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Demand is unprecedented, says company

Apple's new iPhone 4 has a lot going for it -- a gorgeous "retina" display that beats even the toughest Android competition in resolution, the addition of multitasking, an improved camera, Apple's new A4 ARM processor, 802.11n wireless, and more.  Those factors and Apple's hot brand image have helped the company overcome concerns about app censorship and security issues, launching it to early records.

AT&T reports to us that it has received a staggering amount of pre-orders since the process opened yesterday.  An AT&T spokesperson writes, "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."

In total over 600,000 pre-orders were placed.

AT&T's webpage reported "13 million visits" yesterday of customers checking if they were eligible for an upgrade -- three times the previous record, according to AT&T.

Those visits helped crash some of AT&T's servers, denying service to many seeking pre-orders.  Some of these customers were able to place pre-orders at Apple stores.

In light of the incredible demand, AT&T has suspended pre-orders indefinitely.  It may reopen the process if its secures more stock, it says.  It writes, "We are working hard to bring iPhone 4 to as many of our customers as soon as possible."

The terrific sales are a much needed piece of good news for AT&T.  The company is contemplating cuts to its Uverse cable television and internet package due to new government restrictions.  And last week it lost 114,000 iPad 3G owners' emails due to lax security, which allowed security experts at Goatse Security to accomplish a simple harvest of emails, which they then offered up to the media.

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Look over there...
By Suntan on 6/16/2010 4:39:42 PM , Rating: 5
[Sees AT&T cell tower trembling in fear...]


RE: Look over there...
By Proxes on 6/16/2010 4:46:29 PM , Rating: 5
See any Foxconn workers on it ready to jump?

RE: Look over there...
By Quadrillity on 6/16/2010 5:35:42 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Look over there...
By ElderTech on 6/16/2010 8:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
Unlike other frustrated customers, while attempting to order one for a renegade family member who succumbed to the dark force of Apple, I persisted and ended up spending about 5 hours online and in a north suburban Chicago area AT&T company store. Fortunately, at the very end of the day, a most dedicated store rep was able to successfully push through my order, which was one of the last accepted from the store at about 11 PM local time. I applaud his work ethic, and customer service dedication, and frankly that of the entire store including the manager.

While I was there, I never saw any store personnel respond negatively to a customer, or fellow employee. They continued a positive attitude that was maintained in spite of their computer system being down essentially from 11 AM until store closing at 9 PM. During this time, they were lucky to put through only a small fraction of pre-orders, and recorded the rest manually for later input. This system crash also obviously had a terrible impact on their normal business transactions.

It was only after closing that the system came back up but still only intermittently. And before midnight, even the manually logged orders were no longer being accepted and all pre-orders were suspended. From the news releases today, it's evident AT&T and Apple grossly underestimated the potential demand and as usual didn't prepare enough computer resources for the task at hand. It's a shame, since the physical resources of store personnel and other employees seemed to be available and ready to do it. But in today's business environment, you can't perform the customer service task without the technical resources being available. That seems to be AT&T's achilles heel lately, and to some extent Apple's.

RE: Look over there...
By Suntan on 6/17/2010 10:22:04 AM , Rating: 2
Friendly customer service is just expected. But that doesn’t get a company any points other than an instant “I’ll never do business at that store again” attitude.

FWIW, I had very friendly service a couple months back when I updated to my Smartphone (not at ATT) they were very friendly and courteous during the 15 minutes it took for me to get the phone, have them transfer all contacts etc. and make sure it was properly setup.

Quite frankly, there is no consumer product on the face of the earth that would make me dicker around for 5 hours to buy (let alone to get put on a waiting list) and no CSR could be nice enough (without breaking a couple of vice laws) to keep me interested for that long. Obviously there are a lot of people that would rather spend 5 hours like that then wait an additional 2 weeks after it actually releases to walk into a store and then be able to walk out of the store, but it just sounds ludicrous.

Whether it is continued incompetence on the part of Apple/ATT or an intentional marketing strategy to generate “buzz,” having your systems continuously crash while trying to take customer’s orders is unacceptable. What’s more, praising the company for “how well they handled the situation” is sad.


RE: Look over there...
By Omega215D on 6/17/2010 2:48:54 AM , Rating: 2
Chuck Norris bought an iPhone?

RE: Look over there...
By mostyle on 6/17/2010 5:44:54 AM , Rating: 2
Chuck Norris doesn't need an IPhone.. He beams telecom signals directly from his brain to the towers..


"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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