They're calling it the iPhone preorder iPhonecalypse. After hitting a few early snags out of the gate, the iPhone 4 preorder system at the Apple Store temporarily ground to a halt sometime Tuesday night, sending hundreds of thousands of iPhone fanatics around the globe into a frenzy. Meanwhile, AT&T has stopped taking iPhone 4 preorder requests altogether.
On Wednesday, Gizmodo reported that a glitch in AT&T's iPhone preorder form – possibly related to "a major fraud update that went wrong" – has exposed scads of private user information. Several Gizmodo readers claim that when they attempted to log onto the AT&T preorder sub-site, they were directed to another user's AT&T account. (AT&T reps told Gizmodo they have been "unable to replicate the problem.")
The iPhone preorder forms appeared to be back online at the Apple Store as of Wednesday morning – we were able to punch in our info without any major problems. Still, the ship date for the boxy, feature-heavy iPhone 4 has been pushed from June 24 to July 2, and the mystery of the white iPhone 4 remains unsolved.
Over at Radio Shack, the situation was no better. The company announced yesterday on its Twitter feed that it was canceling iPhone preorder sales due to "overwhelming customer response." A communications official at Best Buy, which has continued to take iPhone 4 preorder requests, confirmed that interest in the smartphone has been very high, and said on Twitter that "pre-orders are going to be fulfilled in the order they were received."
In other words: be patient.
The Apple Store has been plagued with problems since the start of the iPhone preorder blitz. At 6 a.m. on Tuesday, Computerworld bloggers noted that the US Apple Store had gone down; by 8 a.m. the Store was back in working order. At the same time, the tech site The Register reported that the UK Apple Store was struggling to deal with heavy traffic loads.