It's official: AT&T can't cope with iPhone 4 orders. Following the first day of the iPhonepocalypse—and after shutting down their online sales system following multiple security problems—they are giving up to avoid any further trouble.
Of course, that's not how AT&T's official statement explains it:
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.
Given this unprecedented demand and our current expectations for our iPhone 4 inventory levels when the device is available June 24, we're suspending pre-ordering today in order to fulfill the orders we've already received.
The availability of additional inventory will determine if we can resume taking pre-orders.
In addition to unprecedented pre-order sales, yesterday there were more than 13 million visits to AT&T's website where customers can check to see if they are eligible to upgrade to a new phone; that number is about 3-times higher than the previous record for eligibility upgrade checks in one day.
We are working hard to bring iPhone 4 to as many of our customers as soon as possible.
Translation: Our computer systems are a total mess and we didn't really plan for the demand surge. Yesterday, an AT&T insider told Gizmodo that the problems are related to a server fraud update that went wrong last weekend.
The iPhone 4 pre-order suspension comes after only one day of pre-orders. The demand collapsed AT&T and Apple servers, which were unable to take orders, took multiple incorrect purchases, placed reservations that didn't reserve anything, and had physical stores closing or having to take orders with pen and paper. The problems also resulted in a security breach, with people trying to get into their AT&T's just to land in the wrong customers account.
AT&T denied the this security problem showed any private information, but multiple readers have send proof of credit cards and shipping addresses belonging to the wrong customers.
The suspension will also explain the multiple AT&T emails to customers saying that their pre-orders have been cancelled.