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Apple's online, phone order systems struggle with iPhone 4 demand

post #1 of 203
Thread Starter 
An influx of customers attempting to preorder the next-generation iPhone resulted in issues with Apple's online store and forced the company to temporarily reject callers to its 800 number on Tuesday.

Demand for iPhone 4 was so high that Apple began rejecting callers from its 800-MY-APPLE number.

"Thank you for calling Apple," a voice told callers Tuesday morning. "Due to extremely high call volumes, we are unable to answer your call at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please try your call again later. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you in the future."

Problems arose on Apple's website with the eligibility check for existing AT&T customers. Many who attempted to preorder iPhone 4 on Tuesday morning encountered a screen that read "Your request couldn't be processed. We're sorry, but there was an error processing your request. Please try again later."

Server problems even resulted in crashes for the new Apple Store application for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. The software, released on Tuesday, was touted as an application that would allow users to preorder iPhone 4 from their current iPhone.

Many users who attempted to preorder using the new application found the software stuck at a "Processing" screen when attempting to check eligibility for an upgrade. The application would freeze on the screen until crashing back to the iPhone's home screen.





Issues even extended to AT&T's website, where error messages informed customers that the site was not currently available. AT&T is the exclusive wireless carrier of the iPhone in the U.S. The company's online site, along with Apple's, was also plagued by slow speeds due to high demand for iPhone 4.



Apple's next-generation phone is set to launch next week, on June 24. Preorders began as expected on Tuesday, as Apple said they would last week when Chief Executive Steve Jobs formally introduced iPhone 4. The new device includes a high-resolution Retina Display, and a forward-facing camera for FaceTime video chat over Wi-Fi.

While online and phone orders were a problem in some areas, customers were forced to wait in line to preorder in Tokyo, Japan, where there is no online ordering available. Silicon Alley Insider snapped pictures of customers forming long lines in Tokyo on Tuesday.
post #2 of 203
At one level, it is a great 'problem' to have.

At another level, it is deeply embarrassing for Apple and ATT. The fact that they could not get their act together with yet another launch is getting a bit tiresome. Granted, the feeling will soon pass, but it still rankles.
post #3 of 203
I have been locked out of since 7:30 am EST.
Made a mistake and tried to order two of them , was shut out by the time i took one out of my cart .
Bummer.
post #4 of 203
this is just plain bad. I wonder where the problem is, at Apple or at ATT, my bet is on ATT, they have a history of 'problematicness'...
post #5 of 203
twenty-some-odd billion dollars in net profit a year between them and several years worth of experience under their belts and they still can't get it right? there should be more than a few people out on their asses for this.

there are no excuses.
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post #6 of 203
Releasing the retail store app this morning seems like a cruel joke. It just kept crashing with every attempt at preordering.
post #7 of 203
Attention whiners and bitchers: Try tomorrow. It's just pre-order day, for Chris-sake!
post #8 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post

twenty-some-odd billion dollars in net profit a year between them and several years worth of experience under their belts and they still can't get it right? there should be more than a few people out on their asses for this.

there are no excuses.

I kind of agree. This is wasting my time, for the past 1.5 hours I have been trying to order off and on, and crashes every time.
Gotta work, so done for a while trying, and thus I will not be able to be a real early adapter on this, despite having planned some time this morning... bummer, and, yes, I am peeved! If I did not like Apple so much I would say "copulate Apple and ATT" and take my business elsewhere...
post #9 of 203
Apple should have implemented a rolling pre-order. East coast on day 1, central US on day 2, west coast on day 3. Or utilize server/s that could handle this much demand!
post #10 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...

Demand for iPhone 4 was so high that Apple began rejecting callers from its 800-MY-APPLE number.

Without knowing the capabilities of their phone system that is a useless metric.

-kpluck

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post #11 of 203
I suspect this is AT&T's failure. When I tried early this morning to go direct to the AT&T site, I just got an error message (not the "site upgrade" message shown in the article). Apple's web process seems to crash when checking the AT&T upgrade eligibility. I wonder if this will be the last straw for Jobs?
post #12 of 203
The problem is all AT&T and their verification process. If you try to order an iPhone as if you were a new customer, the Apple website works fine.

Once again, AT&T is unprepared to handle the traffic.
post #13 of 203
Struggle with demand?
post #14 of 203
I got right on to my ATT account at 730 EST time and processed my preorder without incident while the online apple store still had the we'll be right back post up. Apple store did not show up till around 8 am EST. I decided to keep my unlimited plan for the time being. I cannot wait till next Thursday very excited.

Mark D.
post #15 of 203
Reporter: "Mr. Jobs how many iPhone 4s did you sell in the first day?"

Steve Jobs: " All of them. "


post #16 of 203
Hey ATT:

Ummm, shouldn't we do upgrades BEFORE the launch guys? Just a thought. They should have been honest and posted a message stating that once again they dropped the proverbial ball.
post #17 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

I kind of agree. This is wasting my time, for the past 1.5 hours I have been trying to order off and on, and crashes every time.
Gotta work, so done for a while trying, and thus I will not be able to be a real early adapter on this, despite having planned some time this morning... bummer, and, yes, I am peeved! If I did not like Apple so much I would say "copulate Apple and ATT" and take my business elsewhere...

...why are you even trying multiple times when you know, as past history has proven, that today would undoubtably be the ONE DAY it would be problematic to attempt to pre-order?

Seriously, repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting a different result is a sure sign of mental illness. Why don't people learn from history? This day was virtually guaranteed to be a problem - no matter how many servers you threw at it. YOU have chosen to waste your time in multiple attempts, no one is forcing you to commit the same grievous error over and over. So redirect your peevedness back to yourself and find you happy place. Wait until the initial surge is over and then slide on in and get your order in. It's simple, logical, and while you aren't going to be that frantic "real early adopter" you will be a much more satisifed, happier, less stressed consumer.

And stockholder, this isn't directed solely at you, it applies to all who were siily enough to blythely ignore past release events, assuming that somehow, magically, against all odds things would be different this time - unicorns prancing, dragons flying about licking virgin princess lollipops, Ogres and trolls sitting down to a civilised tea, the oil in the Gulf all contained and removed without problem, Greece recovers economically via correction to a slight (and embarassing) bookkeeping error, and the order system completely unburdened by the millions of people who want to get this lovely bit of kit.

post #18 of 203
Wife just pre ordered through the new Apple Store app.
post #19 of 203
Using the NEW App. got the pre order in for pick up on the 24th!
post #20 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by MALFEITOR View Post

Wife just pre ordered through the new Apple Store app.

I've been trying that. The app keeps crashing. sigh...
post #21 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by MALFEITOR View Post

Wife just pre ordered through the new Apple Store app.


...but NO virgin princess lollipops yet.

Just sayin'...

post #22 of 203
Well, no luck. . . just decided to save myself one and go to the store and pick it up myself. As long as I show there on the 24th, I'm guaranteed to take one home.

Good luck!
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post #23 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by applestockholder View Post

this is just plain bad. I wonder where the problem is, at Apple or at ATT, my bet is on ATT, they have a history of 'problematicness'...

No, it is a very poorly designed process and web site, The process involves many pages and many separate client-server connections.

Done properly, it would require 2 pages and 2 client-server interactions.

It's a pre-order-- gather the data and book the pre-order. Acknowledge the booking immediately via email.

Perform validation after the fact, then acknowledge the validated pre-order within 24 hours, via email.

The buyer clicks a link, logs in, then: accepts the validated pre-order; resolves discrepancies (modifying previously captured data); or lets the pre-order expire.

Bida-Bing, Bida-Boom!


The way they do it now is like starting a NASCAR race, then after the first lap, make all the drivers go to the corner gas station for a smog check... a built-in disaster waiting to happen!

.
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post #24 of 203
Doesn't matter. The HTC Aria launch is going to dwarf the iPhone 4.
post #25 of 203
Tried this morning via both the app and the online store. Neither worked. Tried the store just a few minutes ago with no luck, but the app worked straight away. Things seem to be unclogging...
post #26 of 203
giving up today ... i'll try tomorrow.
post #27 of 203
I guess the problem is over at AT&T as well. I tried to pre-order a few times and the process is stuck at "Please wait while we access your AT&T account information".
I tried to pre-order on AT&T's website and that failed as well. When I called AT&T, the phone rep claimed "oh, apple.com has been crashing the whole day".
post #28 of 203
The system at the AT&T store I went to was down to (remote store in Bloomington IN), they were doing paper orders, and said it was a system-wide failure.

They also said that they'd had 20 customers so far as of 11AM, at least one of which ordered 10 phones.

I suspect that this is going to be a record-breaking launch.
post #29 of 203
I finally got a reservation! I used the new Apple Store app on my iPhone 3G and it accepted the reservation right away. Granted, this is just a reservation, not a preorder, but at least I'm getting somewhere.
post #30 of 203
This is an 'effin joke. I've been trying unsuccessfully for three hours to try to pre-order the phone. Come on Apple/AT&T....get this figured out.
post #31 of 203
After exhausting all other methods, I placed the very first pre-order at the local Best Buy. 32G Black.

We'll see what happens on the 24th, but I'm sufficiently prepared for a bad day.
post #32 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by estolinski View Post

Hey ATT:

Ummm, shouldn't we do upgrades BEFORE the launch guys? Just a thought. They should have been honest and posted a message stating that once again they dropped the proverbial ball.

The billion dollar data center they just built was for launch!
post #33 of 203
[QUOTE=masternav;1653360

Seriously, repeating the same behavior over and over and expecting a different result is a sure sign of mental illness. [/QUOTE]

You must live in a different world than I do. Trying repeatedly when trying to get through to radio stations to win stuff, buying just released concert tickets, or buying an iPhone, can very well be met with success. When I had Prince tickets in a small venue sharing a concert with less than 300 people, I did not feel insane, actually rewarded, and I do not anticipate that i would have felt insane if I had gotten trough earlier with my iPhone order, and was in line to pick up a new one...
post #34 of 203
I tried earlier today to pre-order via Apple's online store with noi luck. I even tried to use the new Apple App... but it crashed!! (Hey Steve, didn't you just say that one of the reasons apps were not accepted was due to crashing... hmmmmmmm? )

I eventually had pretty good luck at ATT's website. The order went through.

Now... for the next round of waiting (June 24th, that is. )
post #35 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shivas Irons View Post

This is an 'effin joke. I've been trying unsuccessfully for three hours to try to pre-order the phone. Come on Apple/AT&T....get this figured out.

Agreed. However I wonder if some people are just clicking over and over just to crash their systems. You never know...
post #36 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by joebloggs View Post

I suspect this is AT&T's failure. When I tried early this morning to go direct to the AT&T site, I just got an error message (not the "site upgrade" message shown in the article). Apple's web process seems to crash when checking the AT&T upgrade eligibility. I wonder if this will be the last straw for Jobs?

For Apple to take over the order verification process?
post #37 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpluck View Post

Quote:
Demand for iPhone 4 was so high that Apple began rejecting callers from its 800-MY-APPLE number.

Without knowing the capabilities of their phone system that is a useless metric.

It's not a metric at all nor was it meant to be. It was merely an observable occurrence.
post #38 of 203
I've been trying since 4AM this morning. I'm beyond pissed
post #39 of 203
I just received an email from ATT about my iPhone 4 order saying that the system could not verify some information and my order was cancelled. I entered everything correctly and even had a receipt with the confirmation.
Cannot expect less from them.
post #40 of 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I've been trying since 4AM this morning. I'm beyond pissed

Since 5am here.
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