Pre-orders for the new iPhone 4 began today, and while Apple tried to make it convenient for customers by allowing orders to be placed from their current iPhones, a crush of demand via phone and Web is slowing the ordering process, according to early reports.
Intending to make the reservation process easier, Apple introduced a free Apple Store app for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The iPhone 4, which becomes available June 24, costs $299 for a 32-gigabyte model with a two-year AT&T contract, and $199 for a 16 GB model.
"The rush of iPhone 4 pre-orders that slowed the online Apple Store to a crawl also tripped up the Apple Store app. For some customers, it simply wouldn't open. For others, it started taking data — phone numbers, social security digits and ZIP codes — and then crashed," Fortune magazine reported.
"Trying to pre-order an iPhone 4. Keeps choking in different ways, Working for anyone?" said technology writer Harry McCracken on Twitter.
AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel quickly responded by e-mail when asked about pre-order problems. "We are not commenting on this," he said.
Long lines were evident in many cities around the country, and in other countries.
Japan is already wild for Apple's latest iPhone," wrote Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press reporter in Tokyo. "Pre-orders began Tuesday at 5 p.m., and the early rush for the iPhone 4 led to long lines around Tokyo and overwhelmed computer servers struggling to keep up with demand."