Consumer demand plagued the live feed of Apple's Sept. 9 event and now is crippling the tech company's U.S. web store as orders for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are emptying warehouses in short order.
Apple fans and new converts appear to literally be buying into the "bigger than bigger" slogan the iPhone 6's creators tagged to the larger-than-its predecessor handset. Access to Apple's web store was shakey for several hours after it opened its doors to preorders Friday.
"Due to high demand, your Apple product may not be available for immediate shipping," read Apple's stressed web store. "Once we are able to complete your order, you will receive a notification when your product has shipped."
The only sure way for consumers to get their hands on any version of the iPhone 6 on its Sept. 19 release date is to order it and wait for Apple's warehouses to fulfill their requests. The smartphone will be available at retail outlets, but iPhones are known to attract winding lines that leave the back end tired and disappointed.
The iPhone 6 went on up for preorder at 12 a.m. on Sept. 12, though T-Mobile ran an 8 a.m. start for advanced orders for its customers. Sprint's customers, however, are having to wait several weeks after launch to receive some versions of the iPhone 6.
With a sea of consumers vying to jump on the first wave of iPhone 6s, wireless carriers have been cooking up new programs and ringing dinner bells to lock customers into a two-year seat sat their tables. Sprint is offering an unlimited plan and a new "iPhone for Life" program, according to Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure.
"In addition [to our unlimited plan], we're proud to introduce a revolutionary new way for American consumers to acquire the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus," says Claure. "Our iPhone for Life Plan allows customers access to iPhone 6 with the industry's lowest monthly fee of $20 with no out-of-pocket costs, and it guarantees a new device every two years."
T-Mobile is embracing Wi-Fi calling and the self-proclaimed "un-carrier" says its was driven by Apple's take on Wi-Fi calling, which allows phone calls to move between Internet and cellular connection seamlessly. T-Mobile says its "Wi-Fi Unleashed" program will open up Wi-Fi calling to all smartphones that support the feature.
"This is like adding millions of towers to our network in a single day," says T-Mobile CEO John Legere of Wi-Fi calling (PDF). "The difference between us and the traditional carriers is that they'll do everything they can to make more money off you."