On Friday, Apple released the second generation iPhone with 3G — iPhone 2.0, if you will — and it was an unmitigated disaster in every sense for any sensible person that values time over dilly-dallying and working over standing in line.
I confess I am an Apple FanBoi. I wrote two APPLE books: Office for Mac and Leopard — so I have a vested interest in wanting Apple to do well — but when terrible mistakes are made and everyday end users are punished for the arrogance of salesmanship, the entire loyalty thing begins to die on the vine standing in a line… in person, on the phone or in your mind…
If you wanted a new iPhone on Friday, you had to stand in a seven hour line outside an Apple store or an AT&T store. I don’t have the patience to waste that sort of time, so I popped into a local AT&T store around 4:30pm that day to inquire about buying two new iPhones and I was told they were sold out.
AT&T then offered to sell me two new iPhones that included a $14.99 “two day delivery charge” to have the new iPhones sent to the store — but not directly to me — for activation. There was no guarantee on the delivery day.
When I told the sales guy that I didn’t want to pay an added delivery charge to have the phones delivered to AT&T when all the phones they sold that day did not carry that extra charge. I was told that’s the way it was.
I left the store laughing and iPhone-less and checked the Apple stores online for more guidance into actually getting an iPhone instead of just queuing up and wishing for one.
Apple provides a silly “stop and go” semiotic system on their website that gets updated every night at 9:00pm that tells you if the store expects to have the iPhone 2.0 in stock or not in the morning when the store opens. Here’s today’s report for the New York stores:
The silly thing with that semiotic suggesting is you have no idea how many iPhones are actually in stock — so you risk showing up only to go home empty handed again.
I suppose the red squares are good for immediately knowing not to waste your time, but the green dots don’t promise you a phone, either.
So… what’s the point? Why not form a virtual queue online so hopeful iPhone 2.0 owners can at least know on this day, at that time, you can walk into an Apple store and be promised product?
That said, why not just let me buy my iPhone 2.0 over the internet like I did last year!
On Friday night, disillusioned and disappointed, I decided to upgrade my old iPhone 1.0 with the new 2.0 software so I could play around with some of the Apps.
The process of upgrading my old phone took four hours. The activation servers were overloaded and when you install 2.0 software on a 1.0 phone you entire phone is “bricked” and that means you can’t use it to do anything except make a 911 call until your phone is “re-activated” via iTunes.
What a pox on all loyal believers!
The big hook into upgrading from 1.0 to 2.0 is the “Apps Store” where you can install free and for-pay programs for your iPhone. I was game to start gamering on my iPhone!
Oh, the woe that became me!
After a few hours of installing new Apps — both free and moneyed — my iPhone 1.0 began to get sluggish and non-responsive. I especially felt it creeping during the “auto-upgrades” of the New York Times reader application and the AP News upgrade. After those two upgrades my iPhone was never the same.
To try to get back some speed and responsiveness, I deleted all the free junk Apps — except for the Apple Remote — and left my for-pay Apps in iTunes because deleting them from iTunes deletes them forever and I’d have to re-pay for them all over again if and when I ever solved my problem:
The really big problem started when I did a synch of my iPhone with iTunes to install the Crash Bandicoot game. Everything froze for hours.
Nothing would back up. Nothing would install. Everything was hung… err “Hanged?”
My iPhone 1.0 was Bricked — made useless as a doorstop — by the iPhone 2.0 software!
I tried every known remedy to fix my iPhone. Nothing worked.
Now I’m stuck in a perpetual White Apple Logo purgatory where my iPhone will not turn off or reset or hard boot or do anything but get really hot until the battery dies down and it turns itself off.
There is no way out of, or around, this problem and, it seems, others are also having problem with the 2.0 software upgrade…. err… “Downgrade?” and, interestingly enough, the problem doesn’t appear to be with the Apps, but with the actual Apple 2.0 iPhone software!
I use my iPhone all day every day. Well. I used to until Friday night.
So now I’m stuck. No iPhone 1.0. No iPhone 2.0. No calls in or out. No SMS. No email. No news. No RSS feeds. No remote administration of this blog. No Apps. No games. No more fun.
I’m dead in the water and rotting in the core just like those Friday Apple lovers stuck in a neverending queue hoping to buy what is never quite purchasable — but yet is always available for the Bricking of the one you hold most beloved in the palm of your hand.
I’m calling Apple support later today to report this mess and I’ll report back here what they say and how they say it.