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Apple's $30 apology for iPhone activation delays?

Company reportedly begins notifying iPhone 3G S owners that they may experience additional delays due to "system issues" and offers a $30 iTunes Store credit as an apology.

Apple is reportedly offering iPhone 3G S buyers a $30 iTunes Store credit for activation delays. Apple

iPhone 3G S buyers are still experiencing delays activating their new smartphones, but Apple apparently wants to make it up to them.

Apple began notifying affected customers via e-mail on Sunday that they may experience additional delays for another two days due to "system issues" and "high activation volumes," according to readers in various blogs who claim to have received the e-mail.

The problems began immediately after the new iPhone's launch Friday.

As a way of apology for the delays, the same e-mail said Apple plans to offer customers a $30 credit iTunes Store credit for "the inconvenience this delay has caused."

Here's the entire text of the e-mail:

Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for your recent Apple Store order. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in your iPhone activation.

We are still resolving the issue that was encountered while activating your iPhone with AT&T. Unfortunately, due to system issues and continued high activation volumes, this could take us up to an additional 48 hours to complete.

On Monday, you'll receive an email from Apple with an iTunes Store credit in the amount of $30. We hope you will enjoy this gift and accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay has caused.

Thank you for choosing Apple.

Apple Online Store Team

Apple representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

During last July's iPhone launch as new customers tried to complete the required in-store activation process, overloaded AT&T activation servers slowed Apple Store lines to a crawl, and the servers eventually crashed altogether. Apple soon ditched the in-store activation and was simply "unbricking" phones, letting buyers activate them at home rather than hold up the line because of crashed servers.

In stark contrast to the frenzied first day sales of the original iPhone and last year's iPhone 3G, Friday's launch was marked by considerably smaller and quieter crowds for the smartphone's debut.

One analyst expected Apple to sell 500,000 iPhones this weekend. That's half as many phones as Apple sold when it launched the iPhone 3G, but Apple sold that phone in 21 countries on the first day. In comparison, the iPhone 3G S was sold in only eight countries on its first day.