It was one of the top news stories on Friday: the massive lines to get the new iPhone. (I wasn’t one of them, regardless of what you may think of my iPhone addiction!)
It’s the publicity that Apple really wanted. I mean, who doesn’t want tons of people so excited that they are willing to camp out to be one of the first. It’s viral; it’s exciting; it’s free publicity!
But apparently there was a slight problem, which is causing the masses, who stood in line for hours, to take a not-so-nice bite out of the computer company.
This year, for the new iPhone 3G launch, AT&T and Apple decided (partly to stem the proliferation of unlocked iPhones abroad) that new iPhones purchased had to be activated in-store. At the product introduction launch, they allowed you to do it all at home, online.
But this new idea backfired, big time.
In addition to the time it takes to service individual customers with activations, it seems Apple’s servers are being crushed by not only new customers but people (like me) at home trying to upgrade their older iPhones to the new 2.0 software.
As for new iPhone customers, many were sent home with their iPhones without having had it activated in-store. Talk about disappointment. Is it completely unrealistic to expect that when you sign a two-year contract that you might be able use your new phone sometime soon?
So now Apple has a big mess on their hands.
As a PR advisor (and someone who actually did publicity for some high-tech gadgets), I think Apple & AT&T should step up to the plate and admit they hadn’t anticipated the massive downloads. They should send both current and the new users some kind of gift or credits.
That way their raving fans will remain fans!
How do you think they should handle it?