NEW YORK – Apple Inc.’s new iPhone went on sale Friday to eager buyers worldwide, but there were problems getting the phones to work.
Kenny Pichardo, 24, was the first to buy an iPhone 3G at an AT&T; store in the New York borough of Queens, but he said it took the store half an hour to get the phone working.
That boded badly for the approximately 70 people after him in line. Pichardo had camped out overnight to be first.
A spokesman for AT&T; Inc., the exclusive carrier for the iPhone in the U.S., said there was a global problem with Apple Inc.’s iTunes software that prevented the phones from being fully activated in-store, as had been planned.
Instead, employees are telling buyers to go home and perform the last step by connecting their phones to their own computers, spokesman Michael Coe said.
When the first iPhone went on sale a year ago, customers performed the whole activation procedure at home, off-loading employees. But the new model is subsidized by carriers, as is standard in the wireless industry, and Apple and AT&T; therefore planned to activate all phones in-store.
The new phone went on sale Friday in 22 countries. In most of them it was the first time any iPhone was officially sold there, though several countries have seen a brisk grey-market trade in phones imported from the U.S.