Apple: 600,000 Good Excuses For iPhone 4 Holdup

"It was the largest number of preorders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions," said Apple in a statement, confirming the 600,000 preorder mark. "Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration."

In the short statement, Apple also encouraged potential iPhone 4 customers to give preordering through Apple and AT&T another go.

"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," the statement read.

Preorders for the iPhone 4 came to a screeching halt Tuesday, the first day they were officially taken, after ordering systems in the online stores of Apple and AT&T became largely unavailable to users.

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AT&T confirmed Wednesday it had temporarily halted preorders, and Apple said that the delivery date for preordered iPhones will now be July 2, not June 24.

The iPhone 4 was unveiled at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) last week, and finds Apple marshaling its forces to stave off potential smartphone opposition from Google Android and other rivals. The iPhone 4's Retina -- a higher-resolution screen -- joins a front-facing camera, a gyroscope and a thinner form factor, in addition to other specific iPhone enhancements.

The preordering issues did nothing to stymie confidence in Apple. Apple shares gained 3 percent Wednesday, and several prominent Apple analysts took to the 600,000 preorder sales mark with shimmering optimism.

Among them was Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who in a Wednesday research note reminded observers that it took Apple three days to sell 1 million iPhone 3GS phones. Piper Jaffray, he wrote, will raise its estimate for sales of all iPhone models by a full million for the quarter, from 8.5 million to 9.5 million.