iPhone: “Activation can take from 2 to 6 hours…”

I was so excited when I called up the Apple Store at Valley Fair in San Jose, CA and found out they had a ton of iPhones available. This was around 8:30pm. I got there and there was a long line but the line was moving along pretty quickly. And there were Apple employees cheering as customers who purchased iPhones came out the store. The mood was pretty festive. There were guys who came out with two little black bags. It didn’t take long before I was near the front, about 10 minutes? As I got near to the front I could see the Apple employees were letting customers in 10 at a time. Soon enough, I was in.

There was an Apple employee that came by and asked if I had any questions and asked if I wanted to play around with the iPhone. I said, “Sure, I’ll take a look.” And I proceed to take the little marvel of a phone and started to press some eye-candy buttons. First the Internet: the response was fast, but that was because the Store had WiFi. Then Google Maps. I double touched, but nothing. The guy tells me, “You have to do the opposite of pinching…” I do that and zoom in I go. I pinch, and I zoom out. Cool. I use the phone function and dial my phone. My phone vibrates. Nice.

I get to the counter and a nice Asian girl asks, “What would you like?” I say I want the 8GB version. She punches me up on her portable POS device, which was amusingly a Microsoft CE device. In no time I had a iPhone bag like all the others before me. “I need to get a case for this,” was in my head as I moved along the isles. Then I came up to the cases. There were transparent acrylic cases, leather cases, rubber cases, etc. I didn’t know what to get. I remembered when I got a rubber case for my 4G iPod. I didn’t like it. I looked for a while but couldn’t decide. So I asked an Apple employee what he would get. He said that he hadn’t decided yet but that he would prefer something like this, and hands me over some non-stick Power Support Crystal Film for the iPhone.

This one is cool; according to the cover it: has a scratch-resistant hard coat, a high-transparency gloss treatment, a PET protection film, and a newly developed polymer adhesive. This adhesive is not like tape; you can take it off (not very easily) and leave no trace. So I get it: $14.95. Priceless, really. You see, this is my birthday present to me. I wanted to be nice to myself. I’ve worked really hard and wanted to treat myself to something nice and coincidentally the iPhone became available on my birthday. 🙂

I walk over to some tables in front of Nordstrom, take the iPhone out, take the Crystal Film out and cover the front. It’s ready to be activated now. After 15 minutes of driving, I get in front of my computer and start iTunes. I connect the iPhone. And… nothing happens. I have to download a new version of iTunes. Takes a few minutes and after that I see the little iPhone icon and start to begin my activation process. That was 1 hour ago.

A few minutes ago, I called up AT&T (1-877-419-4500) and asked about the activation. The lady on the other line, who happened to be in California, was extremely nice. Felt like I was talking to a really close friend. I wish I remembered her name. Anyway, she told me that activation can take from 2 to 6 hours. “I guess I should get some sleep then,” I told her. We both laughed and she wished me to enjoy my new phone. Now, I think I need to sleep. And see if activation is complete tomorrow morning. Or should I stay awake…

Update…

At around 9:30am this morning, I received an email stating that my iPhone has been activated. That took about 12 hours. Wow. I will let this slide since AT&T probably had to activate millions last night. So, since I know I had to update my iTunes, I did that first. Then I connected my iPhone. No luck: I had to update my system software. I was in the process… ah, it’s finished (the Software Update logo is jumping up and down for attention). I’ll let you know how it goes.

Update…

Ah. What a wonderful day it has been. Email, browsing the Net, literally flipping through pictures, and listening to my music (I flipped through music too!) on my iPhone. I am very satisfied with my birthday gift. I added times to Seoul and London along with weather info for the two cities and the process was quite smooth and easy. I also added a couple of stocks that I am tracking. FYI, one is doing well and the other isn’t (of course, this was yesterday’s news). The digital camera is just so-so, but I didn’t expect much more than that. The only unsatisfied portion is the slow EDGE connectivity, bumping along a slow 2-lane road with lots and lots of signals. But I am somewhat relieved to know that just $20/mo is getting me almost universal data connection (within the US that is) and all I need to find is a Starbucks to get on the Net freeway.

Update 2007.07.13…

The transition is over. After testing the iPhone (there was really no doubt I would be keeping it!) for about 2 weeks, I took the complete plunge and ported over my number from Verizon Wireless. Several of my good friends are amazed at the simplicity and usability of the iPhone. Today, I ran into my Chemistry teacher from my high school days. He was intrigued about the iPhone, so I walked through the main features. He was all smiles and wondered if there was a way to connect to an Exchange Server and took out his black Moto Q. I used to have a Moto Q, but as I looked at the interface, I felt like I was looking at a previous-generation mobile device. The main feature about the Q’s interface that, in a way, jolted me was how it unnaturally forced the user to use the device in a particular, esoteric, way and very much based on how the hardware was designed. I say esoteric because I am now very much used to using my finger for navigation, activation, etc. on the iPhone. In response to the Exchange Server question, I remembered reading something about it on Apple’s page and simply answered that there should be a team at Apple that works with corporate clients to help connect the iPhone to Exchange Servers. I don’t know if this is true, so if anyone knows of something, please leave a comment. In closing, my transition to the iPhone is almost complete. Now if I can get it to sync with iCal without hanging…

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