High Demand For iPhone 4 Overwhelms AT&T, Orders Suspended

By Mike Cole — June 16, 2010

Just one day after the coveted device first went on sale, AT&T suspended orders for the iPhone 4 on June 16, 2010, with demand clearly overwhelming inventory.

Apple says it and AT&T took orders for more than 600,000 iPhone 4's when they were made available on June 15. Apple reported it was the largest number of orders that Apple had ever taken in one day and far more than anticipated.

AT&T, the exclusive U.S. carrier for iPhone, said it will resume taking orders when additional inventory becomes available.

"We are working hard to bring the iPhone 4 to as many of our customers as soon as possible," AT&T said.

Apple's website was accepting orders for black models only, and only for shipping by July 2.

Apple reported that on that first day that the new iPhone 4 was first made available, online and phone systems at both Apple and AT&T were jammed.

"We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock," Apple said in a statement.

AT&T reported that there were more than 13 million visitors to AT&T's website on June 15 to specifically check whether they were eligible for a phone upgrade.

"The good news for Apple: A lot of people want to buy the product," Van Baker, an analyst at Gartner, told USA Today. "The bad news: system glitches that totally overwhelmed the system."

Baker said he did not think the issues would deter customers from eventually buying the smartphones, predicting potential buyers would be patient and make their purchases once the problems resolved themselves.

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