Saturday, June 30, 2007

The iPhone: Revolutionizing Frustration

So the long awaited iPhone is here, and of course a product this hyped would have to have major technical difficulties at launch. While Apple was able to make enough of these things for someone to go to their Apple store and pick one up on release day + 1, they were not strong enough to overcome the ineptitude at the new AT&T.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of customers who bought their iPhones wanting to quickly activate them and call their friends to brag have become bogged down in the activation process. While plenty of thought went into the design and function of the iPhone, it appears almost no forethought was given to the incredible rush of people wanting to activate their iPhones as soon as they got them.

While entering your information through iTunes is relatively simple, some people are waiting up to 24 hours or more for AT&T's servers to activate their iPhone accounts. And, if you are already a Cingular/AT&T customer wishing to simply upgrade your account, your current cell phone will be disabled until your iPhone is activated. That's right, the cell service you pay so much for will be totally disabled for up to a day (maybe more), and all AT&T can say is "Please be patient." Well, some people can't afford to be patient. Some people may not have landlines to fall back on, or perhaps they need their cell phone to work for business.

AT&T really dropped the ball here. Anyone who isn't living in a cave knew that this thing would sell at a ridiculous rate, and AT&T did not do anything to prepare for it. I also place the blame on Apple for not making sure this would work smoothly. People pay big money to Apple expecting a certain level of quality and out of the box function.

To top it all off, while you are waiting for AT&T to get its shit together, your iPhone won't do a damn thing except call 911. That's it. No music, no WiFi, no videos, no pictures, NOTHING. And you can thank AT&T for ruining the launch of perhaps the best phone/media device/pda in history.

To get a sense of the problem, check out this thread one Apple's Support Forums. The last time I checked it, it had 596 posts and 23,413 views.

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