Timeline: iPhone 4 pre-order troubles

Those who were successfully able to pre-order the iPhone 4 should find a shipping confirmation in their inbox. Unfortunately, many others won’t be receiving this email. And here’s why:

June 15th, 2010

iPhone 4 pre-orders begin. Within a few hours, AT&T servers are performing mediocre at best; for others, they are down. Apple servers begin performing poorly as they are tied in with AT&T. Many users looking to place their iPhone 4 pre-orders become frustrated as they face messages such as “your session has expired” or “your request couldn’t be processed.” Those who attempt to order the iPhone 4 through AT&T are informed that the site is undergoing maintenance. Gizmodo is reporting that some AT&T users are taken to another account after logging in with their username and password.

Some AT&T stores were forced to take iPhone 4 pre-orders on a pen-and-paper basis.

June 16th, 2010

AT&T temporarily suspends iPhone 4 pre-orders due to high demand and approval system malfunctions occuring with online pre-orders.

iPhone 4 pre-order sales yesterday were 10-times higher than the first day of pre-ordering for the iPhone 3G S last year. Consumers are clearly excited about iPhone 4, AT&T’s more affordable data plans and our early upgrade pricing.

The availability of additional inventory will determine if we can resume taking pre-orders.

As of writing, AT&T has yet to lift this suspension.

Apple issues a press release announcing that, on June 15th, they took over 600,000 pre-orders for iPhone 4:

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.

June 17th, 2010

Apple pushes back the already-postponed delivery date for the iPhone 4 from July 2nd to July 14th. To put this date into perspective, the earliest pre-orders will be fulfilled by June 24th — three weeks earlier.

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