You would think that after six months of nearly nonstop iPhone hype, Apple would have been ready for the big day when it finally came. But soon after the iPhone 3G went on sale in the Eastern time zone this morning, Apple?? iTunes registration system collapsed, leaving buyers with unusable phones. Nearly four hours later, the systems were still down. The problems also prevented upgrades of original iPhones or the iPod Touch to the new version 2.0 software.
There were also reports that AT&T activation was failing and that, contrary to announced policy, customers were being allowed to leave stores with unactivated phones. Computerworld reported problems in the UK, where carrier O2's Web-based activation process required the use of Microsoft's Windows-only Internet Explorer browser. Apple stores had to scramble to set up Windows virtual; machines on their Macs to get customers activated.
All in all, a rough start for the biggest launch event since, well, the original iPhone launch a bit more than a year ago.