iPhone: not so easy or painless
When Apple’s 3G iPhone went on sale in the U.S. on Friday, the company had in place what it thought was an easy and painless process that would just work in getting customers up and running quickly. Apple said employees could complete the entire sign-up wirelessly, and in test runs figured it would take about 15 minutes per customer.
Turned out that wasn’t exactly the case. By 11 a.m. California time it was clear things weren’t going as planned. Reports on the Web abounded that existing iPhone users and buyers of new ones couldn’t activate the phone once they downloaded the new software.
Some workers in Apple’s flagship Manhattan store told customers the problem was with wireless partner AT&T. But AT&T blamed iTunes. Apple has so far gone radio silent, though by late afternoon it looked like things were improving.
Some fans didn’t seem to mind that the shiny new iPhone they just bought would work as little else than an elegant paperweight until it could be activated.
Danny Fukuba, 17, a recent graduate of Palo Alto High School, was first in line at his local Apple store. He bought the first iPhone last year, and has been camping out since Wednesday night for the second.
“I couldn’t sleep at all for the past couple of nights. I am going to crash as soon as I get my phone,” he said. So why do it? “It’s fun. It’s exciting. This is the first time I’ve actually done anything like this.”
Second kid in line was Eric Vicente, 16, Danny’s friend who will get his old iPhone. “Being first is really cool,” he said. “Because I can’t afford one, I’m getting the hand me down.”
(Top photo: Apple wireless point-of-sale device. Reuters/Eric Auchard
Second photo: People wait in line outside an Apple store in New York. Reuters/Lucas Jackson)