From Our Archives
Wired has got a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in all things iPhone, AT&T and even Verizon. It's a detailed account without any direct names being used, of course. So settle in for some compelling reading and enjoy the warm embrace of industry gossip.
Gizmodo's got the story of everyone's favorite wireless carrier randomly logging users into another account. Fun.
"This is how it happens: A customer tries to log into their AT&T account to order a new iPhone 4 upgrade. Despite entering their username and password, the AT&T system would take them to another user account. This gives access to all kinds of private information about the mistaken customer: Addresses, phone calls, and bills, along with the rest of private information, becomes exposed to random strangers."
Well if there was any doubt as to whether or not the iPhone 4 would usher in an onslaught of upgraders, there isn't any more. AT&T's site was taken down quickly on pre-order day, and since checking upgrade eligibility with AT&T is required in order to secure a new iPhone, there's been a nice little ripple effect.. crippling Apple's web store and new Apple Store App in the process.
How could this have been avoided? Either by forcing a cue up front (similar to what file sharing services have done in the past) so that the system isn't overwhelmed by excessive concurrent requests or by allowing the user to skip the upgrade eligibility check and reserve a phone at full price initially.. and then modify the order on a later date or when they pick up the phone.
In any case, it just leaves one wondering.. at what point is Apple going to grow tired of relying on a single carrier in the US?