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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 masher2 (blog) on 7/2/2007 1:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
> "Much like the PS3, which sold out initially as well, the number of units shifting really died down quickly..."

The PS3 sold, what, 81K units its opening weekend. The iPhone's figures are 700% higher. The two aren't even comparable.

> "#2- Battery"

True for the iPod also, and its the hottest selling consumer device in the past couple decades.

> "What happens to those nice screens when you have your fingers constantly all over them? They scratch"

Initial reviews are that the iPhone screen is quite scratch resistant. Admittedly, these are short term only, but assuming this is going to be a problem seems very premature.

> "#1- It doesn't play nicely with Corporate email systems"

The phone has been out a few days only, and you're writing this out as a permanent problem? If there's a problem (it works fine with my own companies email), it'l be addressed, and soon. In any case, corporate email is not a huge selling point for the consumer public.


RE: In 1 years time
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/2/2007 2:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
Ah... So it looks like I have to tackle the masher. I figured this day might come.

quote:
The PS3 sold, what, 81K units its opening weekend. The iPhone's figures are 700% higher. The two aren't even comparable.

The 81K figure was for Japan. I was unable to get the numbers for North America, nobody seems to know how many were sold. But I did get the ones for Europe.
According to Financial Times, PS3 sold 600,000 units in the first two days of its release in Europe.

quote:
True for the iPod also, and its the hottest selling consumer device in the past couple decades.

It wasn't the hottest selling until the price dropped. I remember the Gen 1-3 iPod's not selling as well as they did starting with Gen 4.

quote:
Initial reviews are that the iPhone screen is quite scratch resistant. Admittedly, these are short term only, but assuming this is going to be a problem seems very premature.

How many times have they tried making "Scratch resistant" glass or polycarbonates only to see them scratched still? I will believe this one when I see it. History is really against Apple on this one, I have never seen a good piece of scratch resistant glass or plastic yet.

quote:
The phone has been out a few days only, and you're writing this out as a permanent problem? If there's a problem (it works fine with my own companies email), it'l be addressed, and soon. In any case, corporate email is not a huge selling point for the consumer public.

It may or may not be a permanent problem. Also keep in mind that Corporations have less trouble dropping $500-600 on a mobile device for an Employee, than a home user would for a new Cell Phone. The corporate market is a very large target for the Smart Phones that the iPhone is really competing against. If they want large market share, they had better make it work with corporate email servers without using obscure hacks and tricks. For now my company has Vetoed any further considerations with the iPhone and we are looking to the AT&T/Cingular 8000 line of Blackberries.


RE: In 1 years time
By masher2 (blog) on 7/2/2007 2:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
> "Ah... So it looks like I have to tackle the masher. I figured this day might come."

I had an interesting idea that you and I could place a public wager on eventual iPhone sales, with DT holding the stakes and informing the public as to the outcome. What do you say?

I don't know if Apple will meet its own projection over the next 18 months, but I'm confident they'll sell at least 9 million units, far more than enough to establish the device as a flash-in-the-pan failure. Want to bet on that figure?


RE: In 1 years time
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/2/2007 3:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
No. Taking into consideration the worldwide market I expect them to sell around 15 Million. There are over 3 Billion cell phones in the world, so 15 Million should be a drop in the bucket.


RE: In 1 years time
By masher2 (blog) on 7/2/2007 6:08:44 PM , Rating: 2
> "Taking into consideration the worldwide market I expect them to sell around 15 Million..."

That's 50% higher than even Apple's estimates. You seem to be simultaneously predicting the phone will be a flop and a resounding success. :p


RE: In 1 years time
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 7/3/2007 10:15:13 AM , Rating: 2
Well a flop compared to the size of the market, but lets be serious, Apple has only (as someone corrected me) shot for 1% of the market. I was under the impression it was 4%, in which case I can't see them getting that much. 1% however is doable just on hype. If they are only shooting for 10 million iPhone's, they should be able to manage that, but not necessarily by the end of this year, maybe end of 08.


"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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