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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 Shadowself on 7/2/2007 2:44:36 PM , Rating: 2
First, Apple's stated goal is 1% (*not* 4%) by the end of 2008 -- almost 18 months from now.

Second, the PS3 sold a very small fraction of what the iPhone did in its first weekend. Even if the sales rate over the next week is 15% of what it was over the first weekend the iPhone will outsell what the PS3 did in its first weekend.

With regard to
#1: It does play nicely with some corporate emails. Your experience (with an email system you admittedly hate -- so why are you annoyed?) and your friend's email experience is anecdotal at best. Besides, Apple has explicitly said Exchange support would *NOT* be forthcoming in the initial release. Expect better corporate email system support in coming weeks or months. Rumors have already started flying about Apple directly licensing Exchange API's and such directly from Microsoft (and the Microsoft fanboys are already gloating about how Apple has to come to Microsoft for this).

#2 If I can get 8 hours out of my phone for voice why do I need a longer battery life? I try to sleep at least 4-6 hours a day and I don't talk on the phone for even one third of the remaining 18-20 hours. My current phone barely gets 4 hours of talk time (if I baby it) and I've only once ran out of battery power in over 2 years. Thus I'd expect 8 hours talk time with charging overnight would be fine for most people. Additionally, since it has an iPod type connector people will be able to charge it through already available third party systems in their car, office, airplane, etc.

#3: The touch screen is on optical glass rather than the iPod's plastic. It is much, much tougher. It is effectively the difference between getting a nice watch versus a cheep one. The nice watch has optical glass or sapphire for the "crystal"; the cheep watch has plastic. The plastic ones are virtually unreadable in six months and the better ones are readable for decades.

#4: The price is not cheap but it is not outrageous. Remember the RAZR when it first came out? It was well over $600 with accessories *plus* a two year plan (just like the iPhone). Many, many people who are not tied to corporate email systems want a smart phone. They want a phone with everything that the iPhone promises. Does the iPhone do everything? No, it does not do IMs. It does not do "push" email from Exchange. But it does what it does better than any other phone that tries to do all the same things. And things it does not do will be coming.

#5: Some people love their current provider. Some do not. This is very much a personal thing. And it will not be forever. You may recall that the RAZR was exclusive to Cingular for quite a while. It also started out at $500 (plus a two year plan). When you added some of the extras to do with it what you wanted its cost could easily run to well over $600. Then the exclusive deal ran out and the RAZR became available from virtually all the plan providers. The price dropped significantly too. If you search and do not impulse buy you can even get a RAZR for free with some plans during sales. The same will be true of the iPhone. Expect all the major plan providers to eventually carry it.

The bottom line is that the iPhone is far from perfect, but it is one of the best "smart phones" out there -- AND -- NOTHING stays the same. Corporate email support will come (it's just a matter of how soon). Multiple wireless provider support will come (it's just a matter of how soon).


"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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