June 30, 2007

iPhone Activation Issues

The biggest question mark on the Apple iPhone has always been the exclusive relationship with AT&T. Today I dragged my wife to the local Apple store, thinking I can play with some demo units as the iPhone would likely be sold out. When I approached the store, I noticed 2-3 people walking out with iPhone bags. They had the iPhone in stock! I walked to the back of the store and asked if they had any 8Gigs in stock. The employee said sure, but she didn't know how many. Then an Apple employee asked the cashier if they can put one 8Gig aside for a customer as he was likely to buy one, the cashier said "no, that person should just pay for it now."

I panicked and asked my wife if it was ok to buy one. After she played with a few demo models, she relented. I brought it home and connected it up to iTunes. After a few minutes of typing in basic info, iTunes went into activation mode. At the end, it said it was going to take more time to process the activation and that we would received an email when it is ready. 6 hours later, no email. I called AT&T and after 10-15 minutes on the phone the representative said they are going to try and send out a over-the-air activation signal within an hour, but no guarantees. It sounded like the email send-out wasn't going well on their end. I'm not alone as I read messages on CNET, MacRumors and Howard Forums, there are hundreds of people with the same non-activation issue. This obviously is unacceptable and AT&T has flubbed the iPhone launch. Once it actually gets activated, I will post my impressions and a full review on here. Wish us luck.

UPDATE: 2 hours later and no email or over-the-air activation. I called AT&T again they said there is nothing they can do until I get an activation email. After I told her that there are tons of people online who haven't gotten an activation email for over 28 hours, she said there is nothing she can do. They are backed up and she has no idea when the emails will be send out. One word. Disaster.

Some post quotes of people online:

That's depressing. The process was started at 8:50pm last night for one of our iPhones, and we haven't even received a 2nd e-mail yet. So, that puts us at 20+ hours.

Beyond Ticked OFF I just called the activation support line because I still haven't received that email with the 6 digit order number.. He proceeds to tell me my number but then says he has resubmitted it and it will take somewhere between 36 - 48 hours from NOW. I've about HAD IT.!!!

Still have the "when hell freezes over message" and have not received any emails. Tonight or Sunday might entail a trip to the Apple store to kick someone's ass.

it's been over 14 hours... just got off the phone with at&t. CS rep was like it'll take about 24 hours from the start. i was like, wtf?~! why so long? he said that they didn't expect all the activations to come at once like this and their [at&t's] systems are currently overwhelmed... i was like you had SIX MONTHS time and you knew that it would be like this you J**KA$$~! i was like, this is ridiculous! and i hung up. i swear, if it's not done within 24 hours from when i started, someone better hold me back... i really think they should compensate us for this down time and inconvenience. they had MORE than enough time to prepare and train for this. not helping people's opinions/feelings towards at&t either.-MickeyD26

I now past the 23 hr mark And I'm getting tired of calling them and listening to the same bull again and again. I don't know whose fault this is but on Monday I call Apples customer relations and give them a ear full about this, and maybe send an email to Jobs too, not that he will actually answer me. I think we all should do so to let them know how unhappy this has made us.-DukeBlue91

Just got off the phone with AT&T porting dept. Clarence is insisting that I leave the iPhone connected to the dock attached to the computer with iTunes running before it can be activated. He also said that it will be 24-72(!) hours before it will work. This is BS. 72 hours? Are they serious, or just trying to curb call-ins? WTF? I think I am going to the AT&T store.-Tranced25

23 hours in & No Activation Clearly AT&T is not only unprepared and overwhelmed but has made nothing but a snafu of the activation process. I've been on the phone with them repeatedly (hours -up to 4 so far) and many times I've been told it's all good and should go through but then to get an email right afterwards saying they need more information or my address isn't right and that I need to call them back. Why can't they get this straight the first couple of times is all I ask? I'm pretty darned frustrated now and disappointed. I waited 3 hours in line at and AT&T store, sold out, then went to an Apple store and had one in 5 minutes. Honestly I have spent the whole day on the phone trying to sort out one issue after the other or on hold. F.AT&T They had better get this straightened out. I will feel burned for a long time which I'll remember and share with others who are sure to ask how I like my iPhone.-ntblood

Just called AT&T again (877-419-4500--they answer almost immediately), figuring I'd make at least one more attempt before I go to sleep to get some type of information. Turned out to be another useless call, the CSR said everything appeared to be correct in my account, that there were no conflicting features that would prevent activation and that I simply had to wait. She apologized several times for the delay while I (politely) ranted about how stupidly ridiculous this whole process was. I also stated that if my phone is not activated tomorrow morning I will be returning it and certainly will never choose AT&T again (and have been a customer for at least 10 years). Did I mention how grossly incompetent AT&T is? This whole experience is leaving a really bad taste in my mouth. 28 hours and counting! YAY!-AtariAge
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June 28, 2007

Grand Theft Auto IV Trailer 2

The second trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV is out.  The detail of the world and environment is freaking amazing.

Jobs Explains Why he chose EDGE over 3G for the iPhone

The Wall Street Journal had an interview with the iGod himself, Steve Jobs.  In it he explains why he chose EDGE over 3G for the Apple iPhone.

Mr. Jobs: You know every (AT&T) Blackberry gets its mail over EDGE. It turns out EDGE is great for mail, and it works well for maps and a whole bunch of other stuff. Where you wish you had faster speed is.on a Web browser. It's good enough, but you wish it was a little faster. That's where sandwiching EDGE with Wi-Fi really makes sense because Wi-Fi is much faster than any 3G network.

What we've done with the iPhone is we've made it so that it will automatically switch to a known Wi-Fi network whenever it finds it. So you don't have to go hunting around, resetting the phone, flipping a switch or doing anything. Most of us have Wi-Fi networks around us most of the time at home and at work. There's often times a Wi-Fi network that you can join whether you're sitting in a coffee shop or even walking along the street piggybacking on somebody's home Wi-Fi network. What we found is the combination is working really well.

When we looked at 3G, the chipsets are not quite mature, in the sense that they're not low-enough power for what we were looking for. They were not integrated enough, so they took up too much physical space. We cared a lot about battery life and we cared a lot about physical size. Down the road, I'm sure some of those tradeoffs will become more favorable towards 3G but as of now we think we made a pretty good doggone decision.

June 26, 2007

Apple iPhone Reviews

The Apple iPhone reviews are hitting the internet.  Overall the reaction seems to be pretty positive with a few caveats mainly concerning the slow EDGE network and text entry.

1) Wall Street Journal

2) New York Times

3) Newsweek

4) USA Today


June 23, 2007

Apple iPhone Guided Tour

Apple put up a 20 minute guided tour on using the iPhone.  The user interface is as good as we expected as it just feels right and simply works.  The main question marks remain about the on-screen keyboard or if the screen will leave smudges.

June 03, 2007

Apple iPhone TV Ads

The 3 iPhone TV ads are up on the website. Apple sure has a great advertising agency. It makes me want to go out and buy one right now even though I just bought a Blackberry 8800. The ads say June 29th is the launch date at either your local Apple store or AT&T store. Good luck trying to get one. Hint, expect long long lines.

June 01, 2007

Facebook is Accelerating

I've been using Facebook more and more of late. I've come to realize that it totally rocks. They just get user interface design. Keep it simple. Keep it fast. Don't let ads clutter the page. Keep adding innovative new features. And the new platform apps ability that third-parties can write is making it even more useful.

Mark my words, Myspace will be a fad and Facebook will rule within 12 months. Friendster is pretty much dead. I'm seeing accelerating user adds from my friends in the past few weeks and it's not going to stop.