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US, global iPhone 3G launch plagued by problems [u]

updated 03:25 pm EDT, Fri July 11, 2008

Global iPhone 3G problems

Apple's iPhone 3G launch has become a stressful day of failed activations, mirroring activation issues during the original iPhone launch last year, accounts indicate. The 2007 launch saw AT&T servers go down in a flood of activations; this year AT&T says that there has been a global problem with Apple's iTunes servers that prevents phones from being fully activated in-store, as had been planned. Customers have been told to finish activating their phones at home, but have faced the same problems there, according to Associated Press reports. While both Apple and AT&T are signing up users for AT&T service, neither company is able to complete activation in-store and both are asking customers to finish their activation at home; unfortunately, until the final iTunes activation, the iPhones are not able to make/receive calls.

"It's such grief and aggravation," says Frederick Smalls, an insurance broker in Whitman, Massachusetts, who spent two hours on the phone with Apple and AT&T while trying to get his new iPhone to work.

"On the iTunes front, yes, we see intermittent issues there still," admits an AT&T representative. "We are suggesting to our customers that, after purchasing their new iPhone and voice and data plan, they synch the device later at home while Apple works hard to resolve the iTunes issues."

In fact, people have waited long periods at counters to get their phones activated, while lines have stalled behind them. Many customers had previously camped out for several hours in line to be among the first with the new iPhone 3G.

Owners of the original iPhone, having endured their 2007 problems, have also had issues today. The iPhone 2.0 software update -- which promises new functionality such as native applications -- also requires reactivation through iTunes, leading to the same activation woes.

The iPhone 3G launched in 21 countries on Friday, creating a global burden on iTunes servers. The server troubles follow Thursday's MobileMe misfire, which has left some services still unavailable, with posted updates stating that the "transition is underway," but it is "taking longer than expected."

iPhone activation errors are also being reported in the UK, with server outages forcing customers away from O2 and Apple stores. In Canada, Rogers Wireless -- the sole Canadian iPhone provider -- has had severe issues, with servers crashing from a large activation volume.

Update: Some stores are performing manual over-the-phone activations to restore service for new customers, while other those upgrading to the new iPhone are "still held up, and they are waiting for confirmation," although no ETA is available.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. dynsight

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    A failure

    I have posted the same time of theme in multiple places. This is just plain inexcusable, and shows the complacency of Apple (I own over $150k of stock) and ATT (my service provider about whom I generally have favorable opinions).

    There are plenty of ways to test and anticipate server load, and ways to distribute load over multiple servers. This was not done properly. Between downloads of iPhone 2.0, activations, itunes upgrade,AND OS X update, Mobile Me, Apple's servers were stressed....but that is no excuse.

    They scheduled these events for a short period of time, and thus they should have anticipated and had the infrastructure to support. If not, then stagger the releases to ease server load.

  1. 83caddy16v

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    agreed

    As a fellow stock holder and customer it is extremely disappointing and from the feedback I'm hearing from friends who now have iBricks, I would hope that Apple's PR department or even Jobs (as he did after the price drop announcement) release a statement and not ignore the issue.It is Apple's own fault for doing this much change in a single day - 3G, 2.0 update and mobileMe. Too many moving pieces and as we have seen the processes have broken down.I'm sure the folks that did the 2.0 last night are breathing a sigh of relief.

  1. leamanc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Embarrassing

    They should have just let people buy it, take it home and activate online (which is what they are having to end up doing anyway). Turns out workers at the AT&T and Apple stores were just hooking them up to iTunes to activate anyway.

    I know they want to stop unlocking, but this has backfired big time.

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    cry babies

    This was expected, when you have millions of people hitting servers all at the same time expect problems. I knew there would be problems.

  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +6

    Big Brother™ control...

    ...equals Big Brother™ headaches... Just unlock the darn things

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    seriously

    they could have done mobileme a week ago, touch people as well. this was not well planned.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -3

    Come on now!!!

    If all of this went off without a problem.. all of you would be praising Apple and ATT on how great they were and how well planned out it was..... But Being that there are issues it's once again time to bash apple.... I do agree they should have seperated out these launches... but they wanted to make a big splash... I say GO APPLE!!!! (for we all know you will turn around and buy from them again and this will all be forgotten in less than a week.)

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    come on now

    what kind of a stupid a$$ comment is that? if they deserver praise we'll praise them, if not then we won't give it. duh. nice try testudo.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    a success

    07/11, 4:10pm, edt
    blessing in disguise...

    all the bad news will get more press for Apple, highlighting the tremendous popularity of the 3G iphone launch

    there's no good reason for Apple to over-build it's system for an anomalous one- to several-day load peak... get over it.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -2

    a success

    blessing in disguise...


    all the bad news will get more press for Apple, highlighting the tremendous popularity of the 3G iphone launch


    there's no good reason for Apple to over-build it's system for an anomalous one- to several-day load peak...


    get over it.

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