iPhone 4S: Pre-order start time, Apple Store down concerns and preference

By Alan Ng - Oct 7, 2011

Following on from the recent unveiling of Apple’s iPhone 4S smartphone and then the tragic news about co-founder Steve Jobs passing away, it’s now time to put a smile back on the faces of Apple fans. Today is pre-order day for the iPhone 4S and consumers have a decision to make on which network to opt with.

As you probably already know, Sprint has now acquired the iPhone to their lineup for the first time and it will mean that consumers in the US now have a three networks to choose from, as opposed to the iPhone 4 launch in the US with only AT&T and Verizon available.

There is no better carrier officially, as it will all come down to experience and consumer preference on which network you think is the best. AT&T perhaps lack in the customer service department in some consumers eyes, while Verizon’s prices are generally high and Sprint’s network reception has come in for criticism at times.

One thing is for certain though – the iPhone 4S will not be cheap. Sprint seems to be a good deal though, at $69.99 for 450 minutes and $99.99 for unlimited voice minutes. Unlike AT&T and Verizon, Sprint will also offer unlimited data for an added $10 a month on top. AT&T and Verizon now used their tiered data plans now, so unless you are grandfathered into unlimited data from a previous deal, Sprint seems to be a good choice for data-conscious users.

You’ll be able to pre-order the new iPhone 4S, starting from 12.01 PT on Friday, so just a few hours away. This pre-order time will also apply for UK consumers who are looking to get the iPhone 4S at the first opportunity, as the pre-order time for UK buyers will begin at 8.01am local time. Hopefully Apple’s website won’t crash when the store opens up their pre-orders for the device – fingers crossed.

So there we have it. Which carrier are you going to choose in the US? Are you staying up late to try and get one first?

Update: One of our readers has been in contact with us to explain that he is experiencing iPhone 4S processing problems. After refreshing the Apple Store page for some time, the pre-order page finally went live. Everything was going fine with the order, selected the model of iPhone 4S, confirmed address, payment details and then hit the purchase button. The next screen that comes up just says processing, and has been like that for the last 30 minutes. They are still waiting, and do not want to repeat the process, just in case they get charged twice.

Update 2: Our reader decided to close the processing page and start a new order. Thankfully this went through straight away. He was not charged for the first order, as it was not confirmed.

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  • Valhalla

    I keep getting the same errors!  I’ve been here for 2 hrs trying,  UGH.  

  • Anonymous

    We are temporarily unable to take iPhone orders. We apologize for this inconvenience. Please try again later.

  • att person

    just got error message from apple store they are unable to take orders

  • Ok my order went thru! But I did it thru the Apple Store App on my iPhone. It worked after many Attempts (like 100 attempts) i was able to load it to my shopping cart, pressed on check out many times, got gateway error message many times… just keep trying till it goes thru. I got a confirmation @facebook-100002946161751:disqus  and I was already charged the amount for the upgrade. GLUCK everyone and good night/Morning !!!! 

  • zzz

    it lets u choose unlimited but charges more – still timed out though

  • Anonymous

    Through “manufacturer” is where I checked to make it work, not through “OS.” I’m just saying this worked for me.

  • Anonymous

    So now I’m almost there through ATT but it’s not letting me keep my unlimited data which is stupid because I should be grandfathered in. Is anybody else having this problem?

    • I’ve done this before where I choose the cheapest data plan, and call after and have them switch it back… 

    • New contract is made

  • Anyone else have luck with the Apple Store…seems I did…although I can’t get logged in to check out- I do have a reservation and I have until Saturday to complete it.

    • att person

      Nope – I’m logged in and in processing mode – keeps timing out.

  • badger

    That doesn’t work for me.

  • Anonymous


  • badger

    Jacob how did you do it? I don’t see the 4s as an option

  • Trying to get signed in to complete my order…I have until Saturday afternoon but I just want it done so I can sleep! LOL

  • Anonymous

    Are you upgrading or are you a new customer? Because I don’t see the 4s showing up there yet, but I’m upgrading.

    ETA: As soon as I typed it it showed up. But apparently I can’t order through the ATT site because I use a PO box. I can’t change the billing info because the site says it’s busy upgrading, and anyway I couldn’t because my card bills to that address too. If ATT were a face I would punch it.

  • If you are on ATT, go to there site instead. Its a lot faster. Got mine pre ordered in under 2 minutes.

    • att person

      I keep getting an error msg on ATT site, gr

      • Anonymous

        So do I!

  • We are currently experiencing high volumes of iPhone orders and may require up to 1 minutes to access your AT&T account information. In order to maintain the priority of your order, please remain on this page.

    • att person

      where was that msg from?

  • TOO MANY ATT PPL LOL seems thats the reason were all having trouble 🙂 patience…. ughhh

  • Just got confirmation from Apple that I am eligible but can’t get signed in to complete my order! AHHH! No Sprint or Verizon where I live…its ATT or no iPhone

  • badger

    Totally agree.

  • Pchoward4

    would order through verizon but want applcare

  • Anonymous

    Suddenly Verizon seems really appealing.

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, I’m on AT&T and it’s completely ignoring me. I’ve tried four times so far, on Safari, Chrome, and in the Apple Store app, and it won’t let me do it. Wow, AT&T. Wow. Way to make me question my decision to stick with you guys at the moment of truth….

    • LOL I am doing the same… have all of them up and running no success… 

  • Pchoward4

    come on already

  •  I was able to get a reservation number from Apple…pending verification from ATT…I think it is ATT that is having the biggest issue. I couldn’t get anything to work on their site…it showed that I was eligible to upgrade (duh) but it couldn’t process anything online. Told me to call 8AM EST with an error code.

    • I think that its ATT that is down too… sprint and verizon are ok… 

  • i got all the way till i can select data plan and it kicked me out…

    • ATT (on Apple Website)

    • ATT User

      same…picked my unlimited data plan hit next and then kicked me out….

  • Agh Att

    ATT was unable to process request…

  • ATT User

    Please wait while we process your request. (takes forever…i’m with ATT)

    • att person

      att won’t even let me in – I’ve been processing with apple for a minute… not seeing it today

  • Pchoward4

    processing my info ahhhhhh

    • att person

      did it work?

  • SK

    I get stuck on the checkout button on apple store app…itt errors out

  • Validemail

    Apple store worked for me, and I got a confirmation number.  Doesn’t require payment or plan selection yet.

  • hey if you guys already have an iPhone use the apple store app. I’m using it now… it works

  • 55555555555


  • jvanh

    But still not useable…

  • Anonymous

    So now it’s up on Apple, but I can only get to the second screen. After that it pretty much disregards any input.

  • julian

    “At this time, we are only taking online iPhone orders for current
    Sprint customers upgrading a phone on an existing line. If you’re a new
    customer, or simply want to add a new line to an existing account,
    please select this option and click “Continue”.”BSLet’s see what Verizon says

  • ITS UP!!!

  • badger

    Unbelievable. Where is 4s on att site?

  • Alec

    hope so its been almost 45 minutes

  • FYI to everyone. Seems like Safari (mac) seems to work best on all of the pre ordering sites.

  • HMMM switch to VERIZON???? NOPE. It will work on APple Storeeeee Soon… (cross Fingers)

  • 5555555555

    yeah same here apple store still updating

    • Duke

      Verizon has got the hook up.  No delays at all the minute of launch and was able to complete my order with guaranteed delivery on the 14th.  If you are planning on Verizon you may want to try going there directly… worked for me.

  • Oozijk

    DO u guys think it will be available within the next hr?

  • Opponent007

    Apple store also down in the UK

  • ATT Upgrader app doesn’t even offer iPhone 4s. This is crazy. Apparently Verizon is having no trouble.

    • julian

      verizon is running perfectly

    • Anonymous

      Having same problem. Also apparently I have to pay $18 extra to upgrade? As opposed to if I were new to AT&T apparently and hadn’t been using them for years. Which is super. But I suppose it doesn’t matter because I can’t get the upgrade option anyway.

  • Alec

    still not up on the apple site =(

  • Pchoward4

    to many carriers and to many users..makes this a failed pre-order

  • att person

    2:32 central and nothing on apple store (updating) and ATT keeps loading forever…I feel like a big ol’ loser

  • i see i’m eligible and i see that i can do it but site stalls out after that….. can’t complete on AT&T

  • Oozijk

    uhh still down..apple and att, no upgrades for 4s on att

  • ITS Up on ATT!!!! 

  • julian

    12:27 here and nothing
    I wanted to get it on sprint, but I guess I’ll be sticking with verizon if this isn’t up soon

  • Anonymous

    It’s not up on the Apple website yet…the entire apple store is still down….

  • still waiting! 3:29 am here on the east coast!! I am gonna go back to bed in a few…

  • Mike10088

    its 3:26 am where i am, ive been trying since 3:01 on the dot and nothing, i got so close on at&t website, to where i picked which model and color i wanted and then kicked me off cuz the site went down 🙁 Apple site just hast even changed.. what are they waiting for!! lol

  • ATT User

    it’s up on verizon!

    • ATT is laggin!!! They don’t have it up yet… and Apple Online is still not available…. 

  • cgclick

    Was able to order through Verizon at 2:55am EST.  I started the checkout process and at around 3:02 was finished.  It says it can take up to 2 hours to receive a confirmation number.  Makes me a little nervous, fingers crossed.

    • cgclick

      Just received confirmation email.  YEAHHHH!!!

  • Klm17

    omg its 3:12 am, i stayed up all night hoping to order and get to bed. AHH

  • Keep refreshing!! nothing yet and its already 12:11am Pacific Time here.. in California

    • i think all of us refreshing is causing the problem haha.

  • Leekat

    ist not up yet grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr