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Activation Problems in iPhone Paradise 434

Thomas Hawk writes "Unfortunately it appears that some activations of Apple's new iPhone have gone badly. After waiting in line 36 hours I'm still unable to activate my phone. I'm documenting the AT&T circus call by call on my blog. I've had my hold calls dropped, been patched into other users unable to activate their phone instead of AT&T customer service reps, been told that my wife must get a new phone and that the family plan can't work for me. I've been told that the problem is that I'm not putting a new chip into my iPhone in the slot on the left side of my phone when no slot there exists. PR Blogger Steve Rubel has also been documenting his problems on his Twitterstream. According to an unscientific poll being conducted by Engadget about half of the people who bought iPhones have had activation trouble with about 38% of problems still unresolved." Even the folks at MacWorld weren't immune to these issues.
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Activation Problems in iPhone Paradise

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  • by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:13AM (#19713485) Homepage
    Activation problems? With the iPhone being hyped for a year?

    Never saw it coming.

    Especially since AT&T, a company known for shitty service, was given launch rights.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by terrymr ( 316118 )
      I think all the mobile phone providers are known for shitty service.
      • by geddes ( 533463 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @02:09AM (#19713887)

        I think all the mobile phone providers are known for shitty service.
        I have to disagree. I have had nothing but excellent service from T-Mobile, and I mean truly excellent. Their phone reps are not only friendly and helpful, but WELL TRAINED. They understand the different models, the plans, SIM cards, unlocking, and will help you with anything. I even called T-Mobile once lost in Salt Lake City, looking for a wi-fi hotspot. I read them the name of the street I was on and the rep gave me step-by-step directions, and stayed with me on the phone. It was awesome. I really want an iPhone, but I am loathe to leave T-Mobile for this reason. Hearing stories like this makes me even more reluctant to buy an iPhone. Good customer service is so rare these days. Why didn't apple go with T-Mobile? Or rather, why did they have an exclusive deal with anyone the great thing about gsm is that it is interoperable. AT&T isn't subsidizing the price, or so I hear, so what possible advantage does apple get from the relationship? "Innovative Network features like visual voicemail." Fine, I would be happier with an iPhone without visual voicemail that I could put my T-Mobile SIM into.
        • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @05:26AM (#19714991)
          I never understood this either. Assuming an iPhone costs $600, why not just sell them in the Apple store and let customers sort their own phone plan out. Yes it might mean some inconvenience setting up stuff like WAP / SMS etc. which are provider specific, but nothing I'm sure some setup software couldn't have sorted. Most GSM phone providers will sell SIM kits, and most really couldn't care what phone you use on their network just so long as you use their network.

          All Apple have done by their move is ensure that anyone buying their phone package is locked into a contract that with the phone costs anywhere upwards of $2000 for two years. That represents absolutely terrible value for money. You really would have to be blinded by the hype to buy an iPhone on those terms. It's an utter waste of money especially considering other technical deficiencies such as lack of 3G. Perhaps a firmware update will fix that issue because there's going to be some severe buyers remorse if an updated model appears with that feature.

          • by tacocat ( 527354 ) <tallison1@NOSpAm.twmi.rr.com> on Monday July 02, 2007 @06:34AM (#19715281)

            How many GSM providers are nationwide in the USA? AT&T, T-Mobile, anyone else?

            They couldnt' set up a service with Verizon Wireless (an example) because they just don't do GSM technology.

            It's unfortunate that AT&T is so clueless on this coming out of the gate. I think the iPhone has mind numbing potential. GSM is the right choice if you consider a world wide market, but not for US market, because GSM is more widely used globally. Economy of scale in units manufactured dictate that they go with GSM for a global market.

            If you look at the techcentric nations of the world, the United States is not the leading country. We don't have the digital high speed cellular networks or internet broad band speeds of other nations. I just don't think you can safely market a product of this type to only the USA when we have a global market to consider.

            • by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:56AM (#19716021)
              How many GSM providers are national in the USA? ZERO. Not one of them has a network with "home" service where I live or with ANY service in most of the places I spend time other than home and the office. You may find it surprising, but that vast middle part of the country is part of the nation, and it is by and large CDMA-only. It sucks, too. And here's AT&T, whose shitty service doesn't surprise me given that they lie about having the largest digital voice and data network in the country, given that only a CDMA provider with lots of good partnering agreements.
              • GSM coverage is definitely not excellent in the central U.S. plains or the Rocky Mountains. There is coverage now on interstate highways and in cities and larger towns, but smaller towns and highway routes have spotty coverage or none at all. There were a handful of small telephone companies that sprung up to fill the void in the past few years. Two of the largest such have been recently acquired.

                Western Wireless was acquired [phonescoop.com] by Alltel [alltel.com].

                AT&T recently acquired Dobson Communications [prnewswire.com] (which was t
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by bluemonq ( 812827 ) *
              Correction. They couldn't set up a service with Verizon Wireless because Verizon wouldn't kowtow to Apple's demands. Apple went to Verizon first.

              http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/01/30/verizon_tu rned_down_iphone/ [theregister.co.uk]
          • by jkabbe ( 631234 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:20AM (#19715771)
            why not just sell them in the Apple store and let customers sort their own phone plan out

            Because visual voice mail apparently required changes to AT&T's network. I doubt AT&T would've made that commitment if Apple were selling iPhones that could be used on T-moble as well (and vice-versa for T-mobile).
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          One word: Visual Voice Mail
          Or maybe three if you don't hyphenate it or something =)

          I recall a big deal about how Cingular had to make changes on their backend systems to be able to support this feature. The iPhone won't fully work on any system that doesn't have this functionality, and if it's not done exactly the same way, then there will have to be code changes and exceptions for each and every one.

          Why exclusive? Call providers like that... it was probably the only way Apple could get one to carry it
      • Not Surprising (Score:3, Informative)

        by ghoul ( 157158 )
        I don't know about shitty but it is kind of expected that all the wireless providers will have the same level of service as 95% of US providers (by customer base) use the same software to run their systems - Amdocs Ensemble. So it all works the same way. The only difference is in marketing and how big a smile you get at their stores. Even the CRM runs on AMDOCS Clarify so all the call center reps are working from the same script.
    • by LBArrettAnderson ( 655246 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:18AM (#19713513)
      If you read the other person's problem thingy, it states quite clearly that this is not AT&T's problem, but it is a problem with iTunes and the iPhone.
      • by RESPAWN ( 153636 ) <caldwellNO@SPAMtulanealumni.net> on Monday July 02, 2007 @08:22AM (#19715785) Homepage Journal
        Actually, I happened to be in an AT&T store this weekend* and overheard a couple of people complaining to the store reps that they couldn't activate their iPhone. Their problem actually lied in being unable to install XP SP2 on their computer, but like most non-technologically inclined consumers they didn't understand that this was a PC/Microsoft problem. They were pissed and the poor Cingular/AT&T/name-of-the-day reps had no idea how to help the customers. And who can blame the customers either? They just spent $500-$600 on a new "superphone" and can't even use the thing.

        I played with the iPhone and it is a very cool phone. Just like the iPod, the iPhone interface is extremely intuitive. My only complaint was that I found the onscreen keyboard hard to use. Without any sort of tactile feedback, such as what I get with my current QWERTY keyed phone, I found that I had a lot of mistyped letters on the screen. That would probably be a deal breaker for me, personally.

        I really want the iPhone to succeed because it is a cool product with a lot of cool new ideas. The more the iPhone succeeds the better the market on the whole will get, as more and more competitors start including many of the iPhone's features. But I just can't help but wonder if the iPhone will ever be able to live up to its own hype.

        *Note: while I refuse to give Cingular any more of my money after the way they treated me before, like a good little geek I did have to play with the demo phones in the store. If the next version of the iPhone is released on a cross-carrier basis and it's a little more reasonably priced, I would probably consider it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ahoehn ( 301327 )
        Even if this round of problems were due to ATT's customer service, the buck still stops at Apple because they chose to go exclusively with ATT, which makes it all Apple's problem.

        Certainly, they also chose to go with CMDA, which basically limits them to ATT or T-Mobile, but just about every other phone in the US market seems to be able to produce both a GSM and CMDA version, so why couldn't the iPhone? Producing a couple models of the iPhone that could were sold contract-independent, were sold in the Apple
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Especially since AT&T, a company known for shitty service, was given launch rights.

      But, but but!

      Apple's going to fix the entire cell phone industry with the iPhone! Surely they wouldn't have chosen the worst servicing, most predatory monopolist of the cell phone industry to be their partner?
    • by adam ( 1231 ) * on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:23AM (#19713551)
      I am aware of the activation problems, especially after seeing this looooong thread [apple.com] on Apple's own forums. However, with regard to the engadget poll, I would be wary of its results-- there are many people who are "haters" of the Apple products, of the iPhone, etc, and I suspect many people who don't own iPhones are responding anyway saying they have activation problems, to skew the poll. My experience has been generally good.. bought 4 phones (I discussed yesterday [slashdot.org]), and three of them activated almost immediately. My primary phone, our biz dev guy's phone, our operations director.. no problem. The fourth, got the notorious "we need more time to complete this activation" (I was porting a second line, after porting my primary line from t-mobile). After about 12 hours, it started receiving texts, and within 24hrs it was ringing at the correct number. I called t-mobile tonight to cancel my service (40hr mark, or so) and they told me the second number has yet to fully release and to call back tomorrow to confirm it released and my service was fully cancelled.

      I admit not to have much technical knowhow with respec to the inner workings of this process, but I don't imagine it's entirely any one aspect.. AT&T, Apple, etc. It's probably due to the slowness of every vendor involved (those releasing numbers, etc) and the sheer volume of registrations over the last 72hrs.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BlueTrin ( 683373 )
        Apple should force users to enter some iPhoneID to be able to post in the technical problems section to avoid spams and false information.

        But did you consider also the fact that not all the people who have problems will log on to Apple forums to post or vote in the poll ?
      • by Holmwood ( 899130 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @03:42AM (#19714477)

        there are many people who are "haters" of the Apple products, of the iPhone, etc, and I suspect many people who don't own iPhones are responding anyway saying they have activation problems, to skew the poll.

        I really don't buy that 'haters' are skewing the poll significantly. It's possible, sure, but... it really comes off as sounding unlikely to me.

        That said, there's no way that 33% or more of iPhone customers are having serious activation problems. That would be many, many hundreds of thousands of people. If that were the case, there'd be news stories galore, all over CNN etc. We'd all (not just a few of us) know people who were suffering activation problems.

        The OP is certainly correct in this -- it's an unscientific poll that doesn't mean much. Any online poll like that will suffer from selection bias. That bias could be 'haters', but it's much more likely that people having troubles activating are out actively searching for information, and, more likely to find such a poll and, in turn, much more likely to respond to such a poll than people who have the phone perfectly activated and are relaxing and enjoying their phones.

        (To the OP, I wanted to see the results and cheerfully answered -- lying -- that I'd had no problems activating my non-existent iPhone. So at least I biased it the other way!)

        I'm biased btw, I think the iPhone is nice, but ludicrously overhyped, and anyone who waited a long time in line for it is out to lunch.

        But I suspect the OP's experience (2 of 4 phones activating perfectly, one almost perfectly, and the fourth within 24 hours) is par for the course. And, frankly, considering what a mess AT&T's systems are, I think that's an impressive achievement for Apple.

        If we took a WAG (wild-assed guess), there are almost certainly thousands of people with serious activation problems. There might even be tens of thousands. A hundred thousand? I doubt it, but perhaps possible. Even at the 100k mark, that'd be one in 15 customers. 6.7%. Considering it's mobiles and AT&T involved, that actually sounds very good to me, though painful for those with problems.

        Granted, if there are still many thousands of people with serious problems in several days time, that'd be quite bad.

        As someone who isn't an iPhone fan, it looks like a pretty decent launch. Though I still shake my head at those waiting in line.
    • by scooter.higher ( 874622 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @02:02AM (#19713843) Homepage Journal
      The summary fails to mention one of the (I believe) more informational parts of the story...

      http://thomashawk.com/2007/07/hot-donkey-after-36- hours-we-just.html [thomashawk.com]

      Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Haaaalllleeeeejuuuuuahhhhh!

      We just did it. After probably 20 or so phone calls to numerous departments all over Apple and AT&T we finally found the *right* department who can actually activate iPhones with you online, on the spot.

      The magic number, and you will want to write this one down, is 877-800-3701. A special shout out and thanks to Scott Francis who left us a comment with the key to getting this whole mess solved. Apparently this is the one place at AT&T where they can actually activate your iPhone with you online. It was about a 20 minute hold and about a 10 minute process but the iPhone is now activated.

      Thanks to everyone who spent the last day plus with us on ZooomrTV while we got it activated. It's been a fun ride. Now time to play with the phone and figure it out.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 02, 2007 @02:44AM (#19714105)

        The summary fails to mention one of the (I believe) more informational parts of the story...

        Oops, you quoted the wrong part, from the comments:

        you are an idiot. i saw several ppl trying to help you in the zooomr chat and you ignored their suggestions, choosing instead to milk the story. how funny that the solution you eventually was the same as the one they suggested. if you had spent more time trying to solve the problem and less time on a broadcasting ego-trip then maybe you wouldn't have wasted so much of your weekend on hold and could have spent it with the children instead.
    • Schadenfreude, nuff said
    • Its a GSM phone, why the hell do you need to activate it? Every other phone in the world just needs a your old sim card inserted and a full battery charge.
    • by Palpitations ( 1092597 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @03:28AM (#19714391)
      I worked for Cingular for quite a while before they merged with AT&T - and for a while afterwards. My jobs ranged from fraud prevention to customer service. My position in fraud prevention was the most interesting, as a large part of the fraud we saw was from cell phone dealers themselves. They'd steal credit card information from one customer, tell the rest of their customers that they could come pay their bills at the store with cash (when they weren't authorized to do that), pocket the cash, and then use the stolen card to pay the bills. When you see 100+ accounts paid with the same credit card, you know something is up. That said, before AT&T moved in, my job was basically to help people. I was in a position where I called people who were using a lot more minutes than their plan offered, and instead of charging them the insane amount they would have paid for going over, I offered to switch them to a plan that would cover their usage. The most extreme example that comes to mind is someone who had used so many minutes over their plan that their next bill would have been well over $2,000 - they were flagged, I called them, and convinced them to switch from the lowest priced plan to the highest priced one, because that meant they would save about $1,800 a month. How's that for customer service? Sure, we could have just stuck that guy with a $2,000 bill, and put his nuts in a vice. But we did the right thing - we looked for customers who would be hurt and spent our time, money, and resources to help them out. Guess what one of the first programs that got cut was when AT&T took over?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by theturtle32 ( 526990 )
      My 8gb iPhone activated no problem but then the speaker didn't work ... No rings no music without headphones, no speakerphone. So I took it back to the apple store at the grove in los angeles and they replaced it with a new one on the spot, even though they were supposedly out of them. They had enough foresight to keep a bunch on hand to be able to offer replacements for people who had problems. That's good customer service. They switched the sim card from my broken phone to the new one so that when i w
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:16AM (#19713507) Journal
    Keep in mind that AT&T is turning on more cell phone accounts at once than anyone has ever done in the history of the cell phone industry. iPhone sales have either hit a million units already, or they will by the end of the coming week. If they perform at 99.9%, that's still going to be a thousand people running into problems.

    Everyone I know who's gotten one so far had it activated in a couple of minutes. The real story here is how smoothly it's going overall.


    • "cell phone accounts at once than anyone has ever done in the history of the cell phone industry"

      right so you'd think they would have tested this activation thing and gotten it right BEFORE launch. no excuses, it's just piss poor.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by jcr ( 53032 )
        They did quite a bit of testing, actually. That's why we're not getting reports of tens of thousands of people having problems.


    • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:33AM (#19713631) Homepage Journal
      It isn't like they are a new company or haven't done this before.

      When other new huge phones launch, there is often a flurry of activations, and I do believe AT&T has been in the phone business a while.

      Let's be honest here. The problem is that this is new in how they're handling activation. Because Apple has a such a large say in this whole process, it suddenly becomes less clear who is responsible for what. You introduce new policies, procedures and hardware at once, you're going to get SNAFUs.

      This isn't being a hater, but simply being objective. Apple has done some things rather well, and others not so well. For a company that does claim to have things "just work", they made the activation process more complicated than it needs to be.

      Just activate in-store like any other cell phone.

      That is having it "just work".
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 )
        Some of the problems arise from the owner living outside the area code of the original line.

        I really don't think that it helps that maybe several hundred thousand transfers and activations are happening at the same time, basically 6pm ET to 7pm PT. I don't think it happens very often.

        Having it done in iTunes on the whole, probably improved the experience for 95%+ of the buyers, otherwise the lines would have taken maybe two or three times longer to finish.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Enderandrew ( 866215 )
          It improved the experience for 95% of the buyers?

          Then why did 50% of them report problems?

          Something doesn't add up right. Anytime I've purchased a phone, it worked when I left the store. I didn't need to do anything else.

          Last time I checked, Microsoft got hit with a fine over half a BILLION dollars for bundling their media player. If I want to watch something with the Quicktime codec, Apple bundles iTunes into the Quicktime download, and forces people to download iTunes if you want to activate their phon
      • by greg_barton ( 5551 ) * <<greg_barton> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Monday July 02, 2007 @03:03AM (#19714211) Homepage Journal

        When other new huge phones launch, there is often a flurry of activations, and I do believe AT&T has been in the phone business a while.

        Yeah, but this was a phone launch like no other. I'm not just being the fanboi here. I've never seen a line outside a cellular phone store for anything. (Well, to get tech support at lunch time, maybe...) Cell providers just aren't prepared to handle this kind of burst buying.

        Case in point, I got my iPhone at an AT&T store. For each person who bought a phone they sat us down, asked us a few questions, got our payment info, etc. Took about 10 minutes, and they had maybe five sales guys processing customers. From when the line started moving (I was #34 in line) it took about an hour before I was driving away. For contrast, my friends who bought at an Apple store were out in half the time, and there were more customers there than at the AT&T store I went to.

        Bottom line, Apple knows how to handle hype generated high volume sales. (They know how to create hype, natch...) The public's never gotten so excited about a cell phone before, so cell providers are unaccustomed to the phenomena. Hopefully they'll learn...
      • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @04:45AM (#19714787) Homepage
        "Just activate in-store like any other cell phone."

        You think people are having problems now? A Piper Jay analyst said Apple has probably sold a half-million phones this weekend. I waited in line, then once inside the store, paid and had my phone in two minutes. Went to an WiFi-enabled restaurant nearby and was activated in three more, while I had some coffee.

        So given that, the Apple store I went to processed an entire line of 200 people in an hour and a half, and I'd saw a quarter of those at least bought two phones.

        Now. Picture a half-million people standing in line and having store employees REQUIRED to do all activations, transfers, credit checks, purchases, and all the other garbage usually associated with buying a phone, and now taking 10, 15, or even 20-minutes with each one. Now THAT would have been a disaster.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 )
      Two other things.

      1 - You seem to suggest the iPhone is selling out like mad. Funny, countless reports show the phone is still in stock everywhere, not just at the usual AT&T stores, but in Apple stores, and available on the web. For the most hyped-product of the year, it didn't sell out right away. Let's say 20% of the country has AT&T Cingular (which may be generous). Of those, how many are eligible for new phones this minute? Of that group, how many absolutely had to have the iPhone on launch
      • how about he reads when you do. iPhone is still in stock because they are being re-stocked daily. They have to my knowledge sold out daily. Why they did it that way who knows, screw ebayers? If so bravo.
        • My wife and I checked earlier today because we heard how people were selling them for $900 on eBay. There were several auctions with 5 minutes left that were still at $200 for a brand new iPhone. You know what. I still wouldn't buy one. I have a Samsung SGH-D807 that I got not only for free, but for -$15 thanks to an instant in-store rebate. I have a gig memory card that I got for $9, and I love it. It plays my music, has a pretty screen, visualizations, I can download games to it, download full TV ep
          • They are in fact shipping daily. AT&T stores don't have enough storage room to store a week's worth of iPhones. I got in line at an AT&T store on friday and 10 minutes after I got in line they told everyone they were sold out. They only had like maybe 60 phones in stock.
    • The people who REALLY believe in the power of Steve are having no problems with activation. So, if you're having a problem, you have only yourself to blame. Maybe you need to look deep inside yourself and reaffirm your dedication to Steve.

      Steve needs faithful followers, truly dedicated to Apple's world-changing mission. He doesn't need fair-weathered followers, who criticize him or his wonderful products.

  • Well, I'm happy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by UbuntuDupe ( 970646 ) *
    Not because I hate Apple or AT&T ... but because I just went through the process of upgrading a seven-year-old phone (Sprint). And it was a pain in the ass. I went through customer support hell, inconsistent stories, runarounds, transfers ... I was thinking the whole time, "holy shit, people upgrade phones all the time, why the hell does this have to happen to me?"

    Well, as of this weekend, I completed the month-long process of upgrading ... and I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one who has to go
  • The Engadget Poll (Score:5, Informative)

    by Necroman ( 61604 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:25AM (#19713567)
    The Poll that Engadget had about the service problems was fairly badly put together. The only way to be able to see results is to vote first. For for all the people that don't even have iPhones, they had to choose 1 of the 3 options before they could see the results. Since there was no "I Don't have an iPhone" options, it severally screwed with the results.
    • by mr_matticus ( 928346 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:50AM (#19713741)
      Not only that, but the respondents are self-selecting (why would the "happy middle," who have no stake in spreading their tales of joy, even respond to the poll? While a higher percentage of early adopters probably read Engadget, it's still a small minority of the market. How about the benefit of iPhone haters claiming problems just to stir the pot?) and don't have to "prove" that they even have an iPhone. It's basically the same as asking, "what's your opinion about Windows Vista after purchase?" without taking any further steps.

      Are we really willing to believe that 13,000 iPhone customers responded to a poll on a tech-nerd website like Engadget? If that's even remotely accurate, that should indicate the high sales rate of the iPhone. But then again, it's similar to the response rate of every other Engadget poll, so it's probably total crap.

      For the record, I don't care either way whether or not 38% of customers had activation trouble or not. I don't care whether 100,000 iPhones sold or 2 million did. It's a neat gadget, but my life isn't riding on it.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:28AM (#19713587) Homepage

    Lesson: do not launch product that requires extensive customer service at the beginning of a weekend.

    The general observation seems to be that activation from a cold start works OK, but anything that requires "number portability" from a previous account may be troublesome. That's no surprise; number portability is usually a mess, because the carriers don't want you to use that Government-mandated feature.

    It's still not clear why activation should require a separate computer. Activation via iTunes might be a nice option if you already use iTunes, but it shouldn't be the main route. After all, the iPhone has its very own Internet connection.

  • gadgets (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wall0159 ( 881759 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:29AM (#19713595)
    The iPhone looks like a great piece of tech, and I might get one someday. But...

    It seems like Slashdot has a greater and greater proportion of articles that relate to gadgets (stuff to buy), and fewer and fewer that are about tech developments, science, etc. I'm not bitching about Slashdot, but is it really the case that nerds have become merely watered-down gear-freaks, and no longer employ their mind in the pursuit of knowledge?

    Please, oh true nerds, answer my rallying cry!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 )
      iPhone, and Apple articles in general, attract fans (and anti-fans), rather than nerds/geeks. The difference between tech-fans and geeks is the difference between religionists and mystics. Fandom is, at the end of the day, a dependent relationship of admiration and respect for the cultural authority of some producer or another. That's antithetical to the nerd distance from the "marketed product" and the interest on how it could work and what could be done with it.

      I'll admit it: I think fannishness of any st
  • Activation was a snap. Took about 3 minutes. Posting fromm iPhone. :)
  • Perhaps this has been explained elsewhere, but here seems as good a place as any for me to ask the question: How is Cingular/AT&T not being to be a disaster for Apple. Everyone I know who has had Cingular has been unhappy with their service. The majority end up switching to Verizon and become fairly satisfied.

    I always felt Cingular made cell phone virtually unuseable. Has AT&T/Cingular massively improved their network in the past year? Is everyone going to end up thinking the iPhone is a
    • by McGiraf ( 196030 )
      "Perhaps this has been explained elsewhere, but here seems as good a place as any for me to ask the question: How is Cingular/AT&T not being to be a disaster for Apple. Everyone I know who has had Cingular has been unhappy with their service. The majority end up switching to Verizon and become fairly satisfied.

      I always felt Cingular made cell phone virtually unuseable. Has AT&T/Cingular massively improved their network in the past year? Is everyone going to end up thinking the iPhone is awful simply
    • Perhaps this has been explained elsewhere, but here seems as good a place as any for me to ask the question: How is Cingular/AT&T not being to be a disaster for Apple. Everyone I know who has had Cingular has been unhappy with their service. The majority end up switching to Verizon and become fairly satisfied.

      I always felt Cingular made cell phone virtually unuseable. Has AT&T/Cingular massively improved their network in the past year? Is everyone going to end up thinking the iPhone is awful simply because their service is so bad? Am I missing something?

      Thank you.

      I'm a current verizon customer and I can't stand them: here's why - I had a RAZR with 1st gen firmware, phone worked well, and I was able to use bluetooth to sync to my powerbook, transfer pix, and transfer mp3 ringtones. I had battery problem and brought the phone into verizon last Oct. they told me they would replace battery (was about $50) and that they would "upgrade" the firmware to improve battery life. Later, I found that bluetooth wouldn't work. I did some googling, and found out that the new firmw

    • I've been with Cingular for a real long time now. I've not had many significant problem. The problems I have had were usually fixed in less then 15 minutes.

      I just upgraded to a BB Curve and while talking to the person the phone call dropped (on a land line) and she actually called me back to complete the upgrade and when I asked her for the unlock code she found it for me in less than 10 minutes. I was really very impressed.

      Incidentally Verizon uses CDMA (or whatever) so their phones work in only a few coun
    • by L7_ ( 645377 )
      i think it is because the antenna on the iphone is not cheap, and is waay better than ones that come with any free mobile phone nowadays.

      good antenna = no dropped calls, better service, everything.
    • Simple answer (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall ( 25149 )
      Perhaps this has been explained elsewhere, but here seems as good a place as any for me to ask the question: How is Cingular/AT&T not being to be a disaster for Apple.

      Because we hate all cell carriers. We expect to hate the cell carrier.

      After activation is complete though, we don't really have to talk to the cell-phone carrier. Then we just have the phone experience, which is great. That's when cell service may start to arise as an issue, but we've also been trained to accept that as a fact of life.

  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @01:55AM (#19713799) Homepage
    We're the phone company, we don't have to.
  • my experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by venicebeach ( 702856 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @02:11AM (#19713893) Homepage Journal
    Posting this from my iPhone. I had trouble activating at first too. After waiting 10 hours I figured out that the problem was with transfering my old verizon phone number. I asked them to cancel the activation and started again with a new number -- went through immediately.

    You cant do anything with the phone until its activated, no ipod, photos, nothing except calling 911. So the wait can be frustrating, and its very hard to get info out of ATT.
  • talk about abuse of the tagging system. you guys are like 10 year olds.
  • I absolutely hate AT&T. I have tmobile, and honestly of all the phone companies I've ever had land line or cell, they have been the best. I know people have had problems with them, they aren't perfect. But I don't know ANYONE who has had AT&T service and not had problems. I even called tmobile once because a certain strech of highway I drive on suddenly didn't have service anymore, they looked it up, found the problem and said they'd send techs out to fix it. Something had happened with some an
    • I think it's unfair to say what AT&T would have done, when you never actually called them.

      I have had a T-Mobile pay-as-you-go account for about a year now. Service quality is OK, but not great. However your support experience does not extend to my dealings with them - when I first got the phone I was trying to make a call to T-Mobile to buy the initial minutes for my phone, and they kept dropping me - the most frustrating experience I have ever had via phone. On the tail end, I'm trying to port my ph
  • by pyrrhonist ( 701154 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @02:37AM (#19714063)
    I'm ptsonig tihs form my iPnhoe, and I'm gald to say taht I've had no porblmes wsoeavrthr!
  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Monday July 02, 2007 @03:45AM (#19714491) Journal
    TFA says it took 36 hours, but he's all sorted out.


  • ZOMG! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Quiet_Desperation ( 858215 ) on Monday July 02, 2007 @03:50AM (#19714525)
    Brand new product fails to have flawless launch. Film at eleven on The No Fucking Kidding News Network.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin