A gadgets blog is reporting today that a shadow’s being cast over sales of Apple’s widely anticipated third-generation iPhone (News - Alert) 2.0 as workers are having problems activating the devices.
“We’ve heard many accounts now from different U.S. Apple store and AT&T (News - Alert) locations that employees are having problems while trying to activate phones through iTunes,” reports Gizmodo, a Gawker Media blog that says it sees about 50 million page views per month.
The entry continues: “From Atlanta, one camper reports, “A ‘teal shirt’ Apple (News - Alert) representative came out to let us know they are having difficulty accessing accounts on the iTunes system. The line has been amazingly slow, but at least we are inside! In the last maybe 30 minutes only 5 people got into the store. Time to get comfy.”
The long lines are no surprise. iPhone users and those interested in the much-hyped Apple product have been salivating over the device since last month, when Steve Jobs unveiled it at a developer’s conference.
Responding to the main criticism of the first version of Apple’s breakthrough touch-screen mobile device, the new iPhone takes advantage of faster 3G
The device is thinner than its predecessor at the edges, has a black plastic back and metal buttons on its side. The screen is the same and it has a camera, flush headphone jack and an improved audio system.
Today, 22 countries are getting the 3G iPhone. The 16-gig model will cost $299, and will be available in white, he said. The price compares favorably for consumers with the first iPhone’s hefty $599 price tag (News - Alert). An 8-gig model now will sell for $199.
Yet even for the lower price, some consumers appear to be frustrated at the store this morning, according to Gizmodo.
One person reports: “I was in the first group of 30 to get an iPhone 3F at the biggest AT&T Experience store in Houston, Texas. The staff couldn’t get anyone’s phones to activate, so they let us take them home.....where I still can’t get it to activate - iTunes keeps timing out for activation, but not the itunes store or anything else.”
Another says: “I bought an iPhone 3G and the AT&T activation isn’t working. They are using iTunes to do it and there is network problems. Went home, and iTunes still won’t activate. Seems to be an iTunes network issue.”
Much of the hype surrounding the new iPhone had to do with new applications and features.
The device has GPS capability was one of those featured capabilities, as was integration with eBay, integration with Loopt, a location-based application that blends social networks with maps, and integration with another application that lets users create posts and photos and add them from a library to an iPhone on the go. The iPhone also lets users view near-live video highlights from events such as baseball games, and there’s a new application that will allow users to tailor their iPhone’s particular look and feel.
But don’t tell any of that to the consumer who wrote this: “Apparently Apple completely underestimated the load on their servers for activation and ALL COMPUTERS in the Boston Apple store are stuck in the iPhone activation screen. No iTunes are able to connect to the central server, so no iPhones can be activated.
Though the new device is splashed across Apple’s Web site today, the company has released no news release regarding activation problems.
Michael Dinan is a TMCNet Editor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
Don’t forget to check out TMCnet’s White Paper Library, which provides a selection of in-depth information on relevant topics affecting the IP Communications industry. The library offers white papers, case studies and other documents which are free to registered users. Today’s featured white paper is The Compelling ROI Benefits of Contact Center Quality and Performance Management Technologies, brought to you by Voice Print International (News - Alert).