Activation problems are causing extreme frustration from anxious customers this morning as both AT&T and Apple's infrastructures buckle under heavy demand for the iPhone 3G.
With most AT&T stores sold out of the device, Apple Stores are seeing lines that still number in the hundreds at some locations. Activations are trickling through, with only a handful of customers able to successfully purchase each hour.
Unlike the original iPhone, the iPhone 3G must be activated in-store. However, after several hours of sluggish transactions, both AT&T and Apple stores started allowing customers to take their AT&T activated, but not-yet "unbricked" (the unbricking process takes place in iTunes) home -- though many users aren't having much luck there either.
The experience of iPhone Atlas staffer David Martin is typical of many reports we're currently receiving:
"I went to the Apple store at 6 a.m. I was #25 in line. I got into the store during the first batch of people. When I got my phone handed to me and went to go thru the process of upgrading the fun began. Apple's servers were overwhelmed.
"The store?s EZPay system was hosed. Finally after about an hour I got the phone. Paid for it. Wham! Another issue.
"They checked their master POS and yes my credit card did ring thru and yes we had a receipt. I was done or so I thought.
"I was brought up front to a display of Macbooks. This is where they?d activate the phone, but as it turns out the iTunes servers were also hosed. So my black 16gb 3g iphone is sitting here at home a paper weight and I like many others have no phone to use today. Bummer. :-(
"I was told to activate at home, but so far this has not worked.'