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Apple can't activate UK iPhone 3G without Internet Explorer

In the history of product launch embarassments, this has to rank pretty highly -- UK Apple staff couldn't sell customers iPhone 3Gs because they didn't have Microsoft's browser

For the crowds of patient Apple fans queueing outside Apple's flagship UK store in London this morning for an iPhone 3G, the feeling of disappointment was epic. According to one disappointed customer, as he left the store without a handset, Apple staff couldn't access the O2 phone network's activation system. Crave heard second-hand from an Apple employee that O2's system runs on Windows and requires Microsoft's Internet Explorer -- clearly the Macs at the Regent Street store weren't running Boot Camp.

We were outside the store seeing annoyed customer after customer leaving empty-handed. Even half the journalists waiting to speak to the first ecstatic iPhone 3G owners returned to their offices without their story, as a result of what can only be described as an epic fail.

Customers shopping for the handset at one of O2's stores didn't seem to have had the same problem -- one smug shopper came past the queue at the Apple store to show off his purchase. He narrowly escaped with his life.

After free coffee from a local cafe and two hours of waiting, even Crave had to call it a day. But for the guy who bought his front-place position in the Apple store queue on eBay, the day is likely to contain significantly more taunting, laughing and pointing than the auction's listing described.

Keep your eyes peeled later today for our exclusive video footage of angry customers as they explain the horrors taking place inside the Apple store. In the meantime, you can read our full Apple iPhone 3G review and watch our hands-on video. -Nate Lanxon