Updated: Verizon iPhone pre-orders go relatively smoothly

Verizon iPhone pre-orders go relatively smoothly

UPDATE: Looks like Verizon couldn't handle iPhone 4 either -- or at least the pre-orders -- as we're now hearing from a bunch of folks for whom the servers simply stopped responding. It doesn't seem to be widespread as others are getting through just fine still. We're guessing whatever problem is occurring, Verizon is working on it. So if you get an error just keep trying and let us know how it goes in the comments!

Yes, it is newsworthy to note that, according to the feedback we're getting, Verizon iPhone pre-orders -- which went live just before 3am EST last night -- seem to have gone pretty smoothly. No massive server crashes, no pandaemonium on the internet, no #fail cover story on The Daily. Given how, with the AT&T iPhone 4 pre-orders last summer, the Apple Online Store crumbled, AT&T accounts got compromised, AT&T pre-orders sold out, and TiPb readers celebrated their survival.

Of course that was just the first night. In the hours and days that followed Apple sold out as well, AT&T suspended orders, we tried to figure out who actually got a confirmed order (Apple said 600,000 people), then the fun began with some shipping notices going out, others appearing to be cancelled (likely due to order problems resulting in duplicates, triplicates, and more). But ship they ultimately did and some folks even got their iPhone 4 early.

Whether the Verizon iPhone pre-orders get processed more smoothly or we get the same kind of drama remains to be seen (we're tracking it over in our Verizon iPhone Forum, so go join in!)

We also still have the big launch day coming up on February 10 for everyone who couldn't pre-order, and likely the famous overnight Apple Store line-ups to go with it!

So what do you think, did the pre-order conditions lighten the load, was demand less in general, or was the system simply improved since last summer?

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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

Updated: Verizon iPhone pre-orders go relatively smoothly


I doubt their was alot of demand. Anyone who really wants an iPhone already has it or is gonna wait for iPhone 5.

I ordered on two different accounts in about 5 minutes total and was back to sleep ten minutes after I woke up

I ordered without much of a hiccup. It wouldn't let me ship to my job as it kept asking me to put in the business name, but there wasn't a field for that, but I ultimately elected to ship it home and finished my order. Pleasant Experience for the most part.

Same here. Woke up just before 2am here in snow covered WI, grabbed the iPad sitting in my nightstand, and preordered the iPhone 4 on Verizon's site in about 5 minutes. Simple and easy. I've waited for years for the iPhone to come to Verizon so waiting for the iPhone 5 was not an option.

I was ordered in 5 min around 2:50 am. My friend jumPed on just after 3 and could not get through on Verizon. I even tried logging in as him, but had no luck. We kept getting a "An error has occurred" message.
He was able to get through on the Apple site, but had to pay a hefty fee for overnight shipping, whereas mine is free through Verizon.

People keep forgetting verizon is doing this much later than AT&T. AT&T has already paved the way to correct all the mistakes. Let's bs honest. Whoever got the iPhone first would experienced these problems and the late comer (verizon in this case) already knew basically what to expect.
I'm so tired of the oh verizon didn't crash / they are doing it right stories and comments. If verizon had the iPhone first their network would hve taken just as much abuse.
Verizon WON'T experience it because I highly doubt that many people AT&T iPhone users are gonna jump ship from AT&T to version. Maybe 10%??? How many NEW customers did AT&T pick up? I bet a huge difference.

AT&T might have done it first, but paved the way? That would imply they shared the pitfalls with Verizon. I don't see that happening. We'll never know if Verizon had the iPhone first how it would have went.

Then ATT isn't learning from their own mistakes because there's a problem at every launch.

agreed with doc and dave; sure, the demand is less, but that does not mean Verizon does not have something to lose here. and if at$t is so great, why did they screw up time after time? I'm sure Steve would've told them ahead of time, "uh, it's the iPhone4. biggest upgrade in a few years. you might want to prepare for it". you really think Steve wouldn't have said that to at$t? yet, they still fcuked it up.

Yeah but those launches are with NEW iphones..not 7 month old ones..verizon has never been thru a new iphone launch and when they do, they will more than likely experience the same problems att does..many of my friends were havin trouble ordering this one and its not even a new phone so imagine the traffic for an iphone 5

Are you insane? From another site (and experienced by this and thousands of other customers): In an unexpected repeat of the problematic online launches of past iPhones, the pre-ordering systems set up by both Verizon Wireless and Apple have turned away iPhone 4 customers who arrived for the companies’ 3:00AM sign-up process. Attempts to order the iPhone 4 through Verizon Wireless’s web site failed for more than five hours, as customers who attempted to sign in to the ordering page were presented with a broken “Sorry, an error has occured” page, promising to get “this fixed as soon as we can.” Other customers reported successes in ordering only after extended problems with the site; one noted that “Verizon’s web site was a disaster” with an early-morning order taking an hour to get placed.

Woke up @ 3AM in rainy FL..Ordered on the Verizon website (had same problem as Durel by not sending order to my business, so shipped to hm) Back to sleep by 3:15 AM. So far...so good! My contract has been up with Verizon for 2 yrs but I did not cave in for the miserable At&t service here in FL to get the iphone. I've had Sprint, At&t and then Verizon (for last 10 yrs). I will never switch again to another service. The wait has been well worth it for the Apple product!

No problem getting on the site, but verizon insists on charging to a credit card, cant just add to your account. Customer service recording blatantly says agents have no iphone info go to the web site and read the faq's. I just wanted to hide the $199 from the wife, and have a new toy.

thats an Apple & att policy as well. probably more Apple maybe. Cant charge an iPhone to your acct. Pay it up front, sorry...

@ Keith... LMFAO.
"Congratulations and thank you for your purchase today. You are now one step closer to iPhone 4 on Verizon.
Please keep this confirmation for your records. We will contact you if additional information is needed to process your order. A final confirmation email will be sent when your order ships.
The estimated ship date for your order is: 02/10/2011.
Your order reference number is:xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Taxes, Governmental Surcharges & Fees:$0.00
Tax* $46.87
Total charges to be billed to credit / debit card:$796.86"

Yes, I could do that too, but I can think of a lot of less painful ways to leave this world if I was planning on suicide.

verizon will not have server crashes and what not because they choose a time where everyone is also most likely asleep like how many people want to stay up till 3 AM just for a preorder. I bet if they did it midday like att they would have had some more issues right or wrong?

@Bryan: I have been sitting on my Blackberry for close to three years waiting for the iPhone. It's barely functional at this point so waiting for a iPhone 5 is not an option for myself either...
Idk who these people that had issues are, myself and three other friends that I know of woke up at 3am and had ZERO issues ordering the phone. I'm a little peeved it won't arrive earlier than the 10th, but after waiting as long as I have whats one more week?

I have had my BB for 3 years as well! I can't complain about my BB cause it's been a great phone, but I'm sick of being stuck with a phone that is lightyears behind in the technology department. I've waited three years, yet for some reason I feel like this next week will feel just as long. I'm too excited! Haha

This is all I got:
Back to VerizonWireless.com
Sorry, an error has occured.
We're working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.
(Please try again)

If you have a family plan, you have to sign in under the PRIMARY account in order to buy the iPhone. Once you sign in under the primary account you will see all other lines from the family plan which are available to upgrade and you can buy one for each of those lines. I almost punched my computer in the face trying to figure this out.

I'm still getting the error message, and I logged in as every member of my family separately. I was up at 2:00 a.m. and never really got back to sleep and am annoyed that I bothered. Verizon is attempting to help me via Twitter now - phone calls were useless.

Thank's Matt. I don't have control over the primary account so I'll have to ask the in-laws about it. lol

That's the point. Verizon is not making the same mistakes that AT&T made. Having a phone go live in the middle of the day is one example of AT&T screwing things up. Get the crazies out of the way at 3 AM and then pre-ordering can go smooth for everyone else.

Haha. Lmao. Enjoy our slow data and no voice and data at same time. I'm gla they got it but so sick of verizon is soooo much better. Both have pluses and minus. People are so low on self esteem they have to slam others carrier. No one cares!!!

Personally I'll just enjoy being able to continue carrying a phone conversation. But hey, that's just me, my family, and everyone in the surrounding areas.

Don't be a retard Robert. you said "People are so low on self esteem they have to slam others carrier. No one cares!!!" yet on the first sentence, you said "enjoy your slow data and no voice and data at the same time".
So let me ask you, who has the low self esteem here? you fail.

Put the order through exactly 3 minutes before 3:00am EST and no issues. It was actually weird how fast and smooth it went.
I was expecting issues similar to ordering tickets to a popular concert. But it went great!

I, too, was surprised at how smoothly and quickly my order went. The Verizon site was quicker for me to order than it is to log into MyVerizon any other time. Set my alarm, woke up, ordered a few minutes before 3am (EST) and went back to bed.

Got mine without any problems a few minutes before 2am cst. Got my confirmation email a minute later. The only thing that confuses me was the ship date of Feb. 10th. Maybe I'm mistaken, but wasn't the point to offer the phone early to current verizon subscribers? Not a huge deal, I'm just throwing it out there.

No the point was to allow the existing customers to reserve and purchase their phone early so that they have a better chance of getting one than people coming from other telco's.
You don't get the phone any earlier you just know that you have a better chance of receiving one from Verizon on or around the 10th.

I am so glad that I woke up at 2:50 am and was on the site ordering by 2:55am with all the problems I am hearing... I had a friend who was also trying to order her a iPhone at about the same time who messaged me on FB telling me about the "Error Page" I figured it was on her end, sounds like it was national. Took me about 5mins to get through all the steps and by 3:02 am I had my confirmation email.
I assume the Feb 10th ship date/arrival date is to not let there be any VZW iphones in use till the official Feb 10 launch date!

Glad to hear that the people who got up in the middle of the night all had 2/10 as the arrival date. I thought, by waiting until 6:00 AM I had gotten in too late. Ok, so what is the advantage? I can walk into a Verizon store and get one in the morning of the 10th, instead of hoping the delivery guy decides to come to my house in the evening of the 10th, or he tells me I can pick it up at the depot on the 11th.
Then, I tried to have it sent to my business instead of home, and the web form didn't include a "Business Name" field, but the page demanded that the name was missing, and I couldn't advance to the purchase.
So, no sale today!

@Jeff. I had the same issues as you did. I called Verizon, and they weren't able to do anything about the shipment to business issue. I called Apple, and they weren't able to do anything about it either. I don't understand why shipping to one's business would be such a problem.
So I will wait too. Been waiting for years... what's a few days longer :(

check horowitz's article on ilounge for more details on the problems VZW had this morning... not sooo smooth imho... looks a lot like ATT

from a VZW internal pdf:
Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand. Our proactive management of the Verizon Wireless network is designed to ensure that the remaining 95% of data customers aren’t negatively affected by the inordinate data consumption of just a few users.

I wonder how many people will get theirs ontime in the east coast? Of course the weather might be better by then.

Apparently mine has already been shipped at least that's what the site says when I put in my reference number. Would be cool to get early!

Ditto...I looked about 90 minutes ago and mine says that is has been shipped too...this clearly must be a mistake. Right?

Naturallly verizon will not have a problem with sign ups. First off they did it at 3am. Second they don't have millions and millions of people trying to get the phone like at&t had. I would be shocked if a few hundred thousand jumped ship to verizon. And why do people think that people that have at&t can't carry a conversation on there phone? I have no problems making phone calls on my iphone always have. The only time I can't is when on the phone with the gf who has a bb tour on verizon. She drops at least 4-5 calls a day with me and others. They are cell carriers people. They all have there good and bad points. No carrier is better then the other. Grow up. Congrats to new iphone users.

I'm pretty sure this wins for stupid statement of the year:
"No carrier is better then the other."
And not for improper use of then.

Well thanks a lot for nothing Verizon. I only have 13 days until I'm eligible to upgrade both phones on my bill and they wouldn't bend for me to put two on reserve. I was even willing to pay NOW for the phones to have them for me when I'm eligible to upgrade and they said no. Not to mention I was going to re-up my contract for 2 more years AND add tethering to the account. That's super, at least the person I talked to just now was willing to talk to a supervisor unprompted. The woman I talked to earlier had to be prompted to talk to a supervisor and was LESS than helpful. I'm pretty unhappy about the situation because now I will probably have to wait another month to get my freaking phone because they will probably be on backorder when I'm able to get them.

I started trying to order at midnight PST. I have tried to order an iphone on and off all day. No way. There is a major problem with their ordering system. I am very disappointed!

Ordered right @ 3am. Had the problem others mentioned about shipping to Business address, 2 hours for a confirmation email with an order # way higher than others who ordered first thing. My order is confirmed but I'm not sure my account has been charged yet so I don't know if I really have one or am on a wait list.

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