Can an unreleased product, inadvertently leaked and then announced to an audience of press and developers, be too successful for its own good? If you're talking about the iPhone 4, the answer is "What? I couldn't hear you over the commotion of all these people pre-ordering a phone they've never touched or seen in person."
Now that AT&T has suspended pre-orders until the phones come in, and Apple's ship dates have pushed into mid-July, and everyone has vented their frustration over the problems with the various sites and systems yesterday, we've got a statement from Apple. Engadget posted this brief comment from the Mothership earlier today:
"Yesterday Apple and its carrier partners took pre-orders for more than 600,000 of Apple's new iPhone 4. It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions. Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration. 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."
Six hundred thousand preorders. Hard to overstate that. Still, considering the huge issues that many folks had while ordering the iPhone, let's hope for Apple and AT&T's sake that there weren't lots more potential customers who gave up in frustration and bought something else.