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Despite network trouble, Apple still sells 1 million iPhone 3G phones over the weekend

After a chaotic worldwide launch on Friday, Apple and its customers settled in while trying to fix lingering network problems that caused many new phone owners to go home with a bricked iPhone 3G that could not send or receive calls.

The simultaneous phone launch in 21 nations -- with large crowds in New York, San Francisco, London, Tokyo and so on -- helped bring Apple's servers to a crawl, with the network going down for several hours during the phone's launch in the United States.  

Apple sold out of the new iPhones in 95 retail stores, with a large number of AT&T stores also selling out.

Apple reportedly sold more than one million iPhone 3Gs worldwide, despite activation problems spread across the world.  It took Apple and AT&T 74 days to sell 1 million original iPhones last year. Apple also reported more than 10 million downloads of iTunes App Store applications.

Learning from mistakes made last year, Apple and AT&T forced users to activate the phone in the store, effectively tying the owner to a phone contract so it could not be later unlocked and used on a different phone network.  Last year's original iPhone launch did not require the in-store activation, adding even further stress to the Apple network.

Many new iPhone owners were sent home with a phone that had to be activated via iTunes, but the number of users activating through iTunes also brought down the network.  Software and network problems in London caused iPhone owners on the O2 phone network to wait in line for several additional hours before being able to head home with their new phones.   The network disaster also affected previous iPhone owners, who tried to update their phone only to be left with bricks as iTunes was overwhelmed.

The iPhone 3G phone activation seems to have righted itself over the weekend, with fewer complaints about Apple network problems.  Furthermore, the lines to get the iPhone 3G at both Apple stores and AT&T satellite stores has quickly diminished, though many smaller stores still do not have the phones available in stock.

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RE: I Think Their Missing The Boat
By paydirt on 7/14/2008 1:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure I quite follow you. I will share my decision process for getting an iPhone 3G, may help your understanding...

The main choice for AT&T mobile phone service, IMO, is whether you want to go with voice-only ($40/month) or voice & data ($70/month). If you go with voice-only plans, you're best off with a phone like the RAZR (V7?) or a clam shell that gets good reception. If you go with data, then you have the Blackjack, Blackberry Curve, and iPhone 3G.

Now, it's just up to you if that $30/month is worth it to you to have web and e-mail and maps access in the form factor of a cellphone. That $30/month will cost you $1080 over 3 years.

Instead, you can pay $1000 upfront, get a nice laptop (14"+ screen), a Starbucks card, spend $2/month at Starbucks, and get 2-hours per day of wireless Internet at any Starbucks, BUT you have to be at Starbucks and it would be in a laptop form factor.

I ultimately went with the iPhone 3G because I don't want to be tied to Starbucks AND I would like wireless Internet in a cellphone form factor. For me, it's a little less about video entertainment and a little more about being a nice PDA/phone/Internet/mp3 machine.

If the extra $30/month for a data plan is too much for you, it's too much for you. It sounds like you want AT&T to make it cheap for you to afford it. While that would be nice, it either works for you or it doesn't.

If you're looking for a cheap carrier with unlimited minutes, look no further than Sprint, but you get what you pay for.

By MonkeyPaw on 7/14/2008 5:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, if you're an AT&L DSL subscriber(1.5mbps and up), you get FREE WiFi at Starbucks (among other businesses) with any wireless device with a capable browser. Why just today I connected to an 802.11g network at McDonald's with my 2.5lb $350 Eee PC. It's much faster and more functional than an iPhone, even if it is bigger.

As much of a tech-nerd as I am, I just don't NEED the internet in my pocket 24-7. Sure, an iPhone can use 3G to browse the web in more places (still not everywhere), but with the dial-up-like speeds that I've seen in reviews, the extra $30/month just doesn't seem worth it to me.

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