Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The iPhone 4 and Internet Overload

As reported in the previous installment of Computers As Humans, the good people at Twitter have been busy reconfiguring servers in order to handle increased traffic flow they have predicted as a result of the World Cup. In an effort to stave off appearances by the "fail whale," Twitter techs have reassigned bandwidth and pumped up server capacity in general.

Well apparently things aren't much better over at Apple or AT&T. With orders for the new iPhone 4 coming in faster than shots from German strikers, apparently both sites are feeling a bit like the Australian goalkeeper. Or might that be the English goalkeeper?

According to Reuters, Apple took more than 600,000 pre-orders for the new iPhone 4 in one day alone. Reportedly, Apple are selling so many iPhone 4s that both the Apple and the AT&T websites are buckling under the pressure.

The high volume of orders has caused online customers to be effectively turned away at the door as order and approval system malfunctions have cause both sites to bog down. The Apple site was down completely for a while on Tuesday while the AT&T site offered only an error message to those seeking to upgrade their existing phone for one of the latest slimline iPhones that retail for $199.

Another report stated that people who attempted the AT&T upgrade may have seen the personal information of other subscribers while trying to log into their accounts.

Now, not that I'm counting mind you, but I've seen that little "fail whale," about three times since the month long World Cup tournament began. So while they may not be doing the best job, at least those diligent Twitter techs have been making an effort. One has to wonder of Apple and AT&T, did they not see this coming?

After all it's not as if runaway orders for a new Apple product are completely out of the blue, like North Korea's goal against Brazil, or Switzerland beating Spain. In April of this year the Apple iPad was quite simply the fastest selling iTem on Earth, full stop. It outsold cars, World Cup tickets and even Justin Bieber.

How Apple could not have been prepared for this is perhaps one of the great mysteries of the summer. Like how the French coach still has his job or why Italy always manages to play so poorly but still win World Cups. Apple, like the British goalkeeper against the USA, should have done better.

One person who apparently won't be needing a new iPhone 4 is Kim Jong Hun, coach of the North Korean World Cup squad. Hun apparently told reporters he receives coaching instructions during the games from North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Hun said the North Korean leader transmits his instructions telepathically simply by facing towards South Africa. It would appear that Kim Jong Il knows a thing or two about football tactics, because the North Koreans performed far better than anyone expected them to against Brazil.

Perhaps Kim Jong Il would have been successful if he had telepathically pre-ordered his iPhone 4 yesterday, by turning towards Sunnyvale? Who knows, maybe he did.

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