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The iPhone X officially went on sale in the form of a preorder on Friday the 27th of November, 12:00 a.m. PST. Unofficially, it was sold out at 12:05 a.m. And that’s a real shame because many were not able to log in to purchase the device until well after 12:15 a.m. In my timezone: CST, convert 12 to 2. A little further east and that 12 becomes a 3.

That’s a lot of people staying up late or getting up early for a product they never had a chance of getting on day one. As one of those people who got up early, I wanted to observe the madness. The preordering process for new iPhones is always a train wreck. I’ve had a front row seat for that train wreck every year for the last 10 years. Or should I say, X years? Anyway, this year was no exception.

The internet broke in all the usual places. The Apple Store didn’t come back up on time for most people. Some reported being able to get in and place an order more or less on time. But most seemed to be locked out for about 10 minutes. The carrier stores were just as bad, if not worse. T-Mobile never got their act together during the hour after midnight. AT&T and Verizon were better according to reports online.

During this process, people took the time to complain on social media and enthusiast websites about the horrors of their experience. People couldn’t get in to order. By the time they did, the order date was already pushed back 2 to 3 weeks. Oh, the humanity!

As for me, well, I wasn’t planning on getting one right away anyway. I had a few things working against me. I knew they would be in very short supply. As a T-Mobile Jump on Demand customer, I knew I wouldn’t be able to order through the Apple site or Apple Store app. Finally, I didn’t have the money for the downpayment and upfront tax that has to be paid when ordering. Sales tax is 10% where I live. The end of the month is a really bad time for me financially. Most of my work comes in the first 3 weeks of the month.

I’m also prepping for a major move at the beginning of the year. More on that later. While I was always planning to upgrade our iPhones to the X, we were going to wait until around February of 18 to do it. So I was up with the rest of the crazies, but not with the stress of trying to place an order.

At least, that’s what I told myself.

It turns out I was lying to myself the whole time.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself trying to log into T-Mobile at 2:00 a.m. CST to upgrade my iPhone 7. I was fully caught up in the madness. I simply couldn’t help myself. I was under full sway of the Siren. And that’s how I know that T-Mobile never got its act together. I tried everything many times.

Before giving up completely just after 2:30, I decided to call T-Mobile on the phone. They were open, and seemed to be aware of the problems with the website. The lady at the other end of the line asked if I would like to place my order on the phone. I was mostly calling in to complain, and also get tech support for online ordering. So it hadn’t really occurred to me that I could just order over the phone.

30 minutes later, I hung up the phone with my order placed. I received confirmation of the expected delivery day. I should be receiving a day one, Nov. 3 iPhone X. This was long past the time when online orderers were getting delivery dates of 4 to 6 weeks. I couldn’t believe it.

I suspect that because T-Mobile couldn’t process orders through the site, their customers were just stuck waiting online until the problems cleared up. So they simply hadn’t sold many iPhones in that first hour. Because I gave up on the online process and just called to speak with a live human, I was one of the first T-Mobile customers to place an order, thus the day 1 score.

The take-away is to never wait for the online traffic to clear if you want an early ship date for such a hot item. If the option is available, just pick up the phone and call. It also helps to be on a less popular carrier.

Expect an unboxing video and a first impressions piece in less than a week. I do plan to do a full review that will take a bit more time. I will be looking to answer 4 questions:

Is the iPhone X worth the hype, the money, the wait, and the upgrade? The iPhone 7 was the first iPhone I answered no for all those questions. I skipped the 8 entirely, and encouraged others to do the same. So the iPhone X has some questions to answer. Stay tuned…

David Johnson

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