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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 TomZ on 7/2/2007 1:09:31 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with everything you say, and in my opinion the only thing working against your argument is that many consumers are not rational decision makers.

Therefore, the purchase decisions that many consumers make is based more in perception than reality, and that can cover anything from functionality, cost, reliability, network, etc. People will put up with a lot if they are properly "brainwashed" by good marketing.

RE: In 1 years time
By Master Kenobi on 7/2/2007 1:19:17 PM , Rating: 2
True, which is why we had a very high initial turnout. I've spoken with a few people that are completely gaga over the iPhone. They can never give me a sound reason why other than "coolness" or "its easy". This is the crowd apple is marketing towards, however these same people I have asked also do not have the financial means to support their lust for the iPhone and will have to pass.

Also, it should be noted that Apple Employee discounts for friends/family/etc.... do NOT apply for iPhone purchases, you pay full price period.

RE: In 1 years time
By Oregonian2 on 7/2/2007 2:17:20 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect the weekend sales were sales based on hype alone. I suspect people didn't go into the store to see the phone first and 'then decide'. They were decided upon unseen and with no other-user experience. A true testament to Apple's sales and marketing departments!

Hopefully there will be some software upgrades soon that will provide the basic cell phone features that it has missing. Presumably the iPhone was so behind getting out in time that they had to limit the feature set to make it only slightly late rather than old-hat late (which would affect the marketing push). Slightly late helps but at some point lateness becomes a liability.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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