Pre-ordering a new iPhone is never an easy process. You wake up at 3AM if you’re on the East Coast, stay up late on the West Coast, or simply eat your breakfast if you’re in Europe. But this year it has been an especially tricky process for Apple’s most loyal customers in the US. Apple’s online store in the US was down for two hours and 25 minutes, leaving customers who stayed up late rather frustrated. Online Apple Stores outside the US appear to have been unaffected by the troubles.
Some were able to sneak orders onto the US site or via the Apple Store app for iOS, but many have taken to Twitter to vent their frustrations. Most are angry, others have given up, and some used humor to lighten the mood of those desperately refreshing their browsers. Apple’s in-store iPhone 6 reservation system also went live this morning, but an apparent bug blocked Apple IDs with two-factor from signing in to secure an iPhone 6, meaning you had to disable the security method to reserve a phone.
fuck you apple for having me up at 3am.......................i fucking hate your products and will never use them again— Michael Campbell (@HouseHusbandATL) September 12, 2014
It’s not just Apple’s site that struggled either. Carrier websites like AT&T and Verizon haven’t coped well with the demand, creating even more frustration for those in the US. Demand appears to have been high this year, with the majority of stores outside the US showing "7-10 business days" on delivery (that's after the September 19th launch) for most iPhone 6 variants, and "3-4 weeks" delivery on some iPhone 6 Plus models. US demand is also high, and it appears that iPhone 6 Plus orders won’t be delivered for the September 19th release date unless you already got your order in. This likely indicates Apple has fewer iPhone 6 Plus models manufactured right now, supporting earlier rumors of possible delays.
All of the pre-order problems lead to the obvious question, why does Apple force its most loyal customers in its largest market to stay up super late to pre-order an iPhone? The iPhone is a smash hit in the US, but the pre-order process is clearly frustrating year after year. Apple's struggled with its web services recently, first with the nude celebrity iCloud scandal, then its live stream problems, and now this. If Apple is trying to limit the US demand with pre-orders starting over night rather than 8AM then that’s somewhat understandable, but the process should work. It’s clearly frustrating for all involved to wake up at 3AM and have to sit at a computer refreshing a webpage for two hours.
what a disaster of a process, im going to bed good luck everyone— Sam Sheffer (@samsheffer) September 12, 2014
Gave up after an hour (!) and ordered through Verizon’s website. Horrendous design, but at least it worked, first try.— John Gruber (@gruber) September 12, 2014
THIS IS WORSE THAN FREE U2— Thomas Ricker (@Trixxy) September 12, 2014
I have two orders for an iPhone 6 because AT&T is shit— Travis Milbrandt (@TravisMilbrandt) September 12, 2014
Guy in charge of the Apple Store fell asleep listening to the new U2 album.— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) September 12, 2014