O2 to iPhone 3G desirers: join the Friday scrum

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Update: Carphone Warehouse has launched another round of iPhone 3G pre-orders, with both 8GB and 16GB (not white) models available, though they probably won’t be around for long. Still on for delivery tomorrow.

O2 has published a guide to not getting the iPhone 3G this Friday. It thanks visitors for their interest in the device, but warns that unprecedented demand means that it will be the end of summer before everyone who wants an iPhone 3G gets one.

As expected, each O2 and Carphone Warehouse store will have on average just a few dozen handsets, though that will depend on store size and location. Apple will also be selling iPhones at its stores, but only for new customers, not those upgrading.

O2 expects new stock to arrive into stores on a weekly basis. As a small note of comfort, the company concludes “If you have an existing iPhone you can still enjoy many of the new features by upgrading your software to version 2.0 from 11 July through iTunes. We are sorry that we can’t meet all demand as quickly as we’d like but we’re sure that when you get your new iPhone 3G you’ll agree it’s been worth the wait.”

Full statement below:


Thank you for your interest in iPhone 3G. We are experiencing unprecedented demand for the device and whilst we are confident that all customers who want iPhone 3G will get one by the end of this summer, initial supply is limited and will be for some weeks. Here is what you need to know:

  • O2 and Carphone Warehouse (CPW) stores will have limited numbers of iPhone 3G this Friday 11 July.
  • On average, we will only have a few dozen iPhone 3Gs per store (some stores more, some stores less, dependant upon store size so we expect to sell out quickly). Sales of iPhone 3G will be limited to one per customer and two for business customers.
  • Some O2 stores will open at 8.02am on Friday, others a bit later. Find out more
  • If you do go into an O2 store you will need 2 forms of identification, a valid credit or debit card and proof of address. If you are new to O2 you will also need to pass a credit check if you sign up for an iPhone 3G contract. The average sales transaction processing time will be 20 minutes.
  • Apple will be selling iPhone 3Gs in their stores, but please note that existing O2 customers can only upgrade in an O2 or CPW store.
  • We are working closely with Apple to get additional iPhone 3Gs. These will be coming in on a weekly basis. We’ll keep you posted on specific details by updating this web page regularly.
  • We are currently out of stock of iPhone 3Gs via our on-line store, we’ll update through www.o2.co.uk when more information becomes available.
  • If you have an existing iPhone you can still enjoy many of the new features by upgrading your software to version 2.0 from 11 July through iTunes.
  • We are sorry that we can’t meet all demand as quickly as we’d like but we’re sure that when you get your new iPhone 3G you’ll agree it’s been worth the wait.

Update: O2 also sent a text message to those who struggled on the web site on Monday: “O2: Sorry your experience on Monday wasn’t great if you were trying to order iPhone 3G. Go to http://shop.o2.co.uk/info/ to find out the latest details”

The info page also reads:

If you are one of those customers who tried to use our Online shop on Monday, you might like to read on.

I am sorry that you had a frustrating experience in trying to order iPhone 3G. This note summarises why it happened and what happens now.

From the start, we felt it was important that people should be able to register that they were interested and be kept up to date with each part of the launch. As well as giving people the information they needed to get a new iPhone, it would give us an idea of how many iPhones we would need from Apple.

An amazing 200,000 people registered on the site. Apple can only supply us with a small proportion of that number to start with, but with weekly deliveries, we’re confident that everyone who wants an iPhone will be able to get one by the end of the summer. Until then, we realise that some people will be disappointed.

The people who’d registered on our site had the chance to order an iPhone before anyone else. We let them know that they could do this by going online on 7 July and we made it clear that it would be on a first come, first served basis to keep things fair, as stock was limited.

Naturally, we made sure we looked after people already on O2 as well as new customers. And in fact the orders that we received were split 50-50 between new and existing O2 customers.

What went wrong?

Because we were so open about where and when you could pre-order your iPhone, the online shop was always going to be busy. We tried to prepare for this by increasing the online shop’s capacity to 250 times its normal rate and testing it over and over again before the launch.

It wasn’t enough. I’m really sorry if you couldn’t get your order in. We weren’t prepared for the speed and volume of people. I’m not sure any website could have been.

What happens now?

If you ordered online and your order went through, we’ll text you by 6pm tonight, just to confirm. You’ll get your iPhone 3G delivered on Friday 11 July unless you live in one of these remote postcodes. If you haven’t had a text by then, I’m afraid your order wasn’t successful. Your options if you still want an iPhone will be to either go into a O2 store tomorrow and I would recommend you read the key points at the top of this page or alternatively, check the website in the future for stock availability.

Once again, I’m sorry if you had problems with the online shop on Monday. We’re working very closely with Apple to get as much stock as we can for the UK, as quickly as possible.

Thank you

Cheryl Black
Customer Service Director
O2

Related posts: O2 website crashes under iPhone 3G demand | O2 high demand for iPhone 3G

Andy Merrett