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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: ...
By Shadowself on 7/14/2008 2:39:59 PM , Rating: 2
How do you know a large percentage of those people bought it "without actually knowing anything about it"? For all you know they researched it in some way before lining up.

Besides other than knowing it's potentially faster than the first iPhone, has GPS, is a phone, is a solid state iPod, and does email and web browsing -- plus you can add apps (though the list is incredibly limited at the moment) -- what is there to know? It's not like these purchasers need to know the clock rate of the CPU or what version of the graphics chip is used!


RE: ...
By DASQ on 7/14/2008 5:46:26 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah, most iPhone buyers don't even know that about it.

I heard plenty of people going "What's the 3G part of the iPhone mean?" "oh, that's just the third generation" before sales rep stepped in and explained the thing. It's basically round the clock face-palming talking to people wanting to buy an iPhone. (And I work around a few consumer-retail locations, and I have spoken to a few Fido/Roger's reps)

I had one 'friend' ask me about a problem he had with his newly purchased 3G iPhone. He showed the thing to me, and I told him "Yeah, that symbol means you need to hook it up to iTunes. iTunes. That's the disk thingy with the music note on it, go download it from Apple.ca. And the white cable thing is the USB cable that came with it."

But foremost, because it is an Apple product, all the average Joe consumer needs to know is exactly what they place in the commercials. And it works horrifyingly well.


RE: ...
By kelmon on 7/15/2008 5:20:06 AM , Rating: 2
So, what you're basically saying is that you heard some people say this and you think this is representative of 1 million people across the globe? You'll forgive me, therefore, if I don't accept this observation without some more research to back it up.

I'll also note that I don't think buying decisions are made any differently for the iPhone than they are for pretty much any other product. Clearly, you will do your homework before making a decision to buy but, without comparing your market sample's decision to buy the iPhone against over products, it's a bit of a stretch to imply Apple adverts have some sort of magical effect on people over other product adverts. If they are "dumb" enough to buy an iPhone based on an advert, they're probably just as likely to buy other products based on adverts as well. Besides, this is the same thing for any launch product - you buy based on the information already known, which usually comes straight from the manufacturer.


RE: ...
By DASQ on 7/15/2008 9:13:59 AM , Rating: 2
haha.. okay, let me explain this more clearly.

You can say I work with the western Canadian reps of Apple, both the educational reps and the 'retail' reps (I don't know why they separate this, and I think they hate each other at this point). I can't exactly quote live conversation without me at least previously writing notes specifically for later reproduction of a 'Q&A' style writing. I don't think people who bought the 3G iPhone were idiots, I am just surprised at how many people are buying the iPhone purely due to hype and glazed eyes. I wouldn't mind an iPhone, but that's not what I said in my post.

And yes, that is ALWAYS how Apple has done their ad's. How truthful do you think the Mac vs. PC ads are? Their advertisements have never really been honest. Ever. Power PC's fastest on the market? I don't think so. And then somehow switching to the Conroe chips from Intel resulted in 'Now 2x faster' message in some ads?

Don't get me wrong, I have an iPod Touch (along with a few other generations), I think OSX is pretty nice, I just heavily dislike Apple as a business model. Their products are pretty decent, it's everything attached to them that I have a problem with.


RE: ...
By MonkeyPaw on 7/14/2008 6:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure why you were rated down, as it's a valid question.

A friend of mine told me last week that he was going to get the 3G (he didn't think the $70/mo was too much, if that helps set the stage). Well today I asked him if he camped out and got one. He said no, but he did wait in line for an hour before they ran out. I asked him if he had a chance to read any reviews yet, to which he said no. I advised him to do so, so we'll see what he does next. Long story short, he was willing to commit to a 2 year contract for something he didn't know much about other than it being an iPod and Phone combined.

I guess when it comes down to it, if you can live with the ridiculous plan costs and the subscription, then the cost of the phone isn't much of an issue--after all, the iPhone does have functions beyond that of a normal phone that make it worth something. I think that is a big reason that people will buy it reviews unseen.


RE: ...
By robinthakur on 7/15/2008 5:00:42 AM , Rating: 2
I think you're right. If you have to worry about the cost then the iPhone is not for you. For most people who actually buy an iPhone the cost is trivial, it certainly was to me and I've been a windows user all my life (though I also have a MBA with Leopard) I use my iPhone 3G with my pc, same with my previous iPhone and understand the phone functions perfectly well. Its pure arrogance to claim that the feature set is majorly dumbed down or that it lacks supposedly important functions from other more fiddly devices. I know the camera is weak and it doesn't support picture messaging. These are not factors in my purchasing decision as I have a nice DSLR and a compact thin camera for when I need to take photos.

iPhones are easy to understand and uncomplicated to operate. Some confuse this to mean that they are designed for morons, when actually they are designed to be intuitive and there's a big difference. The difference between a windows mobile device and an iPhone in fact. The former feels so antiquated compared to an iPhone its almost funny. Its nothing to do with the feature set, its more to do with being able to meaningfully use the features on a day to day basis.


"Folks that want porn can buy an Android phone." -- Steve Jobs

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