Apple Inc. (AAPL) said Wednesday that its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 iPhone 4s on Tuesday, the first day the new smart phone went on sale. According to Apple, it was “the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than [it had] anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions.”
“Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration”, Apple said in a prepared statement. “We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.”
Earlier, Apple’s main carrier partner AT&T Inc. (T) said it had been forced to suspend pre-orders for the iPhone 4, citing inventory issues after the surprising high demand of online orders. The iPhone 4, which becomes available June 24, costs $299 for a 32-GB model with a 24-month AT&T contract, and $199 for a 16 GB model. AT&T said Wednesday was the busiest online sales day in its history, with 13 million visits to the company’s website.