Theres Plenty of Blame to Go Around

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-06-17 Print this article Print

 5. This won't be the last time

Make no mistake: iPhone preordering snafus will never end. Over the next few years, it's entirely likely that Apple will sell ever more iPhones. And when it does, the company will be putting even more pressure on its partner's (or partners') servers. Realizing that, consumers will need to come up with better ways of getting their orders in before the crowds start slowing everything down. And all the while, they're going to have to accept that, unfortunately, similar preorder debacles will continue to plague the market until someone finds a solution.

6. Privacy is never guaranteed

Surfing to AT&T's site and entering personal account credentials should seem like a safe practice, right? Think again. According to reports, AT&T's server glitches caused some users to log in to the wrong accounts. They were able to view plan information, a stranger's name, number and address, and much more. The problem was quickly addressed, but it's a real privacy concern. Consumers must keep in mind that privacy is never guaranteed. And being as prudent as possible is always best when surfing the Web.

7. There is still hope

Believe it or not, those who were locked out of the preordering process might still have a slight chance of getting their hands on an iPhone 4 when it hits store shelves next week. According to Apple, a small number of iPhones will be available to purchase on launch day in its stores. A limited stock should also be available at Apple's retail partners, RadioShack, Best Buy and Wal-Mart. Admittedly, the available stock will be small, so only the early birds will get the iPhones. But it's worth a try for folks who want Apple's new smartphone on the day it launches.

8. The preorder process is broken

Although there is probably no way around it, AT&T's preorder debacle proves once again that the very idea of accepting preorders for a product either in a store or online is the wrong way to go about accommodating customers. Yes, demand is high for the iPhone and there are few opportunities for companies to easily manage all the orders that will come through on launch day. But having brick-and-mortars, Web users and other Apple customers all competing for a finite number of iPhones on launch day is a pain. Something needs to be done to address the preordering process.

9. There is something to be said for patience

There is something to be said for waiting for an iPhone 4. On June 16, Apple announced that those who preordered the iPhone 4 would be getting their devices on July 2. Starting June 17, those dates were pushed back to July 14. As annoying as that might be for some folks, it's not such a bad thing to wait. There should be ample supplies in stores in the coming month, and customers won't need to worry about the hassle of trying to pick up their phones in stores on June 24.

10. Apple isn't innocent

It seems that most of the coverage of the preordering issue has focused on AT&T's handling of the situation. And although the company is certainly wrong and it should be held accountable, Apple is also to blame. It should have insisted that AT&T test its system before the iPhone 4 was offered for preorder, if in fact that wasn't done. Apple could have also done a better job of handling demand and determining how many people would want to get their hands on the latest iPhone. AT&T is certainly the bigger factor in this situation, but Apple shouldn't come out of it unscathed. 

Editor's Note: This story was updated to include the source of the claim that AT&T didn't test its preorder system.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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