OK, so the iPhone is not really new news as it has been out in the ‘States for 4 months now but that did not stop UK Apple fanatics from being excited about the UK iPhone launch.
The queue at the official Scottish launch in Edinburgh was only around 30 people at 6:02 when the store opened, and some of them were just there to buy normal mobile phones. Nevertheless there was still a buzz in the atmosphere, a calm sophisticated excitement which I have learned to associate with Apple launches. The promotional goodies at the main Edinburgh O2 store included free chocolates, muffins, water and hand warmers. However, in London there were giving away sweatshirts, coffee and pizza! The London queue probably deserved it though as some of them had been there for over 24 hours whereas in Edinburgh the queue only started to form at about 4.30pm.
Apart from the selection of goodies packed in the O2 bag the iPhone box looked like any other well designed phone box such as that of the XDA Orbit. However, when I went to the till to pay that was all I had to do! There was no contract to sign, no monthly rate haggling, no sales banter. All you had to do was pay your £269 and then you could wander out of the shop with your shiny new iPhone. It was more like buying an iPod than a mobile phone.
It is not until you get home that you start the activation process (or rather when you plug it into your MacBook Pro on the move!). This is a pain-free process which took around 15 minutes of my time and about 30 minutes to sync my data and music to the new device. And that includes the time it took to transfer my current number to my new iPhone. So, in around an hour the iPhone was entirely ready to use. That’s impressive in my book – last time I tried to transfer a number it took a week!
However, after I had completed the activation process I noticed a problem. The EDGE network had not been discovered. It was most confusing, annoying and disappointing for a device that seemed to work perfectly in every other way. I followed the advice on the Apple site and did a post-activation reboot (aka turn-it-off-and-back-on-again) which seemed to sort the problem.
Since then playing (sorry working productively) with my iPhone has been a breeze. It’s a joy to use and a wonder to behold 🙂 I’m not surprised that O2 is reporting over 8000 activations on launch day!