It was a rough night for a lot of Apple fans.
The new iPhones were supposed to be available for pre-order online Friday at midnight, but once the clock struck 12 and customers around the U.S. refreshed their Web browsers, nothing happened. Many continued seeing Apple’s standard “We’ll be back” message for hours.
Apple and the wireless carriers have routinely sold out of their first-day supplies of the latest iPhones in the past, but the pre-order process this time around seemed particularly inept.
The fury was swift, as scores of hopeful iPhone buyers rushed onto Twitter to vent their frustrations. The #BadApple and #fail hashtags were popular. Some joked that the company wouldn’t have missed the midnight mark if it had used an Apple Watch. Others compared the botched pre-order process to Apple’s shoddy livestream from its launch event on Tuesday.
Others weighed in with advice, which included going through the Apple Store app to purchase, toggling between different iPhone sizes to refresh the page or trying one of the wireless carriers. Some gave up altogether and resigned themselves to waiting in line next week.
Even the wireless carriers had issues. On AT&T for instance, some people reported not seeing a “Pre-Order” option. Others placed orders but received no confirmation emails for hours and were given “We were unable to find your order” messages on the carrier’s website.
On Friday morning, Sprint tweeted out an apology at 6:43 a.m. PDT, saying: “Status alert: Hey all, trying to get to our online store? We’re aware of the issues. Hang tight, we’ll be back soon.” That was followed by a tweet a couple of hours later that said: “Thanks so much for your overwhelming excitement around our new phones & plans. Sorry for the inconvenience, the online store is back up.”
“Your pre-order awaits -- the #ECPD error has been resolved,” Verizon Wireless USA tweeted early Friday.
Beyond pre-order glitches, supply shortages seemed widespread, particularly for the larger-screen iPhone 6 Plus.
The phones are set to be released on Sept. 19, but those who buy on Apple’s website are seeing delayed shipping times of 3-4 weeks for the iPhone 6 Plus; the pickup-in-store option is also not showing up throughout much of Los Angeles.
Over at AT&T, some customers who pre-ordered the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus received emails saying their ship times had been delayed until October; a few hours later, some of those ship times were pushed back even further, to November.
We reached out to Apple for details on what happened and will update this post if we hear back.
Follow Andrea Chang on Twitter.