We had on Tuesday 10 times more users requesting an upgrading verifying than at its best time when the iPhone 3GS was released. This is 12 Million people hitting the DB, over a Million an hour and up to 4 Million at its peak. This is a lot. The request for upgrade is not just a call to the DB. There is a complex query to define if you are eligible to get an upgrade. It looks on the contract lengths, on your monthly average bill amount and if you belong to a corporation account. All this together goes in a query to the DB millions of times (over 1,000 times a second). This is a lot of data to process and I don’t know who could have handled it. Of course AT&T could have invest upfront a lot of money to be able to process the request, but is this really necessary for something which will last only a few days, and something you might have not be able to foresee?
People did complain, about the problem to access the pre-order process at Apple. I say of course, because there store access the AT&T DB to get upgrade information, if AT&T is down then Apple might be too. I was able on Wednesday to place my order, but I had to full fill two full check outs because the system did not allow me to do one check out for both phones even I had given for each another phone number. Again, I think they are not used to family plans with multiple iPhones. And Apple did want prevent people to buy unlimited phones for resale. Un fortunately it prevented as well end customers like me to order two phones in one transaction.