Pre-Ordering An iPhone? Not So Fast

The new iPhone 4 is displayed at the 2010 Apple World Wide Developers conference June 7, 2010 in San Francisco, California.
The new iPhone 4 is displayed at the 2010 Apple World Wide Developers conference June 7, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Buyers report problems getting their orders for the iPhone 4 registered. On Tuesday, the first day Apple and AT&T started taking such orders, shoppers were met with error messages on the company websites. And a technology blog reports that some AT&T users' private information was being exposed during the ordering process.

Apple and AT&T started taking orders for the coming iPhone model on Tuesday, but buyers reported problems getting their orders registered. A technology blog reports that some AT&T users' private information was being exposed during the ordering process.

Shoppers said they were met with error messages on the company Web sites, and lines formed in stores as clerks tried to get orders into their systems.

Computer systems at Apple Inc., the maker of the phone, or AT&T Inc., its exclusive U.S. carrier, have had various problems meeting demand for the iPhone every year since the first one launched, in 2007.

Neither Apple nor AT&T commented on the latest problems.

Japanese phone company Softbank started taking orders earlier in the day, and was also flooded with requests. Softbank spokesman Furuya Katsuhide said that the better-than-expected demand had stressed the company's systems, which slowed both its Web site and the reservation process at stores.

The iPhone 4 goes on sale June 24 starting at $199. It will feature a higher-resolution screen, longer battery life and thinner design than last year's model.

The Gizmodo technology blog said that some AT&T users were seeing other customers' private information during the ordering process.

"This is how it happens: A customer tries to log into their AT&T account to order a new iPhone 4 upgrade," Gizmodo reports. "Despite entering their username and password, the AT&T system would take them to another user account. This gives access to all kinds of private information about the mistaken customer: Addresses, phone calls, and bills, along with the rest of private information, becomes exposed to random strangers."

The problems come on the heels of an earlier AT&T security snafu involving Apple's iPad. Earlier this week, AT&T sent letters to customers apologizing for a security breach that reportedly exposed more than 114,000 iPad 3G customers' e-mails addresses. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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