Apple and AT&T pre-order iPhone 4 – a nightmare

Apple’s new iPhone was released for sale Tuesday for pre-orders – and, again, the company had big problems.

Online systems and telephone systems from Apple and AT&T, Apple’s exclusive partner in the United States, were blocked. Many consumers have complained that they can’t order the new iPhone 4 through the ordering systems of the two giants, just like in the previous iPhone pre-launches.

“Given the extremely high volume of calls we are unable to answer your call right now,” said the recording on the Apple’s phone line to buyers. “Please call back.”

The situation wasn’t better either with the online sales, where the sites appeared to be in a perpetual state of crashing, or long waits.

“The good news for Apple: Lots of people want to buy product,” says Van Baker, analyst at Gartner. “The bad news: all system errors that block the system.”

The price for the new iPhone 4 starts at $ 199, with a new contract for two years or upgrade, and includes a thinner body, higher-resolution display and two-way video calling.