Chaotic first day for iPhone 3G

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The iPhone 3G is available in the 21 nations shown in blue and light blue; nations in light green are slated to have iPhone sales later.

Apple's new 3G iPhone was introduced to consumers in 21 nations on Friday, but its first sales day was marred by minimal supplies and sluggish phone activations.

Systems which enable the iPhones for service had difficulty due to network failures and insufficient capacity to meet the demand for first-day sales, particularly in the United States at Apple and AT&T stores, and in Canada. Long lineups of customers were waiting at Australian stores for the first day of iPhone sales there, where the phone is supported by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Crowds also lined up in Japan where the iPhone was unavailable for sale until now. New Zealand also joined the list of iPhone nations.

An Apple iPhone
Image: Blake Burris.

The iPhone was sold to Canadians for the first time through Rogers Wireless stores. Rogers has exclusive rights to the iPhone in Canada since it is the only national wireless carrier that supports the iPhone's transmission standards. Earlier complaints about high iPhone rates did not deter hundreds of would-be Canadian iPhone buyers who lined up hours before store opening times. They soon learned, however, that the new phones were in short supply, and like other countries experienced delays in activating the phones.

A CBC News survey found that the most expensive basic iPhone service was in Italy for Vodafone customers at an equivalent US$2554 for a two-year contract. Canada's Rogers was the second most expensive at US$2176 for a three-year term. Swisscom customers in Switzerland will enjoy the lowest monthly service fees (US$34).