Customers attempting to order Apple’s new iPhone 4S were unexpectedly met with delays as the company’s Apple Store web site failed to relaunch at the promised 12:01AM Pacific Time for pre-orders on Friday, October 7. Readers reported that Verizon’s web site was accepting preorders properly, though AT&T’s was not. While users have continued to expect new iPhone launches to be better than the last, iPhone pre-orders have repeatedly experienced issues over the last several years, ranging from server slowdowns to crashes of Apple’s and AT&T’s processing systems.
Updated: As of 12:30AM PT, iLounge has since confirmed that Verizon’s web site works all the way through the iPhone 4S ordering process from initial device ordering through final confirmation. Some reports suggested that Sprint’s web site is also accepting orders, however, our tests brought up a “We’re sorry” message when attempting to place an order. AT&T’s web site is not as yet showing iPhone 4S availability, and the Apple Store remains down, with numerous reports of inability to place pre-orders.
Update 2: As of 12:40AM PT, Apple’s web site began to take orders, albeit with a number of errors during different parts of the ordering process. Additionally, customers attempting to use the Apple Store site to become new Sprint customers were told that they would only be able to do so by visiting an retail store on launch day.
Update 3: As of 1:00AM PT, Apple’s web site continued to experience processing and account verification orders with existing AT&T accounts, but AT&T’s web site was capable of accepting at least orders for new customers. Notably, existing AT&T customers were not being offered the option to preserve their prior text messaging plans through Apple’s web site, and were being forced to choose between $20 unlimited plans or 20-30-cent-per-message charges.
Update 4: As of approximately 1:45AM PT, Apple’s web site began to display a notice that “we are temporarily unable to take iPhone orders.”
Update 5: As of 1:55AM PT, Apple has switched its system over to temporarily accept reservations for iPhone 4S, with order confirmations to take place at a later time. “We will e-mail you… when it’s time to complete your order. At that time, you can link back to the Apple Store to confirm eligibility… You can then place your order, and your new iPhone will be shipped to your door.” The image notably depicts an iPhone 4 rather than an iPhone 4S.