Reader Rom is angry with AT&T because they won’t sell him an iPhone 3G for the price listed in their press release. AT&T says the promotional pricing ($199 for an 8GB, $299 for a 16GB) is only available to, among others, existing iPhone customers. Rom is an existing iPhone customer.
Reader Zach says that he heard that white iPhones were cracking, but he got one anyway because there was a longer wait for the black ones. When he got home, he noticed two small cracks in the back of the phone.
So there appears to be something of a shortage of iPhones this time around, and while it’s probably good for “creating buzz” it’s not so great for wooing busy business customers away from their Blackberries, according to reader James. You see, only the Apple store has iPhones, but only the AT&T store can activate them for James.
It’s amazing that Apple doesn’t recognize this situation. This is an airplane that’s stuck on the runway for hours with no food or working bathroom. And the pilot doesn’t come on the P.A. system to tell the customers what the problem is, what’s being done to fix it, how much longer they might be stuck, and how he empathizes with their plight. Instead, he comes on once every three hours to repeat the same thing: “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Reader temporaryerror brings up an interesting point. Should AT&T and Apple be advertising the iPhone 3G as “twice as fast” in areas where there is no 3G coverage? He sent in the above advertisement from the local Wichita, KS newspaper. He says that the closest 3G network is 120 miles away in Topeka, and that the advertisement doesn’t disclose this information. Is this ok?
Reader Michael is having a rough time with the iPhone. He says that two out of three of the iPhones purchased by his family were defective, and the third one wouldn’t receive calls. Weirdly, this story has a happy ending, because Michael found some contact information on Consumerist that got his problem solved in 5 minutes.
Fine, fine, the iPhone is decent and all that, but here’s a funny clip from “The Soup” that puts the lie to that whole “It’s so much cheaper!” hype. And if you’re not an iPhone owner and need even more reason to feel good about that, check out Wisebread’s rant against people who stand in line for gadgets.
Reader Joshua wants to warn everyone that exchanging your defective-out-of-the-box iPhone 3G is a huge pain the butt. His girlfriend got her iPhone on launch day but quickly discovered that the speaker was broken. She brought it into the Apple store to have it checked out and an employee accidentally dropped it. At that point, Apple told them they’d just replace to the phone. That’s where things got complicated.
Western States: 800-498-1912
As Consumerist’s resident Apple fanboy, I spent the last few hours standing outside an AT&T store waiting to buy the iPhone 3G, then waiting for it to activate in iTunes. Here’s what went down.
The first person in line at the 5th Ave Apple store in Manhattan was
some kind of activist Daniel Bowman Simon, part of a group who camped out in front of The Cube for over a week, hoping to use it as an opportunity to bring exposure to issues of, “sustainability, affordable housing, energy security, and locally-grown food,” who tried to bumrush the applauding Apple receiving line of Apple employees and penetrate The Cube with what appears to be a metal/aluminum-foil horse carrying an American flag. The world may never know now knows exactly what sort of brilliant political statement he was trying to make as he was quickly intercepted by burly security guards who jettisoned him away to make room for more obedient cult members. Video, inside…
Only the first lucky clutch of people in line today at AT&T stores will walk out with a new iPhone 3G in-hand. There were only 30 phones available in total at the the biggest AT&T store in Waterbury CT, at the Brass Mill Center, according to a store employee. Reporting from the line, reader Kevin says that everyone else was given an option to buy a slip of paper for $226.79 (see a scan of it posted inside), have the phone shipped from the warehouse to you, then you come back to the store to activate the phone. Customers will have to pay for the shipping charges for this favor.
Reader Ron writes:
When I heard that the iPhone activations were completely borked, I thought, man, that’s what you get for partnering with the Death Star. But from what reader Justin heard from an ATT rep, oh-so-pristine Appple might actually be the one with blemishes. He writes,
A nation-wide epic fail of the iPhone activation systems has gutted the release of the new iPhone 3G. Here’s an account from reader Tyler:
The new iPhone is 3G–but AT&T’s 3G network isn’t exactly “nationwide,” so you might want to check the coverage map to make sure that there’s a 3G network in your area.
As the second coming of the Jesusphone 3G draws near, we wanted to remind customers of other wireless carriers that there are ways to escape your existing cellphone contract free of early termination fees, and trade your piddling Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile bills for hundreds of pages of gloriously itemized AT&T charges. Or just switch carriers.