It's worth the hell

Apple continues to amaze. I’ve never seen a company have a technical meltdown in front of the eyes of the world the way Apple did today. Yet when my son got out of the store after three hours of hell inside the store (we were snuck to the front of the line by someone who gave us cuts so that we could be among the first to get one, so that we could document what it was like for him to walk into the store and be #1 — he waited for two days) he said he still loved Apple and still loved his 3G iPhone.

After playing with it today I’ve got to agree. This is the company that can give you a crappy camera. No video. Charge you more than other devices. Make you wait hours in line. Take hours to get your credit card approved, your iPhones activated. And, at the end of it all, make you feel good.

I’ve been comparing the iPhone 3G to my Nokia N82 and N95 and my Microsoft Mobile-powered Samsung Blackjack II cell phones and, again, the iPhone kicks ass.

The App Store is simply brilliant. The new things available for the iPhone are just years ahead of other phones. The experience of using an iPhone is just way ahead of even the best Nokia and Microsoft phones (although I met with both companies recently and don’t expect them to let Apple have all the fun for long).

It’s worth the hell. Apple and AT&T will do just fine after fixing all the bugs that caused today’s debacle.

That said, no other company in the world has so much brand love in reserve that it can get this reaction. Any other company in the world would have seen riots after it took more than an hour to process even a portion of the first group of 20 people to enter the store.

VentureBeat has the video of the ‘iPocolypse.”

Unbelieveable.

It’s worth the hell.

What do you think?

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Yeah, it’s worth it. I waited five hours in line from 8 to 1pm at the Cincinnati store, but I was processed in about 15 minutes, and I did yell “Woo, iPhone 3G” as I left the store. I love my new white iPhone!

  2. Yeah, it’s worth it. I waited five hours in line from 8 to 1pm at the Cincinnati store, but I was processed in about 15 minutes, and I did yell “Woo, iPhone 3G” as I left the store. I love my new white iPhone!

  3. What really disturbed, and continues to disturb me was the statement by Steve Jobs at the keynote: “It’s got a full plastic back, its reeealy nice.”

    This along with the fact that apple hasn’t done a true update to their portable line in years, contributes to the thought that Apple is starting to sell itself out and lower quality for the purpose of having more customers.

    My worst fear is that one day we will see a free shit iphone that breaks after a few months which comes with any AT&T plan. What if apple introduced free laptops which you would then purchase a plan to use? I think this is where Apple is headed, at least with their iphone line.

  4. What really disturbed, and continues to disturb me was the statement by Steve Jobs at the keynote: “It’s got a full plastic back, its reeealy nice.”

    This along with the fact that apple hasn’t done a true update to their portable line in years, contributes to the thought that Apple is starting to sell itself out and lower quality for the purpose of having more customers.

    My worst fear is that one day we will see a free shit iphone that breaks after a few months which comes with any AT&T plan. What if apple introduced free laptops which you would then purchase a plan to use? I think this is where Apple is headed, at least with their iphone line.

  5. You’re right, apple does seem to be able to get away with this.

    It’s not dis-similar to the way a religious cult drags you through torture only for you to feel great at the end of it since, once psychological torture is stopped, it feels euphoric!

  6. You’re right, apple does seem to be able to get away with this.

    It’s not dis-similar to the way a religious cult drags you through torture only for you to feel great at the end of it since, once psychological torture is stopped, it feels euphoric!

  7. Robert,
    I have to agree with your post about Apple being able to make things right after the poor experience. The phone speaks for itself. I don’t care what other devices my friends are using, everyone is interested in my iPhone. I use my iPhone in every conceivable way when I don’t see many other using the range of features that their ‘smart phones’ offer. That is the reason why Apple has this success. They just know what makes sense, they understand how to keep it simple and make the experience feel good.

    The problems that have been experienced today will soon pass. Apple will make it right. However, if this happens again and again, they will use some of the pluses that they have built up.

    Keep up the great work.

    Bob L.

  8. Robert,
    I have to agree with your post about Apple being able to make things right after the poor experience. The phone speaks for itself. I don’t care what other devices my friends are using, everyone is interested in my iPhone. I use my iPhone in every conceivable way when I don’t see many other using the range of features that their ‘smart phones’ offer. That is the reason why Apple has this success. They just know what makes sense, they understand how to keep it simple and make the experience feel good.

    The problems that have been experienced today will soon pass. Apple will make it right. However, if this happens again and again, they will use some of the pluses that they have built up.

    Keep up the great work.

    Bob L.

  9. Firstly a comment on the sign-up process. I was lucky enough to be in line during the Australian launch with carrier Optus. They only signed existing customers for their midnight launch. The process was super fast. It took about 10 to 15 minutes in the store and that was it. I suppose it was this fast because the US launch hadn’t started yet.

    Secondly, I did think it was a bit ambitious by Apple to launch to so many markets with that many new online services all at the same time. I am sure they’ll get it sorted eventually. And to be honest it will all worth while and why?

    Because Apple seems to fundamentally understand how to hide technology from the user and let users focus on actually doing stuff with their device:

    Here some examples:
    – Apple’s version of “the cloud” – aka me.com – it’s like Microsoft Mesh for non computer geeks… oh and did I mention that it works with both Mac and Windows PCs?
    – AppStore – ever tried to explain to a non computer nerd how to install an application on windows mobile
    – Google Maps plus GPS
    – SMS conversations
    – The interface

    It was interesting to read the article on Alex Bogusky and his agency trying to make Microsoft cool. I think what the article didn’t seem to get was that while Apple has the cool factor it also has some kick ass products.

    I used to be a Microsoft fanboy but after comparing Vista with Mac OSX a year ago I decided to make the switch. Then I have had an iMate Windows Mobile phone the last two years but after seeing the 1st Gen iphone on a trip to the US I knew I had to have a 3G iPhone as soon as it was released.

    Yes, Apple products aren’t perfect… hey it’s technology after all, right? But at least Apples products seem to be a bit more perfect than what we are currently seeing coming from Redmond or Finnland.

  10. Firstly a comment on the sign-up process. I was lucky enough to be in line during the Australian launch with carrier Optus. They only signed existing customers for their midnight launch. The process was super fast. It took about 10 to 15 minutes in the store and that was it. I suppose it was this fast because the US launch hadn’t started yet.

    Secondly, I did think it was a bit ambitious by Apple to launch to so many markets with that many new online services all at the same time. I am sure they’ll get it sorted eventually. And to be honest it will all worth while and why?

    Because Apple seems to fundamentally understand how to hide technology from the user and let users focus on actually doing stuff with their device:

    Here some examples:
    – Apple’s version of “the cloud” – aka me.com – it’s like Microsoft Mesh for non computer geeks… oh and did I mention that it works with both Mac and Windows PCs?
    – AppStore – ever tried to explain to a non computer nerd how to install an application on windows mobile
    – Google Maps plus GPS
    – SMS conversations
    – The interface

    It was interesting to read the article on Alex Bogusky and his agency trying to make Microsoft cool. I think what the article didn’t seem to get was that while Apple has the cool factor it also has some kick ass products.

    I used to be a Microsoft fanboy but after comparing Vista with Mac OSX a year ago I decided to make the switch. Then I have had an iMate Windows Mobile phone the last two years but after seeing the 1st Gen iphone on a trip to the US I knew I had to have a 3G iPhone as soon as it was released.

    Yes, Apple products aren’t perfect… hey it’s technology after all, right? But at least Apples products seem to be a bit more perfect than what we are currently seeing coming from Redmond or Finnland.

  11. Pardon my cynicism, but I have to ask this question.

    Could Apple have planned the iPocalypse on purpose?

    I ask because Apple is full of smart people. They have to be or they would not have produced the consistently top rate products, marketing, and brand management we have observed to this point. Could this same organization really not foresee the capacity issues they might face during the release of iPhone 2.0?

    Just count the number of iPhones you shipped to vendors and multiply by the resources required during the average activation process. That’s the amount of resources you need. Plus 20%. This is simple planning. What happened to Apple’s calculations?

    That raises the question: Could this just be a deft marketing move on Apple’s part?

    Actually, what does Apple have to lose through such a marketing plan? They are essentially inconveniencing the hard core Mac Addicts that will buy Apple products regardless of the circumstance. These folks are in Apple’s pocket and will take a little abuse for the privilege of being one of the first with the newest shiny Apple toy. (I mean that in the least offensive way possible.) Apple probably isn’t risking the population of users that are considering a switch, and more profits for Apple.

    So now Apple as traded a little political capital with its hard core fans for the chance to say that iPhone 2.0 was so popular it crashed the iPhone activation infrastructure. That is actually a pretty powerful statement of popularity. Why not spend the political capital with its hard core users?

    Now for the disclaimers. I’m a recent Mac convert and love my MBP. I’m currently strategizing a pitch to justify purchasing an iPhone 2.0 to my wife. If the iPocalypse is a planned marketing event, I think it’s brilliant. I probably over-simplified things a little.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put an Apple sticker on my tinfoil hat.

    Have a great weekend!

  12. Pardon my cynicism, but I have to ask this question.

    Could Apple have planned the iPocalypse on purpose?

    I ask because Apple is full of smart people. They have to be or they would not have produced the consistently top rate products, marketing, and brand management we have observed to this point. Could this same organization really not foresee the capacity issues they might face during the release of iPhone 2.0?

    Just count the number of iPhones you shipped to vendors and multiply by the resources required during the average activation process. That’s the amount of resources you need. Plus 20%. This is simple planning. What happened to Apple’s calculations?

    That raises the question: Could this just be a deft marketing move on Apple’s part?

    Actually, what does Apple have to lose through such a marketing plan? They are essentially inconveniencing the hard core Mac Addicts that will buy Apple products regardless of the circumstance. These folks are in Apple’s pocket and will take a little abuse for the privilege of being one of the first with the newest shiny Apple toy. (I mean that in the least offensive way possible.) Apple probably isn’t risking the population of users that are considering a switch, and more profits for Apple.

    So now Apple as traded a little political capital with its hard core fans for the chance to say that iPhone 2.0 was so popular it crashed the iPhone activation infrastructure. That is actually a pretty powerful statement of popularity. Why not spend the political capital with its hard core users?

    Now for the disclaimers. I’m a recent Mac convert and love my MBP. I’m currently strategizing a pitch to justify purchasing an iPhone 2.0 to my wife. If the iPocalypse is a planned marketing event, I think it’s brilliant. I probably over-simplified things a little.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to put an Apple sticker on my tinfoil hat.

    Have a great weekend!

  13. It just amazes me that microsoft, sony, google, nokia et alia have let Apple get away with this massive coup. They must have all seen the iphone coming a mile away and yet all these years later none of them has yet managed to launch a decent competitor. How hard is it just to copy?

  14. It just amazes me that microsoft, sony, google, nokia et alia have let Apple get away with this massive coup. They must have all seen the iphone coming a mile away and yet all these years later none of them has yet managed to launch a decent competitor. How hard is it just to copy?

  15. I agree Robert. I am most surprise that Apple got a second iPhone launch event a year later with virtually no competition “to the experience of using the device”. Well said…

    Trifster

  16. I agree Robert. I am most surprise that Apple got a second iPhone launch event a year later with virtually no competition “to the experience of using the device”. Well said…

    Trifster

  17. Robert,

    I actually put a stop on my planned trip the Apple store today after receiving the Nokia E71 to review 2 days ago. It has dimensions almost exactly the same as the original iPhone, yet so much more functionality and feels awesome in your hand with extremely high caressability factor.

    I am curious to hear more of your thoughts on this statement you made above, “The new things available for the iPhone are just years ahead of other phones.” What “new things” does the iPhone have that are ahead of other phones?

  18. Robert,

    I actually put a stop on my planned trip the Apple store today after receiving the Nokia E71 to review 2 days ago. It has dimensions almost exactly the same as the original iPhone, yet so much more functionality and feels awesome in your hand with extremely high caressability factor.

    I am curious to hear more of your thoughts on this statement you made above, “The new things available for the iPhone are just years ahead of other phones.” What “new things” does the iPhone have that are ahead of other phones?

  19. They must have all seen the iphone coming a mile away and yet all these years later none of them has yet managed to launch a decent competitor. How hard is it just to copy?

    They never even visualized it or they would have built the thing.

    It took MS 11 years to copy the Mac OS & Windows 95 still had plenty of usability gaps. Tell me Scobelizer do you remember the WGA debacle?

  20. They must have all seen the iphone coming a mile away and yet all these years later none of them has yet managed to launch a decent competitor. How hard is it just to copy?

    They never even visualized it or they would have built the thing.

    It took MS 11 years to copy the Mac OS & Windows 95 still had plenty of usability gaps. Tell me Scobelizer do you remember the WGA debacle?

  21. […] Robert Scoble is right: Apple continues to amaze. I’ve never seen a company have a technical meltdown in front of the eyes of the world the way Apple did today. Yet when my son got out of the store after three hours of hell inside the store (we were snuck to the front of the line by someone who gave us cuts so that we could be among the first to get one, so that we could document what it was like for him to walk into the store and be #1 — he waited for two days) he said he still loved Apple and still loved his 3G iPhone. […]

  22. Is there a reason you didn’t even mention the market leader? The market for smart phones is beginning to look like a rather epic battle between RIM and Apple, because while Apple is gaining huge marketshare, RIM seems to be holding steady (probably bad from their point of view as they were growing fast). They call them “crackberries” for a reason.

  23. Is there a reason you didn’t even mention the market leader? The market for smart phones is beginning to look like a rather epic battle between RIM and Apple, because while Apple is gaining huge marketshare, RIM seems to be holding steady (probably bad from their point of view as they were growing fast). They call them “crackberries” for a reason.

  24. After three hours of trying to update my old phone, I was too bummed out to go to Burlingame. But I wrote to my personal shopper there, and she says there are plenty available so tomorrow is my day :-)

  25. After three hours of trying to update my old phone, I was too bummed out to go to Burlingame. But I wrote to my personal shopper there, and she says there are plenty available so tomorrow is my day :-)

  26. The iPhone is good not even as a phone but also in the MID (mobile internet device) category and it looks like for at least the next year or so this is going to remain the case.

  27. The iPhone is good not even as a phone but also in the MID (mobile internet device) category and it looks like for at least the next year or so this is going to remain the case.

  28. “That said, no other company in the world has so much brand love in reserve that it can get this reaction.”

    It seems this “technical meltdown” is in large part due to the unprecedented demand for the iphone (and bandwidth sucked up by existing users getting the firmware update). I find it a remarkable validation of the app store that so many existing users wanted to update immediately.

    Apple has done an extraordinary thing in focusing their development efforts on the SDK and app store rather than features that will only be available by buying new handsets. This is in marked contrast to other handset providers and consumer electronics in general. The iphone 1.0 was not designed to obsolescence. This makes existing customers very happy. Apple did indeed “think different” here, and iphone owners want to take advantage of that.

    If you go to a early morning sale on Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) you should expect crowds, lines, and rapidly sold inventory. Sometimes customers even get in a scuffle or stampede. This is regrettable, and in these cases the store in question probably could have done more. Ultimately, however, it was the customers choice to go to what they knew was going to be an challenging shopping experience.

    This kind of learned consumer behavior needs to spread to the web. Retail outlets are not designed for Black Friday and sites are not designed to update 70% of users in one day. It would be a terrible business decision for a store to build special holding pens for atypical crowds, just as it would be wrong for apple to build a new data center just for firmware updates when they launch a major feature. I’m sure Apple could have prevented this problem, it sucks that phones are being bricked and I’m sure they will find a better solution for the future.

    Ultimately, consumers have some responsibility (i personally would say a lot) for choosing to use a brand new service on the first day of a worldwide rollout. We’re learning that when it comes to downloading apps online, your actions still operate in a larger context, caveat emptor.

  29. “That said, no other company in the world has so much brand love in reserve that it can get this reaction.”

    It seems this “technical meltdown” is in large part due to the unprecedented demand for the iphone (and bandwidth sucked up by existing users getting the firmware update). I find it a remarkable validation of the app store that so many existing users wanted to update immediately.

    Apple has done an extraordinary thing in focusing their development efforts on the SDK and app store rather than features that will only be available by buying new handsets. This is in marked contrast to other handset providers and consumer electronics in general. The iphone 1.0 was not designed to obsolescence. This makes existing customers very happy. Apple did indeed “think different” here, and iphone owners want to take advantage of that.

    If you go to a early morning sale on Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) you should expect crowds, lines, and rapidly sold inventory. Sometimes customers even get in a scuffle or stampede. This is regrettable, and in these cases the store in question probably could have done more. Ultimately, however, it was the customers choice to go to what they knew was going to be an challenging shopping experience.

    This kind of learned consumer behavior needs to spread to the web. Retail outlets are not designed for Black Friday and sites are not designed to update 70% of users in one day. It would be a terrible business decision for a store to build special holding pens for atypical crowds, just as it would be wrong for apple to build a new data center just for firmware updates when they launch a major feature. I’m sure Apple could have prevented this problem, it sucks that phones are being bricked and I’m sure they will find a better solution for the future.

    Ultimately, consumers have some responsibility (i personally would say a lot) for choosing to use a brand new service on the first day of a worldwide rollout. We’re learning that when it comes to downloading apps online, your actions still operate in a larger context, caveat emptor.

  30. I was amazed at the 1,000+ comments across the Interweb from the early adopter crowd who got the short end of the stick today. Suckers, lol.

    Apple/ATT absolutely did screw up royally with the rollout, and its going to be very interesting to see how Apple and ATT spin the massive fail today, but you basically deserve your pain, what were you thinking?

    To see so many supposedly smart people make the newbie mistake of buying an iphone today or upgrading, doesn’t anyone learn from previous experiences? How soon we forget.

    Sticking with my “old” iphone for now, App store and s/w upgrade is enough to keep me happy for a while.

  31. I was amazed at the 1,000+ comments across the Interweb from the early adopter crowd who got the short end of the stick today. Suckers, lol.

    Apple/ATT absolutely did screw up royally with the rollout, and its going to be very interesting to see how Apple and ATT spin the massive fail today, but you basically deserve your pain, what were you thinking?

    To see so many supposedly smart people make the newbie mistake of buying an iphone today or upgrading, doesn’t anyone learn from previous experiences? How soon we forget.

    Sticking with my “old” iphone for now, App store and s/w upgrade is enough to keep me happy for a while.

  32. I’m in Canada and the service plans suck, so I will wait until they get better and enjoy my Crackberry in the meantime. You shouldn’t need to wait in line at all, Apple should be throwing iPhones at you.

  33. I’m in Canada and the service plans suck, so I will wait until they get better and enjoy my Crackberry in the meantime. You shouldn’t need to wait in line at all, Apple should be throwing iPhones at you.

  34. Owen: I don’t have a Blackberry, so I forgot to mention them. I used to have one, it gave me repetitive stress disorder (my hands hurt). I lost my Blackberry and those injuries went away.

  35. Owen: I don’t have a Blackberry, so I forgot to mention them. I used to have one, it gave me repetitive stress disorder (my hands hurt). I lost my Blackberry and those injuries went away.

  36. Matthew … How is the iPhone years ahead? They put UNIX on a phone! The most robust operating system on a phone … The thing is 40 years old … it’s rock solid. RIMM, Nokia, etc. think you can just slap together an operating system … I don’t care what you think this Nokia “iPhone killer” E71 blah blah can do … trust me … it can’t. Nobody has even caught the iPod yet! Apple has tightly integrated the cloud, the mobile device, and the computer … They have developed an ecosystem … That’s VERY difficult to do. The iPhone is years ahead.

  37. Matthew … How is the iPhone years ahead? They put UNIX on a phone! The most robust operating system on a phone … The thing is 40 years old … it’s rock solid. RIMM, Nokia, etc. think you can just slap together an operating system … I don’t care what you think this Nokia “iPhone killer” E71 blah blah can do … trust me … it can’t. Nobody has even caught the iPod yet! Apple has tightly integrated the cloud, the mobile device, and the computer … They have developed an ecosystem … That’s VERY difficult to do. The iPhone is years ahead.

  38. Well guys this is why I wait for the new technology to get fixed before I buy. Why would you wait hours on end to get something that may have some serious problems with it. The new Mac OSX Leopard had problems, the evil Microsoft Vista still has problems (don’t do PC’s and will never go back) , and now the iPhone. Wait a week or two. If you are that obsessed where you have to wait in line for hours to have the next greatest thing save your self the stress and anxiety, take a chill pill, and buy later. Then all problems are fixed, and your live will be easier.

  39. Well guys this is why I wait for the new technology to get fixed before I buy. Why would you wait hours on end to get something that may have some serious problems with it. The new Mac OSX Leopard had problems, the evil Microsoft Vista still has problems (don’t do PC’s and will never go back) , and now the iPhone. Wait a week or two. If you are that obsessed where you have to wait in line for hours to have the next greatest thing save your self the stress and anxiety, take a chill pill, and buy later. Then all problems are fixed, and your live will be easier.

  40. I really wish the tech community would stop going ga-ga over the iPhone. Isn’t the cheapest monthly plan you can get like $90? …on a 2-Yr. contract? …and you STILL have to buy the iPhone?

    …& the @me.com switchover? What a crap name for a new service. It is and I know secretly Mac lovers agree. No one is sayinga nything now, but in five years when tech ‘zines do a list of biggest “Apple Mistakes” @me will be on the list.

    Oh, and for all of you who think the iPhone is gonna replace the Blackberry or Windows Mobile Smartphones…think again. It’s too pricey, too “elitist” and most companies that would actually consider buying employees these pricey phones have IT departments that by and large are anti-Mac for the same reasons.

    Apple is a niche company for a niche crowd. I really wish the tech community would stop sending 90% of their time on 5% of the market. I’m tempted to not even listen to Leo Laporte and TWiT podcasts anymore…all they ever are now are iPhone/Apple infomercials.

  41. I really wish the tech community would stop going ga-ga over the iPhone. Isn’t the cheapest monthly plan you can get like $90? …on a 2-Yr. contract? …and you STILL have to buy the iPhone?

    …& the @me.com switchover? What a crap name for a new service. It is and I know secretly Mac lovers agree. No one is sayinga nything now, but in five years when tech ‘zines do a list of biggest “Apple Mistakes” @me will be on the list.

    Oh, and for all of you who think the iPhone is gonna replace the Blackberry or Windows Mobile Smartphones…think again. It’s too pricey, too “elitist” and most companies that would actually consider buying employees these pricey phones have IT departments that by and large are anti-Mac for the same reasons.

    Apple is a niche company for a niche crowd. I really wish the tech community would stop sending 90% of their time on 5% of the market. I’m tempted to not even listen to Leo Laporte and TWiT podcasts anymore…all they ever are now are iPhone/Apple infomercials.

  42. Oh yes and:
    Why doesn’t Apple offer the phone to other service providers. AT&T’s coverage is poor from people who I have heard from. Even if you are in an emergency dialing 911 without service is worthless. I can’t afford to break my contract with another service provider just to geek out on the iPhone. Spread out the provider base and earn more customers. That is just a thought.

  43. Oh yes and:
    Why doesn’t Apple offer the phone to other service providers. AT&T’s coverage is poor from people who I have heard from. Even if you are in an emergency dialing 911 without service is worthless. I can’t afford to break my contract with another service provider just to geek out on the iPhone. Spread out the provider base and earn more customers. That is just a thought.

  44. The thing the JesusPhone lacks is a carrier not in bed with the NSA. That’s a feature I can do without. Some of us do care about privacy and civil liberties and AT&T is a non-starter until I see some perp walks in San Antonio, Washington and Fort Meade.

  45. The thing the JesusPhone lacks is a carrier not in bed with the NSA. That’s a feature I can do without. Some of us do care about privacy and civil liberties and AT&T is a non-starter until I see some perp walks in San Antonio, Washington and Fort Meade.

  46. The App store, SDK, 2.0 and mobile me is the killer apps. I can now have both work (Exchange ActiveSync) and personal ( .mac ) all sync OTA at the same time and it keeps it all separated, so not one overwrites the other. It was so easy, just slide the selectors on the iPhone control panel and your done. Installing apps is ridiculously easy. So easy you gotta watch your wallet. Very cool stuff from Apple. And this is just the opening shot….

  47. The App store, SDK, 2.0 and mobile me is the killer apps. I can now have both work (Exchange ActiveSync) and personal ( .mac ) all sync OTA at the same time and it keeps it all separated, so not one overwrites the other. It was so easy, just slide the selectors on the iPhone control panel and your done. Installing apps is ridiculously easy. So easy you gotta watch your wallet. Very cool stuff from Apple. And this is just the opening shot….

  48. The other company that has the same customer cache is Nordstoms. So I wouldn’t say “Apple is the only company….”.

    Art, in case you missed the news, Bill is no longer running Microsoft, so he won’t be copying anything. It will have to be up to Ballmer and Ozzie. And Ozzie is busy with his head in the “cloud”s

    ScottC-now that the iPhone has Exchange ActiveSync it will be more difficult to keep iPhone’s out of companies. The company doesn’t have to buy them for their users . Once C-level execs start buying them for themselves and asking IT to make it work, IT can push back all they want. Unless they want to be outsourced, they are going to have to make their execs happy.

  49. The other company that has the same customer cache is Nordstoms. So I wouldn’t say “Apple is the only company….”.

    Art, in case you missed the news, Bill is no longer running Microsoft, so he won’t be copying anything. It will have to be up to Ballmer and Ozzie. And Ozzie is busy with his head in the “cloud”s

    ScottC-now that the iPhone has Exchange ActiveSync it will be more difficult to keep iPhone’s out of companies. The company doesn’t have to buy them for their users . Once C-level execs start buying them for themselves and asking IT to make it work, IT can push back all they want. Unless they want to be outsourced, they are going to have to make their execs happy.

  50. “After three hours of trying to update my old phone, I was too bummed out to go to Burlingame. But I wrote to my personal shopper there, and she says there are plenty available so tomorrow is my day :-)”

    She has three hours to kill updating their phone. When she can’t be one of the first kids on the block with the new flashy toy, she gets “so bummed” she can’t leave the house. She has a personal shopper. She can impulse buy a new iPhone to cheer herself up.

    So much snobishness packed into one sentence. Amazing

  51. “After three hours of trying to update my old phone, I was too bummed out to go to Burlingame. But I wrote to my personal shopper there, and she says there are plenty available so tomorrow is my day :-)”

    She has three hours to kill updating their phone. When she can’t be one of the first kids on the block with the new flashy toy, she gets “so bummed” she can’t leave the house. She has a personal shopper. She can impulse buy a new iPhone to cheer herself up.

    So much snobishness packed into one sentence. Amazing

  52. Christ. The lines. The snafus. The total chaos inside the store, watching half the geniuses on the phone with ATT or whoever trying to troubleshoot, etc.

    And yeah, it was worth it. The biggest surprise to me (so far)? How beautiful the new iPhone is (at least the white one, which I have). It feels great. It looks great. And it just seems to work “better” than the 1.0 iPhone. Not sure what it is about it.

  53. Christ. The lines. The snafus. The total chaos inside the store, watching half the geniuses on the phone with ATT or whoever trying to troubleshoot, etc.

    And yeah, it was worth it. The biggest surprise to me (so far)? How beautiful the new iPhone is (at least the white one, which I have). It feels great. It looks great. And it just seems to work “better” than the 1.0 iPhone. Not sure what it is about it.

  54. Ethan: I didn’t cut in line. I was invited. You must have missed that last year I did the same thing for Dave Winer and Steve Gillmor (I bought them phones and they didn’t need to wait in line).

  55. Ethan: I didn’t cut in line. I was invited. You must have missed that last year I did the same thing for Dave Winer and Steve Gillmor (I bought them phones and they didn’t need to wait in line).

  56. Apple has lunched a great product and that’s the bottom line. Instinct from sprint can’t get close to apple’s iPhone (i experienced both) the state-of-art from apple has no competition whatsoever….

  57. Apple has lunched a great product and that’s the bottom line. Instinct from sprint can’t get close to apple’s iPhone (i experienced both) the state-of-art from apple has no competition whatsoever….

  58. Sat without a phone from 8am-noon today as my 9mo. old iPhone stumbled through its upgrade to 2.0. Worth the wait and inconvenience? Absolutely. First thing I did was link to the our corporate Exchange server. Took a whopping 60 seconds. Had to chuckle at the fact that linking the iPhone to Exchange was 3x easier than when I wrestled with hooking up my old Windows Mobile to Exchange in 2007 (certificate hell). Apple beating Microsoft at the Exchange connectivity game. Amusing.

  59. Sat without a phone from 8am-noon today as my 9mo. old iPhone stumbled through its upgrade to 2.0. Worth the wait and inconvenience? Absolutely. First thing I did was link to the our corporate Exchange server. Took a whopping 60 seconds. Had to chuckle at the fact that linking the iPhone to Exchange was 3x easier than when I wrestled with hooking up my old Windows Mobile to Exchange in 2007 (certificate hell). Apple beating Microsoft at the Exchange connectivity game. Amusing.

  60. I am in Canada, and contrary to what Jeremy said, teh plans are not really that bad, as long as you dont go with the iphone specific plans. I used to be a Crackberry user but made the iPhone switch today after 4 hours in line and then activating at home. It is an unbelievable device, email to me seems simlar to that on the berry, however you do get a better Gmail interface and i am going to presume exchange inteface from how it seems. And I have the ability to play back powerpoints, something that is oddly important for me and i couldnt do on my Curve. Still this launch was bad, not only did Apple go down but in Canada the Rogers’ activation/upgrade network crashed for about 6 hours. If you add up the 6 million current iphones, the millions of ipod touches and possible millions of new iphones you are looking at a giant amount of devices trying to upgrade through itunes. You’d figure that Apple would take teh time to ensure their system would handle that.

  61. I am in Canada, and contrary to what Jeremy said, teh plans are not really that bad, as long as you dont go with the iphone specific plans. I used to be a Crackberry user but made the iPhone switch today after 4 hours in line and then activating at home. It is an unbelievable device, email to me seems simlar to that on the berry, however you do get a better Gmail interface and i am going to presume exchange inteface from how it seems. And I have the ability to play back powerpoints, something that is oddly important for me and i couldnt do on my Curve. Still this launch was bad, not only did Apple go down but in Canada the Rogers’ activation/upgrade network crashed for about 6 hours. If you add up the 6 million current iphones, the millions of ipod touches and possible millions of new iphones you are looking at a giant amount of devices trying to upgrade through itunes. You’d figure that Apple would take teh time to ensure their system would handle that.

  62. Robert Scoble, what a shame that you actually said it’s worth the hell. Are you sure? How long have you been using the iphone? how long do you really get to know if a gadget is performing well for what its features are designed for. Just when you left the store? your first day owning it?
    Can you you say it’s worth the hell on your first day owning it?
    pls post again whether it’s really “worth the hell” one month from now.

  63. Robert Scoble, what a shame that you actually said it’s worth the hell. Are you sure? How long have you been using the iphone? how long do you really get to know if a gadget is performing well for what its features are designed for. Just when you left the store? your first day owning it?
    Can you you say it’s worth the hell on your first day owning it?
    pls post again whether it’s really “worth the hell” one month from now.

  64. Obamasama: I’ve had an iPhone for a year now. This new phone is still pretty much the same, just faster and with GPS. So, I can say with great authority that it’s worth the hell.

  65. Obamasama: I’ve had an iPhone for a year now. This new phone is still pretty much the same, just faster and with GPS. So, I can say with great authority that it’s worth the hell.

  66. Let’s all take a moment to thank our lucky stars that our idea of “hell” is being in an Apple Store with a non-functioning cellular telephone for a few hours.

  67. Let’s all take a moment to thank our lucky stars that our idea of “hell” is being in an Apple Store with a non-functioning cellular telephone for a few hours.

  68. It’s disappointing that they screwed this up so bad, but this is exactly why I said i would not even think about getting a phone in the first couple days. I have learned my lesson over and over…. not just with Apple, but in all things tech. Early adopters pay the price for high tech complexity.

  69. It’s disappointing that they screwed this up so bad, but this is exactly why I said i would not even think about getting a phone in the first couple days. I have learned my lesson over and over…. not just with Apple, but in all things tech. Early adopters pay the price for high tech complexity.

  70. Hi Robert,

    you are using all these mobile phones but I find it kind of interesting that you never talk about the BlackBerry. You wrote once that you had a BlackBerry and loved it the days back then.

    How about today? Why are you not with any BlackBerry devices? Or are you secretly carrying one around with you? Or is it because you “have given up” on email?

    Maybe you can write about post about that, especially now with the discussion about the iPhone 3G vs. some of the new BlackBerry models (i.e. the Bold)

    Bernhard

  71. Hi Robert,

    you are using all these mobile phones but I find it kind of interesting that you never talk about the BlackBerry. You wrote once that you had a BlackBerry and loved it the days back then.

    How about today? Why are you not with any BlackBerry devices? Or are you secretly carrying one around with you? Or is it because you “have given up” on email?

    Maybe you can write about post about that, especially now with the discussion about the iPhone 3G vs. some of the new BlackBerry models (i.e. the Bold)

    Bernhard

  72. The iPhone 3G IS worth the hell.

    But I am waiting a couple of days so that the experience of getting another iPhone will be smoother.

    Getting an iPhone means entering the iPhone Ecosystem. It is the Ecosystem which is extremely difficult for RIMM, Nokia, Sony, Microsoft, Google to compete against.

    With the iPhone 3G purchase, I will now get more accessories for it – such as a case, etc. What other phone has a multibillion dollar accessory market for it?

    With the iPhone 3G, I will now download movies and music to it. What other phone has such an extensive movie and music business for it?

    With the iPhone 3G, I can easily get new Applications to extend its functionality and have more fun. What other phone allows this? Furthermore, the development tools are free. With Nokia, RIMM and others, it costs up to and more than $5000 to write applications for the platform. Further, they take 50% of the developer’s price for the apps. Apple gives the tools away for free and takes only a 30% cut, giving developers the larger piece of profit.

    With the iPhone 3G, I can more easily work with my Macintosh and PC with MobileMe and ITunes software, etc. It is now even the remote control for iTunes and AppleTV. Soon, it may be the ultimate remote control for the house and its electronics. What phone offers this possibility?

    With the iPhone 3G, I can have Apple’s exclusive iPhone connectors for my BMW and other cars. What other phone can do this?

    With the iPhone 3G, I can now work with big business IT’s Microsoft Exchange systems and have push email via Exchange or MobileMe. What other phone can do this – and all the others above?

    Once you get used to typing on the glass screen of the iPhone, you will realize how much easier and faster to type on it versus a tiny mechanical thumb keyboard. I write much longer emails and text messages on the iPhone than on other phones. My friends have to use abbreviations. I use full sentences with punctuation.

    No other phone can compete with the iPhone’s Juggernaut Ecosystem. This is why they will get rolled over.

  73. The iPhone 3G IS worth the hell.

    But I am waiting a couple of days so that the experience of getting another iPhone will be smoother.

    Getting an iPhone means entering the iPhone Ecosystem. It is the Ecosystem which is extremely difficult for RIMM, Nokia, Sony, Microsoft, Google to compete against.

    With the iPhone 3G purchase, I will now get more accessories for it – such as a case, etc. What other phone has a multibillion dollar accessory market for it?

    With the iPhone 3G, I will now download movies and music to it. What other phone has such an extensive movie and music business for it?

    With the iPhone 3G, I can easily get new Applications to extend its functionality and have more fun. What other phone allows this? Furthermore, the development tools are free. With Nokia, RIMM and others, it costs up to and more than $5000 to write applications for the platform. Further, they take 50% of the developer’s price for the apps. Apple gives the tools away for free and takes only a 30% cut, giving developers the larger piece of profit.

    With the iPhone 3G, I can more easily work with my Macintosh and PC with MobileMe and ITunes software, etc. It is now even the remote control for iTunes and AppleTV. Soon, it may be the ultimate remote control for the house and its electronics. What phone offers this possibility?

    With the iPhone 3G, I can have Apple’s exclusive iPhone connectors for my BMW and other cars. What other phone can do this?

    With the iPhone 3G, I can now work with big business IT’s Microsoft Exchange systems and have push email via Exchange or MobileMe. What other phone can do this – and all the others above?

    Once you get used to typing on the glass screen of the iPhone, you will realize how much easier and faster to type on it versus a tiny mechanical thumb keyboard. I write much longer emails and text messages on the iPhone than on other phones. My friends have to use abbreviations. I use full sentences with punctuation.

    No other phone can compete with the iPhone’s Juggernaut Ecosystem. This is why they will get rolled over.

  74. I actually had a very smooth transaction yesterday. I went to the AT&T store as I have a discount through work and they had 15 terminals and each person was taking about 15 min. to get through. I was about 100th in line and got there at 7:00 a.m. and was done by 9:30 a.m.. I love the phone so far too! I had an HTC wizard and loved it 3 yrs ago, but the iPhone beats it by leaps and bounds.

  75. I actually had a very smooth transaction yesterday. I went to the AT&T store as I have a discount through work and they had 15 terminals and each person was taking about 15 min. to get through. I was about 100th in line and got there at 7:00 a.m. and was done by 9:30 a.m.. I love the phone so far too! I had an HTC wizard and loved it 3 yrs ago, but the iPhone beats it by leaps and bounds.

  76. “The new things available for the iPhone are just years ahead of other phones.”

    Could you elaborate on this a bit?

  77. “The new things available for the iPhone are just years ahead of other phones.”

    Could you elaborate on this a bit?

  78. My experience was that I waited in line for four hours yesterday and got nothing out of it. I can understand the activation server problems — I’m a software engineer, so I understand the difficulty in keeping such a service live. I’m not mad about that, but what really pisses me off is Apple’s poor integration with AT&T. There was a problem with my AT&T account that Apple couldn’t see. So I had to go to an AT&T store. They sent me back to Apple. I called AT&T, and they basically said there’s a communication bug between their service and Apple’s service, and the result is Apple can’t sell me an iPhone. I’ve documented the entire process and what went wrong at iPhkd: http://iphkd.blogspot.com/. Anyone else been blocked by AT&T?

  79. My experience was that I waited in line for four hours yesterday and got nothing out of it. I can understand the activation server problems — I’m a software engineer, so I understand the difficulty in keeping such a service live. I’m not mad about that, but what really pisses me off is Apple’s poor integration with AT&T. There was a problem with my AT&T account that Apple couldn’t see. So I had to go to an AT&T store. They sent me back to Apple. I called AT&T, and they basically said there’s a communication bug between their service and Apple’s service, and the result is Apple can’t sell me an iPhone. I’ve documented the entire process and what went wrong at iPhkd: http://iphkd.blogspot.com/. Anyone else been blocked by AT&T?

  80. I agree — it was worth it. I was the #15 in line here in Kansas City. I showed up at 10:40′ish PM on Thursday night — 10 hours of waiting in line and a 1 hour nap on a concrete sidewalk.

    I also video blogged my entire experience, even inside the Apple store.

    Watch it here:

  81. I agree — it was worth it. I was the #15 in line here in Kansas City. I showed up at 10:40′ish PM on Thursday night — 10 hours of waiting in line and a 1 hour nap on a concrete sidewalk.

    I also video blogged my entire experience, even inside the Apple store.

    Watch it here:

  82. Did I hear right? Someone gave you and your son “cuts”? man, I would have given you a pice of my mind if I had ben waiting all day and you snuck in. How rude.

  83. Did I hear right? Someone gave you and your son “cuts”? man, I would have given you a pice of my mind if I had ben waiting all day and you snuck in. How rude.

  84. How fast is it really? none of this 2 x faster than the old one nonsense. Can you connect it to your laptop and use as a modem? At what sort of speeds? Anything less than 1.5mbps is going to be super crap compared to a simple O2 Atom Life on WM6

  85. How fast is it really? none of this 2 x faster than the old one nonsense. Can you connect it to your laptop and use as a modem? At what sort of speeds? Anything less than 1.5mbps is going to be super crap compared to a simple O2 Atom Life on WM6

  86. It is not a question of IF I will buy one, but when. Lets see. It is sleeker, faster, lighter, and louder (I have a hearing problem) .. not to mention the App store. My only question is whether I sell the old one on ebay or give it to a family member who has some other brand of phone. I am delighted with the software upgrade alone. A previous upgrade complicated my listening to voicemail messages in my bluetooth equipped car .. and Apple removed that complication. I can’t believe it.
    Jobs and company are the Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison of my generation.

  87. It is not a question of IF I will buy one, but when. Lets see. It is sleeker, faster, lighter, and louder (I have a hearing problem) .. not to mention the App store. My only question is whether I sell the old one on ebay or give it to a family member who has some other brand of phone. I am delighted with the software upgrade alone. A previous upgrade complicated my listening to voicemail messages in my bluetooth equipped car .. and Apple removed that complication. I can’t believe it.
    Jobs and company are the Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison of my generation.

  88. Well, I went to an ATT store today (Saturday), got my iPhone in my pocket in about 15 minutes, got my old number fully working in another hour. I’m very happy! :-)

  89. Well, I went to an ATT store today (Saturday), got my iPhone in my pocket in about 15 minutes, got my old number fully working in another hour. I’m very happy! :-)

  90. Boo fucking hoo. This ‘hell’ was self-imposed by people willing to wait because they couldn’t wait past the first day. That’s fine, it’s their choice, but the crush of must-have-gimme-gimme-gimme mentality is what caused the meltdown. Hell certainly is other people.

  91. Boo fucking hoo. This ‘hell’ was self-imposed by people willing to wait because they couldn’t wait past the first day. That’s fine, it’s their choice, but the crush of must-have-gimme-gimme-gimme mentality is what caused the meltdown. Hell certainly is other people.

  92. As someone who has had a AT&T 3G phone for a year, I would say with great authority IT SUCKS. The coverage is very spotty, and as a result the battery life is way below what the manufacturer states.

    Let’s hear your opinion in a month’s time.

  93. As someone who has had a AT&T 3G phone for a year, I would say with great authority IT SUCKS. The coverage is very spotty, and as a result the battery life is way below what the manufacturer states.

    Let’s hear your opinion in a month’s time.

  94. Robert,

    Since you’ve used iPhone, the N82 and the N95, I’d love to read a comparison of the three from you. This is because, like several enthusiasts in Europe and Asia, I’ve used the N73 and N82 the past 18 months, but have little idea of how iPhone compares to these on a daily-use basis.

  95. Robert,

    Since you’ve used iPhone, the N82 and the N95, I’d love to read a comparison of the three from you. This is because, like several enthusiasts in Europe and Asia, I’ve used the N73 and N82 the past 18 months, but have little idea of how iPhone compares to these on a daily-use basis.

  96. We clearly do things differently in Massachusetts. From what I saw (at the front of the line) – there was no “inviting” of people into the line; heck – most even exercised the courtesy to ask permission before leaving their chair/bag/etc in line so they could briefly leave the line to acquire a snack. There was also no saving spots for friends, or similar rude behavior going on, etc.

    In my opinion being invited to join the front of the line is “cutting” – plain and simple (unless EVERYONE in line at the time personally invited you).

    If you feel the need to be in the front (and some of us did for whatever reason), you wait as long as it takes to do so or you remain content with your place in line a little further back.

  97. We clearly do things differently in Massachusetts. From what I saw (at the front of the line) – there was no “inviting” of people into the line; heck – most even exercised the courtesy to ask permission before leaving their chair/bag/etc in line so they could briefly leave the line to acquire a snack. There was also no saving spots for friends, or similar rude behavior going on, etc.

    In my opinion being invited to join the front of the line is “cutting” – plain and simple (unless EVERYONE in line at the time personally invited you).

    If you feel the need to be in the front (and some of us did for whatever reason), you wait as long as it takes to do so or you remain content with your place in line a little further back.

  98. It’s always going to be a struggle explaining this to people who look at a specifications sheet to tell you if something is good or better. It’s not about the hardware, it’s about the software. This is why my other half got, used and returned a HTC Touch Diamond all in the space of a weekend. It’s just not the same.

    Having to explain exactly this to a software engineer this week made me realise how many smart people don’t get this. He pointed out that I had queued to get new hardware. He didn’t realise that, for the same amount of money as I was paying every month, I now had two iPhones. One of them 3G and the other, sans SIM, effectively an iPod touch! It’s like getting a free iPod touch mid contract.

  99. It’s always going to be a struggle explaining this to people who look at a specifications sheet to tell you if something is good or better. It’s not about the hardware, it’s about the software. This is why my other half got, used and returned a HTC Touch Diamond all in the space of a weekend. It’s just not the same.

    Having to explain exactly this to a software engineer this week made me realise how many smart people don’t get this. He pointed out that I had queued to get new hardware. He didn’t realise that, for the same amount of money as I was paying every month, I now had two iPhones. One of them 3G and the other, sans SIM, effectively an iPod touch! It’s like getting a free iPod touch mid contract.

  100. I don’t think it would be worth the hell…I was paid by another geek to stand in line at the first iPhone release until right before opening, at which time he showed up and relinquished me of my duty. I watched in disgust as many unprofessional and obnoxious people, including young adults, adults, and kids, who had no real interest in the true benefits of this new device, goofed off in this line for hours. This wasn’t camping out on the sidewalk of Best Buy for the new release of the next video game system! This was a long-anticipated tool that needed to get into more qualified hands sooner than later.
    I can’t say who’s to blame…Apple, for not producing more of them right away? The techies, who needed this, for not getting into the line sooner? Or the idiots who did get there early to be the first to get a new ‘toy’ that wasn’t priced high enough to be out of their reach?
    I follow, but I’m patient–and I’m NOT into hype of any type. In fact, I’m so excited that I didn’t pay $600 for an iPhone right away, and now can get a better model for $200! Ha! However, I still wasn’t going to wait in another line…When the kids are done playing, I’ll walk in and out with my copy in a few minutes and not sacrifice any precious time.
    Innovation is key, but there are some who didn’t have the brains or decency to stay out of those lines.
    (hope this doesn’t sound too bitter ;)

  101. I don’t think it would be worth the hell…I was paid by another geek to stand in line at the first iPhone release until right before opening, at which time he showed up and relinquished me of my duty. I watched in disgust as many unprofessional and obnoxious people, including young adults, adults, and kids, who had no real interest in the true benefits of this new device, goofed off in this line for hours. This wasn’t camping out on the sidewalk of Best Buy for the new release of the next video game system! This was a long-anticipated tool that needed to get into more qualified hands sooner than later.
    I can’t say who’s to blame…Apple, for not producing more of them right away? The techies, who needed this, for not getting into the line sooner? Or the idiots who did get there early to be the first to get a new ‘toy’ that wasn’t priced high enough to be out of their reach?
    I follow, but I’m patient–and I’m NOT into hype of any type. In fact, I’m so excited that I didn’t pay $600 for an iPhone right away, and now can get a better model for $200! Ha! However, I still wasn’t going to wait in another line…When the kids are done playing, I’ll walk in and out with my copy in a few minutes and not sacrifice any precious time.
    Innovation is key, but there are some who didn’t have the brains or decency to stay out of those lines.
    (hope this doesn’t sound too bitter ;)

  102. apple can get away with this as the vast majority of people who purchase the latest and greatest from apple are generally short sighted and live in an echo chamber.
    lets remember that its just a phone, not a cure for cancer and for one i find it embarrassing that grown men and women can get all stary eyed over a phone… a phone! such people should get out more often in my opinion.

  103. apple can get away with this as the vast majority of people who purchase the latest and greatest from apple are generally short sighted and live in an echo chamber.
    lets remember that its just a phone, not a cure for cancer and for one i find it embarrassing that grown men and women can get all stary eyed over a phone… a phone! such people should get out more often in my opinion.

  104. … oh and cutting the queue is so rude robert. just think about all of the children who were waiting their for there phones. you must have made them terribly sad and upset as they would have had to wait even longer for their Chinese made object of desire. you could have caused irreparable damage to their self esteem and possibly even affected them for life. furthermore given that you are in the usa you could well be exposes to law suites for such behavior.

    ps i had to insert as the message was probably lost of most us citizens

  105. … oh and cutting the queue is so rude robert. just think about all of the children who were waiting their for there phones. you must have made them terribly sad and upset as they would have had to wait even longer for their Chinese made object of desire. you could have caused irreparable damage to their self esteem and possibly even affected them for life. furthermore given that you are in the usa you could well be exposes to law suites for such behavior.

    ps i had to insert as the message was probably lost of most us citizens