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Apple stores faced with iPhone 3G outages, lineups at day's end

post #1 of 79
Thread Starter 
Supply limits and activation woes have left multiple Apple retail outlets short of iPhone 3G stock or else with lengthy lineups, even towards the end of the phone's first day on sale.

Mirroring what it did to inform customers a year ago, Apple has once again posted an iPhone availability page that shows many stores already drained of some or all iPhone 3G models by Friday evening.

Most states have at least one store lacking at least one model, with the most likely absentee being the 16GB black version of the phone. These shortages aren't as severe as for the original iPhone's first weekend, which saw widespread (if short-lived) stockouts, but indicates that even Apple's own stores are at times straining to keep up with demand.

The supply situation is nonetheless known to be much worse in some other countries. Swiss resellers quickly ran out of their initial iPhone stock, while reports received by AppleInsider point to many Canadians being disappointed as Rogers and Fido stores received low allotments, peaking at about 80 devices for Rogers' flagship Toronto store that were quickly sold after the doors opened.

Those visiting American stores with healthy stock have also faced lineups that have sometimes continued well into the evening, triggered by lengthy signup processes and a multi-national activation server outage that made it at times impossible to enable phone service before leaving the store.

At 4PM, an Apple store local to AppleInsider still reported a lengthy lineup of customers at its front doors, while readers report a 25-person line at the Tice's Corner, New Jersey store even near store closing, at 8PM.

The supply deficit and technical issues dampen the impact of iPhone 3G's rollout, which has been one of Apple's single largest coordinated events and saw the California company ship devices to 22 separate countries and a yet larger number of cellular carriers.
post #2 of 79
Got up at 5am. Got to the store at 6am. Due to the difficulties this morning, got my two phones (white) at 12pm. Activated around 2 pm at home. Works GREAT now.
post #3 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Akac View Post

Got up at 5am. Got to the store at 6am. Due to the difficulties this morning, got my two phones (white) at 12pm. Activated around 2 pm at home. Works GREAT now.

Damn austin store still had a line at 9pm of 160 people out side..
post #4 of 79
That is why I woke up at 5am I was at the Austin Domain. Apple folk were friendly. Even did pushups to "share the pain".
post #5 of 79
Yeah, I think overall Apple did a huge job of this launch. I haven't recalled any other company doing such a worldwide event.
What a crazy day. I am sure Apple will remember it for years and hope learn from it. =)

I am very happy with iPhone 2.0

VERY!!!
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post #6 of 79
Visited the Apple store at the Mall of Millenia in Orlando, FL about 7:30pm tonight - staff saying that the 200+ people in line would take about 3 hours to clear. Could be a long night for that store!

So what's everyone's thoughts on the white vs. black iPhone.. is the white one not going to show smudges and scratches as bad?
post #7 of 79
This is Apple. And this is 2008.

As both a shareholder and consumer, I am deeply disappointed with SJ and crew that we could not purchase the new iPhone online. (Apart from everything else, it is irresponsible from the standpoint of customer-time wasted and GHG emitted).

Does anyone have any speculation as to whether/when Apple will make the online purchase option available?
post #8 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUITARMANJT2000 View Post

I'm trying to get an IPhone so I can do a full review on my blog.

Let me think about that a minute. Um.................no.
post #9 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is Apple. And this is 2008.

As both a shareholder and consumer, I am deeply disappointed with SJ and crew that we could not purchase the new iPhone online. (Apart from everything else, it is irresponsible from the standpoint of customer-time wasted and GHG emitted).

Does anyone have any speculation as to whether/when Apple will make the online purchase option available?


Apple will not have an online purchase option considering that they have to be activated in store. Apple's thought process is that this will lessen the jailbreaking of iPhones and shipments of jailbroken ones overseas. Personally, let it be bought online. If a human mind put it together, a human mind will take it apart.
post #10 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is Apple. And this is 2008.

As both a shareholder and consumer, I am deeply disappointed with SJ and crew that we could not purchase the new iPhone online. (Apart from everything else, it is irresponsible from the standpoint of customer-time wasted and GHG emitted).

Does anyone have any speculation as to whether/when Apple will make the online purchase option available?

Maybe by the time the next version is out to clear the stocks
post #11 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Apple will not have an online purchase option considering that they have to be activated in store. Apple's thought process is that this will lessen the jailbreaking of iPhones and shipments of jailbroken ones overseas. Personally, let it be bought online. If a human mind put it together, a human mind will take it apart.

I have ordered mine online yesterday, but delivery is promised in 6 weeks. I ordered it directly from TMobile in the Netherlands.
post #12 of 79
Our store staff agreed to stay until everyone in line had an iPhone. Our line throughout the day easily topped 200. We were to close at 11pm, and at 1am we still had people in line. By 1:30 the AT&T server shut down and we could not complete any transactions. Mall security had also been threatening us past midnight.

My last customer waited 10+ hours for a phone before AT&T shut down the transaction server. I have never been more embarrassed to work at Apple.
post #13 of 79
So I foolishly thought if I waited until after midnight and went to the NYC store on 5th that I could stroll in and pick up a phone.

*bzzzzt*

Buzz kill... oh and I was buzzed, went after a party... ANYWAY. People were lined up, at least 200, to wait until 7am to buy phones.

I may wait until Sunday or tomorrow afternoon.
post #14 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by odinstudios View Post

Our store staff agreed to stay until everyone in line had an iPhone. Our line throughout the day easily topped 200. We were to close at 11pm, and at 1am we still had people in line. By 1:30 the AT&T server shut down and we could not complete any transactions. Mall security had also been threatening us past midnight.

My last customer waited 10+ hours for a phone before AT&T shut down the transaction server. I have never been more embarrassed to work at Apple.

I'm pretty sure you won't be working for Apple much longer if you posting on here, I'm just sayin

ADMIN NOTE: I'm pretty sure you won't be posting for a while either.
post #15 of 79
It's a shame that so many folks had hassles today.

However, I stopped at the Washington Square Mall this evening to see what the prospects were for Saturday. At the front door, I was told to "come back tomorrow (Saturday)". But as I was leaving, I noticed a fairly large group of people cordoned off nearby. When I got closer to them I discovered it was a line for the the iPhone!

I got in line and had to wait for a little over two hours. All the time Apple employees were coming and going, telling us mostly that the 16G Black was "out of stock", but that the 8G Black and 16G White were in "good supply".

I decided to hang in there, even when the same employees came by and said yet again that there were no more 16G Black iPhones to be purchased, offering us "rain checks" to get them later.

At this point I thought "What the heck... chances are I will cover it with a case anyway, so who cares about the color?" and stayed in the line.

Finally I was let into the store. To my amazement, the first thing the young lady who assisted me asked was "Do you want the White or Black 16G iPhone?" I had to laugh out loud.

The tethering was a breeze, transferring effortlessly from my recent AT&T account (former rebate, subsidized phone and all - which several here have said was impossible). I took my new 16G Black iPhone home and synced immediately with iTunes. No fuss, no muss, no headaches.

And yes, I was able to purchase at the $299 price for the 16G iPhone. A big rasberry to those who said I would not be able to do so.
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post #16 of 79
My wife got her 3g today ( I am gonna wait on upgrading my 2g until we see if its worth the extra $200 up front and $15 a month).

We initially went to a AT&T store and were about 150th in line, until two hours later they ran out. They had maybe 80 phones (never would tell us if we would be likely to get a phone even though they knew we wouldn't the second the store opened) and we declined to sign up for their 3-7 day direct fullfillment scheme.

The Cincinnati Apple store had a line of about 200 all day, took about 3 hours to move through the line, but at least they let people in line know if they were gonna be able to buy a phone. It definitely kept the mood in the line MUCH better than at the AT&T store. They still had the 200 person line after we left from dinner at 7pm.
post #17 of 79
my tale of woe...
Indianapolis, Keystone store:

Arrive at 5am, am in the store by 8:40, signed the agrement, swiped my card etc, and was done by 8:50, a simle upgrade, smooth enough...untill the guard caught me...

The gaurd at the door, lets call him Bruno the Bouncer, informs me that I CANNOT LEAVE because the phone isnt avtivated, but the applestore clerks handheld said activation successfull, I rgued in vain, as I was led to a second que to wait for a "genius" to connect my phone to a laptop, which we were told ran a special version of itunes, so he takes my phone and connects it to a computer and we wait, we wait 45 MINUTES, at this point I am pissed,

Lets recap, My old handset is now brick, my new handset is a brick, I am supposed to call my boss, but I cant, I am a Prisoner in the store as Bruno will not let me take my phone and leave,

But then everything changes, the manager calls all employees into a group huddle and tells them to just send us home to activate...so now I get the "privilage" of leaving, with 2 bricks, they "claim" that I could make calls to my boss and such using the Emergency call mode...BULLSHIT


So as I leave, I notice that the line is 2 times longer than it was at 8, people in line start asking me about it and I say that it is a clusterfuck of epic proportions.



IT GETS WORSE

I go home and plug it into ituns and it still hangs, I couldnt get it activated untill 2:00 PM and that was just unlocking, it wouldnt let me tie it to my macbook untill after 5!
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post #18 of 79
What's with all this strange terminology like 'lineup of 200 people'? Why don't you just say there were 200 people in the queue? I also don't understand this 'waiting in line' business. Surely 'queue' is a far easier way of saying it?
post #19 of 79
There is an Apple store at Burlington mall, and yesterday there was a good size line outside the store. Strangely, there is an AT&T store at the mall as well, and it was empty! They had 6 people there to sell phones, and everyone was going to the Apple store. I thought it was odd - can't you just buy at AT&T store? (I am not in the market for one though)
post #20 of 79
Just returned to Austin from Italy 2am Wednesday morning - getting up at 4:25am was no big deal! Was 10th in line at Barton Creek Mall by 5amish. Got phone easily and missed the long lines. Same challenges with iTunes sign up. Went home and figured the fastest way to complete process was to set it and then take a nap. Worked like a charm and loving my 3g.

Bummer - will have to change my sig line now or be forever reminded of the iPhocolypse on July 11th!
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post #21 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrochester View Post

What's with all this strange terminology like 'lineup of 200 people'? Why don't you just say there were 200 people in the queue? I also don't understand this 'waiting in line' business. Surely 'queue' is a far easier way of saying it?

Because America is far too homophobic to use any word that begins with "que".
post #22 of 79
Does anybody have any idea when the iTouch will be sold bundled with 2.0?
Any does anybody else think it a bit odd that this full upgrade costs only $10 vs last January's $20 which was for so much less?
And is the upgrade for iTouch considered iPhone 2.0, iTouch 3.0 or what?
post #23 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Does anybody have any idea when the iTouch will be sold bundled with 2.0?
Any does anybody else think it a bit odd that this full upgrade costs only $10 vs last January's $20 which was for so much less?
And is the upgrade for iTouch considered iPhone 2.0, iTouch 3.0 or what?

Don't you mean the iPod Touch, right, or just the Touch? There's no such things as iTouch just like there's no such thing as iNano, iClassic and iShuffle.
post #24 of 79
Took three and a half hours at the boylston store in Boston. I'm not complaining it was my choice not to wait a couple days and I'm very happy with my new phone.
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post #25 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Because America is far too homophobic to use any word that begins with "que".

It may be that, but I always thought it was the strange spelling that freaked Americans out. 'Que' is how it ought to be spelled, right? 'Queue' is downright queer. Personally I could(n't) care less if people stand in line or if they queue up. I hate either, or both.
post #26 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrochester View Post

Don't you mean the iPod Touch, right, or just the Touch? There's no such things as iTouch just like there's no such thing as iNano, iClassic and iShuffle.

I think I mean iPod Touch? I mean- is there another product with an "i" and "touch" in it?
Actually I'm just a bad typist and tend to abbreviate or misspell (which drives the spelling bee queens on here mad as hell).
post #27 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

It may be that, but I always thought it was the strange spelling that freaked Americans out. 'Que' is how it ought to be spelled, right? 'Queue' is downright queer. Personally I could(n't) care less if people stand in line or if they queue up. I hate either, or both.

Speaking of queer- I guess it also depends if you prefer (ske-jool) or (sche-jool)!
post #28 of 79
Even if everything did not go exactly as planned, it was still very successful. No other company can get people to que up in line for hours in countries around the world. It is very important to Apple's image that it create the perception that its products are very desirable. "Did anyone wait in line to buy an LG or Samsung?"
post #29 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Even if everything did not go exactly as planned, it was still very successful. No other company can get people to que up in line for hours in countries around the world. It is very important to Apple's image that it create the perception that its products are very desirable. "Did anyone wait in line to buy an LG or Samsung?"

Communism had people lining up around the world every day for hours for food and look where that got 'em.
post #30 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

This is Apple. And this is 2008.

As both a shareholder and consumer, I am deeply disappointed with SJ and crew that we could not purchase the new iPhone online. (Apart from everything else, it is irresponsible from the standpoint of customer-time wasted and GHG emitted).

Does anyone have any speculation as to whether/when Apple will make the online purchase option available?

When technology is common place where you're able to give your signature online. That being said they technically probably could sell the no-commitment iPhone at the $599 price online, but I don't see that happening.
post #31 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Even if everything did not go exactly as planned, it was still very successful. No other company can get people to que up in line for hours in countries around the world. It is very important to Apple's image that it create the perception that its products are very desirable. "Did anyone wait in line to buy an LG or Samsung?"

The problem would be if the long lines and the woes left a negative opinion of Apple in their minds.
post #32 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Communism had people lining up around the world every day for hours for food and look where that got 'em.

Amusement parks have people lining up for 2 minute rides and look where it's getting them.

Just adding another pointless example to yours.
post #33 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottiB View Post

Amusement parks have people lining up for 2 minute rides and look where it's getting them.

Just adding another pointless example to yours.

People queue not line up! Example - There's a long queue outside the Apple shop. I'm queuing outside the Apple shop to buy an iPhone, etc etc.
post #34 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Yeah, I think overall Apple did a huge job of this launch. I haven't recalled any other company doing such a worldwide event.
What a crazy day....

The way I see it, they failed to provide a good customer experience for all of their major launches this week. The MobileMe transition was a mess, first gen iPhone users upgrading was a mess, purchasing and activating the 3G iPhone was a mess and before all that happened, they released a new version of iTunes that is bricking a lot of product (from what I read on macfixit and other sites).

Yes, it was a big (huge) job because it was worldwide but how is that an excuse? It seems like a cop out for a company to take on more than it can handle, then watching them fail at it and giving them a pass because it was such a "big event."

Simply put, they bit off more than they could chew and failed. Hopefully they will learn from this experience and not put themselves in this position again.

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post #35 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by odinstudios View Post

Our store staff agreed to stay until everyone in line had an iPhone. Our line throughout the day easily topped 200. We were to close at 11pm, and at 1am we still had people in line. By 1:30 the AT&T server shut down and we could not complete any transactions. Mall security had also been threatening us past midnight.

My last customer waited 10+ hours for a phone before AT&T shut down the transaction server. I have never been more embarrassed to work at Apple.

Good for you odinstudios. Thanks for that post.
post #36 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_g View Post

I'm pretty sure you won't be working for Apple much longer if you posting on here, I'm just sayin

What a snarky comment.

Apple would be stupid to let go of employees like odinstudios. If they did, it would be Apple's loss.
post #37 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

When technology is common place where you're able to give your signature online.

If a state government agency from 2800 miles away can verify my identity online and allow me to order multiple copies of my kids' birth certificates (I needed to replace them since I misplaced in the move) and fedex it to me, I am sure the technology exists, and is probably not rocket science.
post #38 of 79
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Apple will not have an online purchase option considering that they have to be activated in store. Apple's thought process is that this will lessen the jailbreaking of iPhones and shipments of jailbroken ones overseas. Personally, let it be bought online. If a human mind put it together, a human mind will take it apart.

I think the in store activation is kind of bizarre. When I bought phones in the past, I was able to go home to activate. I did have to sign a contract at the store, but I had the option to call in from home to finish the connection.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

When technology is common place where you're able to give your signature online. That being said they technically probably could sell the no-commitment iPhone at the $599 price online, but I don't see that happening.

I don't see the problem here, I think courts have upheld a mouse click as a valid and enforceable means to accept a software EULA.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrochester View Post

People queue not line up! Example - There's a long queue outside the Apple shop. I'm queuing outside the Apple shop to buy an iPhone, etc etc.

You can call it queue if you want. Other people may call it a line, standing in line, on line, whatever. I think it's more than too late to complain. I'll just call it a FIFO.
post #39 of 79
In Phoenix, AZ this morning, Saturday:
there was a queue at the ATT store on Camelback and 20th of about 10 people, and further up the road at 24th and Camelback there were at least 50 or more in line and growing.

unbelievable how slow that activation process must be. what a joke.
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post #40 of 79
So I went to the Apple store in Atlanta when it opened just to notice that there were around 500 people in line (queued - whatever). I asked one Apple employee if they have enough 16 GB black in stock so that if I wait in this horrendous line, it would be worth my while. He paused then said in a car salesman kind of way, "Oh don't you worry buddy! I'm gonna sell you a phone today!" and then he walked away. So not only did he not answer my question but pretty much talked at me like he was a robot. I thought the guy was a freak so I asked another Apple employee next to him the same question and, after a pause, he said, "Don't worry we got you covered" and gave me a look like "don't talk just stand in line." Something told me there's no way in hell they're gonna have a 16 GB black phone for me after I wait for the 500 peeps ahead of me, especially since that version is the most popular and also since I went to the AT&T store next door and they only had some white ones left.... So anyway SCREW THIS bullshit. Apple better get with it. They knew there was a huge demand ahead of time. And they should train their employees not to be fake-robot-car salesmen. I'd hate to be in SJ's shoes now.
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