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AT&T suspends iPhone pre-orders after Web glitch exposes customer info

AT&T has suspended pre-orders of Apple iPhone 4 on Wednesday, a day after its Web site was overwhelmed with unexpected demand, triggering a glitch in its system that inadvertently exposed some customer’s information to other users.

Apple said that advanced sales of the iPhone 4 hit 600,000 Tuesday but that the strong demand resulted in “many order and approval system malfunctions.”

Gizmodo, a technology Web site, reported there were at least three cases in which users were able to see other people’s personal information when they tried to log in. AT&T told Gizmodo that it had been “unable to replicate the issue, but the information displayed did not include call-detail records, social security numbers, or credit card information.”

AT&T has been under fire over the past week for another privacy glitch, which exposed the e-mail addresses and unique device ID for the “sim” cards for 114,000 users of another Apple device—the iPad tablet. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC anchor Diane Sawyer were among those whose information was exposed.

Ariana Eunjung Cha

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  |  June 16, 2010; 1:38 PM ET
Categories:  AT&T , Apple , Consumers , Privacy  
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Next: iPad hacker charged with drug possession felony

Comments

AT&T clearly are not prepared. The larger issue is that their network is not prepared: witness the demo day fiasco. They were unable to prepare a system guaranteed to work, even with advance knowledge of the bandwidth problems.

Posted by: larry9 | June 16, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Don't risk it. Get an Android-based phone on a better network. You'll be glad you did.

Posted by: GreenMeansGo | June 16, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's two screwups for ATT.
I'll wait for Verizon in december.

Posted by: jjgrah | June 16, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

AT&T & Apple completely screwed the pooch! Total meltdown. Many, many people should lose their jobs over this; most importantly senior management who failed to plan/resource the task appropriately. The sad part was they could have LEASED the extra processing capacity, and not even expend any capital. Freakin' @$$h0l3s!

Posted by: AnonPoster | June 16, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Its too bad that an innovative company like Apple has to be tied to a dinosaur like AT&T. Without Apple I doubt AT&T would be alive today. AT&T's band of MBA's would rather bribe a politician, or change their price structure than create a internal culture that can meet challenges with vision and innovation. Companies like AT&T are destroying this country.

Posted by: DesertCrier | June 16, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

While I'm sure many people placing orders are replacing existing IPhones, I'm equally sure there are going to be many new IPhone users.

AT&T's network can't handle the users they have now.

Posted by: BEEPEE | June 16, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Apple: Highest retail product price, lowest 3rd World wages...

Balkingpoints / www

Posted by: RField7 | June 16, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Nobody is going to lose their job at AT&T. It is their normal corporate culture to make huge mistakes, be ill prepared and to strive to be number 3 or 4 in the market place. The only reason they have reasonable coverage is because SBC had a lot of cell sites and some very good regional/local engineering and management but really poor corporate management. When they merged with Bell South and Pac Bell they slide down a spot or two. Then they bought AT&T Wireless who had a really good engineering team but incredibly bad management. The new AT&T uses the really bad old AT&T Wireless Management and shoddy engineering. The FCC has let all of the Telecom companies become to large. There used to at least 100 wireless companies across the US that offered varied services and good customer service. Now we are down to Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile. Prices have not substantially dropped and technology has not dramatically improved.

If you remember, the old AT&T was broken up into the baby Bells because AT&T was a monopoly. Well, what exactly is the new AT&T and who is it comprised of? You have got to the FCC and politicians. They break it up and 25 years later, allow it to reunify.
And for all of the Verizon fans, they may have the best network but they will nickel and dime you to death. Do they still charge you to download pics of of your phone?
All of these companies need to be broken up and kept that way.

Posted by: neil64 | June 16, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

larry9:
"witness the demo day fiasco. They were unable to prepare a system guaranteed to work, even with advance knowledge of the bandwidth problems."

The demo day fiasco had nothing to do with AT&T. The problem was the Wi-Fi in the room that all the bloggers were hogging.

Posted by: presto668 | June 16, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

First Obama causes the Gulf oil spill and can't fix it, now he screws up iPhone orders. This Muslim guy born in Kenya wrecks everything!!

Posted by: vfazio | June 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Your world delivered. To the wrong person.....

Posted by: askgees | June 16, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

And for some strange reason, I STILL see Apple claiming they will achieve millions of sales of this unit just to pad their stats...typical Apple-headed propaganda to make people believe the hype that is not. Thank goodness I'm with T-Mobile!

Posted by: cbmuzik | June 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

WOW! 600,000 IPHONE4's already! Talk about knocking the ball out of the park! ATT is a poor network, but this places the Droid and the EVO in the dungeon! Plus Sprint today announced it is instituting data download limits. It seems Apple can do no wrong!

Posted by: magnifco1000 | June 16, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I was one of the 40k employess of AT&T who lost their job back when Bob Allen, then chairman at AT&T at that time (1992) had no idea what-so-ever of how to run a company. I bet he would have failed at running a front yard lemonade stand.

AT&T has been a rudderless ship since diversture back in 1984 and the only chance it had at survival died with James Olsen. Supposedly, if I live another 12 years I will be able to get my pension from them but I would not be surprised if they are no longer here in 5 years. AT&T has gone the way of the DoeDoe and the only ones who don't know it are the execs at AT&T.

The workers there are well aware of what is going on and go to work scared everyday knowing any coming Friday might be their last.

Posted by: bigtruck1 | June 16, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Good on you if you have coverage where you live and where you go. In vast parts of the empty west AT&T is the only only one with coverage. Your phone is a paper weight if you can't get a signal.

Posted by: sthalsey | June 16, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I will never forgive Apple for awarding the lamest cell phone provider in the country the exclusive right to use their product.

Like many here say - get yourself an Android and sign up with Verizon. You won't be sorry.

Posted by: Casey1 | June 16, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Last I heard, Israel has banned the iPad, saying that its wireless signal interferes with other devices. Israeli customs has been confiscating visitors' iPads when they arrive at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.
The above article states that Rahm Emmanuel has an iPad.
Do you suppose the Israelis confiscated Rahm's iPad during HIS recent visit? Didn't think so.

Posted by: pointy | June 16, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

presto668:
"The demo day fiasco had nothing to do with AT&T. The problem was the Wi-Fi in the room that all the bloggers were hogging."

They could've simply set up a password-protected, dedicated wi-fi signal for the demonstration. Somebody wasn't thinking.

Posted by: pointy | June 16, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

It's really very simple. Jobs is a marketing genius. HTC EVO and Droid, nice phones on the inside. But most people buy phones based on appearance and compactability. Android comes across as a Geek toy. iPhone4 says you are cool, you have arrived, and the chicks like it. So, it sells like there is no tomorrow.

Posted by: magnifco1000 | June 16, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

The only surprise is that they were surprised!

Posted by: savvynewyorker | June 16, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse


So AT&T can't handle the extra business that the Apple iPhone has handed over to them, all wrapped in a pink ribbon and AT&T attempts to throw the blame on Apple?

Wow! Steve Jobs doesn't like to hear bad news like this!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | June 16, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Glenn Beck was right. The government can't do anything right, and only the private sector has the expertise and incentive to... uh... wait a minute, let me rethink this.

Posted by: mikebythesun | June 16, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse


Android phones are much better anyway. The Droid Incredible blows away the new iPhone in every category, feature for feature. Blows it away. And of course the Verizon network far surpasses AT&T.

Posted by: screwjob16 | June 16, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

"The demo day fiasco had nothing to do with AT&T. The problem was the Wi-Fi in the room that all the bloggers were hogging."

That's even dumber. If you knew you were doing a demo, why wouldn't apply some QoS and use a access point?

The iPhone has a nice shiny interface, but the rest of the stack, Apple Managment and the AT&T Wireless is pretty much a 3rd world operation.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | June 16, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

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