Do you think Apple will do the activation dance again next year?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mcdj, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
    I can't help think Apple might be wishing they didn't take on the 3G activation duties this time. The long lines, the server issues, the long lines, the myriad contract questions, the long lines... Not mention the cost of the extra manpower, at least here in NYC. Compared to last year, it's been somewhat nightmarish.

    I hope and wonder if they'll come up with a more streamlined process for the next iteration. There must be an easier way. The 3G activation process was a real step backwards from the 1st gen.
  2. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I'm guessing that Apple learned a lot from the debacle this year, but you also have to wonder how much force AT&T had in requiring Apple to do it. Clearly, if they let people go home with unactivated phones, it wasn't a mandatory issue, but it might have been something that Apple in compromise with AT&T.

    Granted, I'm guessing AT&T doesn't want this kind of a mess next time either (bad press is bad press), so they might be more willing to work out a better procedure.

    Also, who says we'll have a new phone next year? :p
  3. tsvb macrumors 6502

    Jan 28, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    They have to if they don't want hundreds of thousands of iPhones on ebay.
  4. afireintonto macrumors 6502a


    Jul 22, 2008
    this year was pretty bad, i was like 8th in line and they took us inside the at&t store in groups - i was in the first group. and i think the problem was that the store only had iTunes 7.6 but they let me take the phone home to activate it. so i downloaded itunes 7.7 and plugged in the phone and all was good.

    i bet next year they semi-activate the phone in-store, so they put all your contract info in the phone, and then you bring it home to finish the process.
  5. downwardspiral macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I hope all parties involved learn some lessons for the next launch. Remember though, it was not just AT&T. Apple launched this device worldwide and many mobile phone service providers were involved. Apple wanted to offer a lower price which the providers had to subsidize. All this to put an iPhone into as many people's hands as possible.
  6. albeli macrumors 6502


    Jun 17, 2008
    ATT sent me home with an unactivated phone, but I did sign a contract, and during that process they scanned my sealed box. I don't think actual activation before leaving the store is necessary.
  7. nickspohn macrumors 68040


    Jun 9, 2007
    No, it's obvious.

    They are going to sell iPhones through AT&T/Apple stores at a higher price, like the first iPhone. Everyone that bought an iPhone 3G is now ineligible for the next iPhone if its subsidized, thus forcing the next iPhone to be the full price so AT&T get it's share.
  8. StingerT125 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 3, 2008
    Dutchess County New York
    That's the same for me. All they need to do is enforce signing up for the contract before selling the phone and letting you leave the store.
  9. downwardspiral macrumors newbie

    Jul 17, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Exactly. They just need the ensure you sign the contract. Activation occurs in steps: account set-up, provisioning, and "unbricking." The iTunes server crash messed up the last part. I know when I bought my two iPhones last Wednesday the actual account set-up and provisioning was very fast.
  10. jakeacc macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2008
    If they do a massive launch again next year, and the demand for the iPhone is just as great as it was this year, how is having people logging into iTunes at their HOME going to prevent server crashes that happened when people were logging in from AT&T and Apple Stores? If there are too many users trying to access the server at the same time, it will crash. (regardless if its from your home or in-store)

    The real problem was releasing the 2.0 software on the same day as the launch. (all the 1st gen iphone users were downloading/upgrading their software on the same iTunes servers that AT&T and Apple stores needed to access to activate new 3G phones.

    Don't expect to ever have the online activation method that the 1st gen iphone users experienced. Too many people had their phones jailbroken. Having customers sign a contract but not activate the phone will save some time, but not a lot. 100s of people are going to show up at next years launch.
  11. firewood macrumors 604

    Jul 29, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Of Course!

    Are you kidding?!! The free publicity (people standing in lines in front of Apple Stores on the nightly news, interviews with enthusiastic or PO'd customers, on almost every channel, all night long) was worth 10's of millions of dollars. The kind you almost can't buy.

    And the only ones annoyed by the activation problems were the early adopter Apple fans, most of whom will stand in line again anyway no matter what.
  12. DiamondMac macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    After the way the first few hours of activations went this year AND the way MobileMe is coming out, I won't hold my breath

    I do think Apple will take notes and learn but I also thought that this time and had convinced myself that Apple was prepared for the morning downloads/activations

    Who knows, demand for the next iPhone may be even bigger and thus more problems :eek:
  13. onlycopunk macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2008
    Of course there will be a new iPhone in a year. Apple wouldn't be Apple if they didn't keep their products up to date!

    Anyway I'm pretty sure it was the providers that required Apple to activate instore. Otherwise people can buy the phones and only Apple will get paid. But basically until the iPhone is offered to all GSM providers and the user is allowed to then select what service to use, there is alwaysgoing to be some wonky activation procedure.
  14. Akira1980 macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2007
    San Diego
    If they do in-store activation again, Apple is idiot. I had the WORST apple experience ever with 3G iPhone. 7 hours of standing in line... For the first iPhone it only took me 30min to get the phone even though I was far back. I really hope they won't do in-store activation again... ever.
  15. oftheheavens macrumors 68000

    Jul 9, 2008
    cherry point
    this is what i was going to say. this was a very smart move by apple. the "iphone 3G" is still making the news daily. this is probably part of the cause of the lines still being there, cause everytime you turn on the news or do a search on google for new apple's iphone is there.

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