Mobility News

iPhone 4 Pre-Order Mayhem: AT&T Halts Sales, Apple Expects Late Shipments

Andrew R. Hickey

Want to be one of the first to get your mitts on the new Apple iPhone 4? You might have to wait a little longer than you expected.

Pre-orders for the fourth-generation of the now-iconic Apple iPhone smartphone went live on Tuesday in the online stores of AT&T and Apple, but the device was met with such demand that the ordering systems to were largely unavailable to consumers trying to access them Tuesday. Now AT&T has halted pre-sales and Apple has extended the delivery date for pre-ordered iPhone 4 devices to July 2, as opposed to the June 24 delivery guarantee Apple offered early on.

The pre-order challenges had both AT&T and Apple scrambling to keep up with demand for pre-orders throughout the day Tuesday.

On AT&T's Web site, clicking the "pre-order now" button for the Apple iPhone 4 results in a pop-up window that reads "Pre-orders for iPhone temporarily suspended." AT&T offered no additional information on why it slammed on the iPhone pre-order brakes, but industry watchers expect that AT&T was unable to keep up with demand.

AT&T also did not indicate when it would resume pre-orders for the Apple iPhone 4.

One source who claims to be close to AT&T said the carrier did not properly test its pre-order system before iPhone 4 pre-sales went live on Tuesday. According to a Gizmodo report, users have been able to log into other user's accounts and were presented other user's information when they were trying to log in to pre-order the iPhone 4. It was unclear how the glitch happened, but the insider told Gizmodo that may be related to a "major fraud update that went wrong" and ultimately exposed user information.

Apple also appears to be unable to satisfy consumer iPhone 4 hunger, moving back the data when folks who pre-order the device will receive their iPhone. Apple's retail site now indicates that iPhone 4 pre-orders will ship by July 2, nine days after it was originally expected to be delivered.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new Apple iPhone 4 last week at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

The Apple iPhone 4 adds a host of new features and functions unavailable in the previous model, the iPhone 3G S. The iPhone 4 offers a higher resolution screen dubbed Retina that is supposed to mimic the human eye; a front-facing camera that enables video calls with other iPhone 4 users; high-definition video recording; multi-tasking; and a gyroscope. It will also be the first iPhone to feature iPhone OS 4 and clocks in at 24 percent thinner than previous iPhone models.

The Apple iPhone 4 runs $199 or $299 for the 16 GB and 32 GB models, respectively, with a two-year AT&T service agreement.

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