Wednesday, 16 July 2008
iPhone 3G launch
So the new iPhone 3G has launched... It has virtually sold out in Europe before some parts of the USA put it on sale. The scale of the purchases seems to have taken the carriers by surprise on launch day and the systems both at Apple and the carriers were suffering badly under the excess load of device activations and software update downloads. I managed to update my wife's original iPhone successfully in one attempt on the day after the update was made available.
At the same time, I was trying out some of the mobileMe web applications which were also launched on that day. They were very unresponsive. The transition from mac.com to mobileMe was certainly not as smooth as Apple would have liked. Today existing members of the service such as me were sent an apology email from Apple and compensation in the form of an extra month added to the renewal date. This is typical of the customer service I have noticed before, and something a number of organisations could learn from.
Apple have stated that they sold over a million iPhones on the launch weekend in less than two days. By comparison it took 74 days to reach the same number of the original model, albeit in many fewer geographies that they were sold in then. But more significant for me is the statistic of 10 million downloads of applications from the iPhone Applications Store in the same weekend. This eco-system for apps for the iPhone is one of the more innovative features of the update iPhone firmware 2.0, not in what it provides but in the easy way it provides it for a vast number of users.