Many iPhone Users Are Forced to Hold

Iain Gillott waited in the Texas heat to buy an iPhone on June 29, the day Apple Inc.s much-ballyhooed mobile device went on sale. But then it took him 47 hours to activate his new phone.

First, Gillott, a wireless technology analyst at IGR Inc. in Austin, learned that his family-rate plan with AT&T Inc. wouldnt accommodate an additional number. Then, an activation message sent by AT&T to Apples servers timed out before it could be processed.

When the next big device comes out, Im not rushing out to buy one, Gillott said. He added that AT&T should have activated phones in its stores, instead of leaving users to do so online through Apples iTunes service.

Gillott wasnt the only frustrated user. Activation problems lit up message forums shortly after the device went on sale. AT&T customers transferring their cell phone numbers were affected, as were others switching numbers from rival cellular network operators.

But many users who took new numbers reported successful iPhone activations in less than 10 minutes.


iPhone I have talked with countless customers, all of whom have had no problems getting set up, said Jeffrey Kagan, an independent analyst in Atlanta. Actually, I think we all expected the mad crush of new customers to [create] many more problems than have occurred. In a posting on the online forum, a user named Strum said it took four days to get his iPhone fully activated. But he wasnt deterred by the long wait. Would I go through this again for the iPhone? Yes, he wrote.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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