AT&T Suspends Preorders of iPhone 4

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AT&T said on Wednesday that it was suspending preordering of the next Apple iPhone while it tries to meet the fulfill number of orders it has already received.

AT&T, the exclusive U.S. provider for iPhone, said orders of the iPhone 4 on Tuesday, the first day of online preorders, were 10 times higher than for the iPhone 3G S last year.

The company said that availability of additional inventory would determine if it can resuming taking orders.

Heavy demand caused technical problems on the AT&T and Apple websites on Tuesday, leading some consumers to instead try ordering the phones at stores. Apple had previously announced a record setting number of orders for its new iPhone 4 on the first day of availability: an astounding 600,000 customers bit on the high-tech device, amid strong demand that overwhelmed computer systems and resulted in "many order and approval system malfunctions."

The company said "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."

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AT&T did not comment on its technology problems or complaints about consumer privacy breaches in a short statement it issued on Wednesday.