I’m not going to lie, I’ve been waiting a long time for the iPhone 6 Plus. As soon as the iPhone 5 reached my hands, I regretted such a small phone, especially after the Note II hit the market. I wasn’t quite ready to switch. This year I got a surprise contract upgrade – just one year after my iPhone 5, I bought a LG G2 free on contract during a deal. The screen was beautiful and I could do so much more with the larger screen. Unfortunately I found out fairly quickly that despite the myriad of launcher options, Android and I were not a good fit. I found myself switching back to my iPhone 5. There were OS fit and polish issues plus missing features that I couldn’t find an adequate solution for. I sent the G2 back and traded in my iPhone 5 straight up for a 5S. I loved the improved camera and Touch ID works almost too well. But still the screen is far too small.
Because of this, I stayed up until 2:00 am local time. I waited for the web store to come back up. And waited. Then I waited some more. It became 2:30, then 3:00, and 4:00. Looking at my Twitter feed, most of the Tech Press were just as frustrated. At about 4:22 am local time, almost two and a half hours after pre-orders began, the Apple Online Store finally came online. However, that wasn’t the only way to buy an iPhone. Apple was also accepting orders from the iOS App. To various degrees, that was more fruitful as some orders got through before 3:00 am central. It wasn’t perfect and seemed to work better on iPhones than it did on iPads. Some ordered, but weren’t sure they actually got through because they were still waiting on a confirmation. Getting Cubs 2003 Playoff tickets was actually easier than getting an iPhone 6 Plus.
I’ve tried most of the long morning. I was just about to order, but I noticed something this morning. I was about to pay $949, but it still included a 2yr contract. I tried to contact both the local (90mi away) Madison West Towne Mall Apple Store to confirm that even full price Verizon iPhone required a 2yr contract. The store’s menu system would not recognize dial tone inputs and I could not reach anyone at the store. I called the main Apple Store phone number and was told by the automated system “we cannot handle your call” and hung up on me. About an hour later I tried again and after an understandably lengthy hold, I was able to get in touch with someone in Apple. They confirmed that you cannot buy an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus without a contract at full price. Its a little crazy to turn away buyers with money in hand, but Apple and the carriers have the right to set the terms of US sales.
So, where am I with my quest to purchase an iPhone 6 Plus? Exactly where I was at 1:59am this morning, but with much less sleep. So what happened? Was Apple unprepared? Was there just too much demand? Was it just bad luck on my part? Probably somewhere in the middle of that triangle, exactly where I don’t know. Apple certainly had their technical glitches during this launch including the web store being down for nearly two and a half hours. But these glitches were most likely caused by what Re/code is calling a record number of iPhone pre-orders. That’ll crash some servers considering how huge iPhone launches can be.
I don’t know know when I’m going to get an iPhone. It could be the second week of December. Some orders, like our Editor in Chief, Mr. Peterson, have already had their order estimates pushed back past Halloween. I’ll get one, but it does sting a little bit to wait for something and come up empty. What about you guys, were you able to order your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus? What is your ship date? We want to know. I also request that those who didn’t try to order a 4.7″ or 5.5″ iPhone refrain from making this a platform debate. Please give those who tried to order a new larger iPhone their opportunity to speak.