*Welcome Back Gadgeteers! As many of you know, the new iPhone was available for pre-order on Tuesday, well sort of. You see, if you wanted to order an iPhone 4.0, all you were supposed to do was wake up, go to your AT&T account, log-in and pre-order.

You also had the option of pre-ordering the phone at Apple’s website and minutes later you would receive an email with the receipt. Simple Right? Wrong!!

Theoretically, this is how it was supposed to happen. Eager iPhone 3G and 3Gs owners from all over the nation did the same as I did. They followed the steps prescribed above, but … something went wrong. There was an extreme lag followed by an error message. I thought to myself, “I know that there are thousands of people ordering, so I’ll try again.”  So, I tried again and again … and again, only to receive the same message about my order not being able to be processed. Next, I went to AT&T’s site, because logically, it seemed like the next best thing to do. To my dismay, at 7:00 am, the iPhone 4.0 wasn’t even listed on the site. I went back to Apple’s site and tried again. Same thing.  Anyone who knows the Gadget Guy, knows I don’t give up easily. So, I then picked up the phone and called Apple only to get the recording that I had called after-hours and to try again later.  I’m fidgety now.

I waited a few thinking, “hey the servers are busy,” and proceeded to do my daily ritual of reading the Gizmodo.com and Engadgetmobile.com websites. There I noticed I wasn’t the only one having issues. The complaints were rolling in! I decided to wait until 9:00 a.m. and just go to the AT&T store, which is about 3 miles from my house. I arrived there at 9:07 and waited about an hour before the order was processed, due to about a fifty minute delay with the “computer systems.”   

It was obvious by reading all the disgruntled tweets and angry Facebook posts that there was a major problem brewing. People were becoming more and more frustrated as the day progressed, and their dreams of pre-ordering the most coveted device on the planet were being deferred. By 4:30 p.m., AT&T finally spoke out and announced that they had sold out of pre-orders, after rumors swirled of them taking hand-written orders because their computers were down. Apple followed suit about 3 hours later.  

So, if you didn’t have all day to waist at an AT&T store and you weren’t one of the 600,000 people that made the cut, you’ll now have to wait until July 14th to get your iPhone fix.  Not a good thing!  

So what happened? In layman’s terms, AT&T wasn’t prepared for the amount of iPhone 4.0 pre-orders. But why not? If you bought your phone during the summer of 2008, you are automatically eligible for an upgrade.  They also allowed certain people who bought the iPhone 3Gs last summer upgrade for the same cost as new customers, as long as they renew their contract for another 2 years. They had plenty of foreknowledge.  So, how could the company that claims to cover 97% of Americans not be prepared for the debut of the only device that’s keeping them alive?  Baffling and a complete disaster!  

It’s interesting to note that AT&T also just increased its early termination fee to $325.00. Could it be because next year when the iPhone goes to Verizon, AT&T will be looking to re-coupe some of the money lost when everyone leaves over their poor business practices? I’m just wondering…

Until Next Week …

Darryl Yates is the Gadget Guy, he owns and operates Gadget Guy Consulting, a technology consulting firm in Atlanta Ga. He’s a freelance writer and columnist, and hopes to help sync technology with life. Follow him www.twitter.com/gogogadgetguy