Why is the pre-order system broken in the US?


Original poster
Dec 16, 2016
United Kingdom
Here in the UK, if I want to pre-order an iPhone, I just go to the Apple Store website (or use the app), place a preorder and that's it! I don't have to enter the last 4 digits of my National Insurance number (equivalent of US SSN) nor I need to wait for Apple to verify something with my carrier like whether I have an account with them. I don't have to go through any carrier bs during the entire pre-order process, there's only one model available, which is the factory unlocked model, and that's what everyone buys, and I can use it on any carrier I want.

If I do want to buy a phone on a contract or if I want to upgrade early via my carrier, then I simply go to their website to do it. I don't deal with carrier stuff when ordering via Apple. So the entire process is super fast and easy.

So why doesn't Apple do this in the US? Sell factory unlocked phones and save everyone the trouble? And anyone who wants to buy a phone from a carrier... can buy it directly from the carrier!

I've been reading about people having trouble because carrier servers were down so Apple couldn't verify something, or they couldn't recognise people's SSN even if they entered it correctly, and other issues. Here in the UK, we had no such issues. Went to the Store website/used the app, placed the order and that's it! No carrier crap to deal with. People who are on contract deal with the carrier directly by calling them or through their website.


Oct 27, 2017
Carriers in the US have way too much power. I'm certain it's some contractually obligated term for Apple in the US.