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Apple and AT&T score big with iPhone launch

Everyone knew that the iPhone was going to be big from the moment it was announced in early January. Apple CEO Steve Jobs hailed the device as the ultimate in mobile communications given that it could function as a phone, a mobile Internet device and as an iPod.

As the months progressed, the hype mushroomed even though the iPhone lacked a user-replaceable battery, physical keyboard, expansion slot, voice dialing, A2DP, MMS, iChat, flash support, copy and paste ability and video recording -- not to mention that the iPhone was tied solely to AT&T.

It appears that all of the minuses stacked against the iPhone weren't enough to phase buyers who lined up days in advance to purchase the latest "it device" from Cupertino. Not even the $499 (4GB) and $599 (8GB) price tags were enough to keep Apple from selling around 525,000 iPhones from 6:00 PM Friday evening through close of business on Sunday.

Nearly all of AT&T's stores were depleted of iPhone stock by Saturday whereas Apple's retail stores are currently faring much better (you can check iPhone availability here).

Apple's iPhone launch didn't go off glitch free, however. Many users complained of activation problems with iPhone. The iPhone can be activated through iTunes and the steady rush of users scrambling to activate their phones overloaded AT&T's servers.

"We are working on any issues on an individual basis with customers who were impacted," said Michael Coe, a representative for AT&T.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel noted that a "small percentage" of customers were having activation issues. "Our first priority is to get them up and rolling as quickly as we can," Spiegel continued.

For its part in the matter, an Apple spokesman simply said "There are a small percentage of iPhone customers who have had a less than perfect activation experience."

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RE: In 1 years time
By kelmon on 7/2/2007 1:06:53 PM , Rating: 2
I'd take that bet. In 3-days Apple has sold 1/20 of its target for the next 18-months and it's only released the unit in the US. While I'm not convinced that the iPhone could sell 10-million in North America alone, worldwide (assuming the cellular providers are signed up) should not be a problem to hit that target.

RE: In 1 years time
By Oregonian2 on 7/2/2007 2:19:35 PM , Rating: 2
Helps that 10 million is a very very tiny number when one considers that over a billion cell phones are sold every year. They're talking under 1% marketshare even if goals are met.

RE: In 1 years time
By marvdmartian on 7/2/2007 2:59:01 PM , Rating: 4
Well, isn't that the typical marketshare that Apple commands?? Shoot, if they get it up to 2%, they can crow about "doubling our marketshare!!" ;)

RE: In 1 years time
By retrospooty on 7/2/2007 4:41:42 PM , Rating: 3
True, but most of those phones are free. $600 vs free is a large leap.

RE: In 1 years time
By omnicronx on 7/2/2007 5:33:23 PM , Rating: 4
Meh i just laugh when i think of someone buying a phone for 600 bucks... in the end its probably a good thing for everyone else. You know sony.. nokia.. motorola etc.. are going to come out with iphone like phones real soon for a tiny amount of the price an iphone costs. I cant wait to get a good phone in a year or two for free while Ijunkies pay up the ass for theres and give out minimum 1500 dollars a year for service.. HA!

RE: In 1 years time
By MADAOO7 on 7/2/2007 6:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
That's a idiotic statement. Look at the iPods success. There are plenty of mp3 players out there that cost half as much and pack twice the features and yet the iPod still has an overwhelming market share. Also, you can't replicate a lot of the iPhones features because they are patented by AT&T and Apple. What you'll see in the next year is a lot of repackaged and redesigned Blackberries and Treo's that cost less and look pretty, but don't do anything new. After a year or at least three fiscal quarters you'll see more phones support hi-res video, glossy screens, thinner designs, and smoother OS operation. I'm sure Microsoft is going to make a new Vista-esque (Aero anyone?) interface to make these iPhone competitors do more of the same with more "flash." Of course, within 12-16 monthes, right as these new iPhone competitors come out, Apple will drop the price, just as they did with Zune, catching everyone off guard. At least, this is my perspective.

RE: In 1 years time
By Oregonian2 on 7/2/2007 6:54:02 PM , Rating: 2
Can't wait to see the hoopla when and if the iPhone comes out with a new revolutionary cell phone idea: MP3 ringtones! Or voice commands that needs no voice training! Or even iPod'ish things like bluetooth with A2DP (if I've got my acronyms straight).

Both of which are now in much cheaper phones now.

Whether an iPod is successful means nothing. Cell phones and iPods are NOT the same thing. Apple has way way under 1% marketshare in cell phones. Cell phones is a mature market with many big players already established. Apple clearly was adding a cell phone to a super iPod, their knowledge of cell phone usage I think is lacking.

When people complain about non-replaceable batteries, someone instantly says "well it's okay for an iPod!!!!". Well, fooey! That 's something different. If one has to send one's iPod off to have it's battery replaced (and really have someone else's iPod refurb sent back perhaps) it's okay to be without it for a week. Big deal, no music. It's a very big difference having one's phone gone for a week expecially for those who don't even have a "landline" anymore and use their cell phone exclusively.

P.S.- I don't hate Apple and iPods. I bought two 60GB 5G iPods and liked them very much.

RE: In 1 years time
By MADAOO7 on 7/2/2007 10:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
The iPod's successs has everything to do with this cellphone being successful. I used the reference to exemplify brand loyalty and recognition. The iPod created a generation of consumers who know Apple as a trusted household name. People who love the iPod immediately are drawn to any new product that Apple comes out with. The same goes with Sony or any electronic company...if I had a great experience with a Sony Camera, I'm certainly more prone to look at Sony HDTV's, even if they happen to be more expensive. The point you made about Apple having less than 1% marketshare in cellphones has nothing to do with anything. Of course they don't - the phone has been out for only 72 hours!

With that said, you make a very valid point about the battery.

RE: In 1 years time
By shortylickens on 7/6/2007 11:08:52 AM , Rating: 4
I'm pretty sure you could put a great big turd in a white plastic box, call it an iTurd, and you will get sales.

I have to agree with some of the other folks here. This is just the new "thing" from Apple and it will eventually be found on ebay in massive quantities for dirt cheap.

RE: In 1 years time
By plinden on 7/2/2007 6:57:15 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the "free with a packet of cereal"-type cell phone market share that you should be looking at, but the smartphone market share.

2006 there were 80 million smartphones sold worldwide.

If that doubles by the end of 2008 (currently it's about 50% growth year on year), 10million iPhones will be 6% of the total.

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