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AT&T memos detail iPhone 3G unbricking tool, crowd planning, more...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
A recent series of internal memos from AT&T to its Mobility staffers reveal a variety of preparatory measures ahead of next month's iPhone launch, including the deployment of an iPhone 3G unbricking tool, ongoing 3G network optimizations, regional advertising campaigns, and calls for part time crowd control, inventory runners, and floor coordinators.

iTunes Activation App

Specifically, one memo issued late last week noted that all company owned retail stores would soon see their desktop systems updated with an icon (below) "for the iTunes utility that will be used for unbricking iPhone 3G devices during the activation process." Employees were asked not to use the partial iTunes software until launch day, but were told that they "WILL need this icon for iPhone 3G launch on July 11th!"

The instructions support expectations that, at least in the case of sales at AT&T stores, each iPhone 3G will need to be unboxed and fully activated at the point of sale. In a second memo, the wireless carrier put out a call for additional part time staffers for launch weekend, which listed among the available positions a back office manager / inventory runner whose job would include bringing iPhone 3Gs from the inventory room to retail sales consultants and then helping to unbox them in order "to facilitate unbricking."



Call for Part Time Staffers

"Although we cannot predict the number of customers who will visit our stores the weekend of July 11 - 13, we want to be prepared for crowds," AT&T's vice president and general manager for the New England region told staffers in that memo. He asked that employees consider adopting at least one additional four- to seven-hour shift during the weekend, as additional staff are needed to fill a variety of positions, including Crowd Manager, Greeter, and Floor Coordinator.

Among the duties required of a Crowd Manager will be to "coordinate efforts with Line Manager to ensure customers are iReady," and set up stanchions to facilitate the queuing process. Greeters will be required to welcome customers to the store "within 10 feet or 10 seconds," as well as control the flow of those customers in and out of the store. Meanwhile, Floor Coordinators will be tasked with managing the occupancy level of the store and ensuring customers are sold iPhone 3Gs in the order in which they arrived.



Network Optimizations

Simultaneously, AT&T's network engineers continue to optimize the carrier's 3G network to "ensure the very best experience" for customers while "delivering high-quality service and speeds." In particular, a third memo obtained by AppleInsider noted that preparing for the upcoming 3G iPhone launch "includes implementing improved design metrics, some of which were lessons learned from the previous 'Fine EDGE' program:"
Identify and add radio capacity where needed.
Provide an extra carrier, enhancing capacity even more with an 850 overlay.
Performance triggers (for additional resources) designed to go earlier.
Escalate additional overlay work (2009) for possible 2008 future expansion.
Address core network; sized to handle additional T1 now and adding capacity as triggers dictate.
Modify system parameters to maximize resource efficiencies.
Advertising

Finally, AT&T said that over the next few months, it plans to rev up a new series of regional advertising campaigns that will focus on network strength and exclusive devices like the iPhone 3G.



"Over the next few months you will notice a local advertising campaign that focuses on network strength," the carrier told employees. "You will hear it on the radio and see it online, on billboards, on bus wraps and other out-of-home media."

AppleInsider also recently covered an internal memo from Apple to its own retail staffers.
post #2 of 26
Ahhhh PROOF READ PLEASE


Also, I thought New England was Giant Country
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post #3 of 26
Does this article make anyone else think that perhaps Apple is shipping the iPhone 3G 'bricked' and the in-store activation process will unbrick the phone. Is this perhaps Apple's way of minimizing unlocked phones?
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

Does this article make anyone else think that perhaps Apple is shipping the iPhone 3G 'bricked' and the in-store activation process will unbrick the phone. Is this perhaps Apple's way of minimizing unlocked phones?

Could be.... but if so, how long will it take before the "iTunes activation only"-version will be in the hands of unlockers.....
post #5 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

Does this article make anyone else think that perhaps Apple is shipping the iPhone 3G 'bricked' and the in-store activation process will unbrick the phone. Is this perhaps Apple's way of minimizing unlocked phones?


that is very likely the case. and the "brick" and contract requirement are almost certainly efforts to deal with the whole jailbreaking situation from the last year.

we'll see if any of this works or if folks simply break the phone, break contract and pay the extra $150-200 penalty and go about business as usual
post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

Does this article make anyone else think that perhaps Apple is shipping the iPhone 3G 'bricked' and the in-store activation process will unbrick the phone. Is this perhaps Apple's way of minimizing unlocked phones?

Yes -- this is what they are doing.

Best,

Kasper
EIC- AppleInsider.com
Questions and comments to : kasper@appleinsider.com
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EIC- AppleInsider.com
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post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwoloszynski View Post

Does this article make anyone else think that perhaps Apple is shipping the iPhone 3G 'bricked' and the in-store activation process will unbrick the phone. Is this perhaps Apple's way of minimizing unlocked phones?

The first gen iPhone was sold more or less bricked too. I think you could dial 911 and look at the time, but that's about all it would do.
post #8 of 26
I am squemish about letting any AT&T employee touch my damn iPhone 3G. I wonder what the Apple store protocol is likely to be.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

I am squemish about letting any AT&T employee touch my damn iPhone 3G. I wonder what the Apple store protocol is likely to be.

I'm still hoping that as long as you currently have an AT&T account and are eligible for the upgrade price that you'll be able to activate at home. In other words, I'm hoping that this tool is only for those who are currently not under contract with AT&T or want to get it activated in store.
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post #10 of 26
Well, this is interesting news and very good to know for us and Appleinsider but... sometimes I ask myself how come so confidential (at least as mentioned on the internal memo) info goes out of ATT just as direct as this??...
post #11 of 26
Have any of the rate plans for AT&T been announced yet?
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post #12 of 26
Any word yet what time the iPhone 3G will be going on sale in the US?

I want to stand in line and meet my fellow geeks/tech addicts.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The first gen iPhone was sold more or less bricked too. I think you could dial 911 and look at the time, but that's about all it would do.

Exactly, this will be no different then the first gen iPhone's besides not being able to leave the store without activating it, which is the big deal for people like me without even the option to have ATT, thought I am totally happy with Unicel on my first gen iPhone as they are way cheaper.

Funny they call it bricked, but I suppose they are right as you can't do anything with it until it has been activated.
post #14 of 26
In so many ways I wish that Apple would become a mobile provider, as there many mergers and acquisitions happening in the industry; AT&T as their provider royally sucks.
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by macintel4me View Post

I want to stand in line and meet my fellow geeks/tech addicts.

I think you mean Apple Fan Boys..
post #16 of 26
job listings? can i be a part of this? anyone know a phone # or something?
post #17 of 26
well these are actual good news. I think everything is gonna be alright =)
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post #18 of 26
I had my 2G iPhone quit on me the other day. I went to Apple and they exchanged it. This happened about 6 months ago and from what I remember, before they had me activate it at home. This time, I just entered in my number in their iTunes and the phone was activated. It didn't try and synch or anything either. My guess is, this is just like it will be for the new ones and AT&T will handle contract renewals on a different system.
post #19 of 26
Having to unbox all the phones seems useless, they could just demand everyone signs a contract before they are handed a phone
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogcow View Post

Ahhhh PROOF READ PLEASE


Also, I thought New England was Giant Country

More like NY Giants.
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2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
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post #21 of 26
I'd rather drive the 4hrs to the nearest Apple Store than trust the schmucks at my local ATT shop w/ my new phone + personal data (credit card info+SS#... )

Yeah, I may be deluded thinking the Apple staff are better, but have already had negative experiences w/ cell-phone retail shops..so far,at least, no bad experiences at an Apple Store..

I'm very unhappy as both a customer and as a shareholder that Apple has given up on the at-home iTunes activation... Maybe Apple could offer a gas card w/ purchase?

post #22 of 26
I moved my GoPhone iPhone to a 2 year contract 2 weeks ago at an AT&T store. The store connected my iPhone to a computer with iTunes running, I had to enter my information. It didn't sync anything. I'm guessing this is how the activation is going to take place. I was told I had to activate my iPhone in the store, not at home through iTunes.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

More like NY Giants.

oh snap.

& "ensure customers are iReady"?
Really?
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutcho View Post

I think you mean Apple Fan Boys..

You should perhaps read more carefully: he did say 'fellow geeks/tech.....'
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You should perhaps read more carefully: he did say 'fellow geeks/tech.....'

In which case I meant "fellow Apple Fan Boys"..
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

I am squemish about letting any AT&T employee touch my damn iPhone 3G. I wonder what the Apple store protocol is likely to be.

this is a big deal and no one else on this board wants to raise it. we obviously have a lot of people here that won't mind sleeping in front of an AT&T store in a cardboard box next thursday
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