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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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By DeepBlue1975 on 7/13/2008 6:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
I Think they deserve it.

Who in his right mind would camp to buy a damn phone?
You are putting a lot of bucks on a cell phone and don't even wait till you read how it works and what problems it might have?

If you do such a show just to get a phone, you are showing that you're a cheap and easy to get public, with really low buying standards.
The kind of public that can be really easy to fool with, and whose money can be taken with no effort at all, aside from a brand name and some fashionable designs.

So, no right to complain for offering yourselves as cheap, desperate guinea pigs in the first place.

RE: Yeah...
By kelmon on 7/14/2008 3:19:45 AM , Rating: 2
The media needs to take responsibility for this because they hyped the phone up. The camping is just simple economics. The media generated a high level of demand and predicted insufficient supply. Given the demand the only way to really ensure that you got an iPhone was to queue and, in some circumstances, camp. Whether this is appropriate or not is up to the individual, but this sort of thing is hardly without precedence. And, let's be honest here, I honestly don't think you can call it just a "phone". I have a mobile phone (many years old) and it's safe to say that the iPhone is more of a portable computer than anything else, and that's mostly what I intend to use one for. However, I'll be buggered if I'm going to camp or queue for one so I'm not planning to buy one for a few months.

RE: Yeah...
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/14/2008 12:38:52 PM , Rating: 1
The iPhone is not the only smartphone in the world, and to my eyes, it isn't nearly close to be among the best. And certainly it's not the first, either. Just among the best looking and, certainly, the most hyped ever.

I've got a nokia n95-3 (skipped the first revision because of low memory problems and even lower battery life than mine) which has all the features an iPhone has, plus much better software availability, a real keyboard and a battery you can change for yourself, specially if you carry a 2nd one around. And as icing on the cake, a 5mp camera which is great for phone standards (saves me the need to carry my bulky camera around for casual shots, I save her for those moments when I know I wanna take the best possible picture).

But what do I know, I might be an extraterrestrial for not letting myself be driven by PR bullshitting and hypes, and for wanting to get the most out of my hard earned bucks.

Seriously, you can't blame the media if they don't need too much effort to manipulate lots of people who are willing to blindly spend a lot of money without even trying to know a bit more about what are they going to get than what some technologically illiterate news reporter extrapolates from a small piece of paper detailing the device's specs while on the other end of the table he can see how much Apple and network providers are paying for the publicity.

RE: Yeah...
By kelmon on 7/15/2008 7:00:59 AM , Rating: 3
Seriously, you can't blame the media if they don't need too much effort to manipulate lots of people ...

Yes, you can blame the media. Since when have you, or anyone else, seen so many articles on a single product? In the run-up to the release of the phone itself you simply can't move for articles and adverts. There might well be lots of other great smartphones out there, but as far as the media is concerned, and therefore what people read or see, there might as well only be the iPhone. And, at the end of the day, I bet Apple hasn't had to pay a penny/cent (delete as applicable) for the coverage. To be honest, you yourself are helping Apple by reading articles about their products. DailyTech aren't complete muppets. They can see that posting Apple stories gets loads of page hits, usually from people wanting to point out how rubbish the company or their products are, so they keep posting. The media are just giving you what you apparently want...

RE: Yeah...
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/15/2008 7:07:30 PM , Rating: 2
Media takes advantage of people that buy their crap.

I can see 109238490128349028940 great ads on a product, but if I don't objectively see it fit for me, I'm not gonna buy it.

Most people don't care to inform themselves and just take what the media gives them. That's not the media's fault. They just give people information... Information which, of course, serves their own interests.

But you're completely right about the latter: the goal of advertisement is just to make people talk about the ad's subject. If they say good things, great, if they don't, it's good anyway because they make themselves known anyway, and usually people that don't care about educating themselves on any subject, will blindly believe what the media tells them, while those who oppose, will have no power to convince them otherwise because "He said it on TV, then he must be right".

Media's blame is more about their unwillingness to really educate the masses because manipulating is easier and more profitable, but the reaction of those exposed to the media (like me or anyone else living in a typical society), is not media's fault, though it is there desired result.

It's like saying "I took that girl to bed because I'm such a good seducer" instead of "I took her to bed because she also wanted me". The fact that you tried to help the girl to make her decision, doesn't invalidate the fact that ultimately her free will took the final decision. :D

I just can make an exception: little children who have no experience and not enough education to know that information seen on the media can be biased. Specially children young enough that they didn't yet acquire an operative, abstract thought capability.

RE: Yeah...
By robinthakur on 7/18/2008 12:28:58 PM , Rating: 2
I've got a nokia n95-3 which has all the features an iPhone has

So it has a revolutionary, responsive, multi-touch screen interface does it and a built in app store with iPod functionality? N95 owning iPhone haters really annoy me because I used to own one of the devices myself and when I upgraded to an iPhone I never looked back. You're not fooling anyone apart from maybe yourself if you rate the clunking, ugly N95 against the iPhone. overloaded with 'features'? Yes. User-replaceable battery and better camera? Yes. Better Usability and better device? you must be joking.

The software and interface is what makes the iPhone revolutionary, not how many worthless obscure features they could cram on a spec-sheet. User replaceable battery didn't bother me because I sold my unlocked iPhone before the 3G launch for a massive profit and the battery never had a problem. If that were the case the SE p990 would have taken the world by storm and everyone would be buying Winmo HTC phones. As it is in reality you only see people who work in IT with WinMo phones because nobody else can figure out how to work them. And yes I also used to own an HTC phone (TYTN...shivers) This is my opinion.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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