Analyst: Apple sold about 525,000 iPhones in first weekend; AT&T had insufficient technical support

“Shoppers snatched up about 525,000 of the devices at Apple and AT&T stores from Friday’s launch through Sunday, said Trip Chowdhry, an analyst at Global Equities Research in San Francisco,” Josh Friedman and Ronald D. White report for The LA Times.

Friedman and White report, “A ‘small percentage’ of customers experienced problems activating the devices, said spokesman Mark Siegel of AT&T Inc. ‘Our first priority is to get them up and rolling as quickly as we can,’ Siegel said. He said the problems were minimal, considering the ‘revolutionary’ device and a new activation process.”

“Half of the Apple stores on the West Coast sold out of the devices on the first day, Chowdhry estimated,” Friedman and White report. “AT&T declined to comment on the availability of the device or sales totals, but according to news reports most of its 1,800 stores ran out of stock by Saturday.”

As for the activation issues, “Chowdhry said AT&T apparently had insufficient technical support staff on hand because it hadn’t prepared for such heavy demand. ‘The load was more than the system was designed to handle,’ Chowdhry said,” Friedman and White report.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike R.” for the heads up.]

52 Comments

  1. If it just sits there unusable, it is an iBrick until AT&T gets around to doing their job. I paid a $36 activation fee – it took 31 hours and 22 minutes for my iPhone to be activated. I deserve a refund!

    Thank you, MDN, for sticking up for the users and explaining the problem so early – it made my weekend with my iBrick better than it would have been.

    It’s not MDN’s job to defend Apple.

  2. The iBrick is NOT FUD. It took me until Sunday to activate, and I was a current subscriber. It was probably the most frustrated I’ve been over an Apple product, and I’ve owned them all. I blame ATT for terrible lack of foresight on this. How they can even claim they didn;t expect this is intolerable. And Apple looks bad over it. And that angers me because I’m a shareholder and fanboi.

    Nothing worse than spending Friday in line and then spending the next 43 hours looking at what is probably the most beautiful piece of engineering ever made and not being able to use it. ATT is crap.

  3. Who cares if it takes 10 min or 10 hrs,
    After waiting in line since 4am, most people should start activation and go to sleep anyway. Then when they wake up, voila.

  4. Mine took 36 hours to activate with at least 7 hours on the phone with AT&T (persistance is rewarded with activation). My phone now works well, except visual voicemail does not work (I am not the only one experiencing this problem). I spent 4 1/2 hours on the phone last night with AT&T trying to figure out how to get the VVM to work. We finally gave up because we were all literally exhausted. I called back this morning and the woman at AT&T finally had a clue … there was a check box on her system that says “Visual Voice Mail” that was unchecked, but it was grayed out so she couldn’t figure out how to enable it. Their engineers now have the issue and we will see if they can figure it out.

  5. As they say, patience is a virtue but impatience is usually understandable. We’ve all been waiting for months, though, so a few extra days isn’t so big of a deal.

    As for premarket trading — it’s crap. Only traders are affecting the price premarket; what matters is what the investors think, and they’ll show up in a few minutes.

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