Most iPhone users thrilled but a few are iRate

July 2, 2007

Apple’s iPhone has been out in the wild for a full day now, so we checked in with a handful of buyers to get their impressions.

One key question was about the activation process, which has been less than smooth for some people. An AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said while there had been some hiccups, the activation process had worked great for the vast majority of people, a statement echoed by Apple spokeswoman Jennifer Bowcock.

Of the 11 people contacted by Reuters, two said they were completely unable to activate their phone despite repeated attempts. Another person was delayed for more than an hour trying to transfer his old phone number from a pre-paid AT&T account, but got his iPhone working when he just signed up for a new number. The rest reported no hitches.

David Clayman, the third person in line at Apple’s flagship store in Manhattan, said the phone he bought for his father refused to activate.

“My dad’s doesn’t work. It’s not activating. It’s just not functioning properly. That kind of bothers me because I waited in line for 100 hours,” Clayman said.

Clayman said a second phone he bought to auction off for charity hasn’t been opened yet but he’s worried that activation problems could sap its value. You can track his progress on his blog.

Brad Bargman, a 40-year-old magazine publisher in Ft. Lauderdale, said the whole reason he waited 9 hours in line to buy an iPhone was to be among the very first people to show it off. But after going through the set-up process, he waited for the activation e-mail from AT&T. And waited, and waited…

“It’s a real buzzkill,” said Bargman, adding that repeated calls to AT&T’s help line failed to get the device to work. “The lady said to me, ‘This is happening to everybody’. I know it’s not happening to everybody because I know people whose phones are working.”

Private detective Jerry Gregory, 45, waxed enthusiastic: “It’s awesome, best thing I ever saw in my life.”

“Typing e-mail’s really cool because it’s a really unique keyboard. It doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. I have a Blackberry 8800, it’s really high tech and I love it, but this thing blows it away. The ease of it. 

“The Web surfing’s great. The Wi-fi is great, just like a computer. When I tried it on AT&T’s network of course it’s slower but it’s comparable to those PC cell cards.

“My buddy even dropped it on a tile floor from like chest height. It didn’t even break, no crack, no nothing. The only thing is that it’s so beautifully made, so sleek, everything is exactly what they said, but it’s almost a little too sleek, so you’re fragile with it when you’re holding it.”

Tyler Martin, who is building a social media networking site, said he had trouble trying to transfer his previous AT&T number from a prepaid account.

“The problem is that AT&T is not really equipped to transfer a number from their pay-as- you-go plan,” Martin said, adding that his iPhone was great once he got a new account set up.

“It’s really life changing in a lot of ways. All of a sudden you have access to your e-mail all the time. The fact that it connects to Wi-fi wherever it’s available is phenomenal.

“There’s no end to the features. I’ve been playing with it for four hours and haven’t played with them all. I don’t have any music or photos loaded.

“There’s no text copy/paste feature. It would really be nice to have that, then I could really do all of my work on my iPhone. I wish the EDGE network wasn’t quite so slow. 
Andrew Velis, 21, a computer science student at the University of San Francisco, said it took less than 15 minutes to get going: “One of the first things that really just took me by surprise was the size of the screen and the clarity of the picture.

“I put it to work right away, went online to the maps thing and found a friends place where I’d never been before and the maps took me right there.

“I know I can take pictures but I can’t take video. I’d say that’s probably the only (bad) thing, but it’s getting picky if you ask me. The keyboard actually took a little getting used to because I have big fingers. I kept pushing the key to the right or left of the one I wanted. But it gets easier.”

Tim Brown, a software developer, said the setup was the simplest he’d ever done.

“I’m a geek, so the Wi-fi and the call quality has been excellent. It seems to pick up a signal a bit better than before, it doesn’t drop in an elevator. It’s nice to have the two devices (iPod and cell phone) in one form factor.

“We were mucking around with Google Maps last night. I did some surfing with Wi-fi and EDGE to see how it compared. I’d used EDGE before so it was what I expected. I check my Gmail and that’s about it.

Stanford university student Todd Laguardia: “It’s probably one of the best products I’ve ever had. I had no problems at all (with activation). If there’s one thing I like about it, it’s the size. It’s amazing how something that small has so much packed into it.”

Mobile business consultant Dale Larson waxed rhapsodic when asked for his impressions of the iPhone: “I’m kind of amazed. I thought I knew what to expect. I’m kind of blown away that it’s really kind of even easier than I thought it might be, and it’s even more fun and beautiful than I thought it might be.

“It’s easy as heck to take it home, open it up, plug it in … it’s completely unlike any other experience buying a phone. To actually use the thing, it really has made it a joy.

“It’s all the little things. I don’t miss the tactile feel of a keyboard since I have such rich visual cues and audio cues. It’s not like it’s a computer, it’s not like it’s a phone, it’s like a living sculpture in my hands.”


Still not activated after nearly 3 full days. Worst customer experience in my life. This could also not be an isolated situation because the AT&T lines for help on activation are overwhelmed. I would strongly recommend against buying an iPhone at this time.

Posted by Les Hough | Report as abusive

There are plenty more problems with the iphone.
This is going to be one of Apple’s biggest falls.
On Fixya there are new problems adding each hour… It’s crazy!