Activation woes mar iPhone US launch

Link: PC World – iPhone Activation Disasters

What with other rather more pressing issues keeping the news broadcasters busy the past few days, you’d be forgiven for forgetting the iPhone launched on Friday just gone. So how has it gone so far? Rather badly, it seems.

There’s reports doing the rounds that many quite delighted purchasers of Apple’s new wonder-toy have been driven to despair, as their handset resembles a rather expensive brick until it can be activated. A simple process, you’d imagine? Apparently not.

Jim Dalrymple from Macworld posted a blog entry late on Friday, in which he says “Three hours after getting my hands on one, I am ready to drop the thing from the 44th floor of the New York Hilton”. Fellow Macworld reporter Dan Moren reports that he had a DOA iPhone, which lasted all of a few seconds before giving up the ghost forever. Declan McCullagh over at CNET has, at the time of writing, been waiting 36 hours so far for his phone to be activated.

So what do AT&T have to say about these problems? Apparently they pretty much don’t exist. Courtesy of the San Jose Mercury News:

A spokesman for AT&T, however, said that the glitches had been minor and isolated, and that the company was working to fix them on an individual basis.

“The vast majority of iPhone activations on iTunes are going through in a matter of minutes,” said spokesman Ted Carr. “Many of the situations causing a delay are being resolved in a matter of hours. But we are not experiencing any significant companywide activation issues.”

Just by chance the apparently few people that are affected by this ‘minor, isolated’ problem are prolific bloggers and journalists – that’s if you believe AT&T’s response. Whilst writing this post I’ve come across about 20 or so different examples of activation problems on less than five different news reports and websites.

Three things AT&T and Apple should do at this point. 1 – admit there’s a problem. 2 – refund everyones $36 non-activation fee they’ve paid, and 3 – say sorry. Denying the problem exists (in AT&T’s case) and ignoring phone calls from journos (in Apple’s case) is not going to win you any friends.

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