Paused in Portland: the iPhone 3G takes longer to get and to activate...

iPhone launch

It didn't take a check of other CNET stories to confirm that Apple/AT&T's registration servers have either went back to bed or checked out early on a Friday. After the cheers at 8:00 a.m. the line moved less than 20 feet within the first hour. There were at least two announcements from Apple reps (one in a utila-kilt even) that things are "a little bit slow," because of the "overwhelming demand." An insistent, we could always come back later was touted too.

At one point, I was getting discouraged. The Apple Store'ss WiFi connection was increasingly out of range as the line arced around itself. Laptop batteries were fading. Many with iPhonesin line started to look antsy and bored too. A geek 2.0 shantytown was at risk of developing. Gripes about AT&T and it's 'ease' of in-store activation were heard. And yet, the line grew longer and added more people. Somehow, the line started to move - or maybe it was just my turn...

But, after 2.5 hours of waiting I was in! And yes, the white 16-gig iPhone 3G was indeed available. "Mike" my handy Apple assistant told me stories of the various difficulties that AT&T has presented to its new and existing customers. Rightly so, as I had to talk to an AT&T rep about my upgrade. Eventually, I won. But others in the store weren't so lucky. One customer apparently dropped his new iPhone 3G and returned it wanting another one. After processing that return, moments later AT&T told the customer he was no longer eligible for the 'incentive' upgrade pricing. Oops.

As for my iPhone is still begging to be connected to iTunes and I have yet to snych it yet. So, more to come. But at least I have one. And it was tax-free too.

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