iPhone: Waiting to activateGetting iPhones turned out to be pretty easy. I got to the Soho Apple store at 4:30pm, the line was about a fifth of a mile, stretching almost all the way around the block, up Greene St, across Houston and back down Mercer St. But Apple was ready, they’d cleared almost the entire line in 45 minutes. Two friends walked into the 5th Avenue store after 8 and walked out with iPhones in less than 15 minutes. The AT&T stores were slower, I walked by the line outside the AT&T store on Broadway at Astor and there were still nearly a hundred people lined up on the sidewalk. Walking home was somewhat nerve-wracking. The special iPhone bag just screamed “mug me.”

What has turned out to be difficult is getting the phone activated. I’m pressing publish on this post nearly six hours after first attempting to activate. Michelle’s iPhone somehow activated right away, and it is truely amazing — totally exceeding my hype-inflated expectations. However, counting six other friends and co-workers who got iPhones tonight, Michelle is the only one who lucked out and got hers to work, all the rest of us are still waiting on activation. One for eight. That’s beyond lousy.

At this point I’m too tired to be angry. I’m really disappointed that AT&T wasn’t more on the ball with this. I’m upset that Apple locks out all functionality prior to activation. I’m not the slightest bit surprised that Verizon probably had something to do with borking this up.

AT&T’s phone support people are somehow remaining chipper and polite despite an inevitable deluge of iPhone support requests. The last person I spoke with finally admitted that the transfer system was overwhelmed and it was going to be a while. Overall they’ve been a pleasure to talk to, even if they haven’t been able to help at all.

The question arises: Would we have been happier had we been unable to buy iPhones, rather than having iPhones which we’re unable to use. I’m leaning towards the first.