By now, everyone knows about the dang iPhone. Some love it, some hate it. Mainstream journalists have no idea what they’re talking about when they comment on it. Wolf Blitzer, of CNN’s Situation Room, called it a “third-generation iPhone”, obviously confused by it’s 3G moniker. News sites and stations around the country were reveling in the failure of Apple to get the phones activated immediately. And Apple probably deserved the ridicule for not being prepared for the most successful mobile phone launch in history.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that Apple sold over a <strong>million iPhones in the first 3 days</strong>? It took two and a half months to sell a million iPhones last year.
Before the iPhone 3G launch last week there were about 6 million iPhones in use. Then Apple sold a million more. And they all required the new iPhone 2.0 software and the new iTunes 7.7 software. It doesn’t take Stephen Hawking to figure out that over 7 million people trying to download a file will bring the servers to a crawl.
All this was supposed to be avoided by in-store activation. AT&T will activate the phones in-store, so they work and people can update the software any time. But, by 9:00 AM EST, when the central time zone opened up and instantly doubled the load, AT&T’s network went kaput. So, the decision was made to allow at-home activation, which was avoided initially to thwart SIM UnlockingNow, there are the original 6 million iPhone users trying to download iTunes 7.7, and the new iPhone 3G users are piled on top of them, because they <em>need</em> the software to make the phones actually turn on. Of course it will grind to a halt. Even the best designed systems can’t handle that load, unless they’re specifically designed for millions of concurrent users.
Bottom line is, it may have taken a couple of days, but the new phones are up, the old ones work even better with the new software, and Apple and AT&T will continue to blame each other for this mess.
What I can’t understand, is why? No one blames Palm or Samsung if the phone can’t be activated. They blame Sprint, or Verion, or whomever. The manufacturers have never been held to account for cellular network problems like Apple has. Apparently, more is expected of Apple than other companies. Is this true? I guess that’s why I’m an Apple guy. When “more” and “better” is expected of you, you tend to deliver more, and do it better.
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