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Notes from our experience activating an iPhone 3G at Apple retail

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 
We stood in line at a local Apple retail store early this morning to experience the first-day iPhone 3G launch and new activation process. What follows is a comprehensive set of notes covering the process for those customers who'll be picking up their new iPhone later today, this weekend, or sometime thereafter.

We arrived at our local Apple retail store a little after 6:00 a.m. and we surprised to find only about 50 customers ahead of us. But by the time the store opened at 8:00 a.m., the line had swelled to several hundred.

Preparing to enter the Apple store

During the two-hour wait, several employees made their way up and down the line, handing out waters, pouring Starbucks coffees from huge canisters, conveying the information that customers would need upon entering the store, and occasionally handing out information pamphlets (which seemed to be in limited supply).

Customers who were subscribed to an existing AT&T FamilyTalk plan but were not that primary account holder were told that they would be unable to upgrade to a new iPhone 3G on that plan without the primary account holder being present. The explanation for this was that adding an iPhone 3G to an existing FamilyTalk plan actually alters the contract, and hence the primary account holder needed to be present. This was upsetting for a number of folks whose primary account holders happened to be hundreds of miles away in a different state.

Customers making the switch to AT&T alongside their iPhone 3G purchase needed to have their current wireless account number and password, their full social security number, a government-issued photo ID, and a credit card. Existing AT&T subscribers and iPhone owners only needed to present the last four digits of their social security number, their existing AT&T mobile number, a government-issued photo ID, and a credit card.

There were several customers on line who did not have credit cards and instead had only cash. Apple appeared well prepared for this situation -- as those customers reached the front of the line, employees ushered them to the front-of-store cash wrap stations to purchase Apple Store Gift Cards with their cash, which could then be used to purchase the iPhone 3G. In fact, Apple had stacks of "iPhone 3G Gift Cards" for this purpose and for customers who wanted to give the gift of iPhone 3G to a friend or family member that could not attend the launch.



The three lines

Having arrived two hours early at one of the larger New York Apple retail stores outside of New York City, we found the process to be quite painless. The same, however, may not be true for those customers who arrived much later and were hundreds deep in the line when we walked out of the store around 8:55 a.m. with our new iPhones.

At 8:00 am sharp, the store opened and about 40 customers were immediately ushered into the store. Every 10 to 15 minutes later another 15 or so customers were able to make their way in. Having arrived early, we were amongst the second group of folks to enter the store. The line to get into the Apple retail store was just the first of three, however.

Once in the store, we were directed to wait on a second line that funneled towards that back of the store. After about 20 minutes, we arrived at the front of that line and were greeted by an Apple retail employee who fetched the specific iPhone models we requested and then took us to a side table to begin the upgrade process.

Side note: European customers wondering where Apple dumped the majority of its initial iPhone 3G inventory should look no further than the United States. The mid-sized Apple store we attended had hundreds of units stacked near the rear of the store, and from conversations with staffers it was revealed that thousands more lay in the back of the house. There were plenty of black 8GB and 16GB models, as well as a visible mound of white 16GB models. Employees seemed overly confident that they'd make it through day, if not the weekend, without any problems. This, however, may not be the case for every Apple store.



Once our 16GB iPhones were retrieved, we were taken aside to begin the upgrade process which was conducted entirely through the use of Apple's handheld EasyPay devices, as we noted last week. With the iPhones still sealed, the retail employee scanned a few of the bar codes from the back of the boxes, input some information from our drivers licenses, asked for the last four digits of our social security numbers (since we were upgrading, not new to AT&T), and then asked that we provide our current mobile telephone numbers.

Next came the plan selection. Being existing iPhone AT&T customers, we were told we could not alter the number of minutes in our calling plan in the store and would instead have to call AT&T to take care of that. No big deal. We were, however, able to change our text message plans. During this process we were asked to agree to two sets of terms and provide our signature twice on the EasyPay's touch screen. In less than five minutes, our receipts for the iPhones were printed (as well as emailed to the email addresses we provided).

From there, it was on to the third and final line: waiting for a free Mac running running iTunes so that we could tether our new phones and activate them. After about 10 more minutes, we reached the front of this line with our iPhones still sealed in their retail packages. Apple, while mandating that no iPhones leave the store without being activated, still wants customers to have the experience of unboxing their new handset for the first time by themselves. This takes place when you reach the front of the iTunes activation line (if you hadn't unboxed the phone already while you were waiting).



After connecting our new iPhones to a computer running what appeared to be a standard version of iTunes, we waited for about 5 to 7 more minutes while iTunes connected to Apple's servers and authorized our new handsets. This took much longer than expected and there was some discussion going on amongst the store employees that actual iTunes activation had slowed considerably since the first batch of customers activate their devices 35 minutes earlier. This was likely a result of a massive digital queue where thousands upon thousands of new iPhones 3Gs all across the East Coast were all attempting to connect to Apple's iTunes servers simultaneously. To remedy this problem, employees began setting up additional iTunes activation stations so the line would continue to move.

Side note: while AT&T stores are using a modified iTunes activation application, the version of iTunes used to activate our new iPhone 3Gs appeared to be a standard distribution. Unless Apple's iTunes servers are specifically checking for activation requests coming from Apple-owned networks and IPs, there seems to be no reason why the actual activation could not be completed at home.

After about 7 minutes, the iTunes clients tethered to our new iPhones finally got through to Apple's servers, a 3G icon popped up in the menubar of the phones, and we were good to go and leave the store. From start to finish, the entire process took about 35 to 40 minutes.

Upon leaving the store, we noticed that the flow of the line had slowed considerably (likely a result of the slow responses from Apple's iTunes server near the end of the buying process). Several hundred folks remained on line outside the store and it seemed as if they'd have to grab a late lunch by the time their purchases were complete.

As demand dies down, the process should be much quicker. By our estimations, customers should be able to walk into an Apple Store this time next week and be out in under 15 minutes with their new phone.
post #2 of 83
This is very accurate, our experience here in Austin was much the same. The store was very quiet once you get in, sort of an odd museum feeling. The AT&T staff know what they were doing, the flow was very good.

One kink, the iTunes site was down for them, so they just sent us with the phone and was told to activate at home. Still waiting on the store to not error out.
post #3 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


...We arrived at our local Apple retail store a little after 6:00 a.m..... (opened at 8:00 a.m.)

...From start to finish, the entire process took about 35 to 40 minutes.


You mean almost 3 hours. Ugh...

Even when there's no wait during the next week or so, hopefully they'll have the iTunes issue sorted out so it won't take 35 to 40 minutes. Customers should simply be able to activate it at home. It's lame enough that people who really want the iPhone have no choice in mobile carriers.
post #4 of 83
So this means that in Apple Stores in the US you could upgrade. You couldn't do that in the UK. That's so annoying. The Apple Store near me had lots of stock and crucially, the white 16GB model.... but I wasn't allowed to upgrade there. O2 stores had hardly any 16GBs at all and the white certainly not.

BOOO!

Glad it's better in the US though
post #5 of 83
post #6 of 83
Have to buy a gift card with cash? WTF? Line after line? Have to connect to iTunes to finalize?

What a convoluted process.
post #7 of 83
Rolled into my local (Akron, OH) ATT store around 11:30a... no line! no iPhones! They happily took my money and will send more in 5-7 days? They said they only had 40!?!? Oh well.
post #8 of 83
waiting since 10:00 am EST for iTunes not to error out on a 2.0 upgrade to a 4GB 2G iPhone...

...and at 1:28 pm I was finally able to connect and get re-activated - phew!!
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post #9 of 83
You stood in [the] line (in line), not inline.
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post #10 of 83
I went to my AT&T store to pickup my iPhone 16GB black this morning and it was not nearly as difficult. I got in line at 6:30 and was 11th in line (small town of about 20,000 ppl). The store said they only had roughly 30 units total though. I am on a family talk plan and am not primary account holder, but I was never asked about it regardless. I got in, they took my SIM from my 1st generation iPhone and put it into the new iPhone, and I walked out after paying. Activation took about 1-2 minutes at 8:20 EST. They did not ask for identification, SSN, or anything, just my phone number. I suppose I could have given them someone else's phone number and prolly got off with the phone charging someone else's account. Either way, the security at the AT&T stores was nowhere near as high as Apple stores...anyone else have similar experience at AT&T stores?
post #11 of 83
Kasper -

Not sure how big your operation is, but it really would have been helpful to have some of this information while I was standing in line, or a place to post comments.

I really don't think you personally going out and getting an iPhone and having the site dark while we could have used some info from your group and a place to discuss it (about the activation issues, etc.) was a good idea.

Just my 2 cents. There is too much going on today with MobileMe still down, the 2.0 activations not working since there is no way to get to iTunes, etc.

Believe it or not, your site has become the place to go to for information that Apple is not giving, and you have essentially decided to be the alternate "mouthpiece".

Very disappointed to have no info or news while waiting in line - would have saved me a TON of time.

Regardless, keep up the good work on a rough week.

JAW
post #12 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In less than five minutes, our receipts for the iPhones were printed (as well as emailed to the email addresses we provided).

From there, it was on to the third and final line: waiting for a free Mac running running iTunes so that we could tether our new phones and activate them.

It sounds like you could have just walked out after the second line. In other words, it seems like there's no point in waiting in line to activate it if it's just doing it through iTunes. Mights as well go home and do it.

Once you've paid and they've printed the receipt and handed it to you, the phone is yours, so it's not as if they can stop you.
post #13 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

You stood in [the] line (in line), not inline.

Thanks for clearing that up. You saved everyone hours of confusion trying to figure out what was meant.
post #14 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by enzomedici View Post

Have to buy a gift card with cash? WTF? Line after line? Have to connect to iTunes to finalize? What a convoluted fucked up process.

Anyone foolish enough nowadays to go into a store with a big wad of cash to buy a multi-hundred dollar item (or almost anything more than $10), is living in the past. Why would anyone other than a drug dealer, pimp, or iPhone re-seller want to pay in cash? You have to give your credit card number to access iTunes anyway, and you have to give your SIN number to get a contract for the phone.

I bet these cash purchasers also wear those old fashioned "watches" on their wrists, and listen to "radios" as well.

BTW - connecting to iTunes has always been part of the process. The only different part is the fact that they now make you do it in the store.
(which I agree is an unnecessary and stupid addition).
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post #15 of 83
Makes me glad I upgraded to 2.0 yesterday. The App Store alone is worth the wait though. Just wish it had more utilities for geeks.
post #16 of 83
looks like bad planning from Apple heck that shows iPhone 3G in high demand as well... wait for few days everything should be fine ... IT glitches is not something new ... i guess this is high profile launch in different countries around the world ...

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

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post #17 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by melevittfl View Post

Once you've paid and they've printed the receipt and handed it to you, the phone is yours, so it's not as if they can stop you.

That is a very good and valid point. Once you've tendered payment, had the payment received, and taken possession of your merchandise, you are free to leave the store. And activate at home.
post #18 of 83
I have an iPhone GoPhone Prepaid Plan. I was unable to buy a 3G iPhone at the Apple Store after waiting online. AT&T will not permit Apple to 'convert' GoPhone Prepaid accounts to regular post-paid accounts. It must be done at the AT&T store. All of the AT&T Stores in the Northern NJ metro area appear to be sold out, I called about 12 stores with an AT&T rep on the line with me. The Apple Store at Tice's Corner Woodcliff Lake, NJ seemed to have loads of phones in stock. The line was at least 200 people long from about 7:30 AM. The activations were taking a long time and while I was there from 10AM past 12Noon, people who were at the front of the line were still not even in the store. I did see the 3 lines routine as well. They were also unwilling/unable to sell me a phone that I could take over to an AT&T store to do the conversion from an iPhone GoPhone Prepaid Plan to a regular post-paid account. This can only be done in-person at an AT&T store. Nowhere online at Apple.com or AT&T's site was there any indication of this. Had I known, I would have gone to an AT&T store really early, knowing they would have less stock than the Apple Stores, but also knowing that was the only place it could be done. I was told by AT&T that the iPhone 3G cannot be used with a GoPhone Prepaid Plan, even if it is a new account. If someone fails the credit check, they can still get the phone, but they will need to give a $500 deposit.
post #19 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholas_hagen View Post

I went to my AT&T store to pickup my iPhone 16GB black this morning and it was not nearly as difficult. I got in line at 6:30 and was 11th in line (small town of about 20,000 ppl). The store said they only had roughly 30 units total though. I am on a family talk plan and am not primary account holder, but I was never asked about it regardless. I got in, they took my SIM from my 1st generation iPhone and put it into the new iPhone, and I walked out after paying. Activation took about 1-2 minutes at 8:20 EST. They did not ask for identification, SSN, or anything, just my phone number. I suppose I could have given them someone else's phone number and prolly got off with the phone charging someone else's account. Either way, the security at the AT&T stores was nowhere near as high as Apple stores...anyone else have similar experience at AT&T stores?

I was fourth in line when the AT&T store opened at 8:00. Since I was previously a Verizon customer, I wanted to port my number to my new iPhone. They tried and tried and were unable to port my number. After about three hours, they got authority to issue me a temporary number with instructions to take the phone home, call 888-898-7685 and ask them to port my old number before trying to connect to iTunes to activate my phone (by this point the AT&T store was unable to connect to iTunes to activate phones). After multiple phone calls to the 888 number and talking to three or four different customer service reps, I was told that they could not port my old number until my phone was activated on iTunes. The only problem, the iTunes server was totally unavailable to connect to. Went back to the AT&T store and relayed what I had been told. By this time it was 1PM and they said they could not activate my phone because they still couldn't get into iTunes. It is now 1:30 PM on Friday and I am at home trying to access iTunes to activate my phone so I can then get AT&T to port over my Verizon number. What a mess! Very poor planning went into this launch of the new IPhone G3!
Dave Fox
Arnold, MD USA
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Dave Fox
Arnold, MD USA
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post #20 of 83
The ironic thing is I installed the 2.0 software yesterday and it was working perfectly. I even grabbed a few apps and was having a blast. But I figured that it must have been a developers build and I wanted the real experience. Well, this morning, I restored my iPhone to factory conditions and BANG! I finally have it where I can make calls and I have the 2.0 software on it again. The problem is that it will not sync with Apple right now and I can't get my apps and all my stuff. Let this be a lesson to all you happy 2.0 people from yesterday. It is the exact same build. You do have the real experience.
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post #21 of 83
Greetings! Living in a small town in North Carolina and not having an Apple Store, I went to an AT&T Store to get a new iPhone 3G. I arrived at 7 am not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised to find that I was about 35th in a relatively short line. Good news indeed. The Store opened promptly at 8 am and the Store Clerks ushered about 10 or 12 people inside. I felt good about the situation at this point; however, my good feelings were not to be long lasting. Unfortunately, the combination of ill-prepared customers, apparently without all the information etc, and some glitches in the purchasing and activation processes caused some serious delays. It was actually about 9:45 am when I finally stood at the open door and was ushered inside. Whew. But alas this brief, fleeting moment of happiness was quickly displaced as I was told that the iTunes Store was down! So, I could pay for and receive my 16GB Black iPhone 3G but AT&T could not activate it now; I would have to activate it at home. Not bad, I guess. However, to finalize the purchase of the new iPhone, they had to deactivate my old iPhone. So, now I don't have any phone service! It's 10 am on a busy Friday morning and I don't have phone service. Ugh. And it gets worse: I went straight home and plugged in the new iPhone into my MacBook Pro. Ugh. Not only is iTunes Store down, it's generating an error code. In the midst of this storm, I decided to take a break from all this; I left my new iPhone plugged to the MBP and open in iTunes. Went about my business, ate some late breakfast, did some work at home, made some calls on the ol' landline home phone; waited some more and then I hear a neat, most welcome sound and look and there is an activated iPhone 3G! Praise God! Somehow, some way the phone activation went through, though the iTunes Store was still down...hmmmm? Indeed I still have not been able to sync my iPhone 3G in iTunes to load all my contacts, music etc. But my new iPhone 3G is up and running and is awesome!
post #22 of 83
Me and one other guy arrived at Washington Square Mall in Portland at 10pm last night. It wasn't until almost 4 AM that person number 3 showed up. Even by 7 AM when they let us in the mall, only about 50 people were in line for the Apple store. There were also about half as many people in line for the AT&T store.

I was the first one in to Apple and for the first 30 minutes, Apple's EasyPay devices couldn't talk to AT&T to do the contract. They kept getting "Server Connection Failed" after I gave them my existing AT&T customer details (last 4 of SSN, phone number, billing zip code). After about 30 minutes, it started working and I was sold my phone.

The Specialist that sold me my phone told me I could just go home to activate it if I didn't want assistance setting up an email account, etc. On my way out the door another Specialist (or was it a Concierge?) asked me if I had activated it. I said no, but that I was planning to do it at home. And so there I went. I was driving home after about 35 - 40 minutes in the store.

When I got home it took 3 tries to get Activation to work (between 9:30 AM and 10:15 AM PST). Even after the third try it said there was an error (-4), but then the phone had signal and asked for my VM password. iTunes then suddenly let me restore from the backup of my old phone. Finally it's almost finished transferring my music and I'll be done!

16GB, White, in case you're curious.
post #23 of 83
So I lined up to get a 3G iPhone at the AT&T store on Montague Street in Brooklyn, NY this morning at 6:45am. There were 40 people in line ahead of me. Okay, so far so good, right? The store opens at 8am. It takes 40 minutes for the first person to walk out with his phone. Okay, fine, there are some delays. No big deal. After about the 5th person walked out with his phone, the manager comes out and informs us that they've SOLD OUT of the black 16 gig phones.

Say what?

THEN when people start demanding an explanation, the manager comes out again and tells us that there was some sort of "exclusive waiting list" for those phones that you had to wait in line to sign up for two days ago. They had 150 black 16 gig iPhones on hand at opening, but after the last person left the remaining (145?) phones were spoken for by people on this "waitlist." People in line were outraged... Especially those that called or came into the store a few days ago to ask specifically if there would be any issues getting a phone. Everyone was told, no, there would be no problem.

There were very many unhappy people in that line when I left shortly thereafter. This is awful, awful business practice. Not only am I probably not going to be able to get an iPhone today, I'm really questioning AT&T's ethics and business practices now.
post #24 of 83
I wonder how busy it is going to be tomorrow! any information about how it was on the 2nd day last year?
post #25 of 83
There is a small (tiny) AT&T store downstairs from my office.

I was quite surprised to see the line this morning. Probably 60 to 70 people. This is a small store, and normally they have less than five employees working. It's going to be a long wait for those people.

I didn't even see a line last year.

So, it seems people got "smarter", and the lines are spread out this year, instead of concentrated at the Apple stores.
post #26 of 83
I wouldn't worry about all the current issues. They'll be resolved within 48 hours and forgotten within a month... Long term, it's a good sign that the iPhone 3G is going to be a success.
post #27 of 83
Well, there were about 25 people in front of me when I got there at 6:50 EST. They had some people go through the lines before 8 am, though it seemed like pointless effort. One of the guys implied that they had around 40 phones (I assume this was total) and 8 of the 16GB ones. At 8:00 they started handling around 6 people at a time, and by that point there were roughly 75 people in line.

Promptly at 9:00 am they started having system problems (we guessed it was the Central time zone folks jumping into the fray). Right after that, I got the last black 16 GB iPhone G3. I was switching from Verizon, the guy asked if I had a recent Verizon statement with me (which I'd brought), and I didn't need to give him a password or anything to port the number. Given the system problems, they were just sending everyone home with the unactivated phones to activate them at home.

Took me a while at home to get iTunes to connect to activate it, but eventually it went through. I actually had a couple of messages come through from AT&T before the phone was activated (first was a text notification that the number had been ported, and then some welcome text message). Unactivated, it had this "emergency dial" mode where I assume 911 would've worked (maybe this is the same for the original iPhone).
post #28 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

I wouldn't worry about all the current issues. They'll be resolved within 48 hours and forgotten within a month... Long term, it's a good sign that the iPhone 3G is going to be a success.

That may be true but not necessarily. It could only mean that the 2.0 software and app store are off the chain.
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post #29 of 83
Of course this "manager" was selling places in the line. Not surprised since its NYC (the home of shady electronic deals...)

However, this is not in line with company practice, and you should absolutely report the incident.

It really takes the fun out of it when they don't play by the rules, and you should take the 5 minutes to stop it from happening during iPhone 3.0


Quote:
Originally Posted by eSong View Post

So I lined up to get a 3G iPhone at the AT&T store on Montague Street in Brooklyn, NY this morning at 6:45am. There were 40 people in line ahead of me. Okay, so far so good, right? The store opens at 8am. It takes 40 minutes for the first person to walk out with his phone. Okay, fine, there are some delays. No big deal. After about the 5th person walked out with his phone, the manager comes out and informs us that they've SOLD OUT of the black 16 gig phones.

Say what?

THEN when people start demanding an explanation, the manager comes out again and tells us that there was some sort of "exclusive waiting list" for those phones that you had to wait in line to sign up for two days ago. They had 150 black 16 gig iPhones on hand at opening, but after the last person left the remaining (145?) phones were spoken for by people on this "waitlist." People in line were outraged... Especially those that called or came into the store a few days ago to ask specifically if there would be any issues getting a phone. Everyone was told, no, there would be no problem.

There were very many unhappy people in that line when I left shortly thereafter. This is awful, awful business practice. Not only am I probably not going to be able to get an iPhone today, I'm really questioning AT&T's ethics and business practices now.
post #30 of 83
I can't believe this year is actually worse than last year. You would think they learned something. I also don't get these people who wait on these lines, can't you wait to tomorrow?

Bad day for Apple, MobileMe is a begged mess.
post #31 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Anyone foolish enough nowadays to go into a store with a big wad of cash to buy a multi-hundred dollar item (or almost anything more than $10), is living in the past. Why would anyone other than a drug dealer, pimp, or iPhone re-seller want to pay in cash?

Cash is king, baby!

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #32 of 83
I don't think it is worse than last year. I remember the early original iphone buyers also had activation problems for almost a week.
post #33 of 83
No Apple store nearby - so I went to the local ATT shop. They only got 30 or so phones. The last person to physically walk out of the store with a phone had been there since 9:00 PM the night before. Obviously, Apple is stockpiling the phones for their own stores. Great, if the nearest Apple store isn't several hundred miles away.

Still, they let me order one that they claim will be here in 3-7 days. We shall see.
post #34 of 83
Has anyone gotten the home activation to work on a PC? I've tried at least 10 times so far and no luck. I downloaded the latest version of iTunes today.

I keep getting the message:

We could not complete your iTunes Store request. The
network connection was reset.

Make sure your network connection is active and try again.
post #35 of 83
For all of Apple's great engineering and marketing, I am at a complete loss why Apple decided that their customers must go to an Apple store for iphone activation. I live over 100 miles from the nearest Apple Store. . I have no desire to drive a 200-mile r/t for the activation. I thought that Apple was trying to be a "Green" company. Forcing users to use petroleum and drive seems counter intuitive to me. Do you think that Apple getting users into the store will increase sales? I'd like to see the data behind such a decision. Perhaps the iphone is for people that only live in urban areas, given the 3G coverage. cmr
post #36 of 83
Steve should face a very angry public for what they've managed to do today. He needs to show his face to the media and apologize.

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post #37 of 83
Seems to be working now!
post #38 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Anyone foolish enough nowadays to go into a store with a big wad of cash to buy a multi-hundred dollar item (or almost anything more than $10), is living in the past.

What an ignorant, moronic comment! How about this instead: Anyone foolish enough nowadays to pay with a card for every trivial purchase and having every aspect of their location, travel patterns, consumption habits, spending habits and more, tracked to the Nth detail is living in the past! If you think you're immune to the issues because you "don't do anything wrong", you just haven't kept up on what's happening.

Fortunately, more people are becoming aware of the problems, slowly, but surely. Some day there will be a backlash that will probably swing too far the other direction, but it will take many years and many well-publicized cases of misuse. And then eventually there will be an equilibrium reached where there are limits put on the type of data that can be gathered and stored and/or commonly-available anonymous "cash cards". There are ways to fix the system. In the meantime, people (especially here in the U.S.) value their convenience more than their privacy. Trust me, the next generation won't be so naive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Why would anyone other than a drug dealer, pimp, or iPhone re-seller want to pay in cash? You have to give your credit card number to access iTunes anyway, and you have to give your SIN number to get a contract for the phone.

Yes, and so in this particular case there really isn't any reason to pay with cash unless you are not the main account holder (maybe too young to have your own CC), or you've messed up your credit so bad you can't get a card, etc.
No Matte == No Sale :-(
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No Matte == No Sale :-(
Reply
post #39 of 83
This is unbelievable. Why could they not have a website where you can sign up for a contract and then order your phone online? There is absolutely no reason for this that I can tell other than AT&T is paranoid. I hope forcing customers to purchase a phone in-store really hurts their sales, this is just dumb. What about those of us who live far away from an apple or AT&T store? We have to drive 30+ miles to get a damn phone? For as smart as Apple is with creating amazing products, I can't believe they can be this dumb when it comes to actually selling them. I am seriously considering not buying one if I'm forced to drive to the damn store. What a hoax.
post #40 of 83
Serves Apple right for the decision to have only in-store activation! I'm sure they won't be doing that again! Don't be so strick Apple, it will only bite you in the ass.
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AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › Notes from our experience activating an iPhone 3G at Apple retail