O2 Gone in 13,000 iPhone Orders a Second

Sounded like a great idea, dinnit? Put up a website where your customers could upgrade to the brand-spanking-new iPhone 3G kit, right? Digg effect, meet iPwnage (no, not the hack, the tidal-wave of traffic Apple's little gadget brings with it). It'll Steve your website right quick -- especially when you offer to hand deliver them on launch day!

Says O2:

"We had invested heavily to add a huge amount of additional capacity, 250 times its normal rate, and back-up systems. We tested this carefully in advance. The massive simultaneous crush exceeded even our worst case assumptions. Demand was at 13,000 orders per second. Frankly, we have to admit we just weren't prepared for this unprecedented level of demand. No Web site is."

Yeah. Just be happy you don't host a Stevenote stream. Traffic aside, though, 13,000 orders per second is staggering, and O2 admits Apple can't meet that demand during a 22 country simultaneous launch. In fact, supplies look tight for the next few week, and nary an iPhone White in sight!

Our sympathies for our United Kingdom friends. If any of you mange to nab an iPhone 3G, please let us know!


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

O2 Gone in 13,000 iPhone Orders a Second


Here in Australia it's practically sold out already. Very few if any shops have any left. And it's now 2:00PM on launch day, 11th July.
Apparently Australia had 80,000 available for the launch.

Hey Neil, did you get one ? its 530am in London. Looks like I'm the 1st one outside my local shop ( it doesn't open till 9). A bit sad really but I can't wait !!!

The 13,000 orders per second keeps getting quoted, but is clearly nonsense. The O2 website was open for several hours. At that rate, 1 in 10 of the UK population would have secured an iphone within the first 9 minutes.
The figure is being used by O2 to cover their incompetence in the ordering process.
They clearly did not have a website which would stop taking orders once their stock was gone.
They advertised it as "first come first served" but that is BS. My order was confirmed 10 minutes after ordering opened and there's no iphone coming my way. A thread on their own forum proved that they were not being delivered first come first served.
It's a shambles.
Just wait until people turn up at shops today to find out that its almost all 8Gb phones that are in store, and even those are not there in any great quantity.

Hi Londoner,
Nope, didn't get one :) Knowing there was going to be a shortage coupled with the shenanigans our local carriers have been playing (didn't release plans until yesterday) I decided I'll hold off for a little while until things settle down...

The store i went in Australia, had a white 16GB and a few 8GB left at about 10.00am.
They were trying to convinc some people to take the 8GB.
on a 24 month contract with optus, one my as well get the 16GB.

I got one!!!
I was after the 16gb version but the website was down for a while. When it finally came back online I tried and kept crashing. Then the 16gb versions where all sold out so setteld with the 8gb version.
8 attempts later going through checkout I got an order confirmation in my email. Kept crashing after I did the Visa verify thingy so didn't know it went through.
I was pleased when I saw I did infact get one because I thought didn't!
Anyone else?
P.S. DHL tracking says it out for delivery :)

I got one too! 16Gb
Qued outside store at 6.30 am.. was 4th in que. Store opened at 10am..
Store only had 40 ins tock.. and only 14 o fthem were 16Gbs. By the time the doors opened, there were close to 50 in the que.

the website said delivery would be today between 9am and 5pm.
after waiting all day i got a text at at 4.45pm saying my iphone had just been dispatched and was due to arrive by this saturday by 12
considering delivery was meant to be today and was apparently only dispatched late this afternoon i am disappointed with the way they have handled this.

I'm pleased to say that I got my 16gbblack delivered at 11 am in England on July 11 and it was fully activated 10 minutes later. I guess I was lucky and had everything work. Maybe it was because I ordered it by phone? Either wAy the actual phone has exceeded all expectations but I'm still waiting for network service from O2 as they are really busy but it should work by tomorrow.

Both My wife and I ordered the 16GB ones, both ordered successfully, both received email confirmations, both had the £59 taken out the following day, at that point she no longer got any messages until it arrived while we were out, I received a follow up 2 days after they take my cash, asking to prove who I was spent a total of 4hr and 23 mins listening to a phone ring that eventually picked up and I was "cleared" in lass than 5 mins the same freakin card I paid for the phone with!
I am still waiting for my phone to arrive and the wife's? well - it doesn't work, It won't recognize the SIM or any other SIM, after a further 8 calls, 2 to Apple (I am still not sure why O2 sent me there when I bought it from 02) 3 hr of repeating the same thing over and over I am finally told "yes, your handset is faulty!" - YOU DON'T SAY!
Will she get a new one? and I qoute"
"we are experiencing an unprecedented level of interest in the new iphone 3G and we are currently our of stock. We're not sure when your wife will receive a replacement handset but we will let you know. Sorry for the inconvenience"
my iPhone - yeah, some time just before the next new one!
They did kindly offer me 1 months free line rental - what a load of crap!

Negative people in my life that tried to sabotage my Ironman and my workouts....well, I got rid of them. Not in the "snuff" sense, but I didn't NEED them, so I either left them or asked them to leave! NO MORE negative in MY life!(And they are STILL who they choose to be!)