Server problems spoil Apple's iPhone 3G launch

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple Inc.'s iPhone 3G roll-out has quickly shifted from the much ballyhooed consumer electronics launch of the year into a nightmare for both the company and its loyal customers.



Thousands of new iPhone 3G buyers around the world were stuck Friday with iPhones that couldn't function or make calls, as the iTunes servers required to fully activate them experienced a high-tech meltdown and ultimately fell offline.



The issues almost immediately soured the US launch of the much anticipated handset, as the backlog of activations kept thousands of other customers waiting in long lines outside of retail stores much longer than they or Apple had anticipated.



What's more, the problems trickled down to first-generation iPhone owners who were attempting to upgrade their devices with version 2.0 software, also released Friday. Unlike previous updates, the 2.0 release completely wipes all data from first-generation iPhones and deactivates them before performing the upgrade.



After installation, the phones are required to connect to Apple's iTunes servers for reactivation -- the same servers that had fallen offline due to requests for new iPhone 3G activations. As such, existing iPhone owners attempting to update their software were also left with phones that were "bricked" and unable to function outside of calling emergency lines.



The issues may be a result of Apple underestimating the number of simultaneous worldwide connections to its iTunes servers during the iPhone 3G launch, a problem that wasn't helped by the simultaneous release of new software updates for existing owners that must also access the same servers.



Unlike last year, when the Cupertino-based company launched its first-generation iPhone exclusively in the U.S. and then later followed up with successive roll outs in a handful of European countries, this year's launch kicked-off in 21 countries over the course of 24 hours.



Attempting to stifle the grey market for iPhones that were being purchased in the U.S., then unlocked and resold overseas at higher prices, Apple also did away with home activation, mandating that each and every new iPhone 3G sold in the U.S. be fully activated before it leaves the store.



Apple has also been experiencing a number of problems getting its new set of "MobileMe" online tools up and running. The $99 per year "push" email and calendar service launched early Thursday morning but was still facing a large number of issues outside of email as of Friday afternoon.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 127
    chriskeochriskeo Posts: 20member
    after mobileme crashed, i think apple should have predicted this

    I also think it was stupid that the software update and iphone activation use the same server
  • Reply 2 of 127
    skottichanskottichan Posts: 193member
    I'm not even getting the error message anymore when I try to update my touch.
  • Reply 3 of 127
    "Attempting to stifle the grey market for iPhones that were being purchased in the U.S., then unlocked and resold overseas at higher prices, Apple also did away with home activation of the handsets this time around, mandating that each and every new iPhone 3G sold in the U.S. be fully activate before it leaves the store."



    Care to attribute this? If Apple sells the units, why should it care if they are unlocked or not? It seems as if AT&T has much more of vested interest in this...
  • Reply 4 of 127
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    They should released 2.0 to existing users first...why did they wait. More importantly why didnt they realize this could happen.

    Im soooo pissed.



    My iPhone is dead....and I cant make any calls.



    Who is up for a little something from Apple to compensate us.
  • Reply 5 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    The issues appear to be a result of Apple underestimating the number of simultaneous worldwide connections to its iTunes servers during the iPhone 3G, a problem that wasn't helped by the simultaneous release of new software updates for existing owners.




    I don't believe this for a second. Since Apple controls the whole process and knows exactly how many stores would be selling the 3G phone and how many activations will be occurring at each store, they would have known exactly the anticipated load. I think the reason for the screw up lies elsewhere and Apple is hiding behind the "unanticipated demand" cover story.
  • Reply 6 of 127
    jono95jono95 Posts: 3member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skottichan View Post


    I'm not even getting the error message anymore when I try to update my touch.



    Same here!

    I've been trying to update my iTouch for 6 hours now and sometimes it tells me that i can't connect to the iTunes store for an unknown error, others its a problem with my network. But at the moment it is saying that 1.1.4 is the current software and i'm not even getting the error message.

    I think maybe i and other people should try not to constantly click on "check for update", as this may slow the process down even further.

    I still think it's terrible that everything is run on the same server!!!!



    Jono
  • Reply 7 of 127
    dimmokdimmok Posts: 359member
    Yes...that makes sense.
  • Reply 8 of 127
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DestructoTex View Post


    "Attempting to stifle the grey market for iPhones that were being purchased in the U.S., then unlocked and resold overseas at higher prices, Apple also did away with home activation of the handsets this time around, mandating that each and every new iPhone 3G sold in the U.S. be fully activate before it leaves the store."



    Care to attribute this? If Apple sells the units, why should it care if they are unlocked or not? It seems as if AT&T has much more of vested interest in this...



    Attribute it to what? This is pretty much a fact. Apple has to protect its partner, AT&T, which is paying Apple more than the $199 and $299 subsidized prices. Yes, you're right in that, given informed analyst speculation on how Apple's iPhone 3G agreement is set up with AT&T, it's AT&T that stands to loose the most if the new phones are unlocked and imported overseas. But Apple has a moral and contractual obligation to help prevent this from happening.



    K
  • Reply 9 of 127
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Glad I did my iPhone 2.0 upgrade yesterday when the sneaky link was posted.

    I managed to download the updater and do the install and activation in minutes.

    It is the same build as well so looks like it was the correct link.

    I have been playing Super Monkey Ball and the ace Bejewelled 2 which is just stunning.

    The Push mail servers only just appear to have come to life and you can now access the new Web Apps at www.me.com even though the www.mac.com still says they are down!
  • Reply 10 of 127
    Maybe Apple just go next door and ask Google for some sugar aka. some servers I know it doesn't work like that, but it is just a funny visual.



    This thing is frustrating because I some apps just sitting and waiting to be downloaded onto my touch, but hey its just a piece of software.
  • Reply 11 of 127
    Just finally got my new iphone working. around 3PM EST, after trying for 5 hours!!!! But I'm glad I'm done with the hassle
  • Reply 12 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Attempting to stifle the grey market for iPhones that were being purchased in the U.S., then unlocked and resold overseas at higher prices, Apple also did away with home activation, mandating that each and every new iPhone 3G sold in the U.S. be fully activated before it leaves the store.



    Not entirely. Home activation is the fallback procedure being used by at least some stores.



    I just activated my 3G iPhone at home. The first attempt timed out but the second completed with no problem.
  • Reply 13 of 127
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by parky View Post


    Glad I did my iPhone 2.0 upgrade yesterday when the sneaky link was posted.

    I managed to download the updater and do the install and activation in minutes.

    It is the same build as well so looks like it was the correct link.

    I have been playing Super Monkey Ball and the ace Bejewelled 2 which is just stunning.

    The Push mail servers only just appear to have come to life and you can now access the new Web Apps at www.me.com even though the www.mac.com still says they are down!



    Have you notice that the camera app is much slower now after the update?



    K
  • Reply 14 of 127
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,807member
    2008 is the year when Apple F**ked up virtually everything, from delivering less iPhone features than expected, to Mobile-Me launch problems, to major Leopard 10.5.3 problems, to the embarrassing ongoing Leopard Server problems, and now to this iTunes overload problem during their big iPhone release.



    I don't know what's going on, but since Apple has gotten into the iPhone market their Macs and their Quality Control has taken a stupendous hit. Gosh I don't remember Microsoft having that much bad-luck all at once!
  • Reply 15 of 127
    axolotlaxolotl Posts: 14member
    Hi, here in Mexico City, since 9:00 AM this friday mobile me was up and running, a little bit slow though. As for iphone, no way i'm getting it due to the high costs telcel, the mexican carrier, has set.
  • Reply 16 of 127
    rhowarthrhowarth Posts: 144member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Have you notice that the camera app is much slower now after the update?



    K



    I didn't, as I don't have the update yet, but that's plausible if it now geotags all your photos... when you first start using it it will presumably need to wait a few seconds until it manages to get a lock on your position (whether via cell towers or GPS).



    -Rolf
  • Reply 17 of 127
    gmoneygmoney Posts: 1member
    Its actually nice to see that AT&T had nothing to do with todays hiccups. I cant believe that Apple dev couldnt accurately predict the amount of server traffic and I completely agree with the other post asking why did these two key components run on the same server.

    iTunes unbricking for 3G customers is now back up for anyone trying to tether from home.
  • Reply 18 of 127
    skottichanskottichan Posts: 193member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    2008 is the year when Apple F**ked up virtually everything, from delivering less iPhone features than expected, to Mobile-Me launch problems, to major Leopard 10.5.3 problems, to the embarrassing ongoing Leopard Server problems, and now to this iTunes overload problem during their big iPhone release.



    I don't know what's going on, but since Apple has gotten into the iPhone market their Macs and their Quality Control has taken a stupendous hit. Gosh I don't remember Microsoft having that much bad-luck all at once!



    What, did you sleep through the Zune bombs? How about the $1 Billion 360 red ring of death? How about the total failure of acceptance by the business world of Vista? Oh, and how about the neat upgrade path that Balmer announced, you know, where you can upgrade from Vista to XP?
  • Reply 19 of 127
    urbanurban Posts: 4member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Axolotl View Post


    Hi, here in Mexico City, since 9:00 AM this friday mobile me was up and running, a little bit slow though. As for iphone, no way i'm getting it due to the high costs telcel, the mexican carrier, has set.



    I've got friends living in GDL and DF and said that they were be able to use prepaid for the iPhone. How true is that?
  • Reply 20 of 127
    A true iDisaster! Was on line at an AT&T store on Long Island and waited for 7 hours but was unable to buy one, even though they had them in stock. The lines were not long and we were told they had enough for everyone in the line. Then they stopped allowing people to purchase the phones because they could not get them activated. In addition they told people they don't advice standing in line because they weren't sure when the system would be back up since the problem was on Apples end, what a rotten apple!
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