Buying an iPhone 12 Pro: 33 minutes of frustration, 3 week wait

Because pre-ordering started at 8 a.m. Eastern, not 3 a.m., I thought I’d thought I’d try to get in on the first shipment.

Right off, couldn’t make sense of the offer from Verizon, a company that has not earned my trust. Settled on the $450 Apple was offering me for my one-year-old iPhone 11 Pro. Then came a series of error messages that set me back to the beginning of the pre-order process. When I finally managed to open my virtual shopping bag I found it contained three iPhones, three Apple Cares and two MagSafe chargers. By the time that was sorted out I was looking at Election Day delivery at the earliest.

I’ve seen worse. Much worse. But remind me next time not to try.

Speaking of MagSafe, here’s Joy of Tech. 

16 Comments

  1. David Emery said:
    I’ve been trying to understand the ‘net cost’ for a 12 Pro/512 with trading in an 8/256, on both ATT (current carrier) and T-Mobile (considering because ATT service in the house is spotty…) NO LUCK. I’ve seen various articles that claim I could get up to $800 credit on the existing phone with a new phone and appropriate contract, but damned if I can actually verify that, let alone get the associated carrier contract provisions.

    So I’m likely to go the PED route, buy directly from Apple. I might trade in my phone with Apple, or try to sell it elsewhere. Probably will do the trade-in, as the ‘path of least resistance.’ If nothing else, it’ll give me a charge to put onto a new credit card, where I get a pile of points if I spend $1k in the first 3 months. 🙂 🙂

    2
    October 16, 2020
  2. Ken Cheng said:
    I did the pre pre-ordering a day ago so that when pre-ordering opened up this morning, all I needed to do was the Applepay part.

    12 pro on Verizon.

    6
    October 16, 2020
    • Fred Stein said:
      Expect delivery date? Just curious. Thanks

      0
      October 16, 2020
      • Aaron Belich said:
        Did the same. First week of November only because I didn’t do it first thing this morning.

        No rush. New phone comes out of box, old phone goes in – RIP Apple Leather cases, you were the best.

        0
        October 16, 2020
  3. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    Hang in there PED.

    Going through your episode is like birthing a baby (so I’ve heard).

    The moment after the delivery you’ve forgotten all the pain and are then in rapture…

    …or let’s say something close to it.

    😉

    4
    October 16, 2020
  4. Bart Yee said:
    Everyone forgets that, IMO, telecoms always, ALWAYS promise the world and let you down, market and sell while provide lousy service and support. Lock you in, and then forget about you.

    In short, overpromise and underdeliver. Mightily.

    Instead of dealing with them, take the lower friction route of a slightly lower trade in and use Apple’s excellent website or app. It may still have delays since you’re competing with millions on the same servers doing the same thing, but have the satisfaction that Apple gets your money directly. And frankly, the extra few dollars to buy an unlocked iPhone is repaid by higher resale value and buyer flexibility when you do sell it later. Or wait till Costco or Sam’s Club gets their allotments and try your luck in person.

    2
    October 16, 2020
  5. Paul Lane said:
    Here in Australia orders opened at 11pm. I was waiting using the Apple Store app and immediately ordered an iPhone 12 Pro for my wife, delivery quoted as 23 October, entered my credit card details and hit the confirm btton. Five hours later the spinning circle was still going around. I had tried the Apple website as an alternative ordering method serveral times while waiting but it was overloaded. Eventually managed to order a phone at 4.15am but by then delivery was not expected for 3-4 weeks.

    I am delighted that demand seems so high but disappointed in Apple. This is the largest, most powerful IT comopany on the planet and they cannot put in place enough servers to meet demand. In a previous career as an IT manager I suspect I would be facing very tough questiuons from my boss and the sales people!

    0
    October 16, 2020
    • Aaron Belich said:
      Traditionally it hasn’t been Apple, but the carriers’ systems that get overloaded and fail. We’re you able to pre-preorder in Australia?

      0
      October 16, 2020
    • Bart Yee said:
      How many servers would be needed to handle say 20-30M transactions in about 25 countries over the course of 3 days? And how quickly could they reconcile orders with available inventory as its being assigned or snapped up? Or reconcile it with pending or planned production orders made just in time? Plus making the arrangements and pruning the logistics for the unit to be mailed, delivered or picked up? And then the same interface with retailers and resellers.

      Unfortunately, maybe the network / server / computer bottlenecks are there for a purpose, to slow down transactions and spread out orders.

      0
      October 17, 2020
  6. Thomas Nash said:
    Since you east coast folks can’t handle this at 8 AM, maybe we could go back to midnight on the west coast, much better than 5 AM!!!

    Yes, problem has always been with the telcos inability to ramp up their systems for the surge. And upgrade program is great and allows Apple to get around the telco incompetence with pre approval.

    Will be getting up at 5 AM in November for the Pro Max upgrade — Pro Max for incredible computational photography us photographers love as carry around cameras.

    But 5 AM, grumble.

    0
    October 16, 2020
  7. Paul Lane said:
    Hi Aaron. The main Australian telco (Telstra) did not offer pre-orders until today. I have always bought my Apple gear directly from Apple using its own Apple Store app or at a physical Apple Store.

    So my experience was entirely using Apple’s own servers and system. It was grossly overloaded and apparently brought to its knees for hours. The system was unable to meet what I would have thought was a fairly predictable surge in demand.

    0
    October 16, 2020
    • David Drinkwater said:
      Is there any chance that Australia is competing with China for demand? That’s a few extra people to clog up the network. 😉

      My research shows that Western Oz and China are on the same time zone, while Eastern and Central Oz have a two hours and one hour head start, respectively.

      0
      October 17, 2020
      • Paul Lane said:
        Interesting idea. I am in Sydney (east coast) and we are 2 hours ahead of China so my experience was presumably not affected by Chinese demand on the system as they would still have been waiting to start. The east coast of Australia has approx 20m people with most of us in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

        For the benfit of my American friends we Australians pronounce the latter two cities’ names as Melbin and Brizzbin. Folklore says that’s because we used to keep our lips as close together as possible while speaking to avoid flys getting in.

        FYI: 50% or more of smartphones sold in Australia are iPhones. Oddly enough I rarely see anyone using an Android phone – but they must be out there somewhere.

        0
        October 17, 2020

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