Apple’s U.S. retail stores put into permanent launch mode; open at 8am to fulfill iPhone 3G demand

“All of Apple’s US retail outlets are now in a permanent launch mode and will open as much as two hours earlier each day to accommodate the unprecedented demand for the new iPhone. Also, at least some locations are now giving customers rainchecks for the day’s iPhone 3G stock,” Aidan Malley reports for AppleInsider.

“The company’s availability page now tells customers that stores that normally open at 10 A.M. will now open at the new time and are adding new employees to their ranks to process customers at a faster rate,” Malley reports.

“‘To accommodate demand for iPhone 3G, all Apple Retail Stores will now open at 8:00 a.m. every day but Sunday,’ Apple says. ‘We’re also adding staff to help you get up and running as quickly as possible,'” Malley reports.

More in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz,” “Jennifer,” and “Sir Gill Bates” for the heads up.]

21 Comments

  1. I don’t know if it’s really unprecedented demand or just sheer disorganization. It now takes 15 times longer for each customer to purchase an iPhone than it did last year.

    Couldn’t Apple and AT&T;have figured out a better way to do this — such as some sort of an online pre-authorization process, so you don’t have to wait in a slow-moving multi-hour line at the store?

    For example: fill out an online credit application, choose your 2-year contract, pay with a credit card, then go to the Apple Store to pick up your iPhone by showing your ID. It seems pretty simple to me.

    The way it’s actually being done seems like yet another breakdown in customer relations at Apple.

    With all the gigantic problems Apple has been having over the last 2 weeks (such as the MobileMESS disaster), you would think that Apple would want to try to please its customers.

    Speaking of which, what brilliant person at Apple thought it would be a great idea to launch 4 major new products on the exact same day (MobileMESS, iPhone 2.0 software, Apps Store, iPhone 3G). Apple needs to take a lesson from Google on how to thoroughly beta test products, than roll them out effectively to millions of customers.

    Apple’s penchant for secrecy and beta testing things live on the unsuspecting public is really starting to bite them in the a**. Again, Google is the master at this. Apple, learn from Google!

  2. Google thoroughly test products? Yes, you’re right, like the EONS that gmail has been beta! I think it’s permabeta. Granted, Apple botched this big time, and their cult-like secrecy may help hype but it doesn’t help the customer when something goes wrong.

  3. Apple Store Ridgedale and Southdale are both passing out rainchecks and have the que set up. It was fun this weekend to talk to Apple reps in the store to get their feedback on how crazy it’s been and remains to be. It’s fun to sit in the store at a Macbook Air and watch the commotion inside and outside the stores. Virtually everyone there had a little iPhone bag. They get stock almost daily in the evening and are sold out immediately the next morning. Should have bought AAPL back in 1996. Damn my young age for not doing so.

  4. Ask yourself this question: What forced Apple, AT&T;and other carriers worldwide to change how the phones are activated? I can answer it in one word: hackers. Yes, kids, those lovely people at the iPhone Dev Team have fricked everythng up for all of us. They will tell you that they’re trying to give you choice, but in the process, you have to stand in line.

    Such is the arrogance of the freetards. They think they know more than you do. They just HAVE to muck with everything, and jailbreak the phones. You might think it’s swell, but if you stood in line for four hours like I did in hot steamy weather punctuated by a thunderstorm and more steamy weather, you might have a different opinion.

    With the App Store, there is now little incentive to jailbreak your iPhone. But the frigtards at the iPhone Dev Team would insist that you are wrong, and that they are smarter than you. That’s because you must want to use a different carrier, and besides, what is fixed must be broken. Because of that convoluted logic, Apple and its carrier partners have lost of fortune in revenue. So instead of a nice, quick and simple way to activate you iPhone, now you have the suffer the consequences of what the hackers would call “progress.”

    What I’ve written above will probably start a phlegmwar. I don’t care. Ask anyone who had to suffer a long wait, and instead of blaming Apple for it, you can thank a bunch of idiot dweebs who still live at home with their parents.

    Buttheads.

  5. Right, I already understand that AT&T;is now requiring people to enter into 2-year contracts upon purchase of the iPhone, because of the hackers who unlocked the 1st-gen iPhone.

    But that’s not what I’m saying… what I’m saying is this:

    Why not let people enter into those same 2-year contracts AHEAD OF TIME, ONLINE, with a CREDIT CARD… and then you can go into your Apple Store later on that day to pick up the phone that you’ve already entered into a contract with. Or let Apple ship the phone to you.

    Hell, AT&T;already does this with their phones. Go to their website, sign up for a new 2-year contract, and they’ll ship you the phone that you selected. Simple and end of story.

    Regarding picking up a phone in person at Apple, I understand that there would still be some technical issues to resolve at the time of purchase — such as matching your new iPhone with the plan that you previously signed up for online. BUT — think about all the time it would save in the store, which is delayed due to the following:

    1. Customers trying to figure out what price plan they want.
    2. Customers not having their account information ready for their previous cell phone, in order to transfer over the number.
    3. The time spent needed to gather a customer’s personal information (address, social security number, etc.)
    4. Dealing with problems caused by porting of a cell phone number or caused by the customer’s credit history.

    Lots more that I’m not thinking of, too.

  6. @ Macbill

    All that mess at those Apple Store simply because Apple don’t want to unlock the iPhone. Just sell them at an higher price with an unlocked option, like in Belgium (where it’s required by law), and all those artificial cash register brejnevian communist penury procedures will disappear.

  7. You can get pre-authorized from AT&T;, go into an AT&T;when there are no iPhone and they’ll pre-authorize your account. They even ask you to do so in their iReady video.

    So you think the team that is responsible for the iPhone 2.0 software is running the AppStore? Or the team that designed the iPhone 3G hardware is the same web-group that built MobileMe? And maybe the same servers that handle iTunes are the same as the mail servers. There is not a single reason that all four products couldn’t have launched the same day and any problems with each would exist had they launched them weeks apart.

    You can complain that some of the products launched weren’t complete or thoroughly tested, but it has nothing to do with launching them on the same day unless you think Apple is a 50 employee start-up.

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