How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

Summary: Pre-order issues around the iPhone 4 may break Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field.

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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.

Topics: iPhone, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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36 comments
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  • Not bad enough...

    to leave Verizon to get one!
    tonyhunterajh
    • Apple can keep it Android is better

      Rather have a dual core 1.5 or 2GHz Android phone with Froyo, with a 4 inch screen and 8 hour battery life with a projector. Samsung is about to bring this to the market. Wish HTC or Motorola would as well. An iPhone 4 in comparison is nothing.
      Uralbas
      • My condolences to all who are buying an Apple 4G

        We shall see how you feel about it in 6 months.
        Uralbas
  • That's what happens when you use OS X server

    It might be good for rinky dinky operations but it simply can't handle any real load.
    NonZealot
    • ???

      @NonZealot
      Gizmodo is reporting that this is at AT&T's end...You know for sure that they use OS X server do you?
      Or are you just spouting your usual verbal diarrhoea?
      http://gizmodo.com/5563909/iphone-4-pre+orders-are-one-big-clusterfck
      T25
      • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

        @T25

        Well Apple.com was doing the same thing. Neither of them are the first to experience this. How many manufacturers or reseller's sites are laggy or unresponsive on launch day of a popular product. I would have to say most of them.

        I went to Best Buy as I read on here and other sites they would be doing pre-orders as well. Got there at 10am and there was no line and I was in and out in less than 10 minutes. This is also the busiest Best Buy in the area too so I was a bit surprised. I think it was not really known they would be doing pre-orders because the local Apple store had a line a half mile long and both Apple.com and ATT.com were temperamental.
        bobiroc
    • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

      @NonZealot Again yet another predictable attack on an Apple product. It must be hell inside your head every single time you use your Macbook Pro...
      athynz
      • No, I like using my MBP

        @athynz
        I don't run OS X server on it so everything is fine. Actually, to be honest with you, I don't even run OS X on it. I run Windows 7 on it so things are better than fine, they are GREAT!!! :)
        NonZealot
  • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

    IF apple let me do what ever I wanted with my iPhone then I would really consider it. But because Im required to go through them for any content, thats the biggest deal breaker for me. So not bad enough apparently.

    Waiting for the Galaxy S
    pablo.station
  • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

    I tried for several hours to pre-order the phone on Apple's website unsuccessfully. Then I downloaded the new Apple Store App and after a few tries I was able to get the pre-order through the app!
    Wasabijim
  • No hurry to upgrade.

    I'm eligible for the upgrade but not sure if there would be any benefit to the new phone. I held off on purchasing the 3GS for the iPhone 4 but neither offer a compelling reason to upgrade. The extra speed of the 3GS / iPhone 4 would be nice but the 3G isn't so bad as to make it a must upgrade.
    ye
  • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

    Just came from a 2 hour cue at the AT&T store... and they processed paper. Same issue there.
    skrip
  • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

    [i]Is it possible that issues with the customer experience may break Steve Jobs? ?Reality Distortion Field??[/i]

    You're kidding right? People will wait. They'll still buy one. How else can they video call other iPhone users? Nothing breaks the RDF.
    Badgered
    • RDF is just a modern version of

      The Fox and the Grapes.
      frgough
      • Huh?

        @frgough: Nobody's preventing them from buying non-Apple products.
        Lester Young
  • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

    I have the iPhone 3G and was truly excited about the iPhone 4, but after today's issues with ordering, I am one who is questioning my "need' for the 4. So I walked away. I heard T-Mobile will run an "Any Phone Free" promo this week, which may be my entre into the Android hardware market.
    brad75206
  • Went to Best Buy at 10am

    and was in and out in less than 10 minutes.
    bobiroc
  • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

    I am aware that the issue is not Apple, as the site continually craps out when trying to verify my account with AT&T. But between this and AT&T nickel and diming me with an $18 upgrade fee I may just check out the EVO on Sprint when my current contract expires in August.
    kamandi_z
    • RE: How badly do you want the iPhone 4?

      @kamandi_z

      Yep, $18 always makes me stop a $300 transaction that will cost at least $75 a month.
      Nfuego
      • 18$ fee was waved

        My contract was up 6 months ago. Perhaps that is for early upgrade, which would mean that OP is saving $100+.

        Never let any good deed go unpunished.
        warren@...