The iPhone 3G was released on Friday, July 11th. But what should have been a happy and joyous day for iPhone fans, ended up being an exercise in frustration for many.
AT&T’s insistence on trying to activate the phones in store taxed Apple’s authentication server and caused lines to move at a snail’s pace or sent buyers home with a phone only good for making emergency calls. During last year’s iPhone 1.0 launch Apple had everyone activate their own phone at home through iTunes.
Worse yet, AT&T outlets were allowed to sell far fewer phones that Apple Stores, forcing them to turn away customers who waited hours to get their hands on one.
The iPhone 3G line outside the Manhattan Apple Store on 14th Street at 12:52PM. Estimated wait time was ~4 hours.
Earlier this week, Apple also had problems with the relaunch of their data service now called MobileMe (it was previously called iTools and .Mac). The MobileMe service is designed to synchronize a user’s personal data across devices, including the iPhone, but many users were denied access to their accounts this week, including Frank Accarrino.
“I’ve been trying to upload pictures from iPhoto to my .Mac website for the past few days but it’s offline. I can’t even get to my Mac mail. I bet Steve Jobs is pissed right now,” Frank told MethodShop.com.
Apple is usually known for flawless product launch events. Let’s hope Apple solves these network issues for next time. It’s estimated that 1 million iPhone 3G models were sold in the U.S. this weekend.