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Ralph de la Vega, CEO of AT&T's wireless unit, shows off the iPhone 3G to eager customers waiting outside the Atlanta AT&T store. Unfortunately a glitch left these customers and others unable to activate their phone.  (Source: Shawn Ramsey)
Apple's new dream gadget sees a less than stellar debut

The 3G iPhone launch seemed fated for success.  After months of anticipation, the day was upon loyal Apple fans.  As they camped in their Apple tents outside stores, visions of Steve Jobs delivering them rectangular shaped presents danced through their heads.  When they awoke crowds had formed, and their dreams were about to become reality.  Everything seemed perfect -- with naught a riot or robber in sight.

As the orderly lines began to shuffle into the Apple stores and get their new phones; that’s was when the problems began.  For all its savvy design work, and for all the months of engineering, Apple and its partner AT&T were wholly taken aback by a plethora of glitches that crippled the new phones.

Frederick Smalls, an insurance broker in Whitman, Massachusetts was among the loyal fans, turned angry critics.  After trying to get his new 3G iPhone to work for two hours with no success, he remarked, "It's such grief and aggravation."

As customers bought the new phone, which comes equipped with a higher-speed data connection and a GPS chip, they discovered alarmingly that they could not activate their phones.  The culprit according to an AT&T spokesman was a glitch in Apple's iTunes servers that made it so the phones could not be fully activated in store.

Managers told customers patiently to take the phones home and complete the activation process.  However, customers found to their dismay that at home Apple's servers were equally unresponsive.

The problem, which some are dubbing "the great iMess", even left owners of the older model of iPhones without service.  The old iPhones received a firmware update, which required reactivation.  They were similarly unable to reach the servers.

With the phones crippled for hours, only emergency calls could be made.  Freelance photographer Giovanni Cipriano, who updated his first-gen iPhone, was not happy.  He stated, "It's a mess."

The original iPhone launched with at-home activation only.  With the new iPhone, subsidization by carriers caused AT&T to want to activate in store. 

The problems closely followed glitches with Apple's MobileMe service, which launched Thursday.  The MobileMe service, which synchronizes a user's personal data across devices -- including the iPhone -- would not allow many users to log on.

From there it was all downhill for Apple.  Alex Cavallo was among those waiting in New York.  He remains an Apple fan, but admits that it was an unpleasant experience as he had to use another phone.  After being used to the iPhone, he describes his use of the standard phone as "uncomfortable".

With its attractive line of products, including the iPhone, iPod, and MacBook Air, it certainly has an attractive brand image.  As Nick Epperson, a 24-year-old graduate student, who camped out for the iPhone 3G stated, "Chicks dig the iPhone".

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It could be worse...
By Lakku on 7/13/2008 1:24:44 PM , Rating: 5
"It's such grief and aggravation."

Well it could be worse... you could be without food, running water, electricity, surrounded by civil war and/or aids, oppressed completely by your government. Obviously not having your precious little iPhone for TWO HOURS, is the sign of misery and hell. Well I guess it could be, to stick up their ass apple loyalists.

RE: It could be worse...
By Weiser on 7/13/08, Rating: 0
RE: It could be worse...
By afkrotch on 7/14/2008 3:02:27 AM , Rating: 2
My cellphone sits in my pocket. I might get a phone call on it once a month. I only use it for short calls of "hey, wanna grab dinner somewhere? Let's meet at x time" that or "there's a guy shooting at me at x location, help me polizei."

RE: It could be worse...
By rudolphna on 7/13/2008 2:32:29 PM , Rating: 3
personally, i would give this a +6

RE: It could be worse...
By mixpix on 7/15/2008 2:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
I would as well! Bravo!

RE: It could be worse...
By tastyratz on 7/13/08, Rating: -1
RE: It could be worse...
By Lakku on 7/14/2008 12:35:01 AM , Rating: 2
You missed my point and somewhat sarcastic, overly dramatic tone here. I agree many actually 'need' A phone, but not an iPhone that bad. Refering back to food, you don't cry and claim you are grief stricken when you have to eat regular 'ol steak instead of Kobe or filet mignon do you? Either way, it's your fault if you are any of those professions you mentioned without a backup phone or something else, and if it's broken, you make do and work around the issue if possible. Or, you take a break maybe? I don't know, my point somewhere around here is that an excess/luxury item in any category shouldn't cause someone to make that bold a grief statement, capiche?

RE: It could be worse...
By tastyratz on 7/14/2008 1:31:20 PM , Rating: 1
Why is that? Does it have to be a $99 special to cause a headache?
The statement was after he spent 2 hours trying to activate the thing. Would you not feel grief or aggrevation after 2 hours of frustration?
Should he have told the press he was instead mildly upset? Maybe base it on a 1-10 scale on frustrating past life experiences?
I'm sure with something like that luxury or not after a few hours of grief I am going to be pissed off and feel frustrated, especially if I spent that kind of money on it.

RE: It could be worse...
By sgtdisturbed47 on 7/13/2008 4:37:30 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah it COULD be worse, like not having MMS support, no stereo A2DP bluetooth support, no removable battery, no removable memory, no native video recording, and no voice dialing.

Oh wait, it never had those capabilities. Darn. I guess I'm stuck with my Blackberry.

RE: It could be worse...
By robinthakur on 7/14/2008 7:09:20 AM , Rating: 2
surrounded by civil war and/or aids

Lol whilst you are right in general, I personally have been experiencing inconsolable grief and mourning after selling my last iPhone and having to crawl back to my Blackberry. I can only hope the distribution problems are solved soon so that my severed iLimb is replaced with a new shiny 16GB white model. It is somewhat exciting to see what its like, and frankly being without running water, surrounded by aids etc would be a small price to pay. As long as I had my iPhone I could always know where I am now because it has GPS :) i.e. "you are in a hell-hole"

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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