Apple has issued an apology and a $30 iTunes gift certificate to placate frustrated iPhone 3G S customers who faced activation problems.
The company launched the iPhone 3G S on Friday and it was snapped up by more than 1 million users over the weekend. Some of those customers faced delays in activating their devices, which means the handset could not be used as a phone. This delay lasted up to two days for some iPhone 3G S buyers, Apple and AT&T said.
"Thank you for your recent Apple Store order. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in your iPhone activation," Apple wrote in an e-mail to affected customers over the weekend. "We are still resolving the issue that was encountered while activating your iPhone with AT&T. Unfortunately, due to system issues and continued high activation volumes, this could take us up to an additional 48 hours to complete."
The activation problems were somewhat similar to what Apple faced with the launch of the iPhone 3G last year, where delays and bugs led to long lines and handsets that were unusable for a few hours. The problems with the iPhone 3G S launch did not seem as widespread though, as Apple took a few steps to ensure that the latest launch went smoother.
During last year's iPhone 3G launch, Apple admittedly overextended itself by simultaneously rolling out the new hardware, the iPhone 2.0 software, the App Store infrastructure, and the MobileMe service. The company took a staggered approach this time, as it released the 3.0 software a few days before the iPhone 3G S was made commercially available.
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