SAN JOSE, Calif. – Apple issued an apology Wednesday morning for the iPhone 4 pre-order meltdown experienced by the Cupertino, Calif., company and its carrier partner AT&T on Tuesday as more than 600,000 consumers lined up online to get early dibs on the mobile device that will be released June 24.

Buyers reported problems getting their orders registered while an apparent glitch on the AT&T website revealed personal information of some customers to strangers.

“It was the largest number of pre-orders Apple has ever taken in a single day and was far higher than we anticipated, resulting in many order and approval system malfunctions,” Apple said in a statement.

“Many customers were turned away or abandoned the process in frustration,” the company said. “We apologize to everyone who encountered difficulties, and hope that they will try again or visit an Apple or carrier store once the iPhone 4 is in stock.”

AT&T, meanwhile, said the deluge of early orders caused it to halt taking any more pre-orders until it could meet the demand. Pre-order sales for the iPhone “were 10 times higher than the first day of pre-ordering for the iPhone 3GS last year,” the company said.

AT&T’s website was swamped with 13 million visits.