I had heard earlier this morning that there were issues with processing pre-order requests for the iPhone 4. The issues include random timeouts during any stage of the order process. For this reason I had put off trying to order my own.
Figuring that the majority of issues had been resolved, I attempted to pre-order one a few moments ago. The process was pretty straight forward. I went to the pre-order page, clicked on the pre-order link and then typed in the appropriate qualifying information. I thought that the issues had been resolved until I received a "Your request couldn't be processed" message more than ten times in a row.
I know I will eventually get an iPhone 4, but having to go through the painful process of not knowing when the transaction will fail is definitely putting me off on the pre-order option. Later today I'm going to be near an Apple Store and will probably just pre-order on site at this point.
To my point above, though, I've spoken with a number of current iPhone users who tried to pre-order earlier today and are now wondering whether or not they actually need the new iPhone. Is it possible that issues with the customer experience may break Steve Jobs' "Reality Distortion Field"?
If you don't want to go through the process of pre-ordering online, Best Buy, RadioShack, and the Apple Store are letting you pre-order in-store. WalMart will also be offering the iPhone 4, but only on the June 24th launch day.
UPDATE: I stopped by the Apple Store and was greeted with a salesperson who informed me that the pre-order experience in-store was the same as pre-ordering from home. To that end, there were tons of people all sitting in front of MacBooks, all glancing at the same waiting screen. I left the store figuring I'd try my luck online at home, or using Apple's new Apple Store App.
Later on I fired up the Apple Store App only to be greeted with continued error messages--see below.
Even as of this writing, I still can't get beyond the error above.
Then I decided to try to place the pre-order via Safari on my iPhone. To my surprise, it was quick and easy. I only experienced one timeout, and that was at the end of the process. In that case, I wasn't given an option to have the iPhone 4 shipped to my home, but I did reserve it without issue at the local Apple Store.
The only potential snag in this plan is that I never received confirmation e-mails of my iPhones (I ordered one for my wife, too) being pre-ordered. I also managed to go through the pre-order process again, and before it timed out, it was showing that I could still purchase a 32GB one for $299. Unfortunately, I'd have to say that even though the picture below shows that I reserved one, I have a feeling that nothing was actually processed.
Have you had a similar experience trying to pre-order today? If so, share in the comments below.