While fans with bulging wallets crowd the Apple stores, Apple already knows they're doomed. Apparently, they fully expect iTunes to choke on all the traffic from iPhone activations.
Apple wants to dissipate as quickly as possible the crushing mobs at their retail stores, so they've promoted the first-of-its-kind online activation heavily:
Activating iPhone takes only minutes as iTunes guides the user through simple steps to choose their service plan, authorize their credit and activate their iPhone, Apple said. Once iPhone is activated, users can then easily sync all of their phone numbers and other contact information, calendars, email accounts, web browser bookmarks, music, photos, podcasts, TV shows and movies just like they do when they sync their iPods with iTunes. --AppleInsider.com
The only problem is that all those requests at the same time will put a huge strain on Apple's iTunes servers. But, at least then, they don't have to deal with a lynch mob at the retail level.
10 Zen Monkeys has received an anonymous tip from an Apple Store employee -- and he wasn't afraid to admit he's not happy about the fact he hasn't been with Apple a year and therefore isn't getting a free phone -- outlining a memo that was sent around, informing managers on how to deal with surly iPhone customers who can't connect to iTunes, which is the only way to activate their phones.
In the memo, employees are told to expect some customers to return to stores in person to complain, though it should be a small number.
"We've been told to be courteous, polite, and even apologetic. And then suggest that they go home and try again an a little while. And under no circumstances will they be allowed to activate their phones in-store." So if you're thinking that -- think different.
"Another important little tidbit," said the anonymous Apple employee, "Good luck calling Apple or AT&T to complain. Both companies' customer support lines will probably be massively busy."
The best strategy is to wait until later in the weekend to activate your phone, he said. We say to Apple, "Good luck with that."
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This article is satire