Thursday, December 22, 2011

iPhone 4S launch; a mixed bag

AppId is over the quota
AppId is over the quota
By Jason D. O'Grady | October 16, 2011, 9:14pm PDT

Summary: The iPhone 4S arrived in U.S. stores on Friday and people had a mixed bag of results with activations.

This year I wasn’t up for an iPhone upgrade, but my wife was. So she’s the lucky recipient of a new 32GB iPhone 4S (in white, natch) with a matching two-year agreement to match. She stayed with AT&T for a) grandfathered unlimited data and b) faster download speeds.

Rather than pre-order or wait in line, we just sauntered into the Apple Store in Atlantic City at around 4pm on Friday. When I called at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. all models of the iPhone 4S were in “limited supply” — Apple parlance for “in stock… but no guarantees” — so there was no rush. The Apple Store was packed but there wasn’t a line. The whole transaction took about 20 minutes and we activated her 4S in-store without a problem.

The best part was setting up the iPhone 4S from her iCloud backup using the Apple Store’s Wi-Fi connection. Although we didn’t wait for all of her apps to re-download, she was able to download her contacts and calendars while in-store. A message popped up stating that apps would be re-downloaded when the iPhone was back on Wi-Fi. A flawless experience overall.

Bob Fish, on the other hand, couldn’t get his pre-ordered iPhone 4S activated on Friday. Here’s the error message he got while trying to activate his 4S via iTunes:

AT&T iPhone 4S activation pending

After having no luck activating via iTunes he took his iPhone 4S to his local AT&T Store to ask if they could activate the phone and they said that they “got a message” to send everyone to the Apple Store to get their phones activated. Ultimately, he made the trek to his local Apple store where he sailed through the activation process using the in-store Wi-Fi connection.

Users on Twitter and this MacRumors discussion thread reported problems activating the iPhone 4S on AT&T on Friday when its servers apparently buckled under the heavy load of activations.

The iPhone 4S activation woes come on the heels of problems with Apple’s iOS 5 servers on Wednesday, which prevented many users from downloading, installing and restoring Apple’s latest mobile OS.

What was your experience like with the iPhone 4S? Any drama?

Jason O'Grady+ is a journalist and author specializing in mobile technology. He has published six books on Apple and mobile gadgets and his PowerPage blog has been publishing for over 15 years.

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