Originally Posted by mikep123
Did Apple release 2.0 early for existing users to help ease the activation bottleneck that was certain to occur?
The activation from a new user or new phone IMEI is not the same as the same phone finding the network after getting a new version of the OS installed.
No. Instead, it seems it's more important to them for Steve to walk onto stage and make his grand announcements at a big splashy event. The activation process is then, predictably, a giant CF for all of the customers during the first week or so.
I agree that they should have spaced out MM, v2.0 and the iPhone 3G releases (emphasis on the MM release) but the activation process within AT&T had nothing to do with these things. The process was much better than the year prior and there were a lot more phones being activated. We're talking a million devices in a weekend. Part of the better success this year was probably from AT&T's decision to activate all iPhones in store, this meant that activations from their employees were happening only 1 per employee per unit every 10-20 minutes instead of having a surge of people accessing AT&T through iTunes in large bursts.
I really think it ultimately comes down to arrogance - we're Apple and people will line up to buy our stuff because it's cool. The rules don't apply to us. This same pattern can be seen in their attempt to launch MM, 2.0 and iPhone 3G on the same day and their efforts to keep everything so secret that things don't get properly tested before being released.
There certainly seems to be an arrogance, but not from the AT&T activation side of things. v2.0 was tested, and v2.1 is being tested too. I think you'd be upset if Apple gave software to someone before you just because he bought his iPhone a day before you or because his IMEI is lower. Or you'd be upset if Apple gave you the update before others but it was buggy so now you feel that those who bought it after you should suffer before you. Whatever the reason, software will be buggy and only massive prolonged testing can prevent it.
I assure that v2.1 will cause people to complain. There is bound to be something that don't work for someone. v2.1.1 will solve the problem for some and cause issues for others. This is normal; this is software development. This is another substantial update, not just a bug fix, so more issues will arise.
I know they're the "flavor of the month" right now so they have to be more secretive than others for fear of being copied or losing their image appeal that is working so well; however, I do think they can do much better in the QC and customer impacting areas. It seems like this latest CF may have gotten their attention. I hope so.
The only major issue they've had is MM. They've apologized, identified the issue and have given everyone 3 months. Have they learned from it? We'll see, but I can tell you they will surely F-up again. The QC issue has to carry into a lot of areas and it is one of the growing pains of becoming more successful. There isn't a company out there that has had complaints about a product.
Apple is just in the public eye more these days and so any single complain is amplified. An iPod battery melts the device and every tech site carries the story. Those pictures are really cool!
Apple isn't being secretive because they are "favour of the month" it's their MO. It's one of reasons that tech sites cling onto them and why you'll have regular news organizations talking about a lackluster Apple release before a major release by another tech company. BTW, Dell put out some really nice E-series laptops last month.