-AT&T stores are selling out the of device in two hours in some places, leaving those in line without a shiny new toy.
-Apple Store employees stuck on hold with AT&T employees.
-Customers who've been allowed to leave with un-activated iPhones, are having issues with the iPhone itself not working correctly.
-AT&T account issues you learn about after standing in line for a few hours.
Yeah, it's been a tough day. While standing in line for an iPhone, at the Apple Store, I learned that I had to go to an AT&T store to get an iPhone because of an account discount issue. At that point, all the AT&T stores in the area had sold out of iPhones. It's not that big of a deal to me, but I could see how someone could get mighty upset at the situation.
Have a story of iPhone woe? Drop it in the comments. Think of it as a virtual therapy session.
Like Schrödinger's cat, I planned to be both covering the iPhone line and waiting in it, to secure a 3G phone for myself. But an hour-and-a-half after opening, only about 15 iPhones had been sold. The line had moved, but almost entirely by wishful thinking, with gaps of people tightening. Ignoring its extra "Gs" of power and Salty's advice, I decided to stick with my original iPhone for the the immediate future. I still need the new one for work, but I can wait a few days, can't I?
I woke up late this morning and scrambled to my closest AT&T store, on Mission and 20th in San Francisco. I thought I'd beat the fanboy rush at the Apple Stores, slipping in and out of an overlooked AT&T location with a smile. I sauntered up at 7:30AM, a half-hour before the automatic doors were turned on. My position was behind a line of about 60, with people spread back like dandelion seeds blown from a breeze. It was sunny, full of iPhones and puppies.
After a long night on the streets of San Francisco, those waiting in line for their iPhone 3G’s at the San Francisco Apple Store on Stockton Street had to wait just a little bit longer than expected.
The first activation didn’t take place until 8:32 a.m. causing some anxiety among the excited iPhone aficionados in the queue. Apple Store staff took the opportunity to remind those in line of the plethora of accessories they could consider for their new device while they wait. (As if the long night on the sidewalk wasn’t enough time for that already.)
According to an AP report, a spokesman for AT&T Inc. admitted that the 30 minute delay in iPhone activations in New York was caused by “a global problem with Apple Inc.’s iTunes software that prevented the phones from being fully activated in-store as had been planned.” New Yorkers were being sent home with their new iPhone and told to make the last step in the activation process from home.
The three-hour time zone difference doesn’t seem to have helped those waiting in line in San Francisco. In-line reports have told of customers walking out with iPhones that have not been activated. Apple Store employees are still trying to work on the issues with AT&T and despite the initial delay, the line is now moving.
Because so many people are installing iPhone 2.0 software, patience is the order of the day. If you happen to unplug your phone after the installation, but before it can talk to the iTunes store, you may find the phone is in an emergency calls only mode, where none of its software (including the Address Book) is available. A thread at Apple Support Discussions has a number of comments posted by users in a panic over their phones. Some of them report that they have waited hours for their phone to be usable again; others report that they are still waiting. Patience is a virtue.
The first people to wait for an iPhone 3G at Apple’s Fifth Avenue store came as a group—which may have staved off loneliness. Twenty-four hours before the first unboxing, fewer than ten people were lined up. Compared to the queue in 2007, where almost forty people were waiting, the 2008 line was sparse.
But those numbers quickly swelled around midnight. By 7 am, over two hundred people appeared. By 7:30, the queue stretched across Fifth Avenue, down 58th St., across Madison Avenue, and partway up 59th St. Eyeball estimation: 400 people.
Even though they were stuck on a snaking line, hundreds of people deep, every one of them looked happy to be there.