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AT&T suspends iPhone 4 preorders, demand 10 times greater than 3GS

AT&T on Wednesday stopped accepting iPhone 4 preorders entirely, informing consumers that sales were temporarily suspended due to demand ten times higher than for the iPhone 3GS. Also, new claims arose that users' credit card information and shipping addresses have shown up within the wrong online accounts.

"Given this unprecedented demand and our current expectations for our iPhone 4 inventory levels when the device is available June 24, we're suspending pre-ordering today in order to fulfill the orders we've already received," the company announced in a statement Wednesday. "The availability of additional inventory will determine if we can resume taking pre-orders."

It continued: "In addition to unprecedented pre-order sales, yesterday there were more than 13 million visits to AT&T's website where customers can check to see if they are eligible to upgrade to a new phone; that number is about 3-times higher than the previous record for eligibility upgrade checks in one day."

Clicking the "Pre-order Now" button on AT&T's website Wednesday morning provided a notice that simply read "Pre-orders for iPhone temporarily suspended." No further details were provided.

The ten-times-greater demand figure was also cited in Germany, where iPhone 4 preorders have also far exceeded that of the iPhone 3GS in 2009.

In addition, some who have attempted to purchase a phone through AT&T's website found that it reverted back to pre-iPhone 4 availability and pricing of the iPhone 3GS. The options showed a 16GB iPhone 3GS for $149, and a 32GB model for $199. The iPhone 3G was also shown for $99, and all three models were said to require a new 2-year contract.

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AT&T completely sold out of iPhone 4 preorders on Tuesday, the first day of availability before next week's official launch.

The company said it was its busiest online sales day in history, ten times higher than for the iPhone 3GS. New orders were said to receive their handset on June 25 or later.

Meanwhile, rumors of an alleged security breach with AT&T continued to grow, with Gizmodo reporting on readers who say they were shown information that wasn't theirs on the company's website.

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One reader attempting to cancel his premium Wi-Fi account was allegedly shown the wrong credit card type, number and expiration date, suggesting it may have been someone else's data. In the attached screenshot, parts of the credit card number were automatically redacted from view.

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The report also alleged that the issues on AT&T's side have extended to Apple's website, where one customer was shown the wrong information — including the account number, name and address of someone else. That reader said Apple's website pulled the information from AT&T in order to verify the shipping address for the handset.

Finally another reader said they were sent confirmation for an iPhone 4 order that they never placed.

"I thought it was fake at first but after checking the status on AT&T's website I knew it was a real order," they wrote. "Now I just wonder if it will come to my house."

AT&T earlier issued a statement to say that it is looking into the reports of various security issues surrounding iPhone preorders. The company said that previous incidents where information was allegedly displayed "did not include call-detail records, social security numbers, or credit card information."