ah I can change it in my account settings.
    Changed it.
    Hmmm. In the order page my address is still wrong
    Call Apple. Can’t get through.
    Have it shipped to a store? Nope. First come first served. Not going to wait in line. Can’t ship it to my new address.
    Call Apple. Can’t get through.

    Go to work.
    Try again (maybe it’s a refresh issue).
    Nope. Still old address.

    Well let’s check AT&T. I supposedly get discounts through work.
    Hmmm. My address is wrong there too.
    But I can change it there.
    Order a phone for me. Got it.

    Look for a white 64GB one for my wife.
    Can’t find it.
    Searching searching
    Finally tried another path through their website and found it
    ordered it.


    Phone call. Hi this is Chase with a fraud prevention alert.
    Yes it’s fine.

    Call AT&T
    Hmmm. I see your order but can’t tell if it processed
    Let me forward you to the order group
    (waiting…waiting. Terrible music btw)

    Ah yes, your second purchase didn’t clear. Let me resubmit it.
    It went through this time. You should be all set.

    Now I’m going to check my credit card on Monday to make sure it wasn’t double billed…

    All in all, about 3 hours of effort to finally preorder them…

  21. Cris Says:

    After several attempts using the Apple store app – it kept saying “bad gateway” – I went in AT&T site and had no trouble at all. Not even slow. Perhaps b/c I didn’t stay up all night checking websites, I mean seriously??? 7am today, easy peasy.

  22. Corey Shaver Says:

    So it could just be me, but i had absolutely ZERO problems pre ordering my new 4s. this is probably due to the fact that i didnt waste my entire night trying to use websites. all i did was walk into an att store as soon as it opened (9am here) and walked out at 910am with receipt in hand. why is everyone so upset about this? just go to the store.

  23. Des Says:

    I had no problem on oct 7 at 3:30am went thru my iPhone store app purchased my 16 white 4s iPhone
    In a matter of minutes. Now my phone is being shipped and I will have it on the 14th yay

  24. design agency london Says:

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  25. Larry Says:

    I was the first person to order my 4s on october 7th! I waited 6 hour before the store opened! I had the phone shipped to the store rather than home!! I went over to the store on the 14th and they said my phone is on back order!!! Yet on the 14th people just walked in a bought one without any preorder!! I said cancel my order and I'll buy one of the 4s that you have in your store!! Manager said you can't because you preordered!! I still have not received by phone as of Yet! It could come a month from now!!
    Is that fare that I go to the end of the line and a customer can walk in without any order and buy one!!!!!

  26. Joe Says:

    I think it's rediculous that Apple can't keep up with demand. I'm ready to buy a phone and it's impossible to purchase an Iphone that is "out". The retailers need to stop advertising that they have these phones if the DON"T. We shouldn't have to wait a month to purchase a product that is advertised as "It's Here! when it's not. Grrrr I don't think I'll "drink the juice" this time. The Driod OS has been good and is always available to the public. That should be worth something.