Would the cloud have saved Apple's iPhone 3G launch?

Could Apple have relied on Amazon's cloud to have a successful product launch of its newest iPhone?

Apple had a serious problem with its iPhone 3G product launch last week, coupled with its limp-along release of its iPhone 2.0 software . Could Amazon.com's cloud have helped? Lee Faus, in his "Popularity Sucks" post, thinks so.

As he notes, the ability to spin up resources for a short-term crush on Apple's servers could have worked wonders (at least, for the 2.0 software upgrade), just as it could have benefited Mozilla during its launch of Firefox 3.0:

This would have been ideal for Mozilla (Firefox 3 Install Images on S3 with Apache Web Servers running on EC2 serving content for downloads) and for ATT and Apple where I could see them using the Java Server (JEE) on EC2 with an ESB and adapters for the Amazon SQS Messaging service to allow for communication between the companies deploying iPhones around the world.

I'm by no means an expert in cloud computing, but I became an expert in consumer misery when trying to buy a iPhone 3G and to upgrade my old iPhone. Yes, some of the problems stemmed from AT&T's lame activation system, but was that a problem with overburdening capacity or was it a matter of a flawed setup to begin with?

For you cloud experts out there, could Amazon's cloud capacity have helped Apple and Mozilla in their recent product launches?

If not, why not? And, if so, why wasn't either organization prepared to use the cloud?

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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