Apple iPhone v2.0 software on Saturday: Still M.I.A.

Even on the day after launch day, customers of the original iPhone were having problems downloading the new version of the system software.

Approximately 36 hours after the release of the iPhone 2.0 firmware, existing iPhone customers still can't download it. iTunes says it's unavailable. Apple should have done better.

We already know that on Friday, there were severe activation problems with the iPhone 3G. This isn't exactly a surprise, perhaps, after the new in-store activation procedures and AT&T's dismal performance last year.

What is surprising is that approximately 36 hours after Apple said the new system software would be available for existing customers to access, it still isn't. At least not for everyone.

I have the first-generation iPhone I bought a year ago--and as of midday Saturday, the new v2.0 firmware was unavailable for download. iTunes tells me, incorrectly, that "this version of the iPhone software (1.1.4) is the current version." See the above screenshot.

This is in addition to what my CNET News colleague Erica Ogg reported on Friday: some existing iPhones have been bricked by software update glitches. At least that didn't happen to me.

I'm not exactly desperate to upgrade to the new system software (I'm at a political conference in Las Vegas and am mostly focused on what's happening here).

But this points to a bad miscalculation on Apple's part. Why didn't it come up with a better estimate of how many people would be connecting to its servers and add sufficient capacity? Apple probably is curbing existing customers' access to software updates to prevent its servers from overheating (this is at least a better failure mode than yesterday morning's odd errors ).

This is understandable, perhaps, but it's disappointing--especially because this should have been preventable with even a modicum of advance planning.

Update 1:50 p.m. PDT: iTunes is now showing the update as available. I should have noted that I already upgraded to the latest version of iTunes. That wasn't the problem--Apple's servers were.

 

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