Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
iPhone 3G sells a million in its first weekend on the market
The iPhone 3G’s “opening weekend” — get used to the movie lingo in this context — saw “one million devices sold” in 21 countries, according to Apple Inc.’s CEO Steve Jobs. If true, that’s more than three times the volume of last year’s iPhone debut at AT&T Mobility — a fact one analyst said was encouraging for the overall handset industry. No word yet on how many of those presumably one million customers remain angry or frustrated by the activation problems that delayed their use of the device — a delay that had Apple Inc. and AT&T Mobility pointing fingers at each other, in an echo of last year’s activation problems. One analyst questioned whether Apple indeed sold one million units at retail to actual consumers, or whether the company’s reported sales referred to units shipped, with some still in transit over the weekend.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster in an investor note Monday originally pegged iPhone 3G sales at 450,000, based on a variety of factors. Later, Munster conceded that Apple’s number might be accurate and that he may have under-estimated an accelerated sales rate after activation problems had been addressed. … Read more
Dealers cut out as iPhone sells out
iPhone, iPhone, iPhone. Apple Inc.’s new device is dominating chatter in the wireless world, selling out in most stores and AT&T Mobility employees couldn’t be more pleased. But some third-party retailers who work with AT&T Mobility and sell their products and services, both exclusive and non-exclusive, are angry to have been left out of the iPhone loop, again. One third-party retailer representative, who chose to stay anonymous due to fear of termination, is frustrated that his company did not receive the iPhone last year or this year and said he is losing business because of it.“It’s amazing how many customers we get per day and we have to send them away,” he said. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish between an indirect AT&T store and a company-owned store so customers have no way of knowing if that location will have the iPhone or not. And this representative said the iPhone is the only device customers are looking for; they don’t want to buy any other handset. He also said that customers don’t just come into these stores looking for the iPhone; they also came in during the midst of all the iPhone issues. “Even of the first day when they had activation problems, customers came in yelling and screaming that AT&T and Apple screwed up and the phone doesn’t work,” he said. “We’ve been told we can’t even help customers with an iPhone.” … Read more
iPhone 3G activations stumble on iTunes tech issues
Apple Inc.’s launch of its 3G iPhone this morning got off to a rocky start for some. According to AT&T Mobility spokesman Mark Siegel, customers buying the device were having trouble synching their new phone to Apple’s iTunes service in retail outlets, which is required for the final activation process. Because of the issue, Siegel said both Apple and AT&T Mobility were telling customers having troubles synching in store to take their handsets home and attempt to synch with their iTunes account later today to complete the activation process. An RCR Wireless News staffer who bought one today got his phone activated after seven hours. Meanwhile, blog reports noted frustrated customers angry that the process had not gone smoothly, a repeat of last year’s 2G iPhone launch. The issues did not appear to impact all locations or all customers, though Siegel said the issue was connected to a worldwide problem with Apple’s iTunes service. Apple launched an update to its iTunes service this week ahead of the 3G iPhone launch. Both Apple and AT&T Mobility were confident their retail locations could handle the newly required in-store activation for the 3G iPhone. The previous version of the device required customers to activate service from their home iTunes account, but was believed to have been the source for millions of iPhones ending up overseas. … Read more
Parsing the impact of that iPhone activation glitch
AT&T Mobility’s decision to take Synchronoss out of the Apple Inc. iPhone-activation loop contributed to last week’s debacle at Apple and AT&T Mobility stores, according to ThinkPanmure L.L.C. Apple last year employed New Jersey-based Synchronoss to handle activations for iPhone purchasers who chose to activate the device at home, but an increasing number of “lost” handsets – phones that were sold but never activated on AT&T Mobility’s network – prompted Apple and AT&T Mobility to institute a new procedure that required all handsets to be activated in retail stores. That move not only left Synchronoss out of the equation, it made for “the most ridiculous, inconvenient, and ineffective process,” ThinkPanmure’s Eric Kainer said in a research note sent to investors last Thursday – the day before the meltdown that led to Friday’s snafuthat saw customers wait hours to activate their 3G iPhones. “In our view, AT&T was recently seeing nearly two-thirds of the iPhones it sold never activating on its network, believing they were activated on foreign networks, especially where iPhones were unavailable,” Kainer noted. “At signup in AT&T stores, subscribers will negotiate the standard retail activation process, slightly expanded given the more complicated features with an iPhone. We believe the process will take at least as long as AT&T’s estimate of 10-12 minutes per phone.” … Read more
iPhone puts apps in the spotlight
With the launch of the 3G iPhone, there has been an incredible amount of media attention on Apple, the device, the App Store, the costs, 3G networks, etc., but not much focus on what impact it will have on the broader smartphone application market. At a macro-level, the new iPhone is going to bring three benefits to the marketplace. The first benefit is consumer awareness. Today, most consumers define a smartphone by its hardware features or its e-mail capabilities rather than by its ability to add third-party applications, which is the primary benefit of a smartphone over a feature phone. This lack of consumer awareness of the full functionality of the smartphone has been the biggest barrier to distributing content to these devices. Just as the first iPhone built tremendous awareness about taking pictures, listening to music and watching videos on a “cellphone” when those capabilities had existed for many years, the 3G iPhone is doing the same in building mainstream consumer awareness that anyone can add third-party apps to their device. Ten million downloads in the first weekend on the App Store points to this. … Read more
iPhone in the context of Apple’s overall business
Apple Inc.’s stock sank more than 10% in after hours trading today after the company forecast fiscal fourth-quarter earnings below analysts’ expectations. The company sold 717,000 iPhones in the fiscal third quarter that ended June 28, but no clear, year-ago quarterly comparisons were possible. The company sold 270,000 units on June 29-30, 2007, the last two days of the year-ago quarter when the original iPhone was launched, which reflected two days of pent-up demand. Nor was a clear sequential comparison possible. The company sold 1.7 million iPhones in the fiscal second quarter of this year, but pulled the product from retail shelves well before the end of the quarter to make way for the iPhone 3G model, which has been on sale since July 11, 13 days into the company’s current, fiscal fourth quarter. The fiscal third-quarter number of units sold was less than half the preceding quarter’s sales, which might also reflect consumers’ decision to hold off purchasing an iPhone until the iPhone 3G model went on sale. Apple said it had revenue of $7.5 billion in the fiscal third quarter, up from $5.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. Net income was nearly $1.1 billion, up from $818 million in the year-ago quarter. The company’s Macintosh computer business jumped 41% over the year-ago quarter, however, boosting its market share to 8.5%, and third place behind Dell Inc. and Hewlett Packard, according to Gartner. The company also sold 11 million iPods during the quarter just ended, reflecting 12% growth in units and 7% growth in revenue over the year-ago quarter, which reflects slowing growth in that product line. … Read more
iPhone users report issues on AT&T’s network
Apple Inc.’s 3G iPhone is making its way across the world, with reportedly more than 1 million sold in the first weekend, and AT&T Mobility spokesman Mark Siegel said the carrier couldn’t be more thrilled. However, it doesn’t look as though all AT&T Mobility customers feel the same way. Word on the street (well actually, on Internet message boards) is that the release of the latest iPhone has taken a toll on AT&T Mobility’s network. User frustrations range from signal strength and reception to slow speeds. AT&T Mobility however, said its received no complaints and stayed firm that there are no network problems. “I don’t know what you’re seeing, but our network has worked superbly well,” Siegel said. Some people disagree. Unsure of whether the problems are because of the phone or the network, customers have begun posting comments about their issues. Here are some examples from an Apple discussion board: “Seems the reception is really unsteady (even in Manhattan) and today the signal disappeared entirely, stating “no network” for over an hour (I was walking around during this time in an area where I know I always get reception).” “I have the same problem here in Los Angeles. Very low 3G signal going to no service sometimes, then service a minute or two later. I actually swapped it out on Sunday thinking it was my phone. It’s not. Still crummy reception, albeit AT&T showing great 3G service.” “Hi there. I live in Philadelphia, PA in the USA and having the exact same problem! It is terrible. The moment I turn off 3G on the iPhone, my service defaults to EDGE and I get 5 bars like I was used to getting on my 2G iPhone.” … Read more
Motorola sues former exec for joining Apple
Motorola Inc. is screaming foul over a former executive now helping Apple Inc. with its global market expansion. The Schaumburg, Ill., firm – whose international device business is crumbling – said in a lawsuit filed last week that Mike Fenger, a former VP for international devices sales, violated a non-compete clause related to stock options by moving to Apple, according to a report today in the Wall Street Journal.
In the past two years, Motorola has seen several key executives depart for rival firms. Its top device executive, Ron Garriques, departed for Dell Inc. in January 2007, and its CTO, Padmasree Warrior, departed for Cisco Systems Inc. last December. Other executives have departed for Research In Motion Ltd., according to the WSJ. Motorola has also cut thousands of jobs and re-organized its international sales team. Fenger left Motorola in March and joined Apple to lead the latter’s global sales effort. … Read more
Even Google goes iPhone!
Google Inc. joined Apple Inc.’s iPhone-application frenzy with a free search offering.
Google Mobile App uses a text box and a virtual QWERTY keyboard to allow users to search the Internet or through contacts on the phone. The application remembers past searches and offers typing suggestions, and includes a location-aware feature to deliver information on nearby businesses on a map.
The offering is available only through the U.S. Apple App Store, but will be available in other markets soon, Google said. … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.
The post #TBT: iPhone 3G takes over; iPhone, iPhone, iPhone; iPhone is everything … this week in 2008 appeared first on RCR Wireless News.