iPhone activated: It took AT&T only 39 hours

The good news is that my iPhone is finally activated and it's definitely worth the money. The bad news is that it took AT&T 39 hours to get it done.

The good news is that my iPhone is finally activated and it's definitely worth the money.

The bad news is that it took AT&T 39 hours to get it done.

SF protester prepares sign before Apple iPhone launch: 'I'm not buying one? What am I, crazy?' No, you're smart to wait until the activation problems are fixed. Declan McCullagh/mccullagh.org

I've documented the problems step-by-step, including the magic (and not-so-magic) numbers I called, in this post. Here's our review from my colleagues at CNET Reviews.

It's not just me. An unscientific poll shows half of the respondents who bought iPhones had activation problems, blogger Thomas Hawk has recounted his similar woes, and there's a Slashdot thread too. And check out Apple's own discussion forum.

Some of the posts that you, our esteemed readers, made to my step-by-step recounting of AT&T's comedy of errors are as depressing as my own experience. One Sprint-to-AT&T switcher said both phones on a family plan had to be activated in sequence before the first one would begin to work. Another one says they've been waiting 31 hours.

What remarkably poor planning on the part of whoever designed this activation system.

So who's responsible? Nobody outside AT&T and Apple seems to know for certain so far. But I wonder about the role of a New Jersey company called Synchronoss, which has a contract with AT&T to handle the activation.

As my colleague Tom Krazit says in this article on Sunday, we haven't been able to reach any of the executives at Synchronoss for comment over the weekend (and it's not for lack of trying).

Publicly-traded Synchronoss, oddly, hasn't been very public about its iPhone involvement. One of the few articles was one last week in Investor's Business Daily, which says: "Its software takes care of the process from the time the customer has made the decision to buy to when the transaction is processed and the account is activated on the network."

That sounds like a pretty key ingredient in the mix to me. Also, the e-mail updates that iPhone customers received said AT&T in the From: line but were actually, as the headers reveal, sent by Synchronoss.

Yahoo Finance discussion boards, and a few investor sites, have talked about buying shares of Synchronoss as a way to capitalize on the iPhone's expected success. I wonder if investors will be a little less optimistic now.

Update: We've heard back from Synchronoss. They're "extremely pleased" with the way activation went over the weekend.

 

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