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iPhone 4 pre-launch reaches fever pitch in Austria

It ‘s been a long hard week for both fans of the iPhone 4 and carriers here in Austria.

Both carriers T-mobile and Orange stopped taking pre-orders days ago, almost immediately after the service began, due to an overwhelming number of enquiries, facing the ire of thousands of customers demanding details on availability, pricing and plans. Those lucky enough to pre-order or reserve a unit flooded the T-mobile hotline, waiting for hours to speak to a customer service rep, only to find that they were mostly clueless anyway. Fans took to the T-mobile Austria facebook page to vent their frustration and to gain random tidbits of information from a surprisingly patient webmaster.

This week, the websites of both carriers T-mobile and Orange have been apparating and disappearing content almost daily faced with fluctuating details ahead of the upcoming release of the latest iPhone model tomorrow 30 July 2010.

It has been interesting to watch thus far.

First, only T-mobile went live with details on pricing, offering the unit to existing customers at a lower rate provided contracts were prolonged. Orange initially took pre-orders, but soon stopped and had the iPhone 4 graphic teaser but no dates or plans, comforting customers with ‘later ‘.

Now, on the eve the launch, Orange has confirmed what most knew all along, that they would also get the unit on 30 July alongside T-mobile. They also posted pricing plans. I conjecture that if they hadn ‘t come through, their customers would have left them in droves. Such is the pull of Apple ‘s latest iPhone iteration, flaws be damned.

It ‘s been a bit of personal rollercoaster ride for me as well. I managed to pre-order a white model (before we knew that it would not come until ‘later this year ‘) and get a coveted sms that told me to pick up a microsim card in a shop. I won ‘t bore you with the details, but they do involve confused and conflicting emails from T-mobile confirming things I already knew, causing instant panic and frantic calls to the hotline.

Better calm myself and wait-and-see what happens tomorrow.

T-mobile is offering the iPhone 4 from midnight tonight, in a shop in Vienna ‘s first district. People have been spotted waiting in line since this afternoon. I ‘ll admit I did think about joining them. But then again I need my beauty sleep for tomorrow, when my iPhone 4 is set to arrive at my doorstep. This is what the nice lady on the phone promised me.

I’ll keep you posted.

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