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Apple's Bad Day

This is not the Friday Apple had wanted. There's a lot of frustrated people out there right now. A quick survey of the damage so far:

London launch of iPhone 3G marred by software problems

"It just goes dead," said would-be customer Mark Phipps, who left the store frustrated and without an iPhone 3G.

Macworld | iPhone Central | Crowds, activation delays hit iPhone launch

Problems with the iTunes server caused some enthusiasts who had waited in line for hours to walk out of the store unable to use their new iPhones, according to the disgruntled customers.

iPhone launch-o-mess-o-rama | The Macalope: An Apple blog - CNET News.com:

Also, the horny one is seeing reports that the iPhone 2.0 update is now available through iTunes, but it's effectively bricking peoples' iPhone since the Store is down. The update gets installed, but the phone can't reactivate. Probably want to wait on that one, too.

Today @ PC World iTunes Store "Unavailable": This iPod Touch Owner is Stuck in Update Limbo

I'm still locked out of updating my iPod Touch via iTunes. But one thing Apple has managed to do is bill me for Apple App Store software downloaded to my PC earlier this morning. I JUST received an e-mail confirmation my credit card has been billed.

MacNN | MobileMe problems continue, upset customers

Problems began when the company shifted its scheduled downtime for the .Mac/MobileMe transition, moving the end of it to 2AM Thursday. A lack of access continued throughout the day for many customers, however, and as of Friday morning in the US the service is still not fully functional.

And just wardial a few terms on Twitter:

I don't mean to pile on here; I'm just amazed at the perfect storm of issues Apple is fighting today -- and wondering what the hell went wrong. I wonder if it's all related to server scale in one way or another.

It's brutal to watch all this and, at least so far anyway, it feels like a pitiful way to introduce a bunch of enthusiastic new customers to a company that consistently earns its premium from customer experience.

My advice to anyone considering touching any part of this frayed wire today is to stay the hell away. At least until tomorrow or Monday. Wait for things to sort out, back up your .Mac data, and hang out until things start to settle down.

And, if you have a brick, don't play with it. Wait. Don't fiddle. People get weird at times like this and end up doing stupid stuff to make it worse. Just take a walk, have a drink or three, and let things calm down.

And, godspeed my Apple friends who are working on this today. Hang in there, gang. It won't be Friday forever.

Brandon_Leedy's picture

Don't mean to be THAT GUY/John Dvorak... but...

Concerning the iphone:

First the iPhone 3G has basically become an AT&T product. Can you have a fully functional iphone without a service contract from AT&T (in the US)? No. Therefore the iphone is now additionally defined by the contract it works from/the service you get. AT&T has far lower standards and doesn't care that "your experience is degraded". Second, did anyone expect them to actually make and distribute enough so everyone would get a phone and be able to update and process on day 1?! If you did you're nuts. First of all, they want scarcity, scarcity = talk = money. They figure that you will wait regardless and they, being apple, are right. In two weeks when all the hardcores have their phones, and the rest rethink their decision to wait (a sensible one) everyone will applaud apple on what a "success" this was.

Concerning mobile me, itunes, software updates:

Servers do this thing called crashing when too many people get on for things... and EVERYONE GOT ON. All I can say is, if this happened to Microsoft, we would be hearing about it forever, and we usually do. I'm no windows fan in the least (I'd rather use a mac, but I have to use windows because of 3D modelers) but the tech press will magically forget all the problems come time for a new release and be deluded yet again that Apple is ready this time to handle the load. I had to laugh when I heard it... "so a product that had lots of customers day one (and lots of problems day one) will magically have no problems even though it has 10x more customers all wanting it the same day? Sorry, but this is just logic.

Thank you for being a voice of reason Merlin. People need to chill out and wait. If we got this excited about voting or social issues we might do something amazing... Anyways, end of rant, sorry about being that guy... just had to say it. Sure the distortion field is fun, I loved Leo's coverage and all the press... but I'm still sensible enough to know when problems are coming and when a phone isn't worth all this...




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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