I admit it. I am totally enamored with the new iPhone, even though I have yet to purchase one. After hearing about the activation snags within the first 48 hours, however, I am content with waiting to make the investment.
Even before the television commercials saturated the airwaves, my iBook advertised the cool new gadget every time I logged onto Safari—and I was instantly hooked. iPhone, which hit the marketplace on June 29, combines all the goodies a gizmo-lover wants: It’s a mobile phone with wireless Internet access, and it also features Apple’s iPod music and video player. I mean, this is too good to be true! Of course, after some research, I realized I was right.
While it is a great personal device, it may take some time for iPhone to become a tried-and-true tool for reliable business communications. According to Ken Dulaney, VP of mobile computing at Gartner, this first generation has its share of hurdles, including a lack of support from major mobile-device management and security suites, and its construction leaves much to be desired. For example, some critics are complaining that the unit does not have a removable battery, making it a breeding ground for support issues.
I am more concerned by the fact that only one mobile-solution provider— AT&T—supports the gadget so far. Please don’t misunderstand. I am not turned off by the company per se. But I am turned off by how it handled the activation process.
Those lucky to get an iPhone were instructed to activate the gadget directly through the AT&T Web site. Doing as they were told, thousands of users flooded the Web to get their iPhone online. However, heavy traffic overwhelmed the telecommunications carrier and left approximately 2% of buyers out of touch for about 48 hours.
Asking buyers to activate iPhones from their own computers “is a brand new process in the industry,” according to Mark Siegel, AT&T spokesman. “No other carrier has had people activate their phones or accounts this way.”
Some analysts described the activation woes merely as a short-term “public-relations issue” for AT&T and Apple. Maybe those lucky souls got their phones to work.
In reality, I see a b