"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."
"I'm sorry, Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."
Remember the scene from 2001 when astronaut Dave Bowman couldn't get the rogue computer running Discovery to respond to his commands? [Remember the same computer shilling for Apple during the run-up to the Y2K bug? Classy. –Ed.]
Well, that's what's been going on for many people who want the new iPhone. It started early this morning when people were trying to pre-order. In my case, I got thrown out 4 times, each time being told I had let the process time out. Hey, it wasn't me.
AT&T is also having major problems; in fact, that may be what's behind Apple's difficulties, as those who are buying new iPhones (not requiring a check of previous account status) seem to be having a much easier time of it. In the middle of of trying to upgrade via AT&T's site, people are getting this message:
Maintenance In Progress
AT&T is continually working to improve our internet site for our customers. As part of this ongoing effort, we are currently doing maintenance. We apologize for this inconvenience and ask that you please try back again later.
Right. It's not as if both companies didn't know this was coming. And Apple, after all, used to have the word 'Computer' in its name.
Some people are sliding by with no issues, but according to reports we're seeing, many aren't so lucky. The good news is that it looks like the new iPhone is going to be incredibly popular. The bad news is it's awfully hard for many people to order one.
[Thanks to all our suffering readers who shared their experiences]
Update: Here's the Apple pre-order page. Good hunting!