iPhone Madness

by Jeff Abbott on July 12, 2008

Disclosure: I’m an Apple shareholder and long-time user of their products (since 1999). I’ll blog now and then about what tools/gear I use in my writing, only because (to my surprise) I often get asked what I use to help me put my books together.
Yesterday, you may have heard, Apple started selling the new 3G iPhone, a more powerful and less expensive version of the original iPhone. At the same time, Apple offered a major software update to original iPhone owners (like me) which could be done through iTunes and also relaunched its .Mac service as MobileMe, a way to push and automatically synchronize your calendar, mail, photos, and so on between your Macs, your PCs, your iPhones, and probably your 1972 Mustang. So, in one day, Apple launches two major products and a major product upgrade, across 21 countries.
For a few hours, at least, it didn’t go well. It went horribly. The activation networks locked up, leaving iPhones as little more than shiny bricks, and many current and new users confused and angry.
I stayed far away from the launch–mostly because I totally forgot about it. But, seeing that there were apparently major difficulties in both getting new and old iPhones activated, I’m glad I didn’t jump in. The situation seemed to improve later in the day, fortunately, with many people reporting they were finally able to activate their iPhones. Others remained out of luck. Many of them complained that they were losing business and missing important calls. Sites such as AppleInsider, and the Apple Support Forums, were filled with updates from users on their successes and failures.
My iPhone is my business phone (and it’s been the best phone I’ve ever had, bar none). Performing a huge update on my iPhone right before I leave on a book tour that stretches from London to San Francisco? That’s Russian roulette. I’m truly sorry for those whose iPhones turned into iBricks, but caution suggests you don’t upgrade a business-critical system on a major product launch day. (Which is also a Friday.) It’s better to let the first adopters rush in and see if there’s a problem. Let the dust settle. As eager as I am to have the improvements that the new 2.0 version of the iPhone software offers, I am fine without them until I’m home for a long stretch and not utterly dependent on my cell phone.
Here’s hoping everyone who had a problem with their iPhone has it resolved soon.

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