Macenstein republishes an email written from Stephen Shurrock, O2's Sales Director, apologizing to a customer about the poor experience with O2's iPhone launch. He explains the massive traffic that the site received:
We run one of the busiest and most robust web stores in the UK. I appreciate that it is little comfort to you given your experience, but we had invested heavily to add a huge amount of additional capacity, 250 times its normal rate, and back-up systems. We tested this carefully in advance. The massive simultaneous crush, partly created by our open and honest communications approach with the registered community, exceeded even our worst case assumptions. Demand was at 13,000 orders per second. Frankly, we have to admit we just werent prepared for this unprecedented level of demand. No website is.
Shurrock also notes that the next opportunity to get an iPhone 3G in the U.K. will be on launch day at O2 and Carphone Warehouse locations. Apple will also have supply but will only be accepting new customer contracts.
Most concerning is that he describes that there will only be "on average a few dozen iPhones in each O2 or CPW store."
So, if you are an existing O2 customer and wish to upgrade to the iPhone 3G, you better get in line now.