Verizon suspends iPhone pre-orders due to overwhelming demand

Yesterday, Verizon allowed customers who were already subscribers to its mobile service to pre-order the iPhone. In less than 24 hours, the carrier had to pull the phone’s pre-order page because of what it calls overwhelming demand.

Verizon’s website crashed yesterday due to a record number of customers logging in to place their order for the new device. By about midnight, it was no longer accepting pre-orders.

This isn’t unusual for the iPhone. When AT&T opened up iPhone 4 pre-orders last year, the site crashed almost instantly and customers were left to fervently refresh the site until they could put an order through. The entire supply of pre-order phones was gobbled up in a matter of minutes.

This demonstrates just how powerful of a move it is for both Apple and Verizon to bring the world’s most popular smartphone to a new mobile provider in the US. Remember that only people with existing Verizon Wireless service were even eligible to access the upgrade site, and still, that traffic caused it to crash.

Verizon had planned to offer general pre-orders on the phone for non-existing customers on February 9, but now that promise looks to be in jeopardy. The company probably set some iPhones aside for that date, but given how quickly yesterday’s pre-orders sold out, it’s going to be tough to claim anything before the device launches on February 10.