) --


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has suspended pre-orders for the

iPhone 4

after getting swamped with demand from consumers eager to get their hands on the new


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On Tuesday, both AT&T and Apple began taking online pre-orders for the phone, which becomes available on June 24, although many customers were unable to reserve one of the redesigned phones.

A note that appeared on the AT&T Web site this morning informs customers that pre-orders for the iPhone are temporarily suspended, a development which is

likely to further frustrate customers


"iPhone 4 pre-order sales yesterday were 10-times higher than the first day of pre-ordering for the iPhone 3G S last year," explained an AT&T spokesman in an email to


"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."

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The spokesman added that the availability of additional inventory will determine whether AT&T can resume taking pre-orders. Clearly, both AT&T and Apple are struggling to keep up with demand for the new iPhone 4.

Apple's own Web site now says that online pre-orders for the new iPhone will ship on July 2, more than a week after the device becomes available elsewhere.

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Apple hasn't responded to


request for comment on the company's reported

pre-ordering problems


Despite the difficulties of getting the iPhone 4 into the sweaty palms of U.S. consumers, all the signs indicate that the new iPhone will be a raging success.

Investment bank UBS has speculated that a million iPhones were sold via pre-order on Tuesday. In contrast, it took Apple's iPhone 3S three days to reach the one million mark.

"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," explained AT&T spokesman. "That number is about three times higher than the previous record for eligibility upgrade checks in one day."

Apple also unveiled a new Apple Store app on Tuesday which lets customers buy the company's products -- including the iPhone 4 -- from their iPhone and iPod Touch.

Shares of AT&T dipped 6 cents, or 0.23%, to $25.48 on Wednesday, despite a modest rise in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq gain 0.06%.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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