Really, Apple, why is the iPhone 13 ordering process such a disaster?

The iPhone 13 is now available for purchase. Based on my experience, you should purchase it with your Mac instead of using the App Store app (the retail store app, not the software app) on an iPhone. Trying to use it has been a headache for me.

Yesterday, as I noted, I took Apple’s advice to fill in my pre-order details on the app. I selected all the options (the model I want, color, storage options, wireless provider, AppleCare preferences, trade-in option, etc.). However, there was no submit button or choice, which left me confused. I thought my preferences would be saved and that this morning I’d simply be able to complete the purchase.

Making matters worse was the conflicting answers I got from Apple support. 

At first I contacted Apple support via Messages. I was told that my issues were likely due to a high number of pre-orders going on. I was told to try back in a couple of hours. I tried again two hours later and the situation was the same. This time I phoned Apple and talked to an Apple Specialist. He told me that the proper procedure was to fill out the pre-order form on the App Store App and just, well, leave it there until Friday morning. At 5 a.m. (Pacific), I could open the app and submit my order.

At 5 am Pacific sharp, I was up and at it. I opened the App Store app. Were all the preferences I submitted yesterday saved. Nope.

So I started from scratch to place a pre-order. I filled out all the info previously mentioned and was ready to complete the purchase. But again there was no option to do this. 


So using Safari on my Mac, I went to apple.com, clicked on “pre-order” on the iPhone 13 Pro graphic and went through the process. This time it went smoothly. However, after all the backflips I had to go through to complete the order, it will now be Oct. 6 at the earliest before I receive my new smartphone. 


This is very inconvenient for a small business owner like me. I plan to review the iPhone 13 Pro Max. And I have a dozen cases awaiting my review.

Note to Apple: you have a bazillion dollars in the bank. Use some of it to fix this ridiculous mess of preordering your products.

the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.


  • If you have ever preordered an iPhone before you would know Apple doesn’t just magically save the option for which model you want. Years ago you could add the items to your bag but they probably disabled that so scalpers cannot buy them all up the second the store launches. I had zero issues with my preorder on the app. I specked put the model I wanted 2 days ago and just saved the link to the exact SKU. spam pasted link until it opened and had the order confirmed in under a minute.

  • I got up just before 2 AM here in Hawaii to pre-order via the AT&T website (as I am upgrading).

    I got a delightful splash screen with a progress bar saying “stay on this page, you are in the queue, 11 minutes to go”.

    Great! I thought.

    After only about three minutes (and still before 2 AM) it let me in.

    I chose my model, color, memory, etc – and then tried to check out.

    Nope… wants a physical address for shipping (not PO BOX). Ok, tried to modify my profile. Nope! “We can’t access your profile at the moment”. This went on for a good 15 minutes.

    Tried their online chat – WORTHLESS.

    Tried to call support – infinite hold.

    Finally I tried to do it via my iPhone itself – and it let me modify my address and the order went through,

    Entire process was an entire hour. GOOD GRIEF AT&T

  • Last year on iUP purchase of 12 Pro Max to replace my previous 11 Pro Max took just a few clicks and less than a minute to complete after doing the recommended prep steps of choosing a phone and getting Citizen’s One loan pre-approval stuff out of the way.

    After over a decade of pre-order day nonsense of switching back and forth between Apple’s store and the AT&T store and them repeatedly kicking me out, and blaming each other (as I recall) for the timing out after I’d entered all necessary data and clicked “buy”, I switched to iUP and especially last year it was a supreme experience (I’d also moved from ATT to T-Mobile, but I have never done the purchase through T-Mobile).

    This year it was a mess! After waiting until 8:04 for the store to “open” on my iPad and my iPhone, there were various refreshes, etc. that did not show my preparations, then in the middle of the process showed the “expired” notification before refreshing again back into the purchase process. My AppleCard then refused to work for the next steps.

    I never thought to try my Mac as the iOS/iPadOS Apple Store apps have been the optimal way to go with iUP purchases.

    Eventually I got order confirmation which showed 9/24 delivery which several minutes later refreshed to say Oct 6- 11 delivery. Definitely not the experience of last year! It was very disappointing!

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