So, I was looking forward to writing a post today on the whole 3G iPhone launch and the iPhone Software 2.0 and the wonders of the Apps store. But I can’t.
My iPhone is dead. “Bricked” as they say…
You see, Apple’s having a bit of a problem with its success. By launching the 3G iPhone on the same day all around the world (in 24 countries, at least), and releasing the software update alongside the new devices, the iTunes-enabled activation server has crashed as thousands of people (maybe even millions) are trying to activate and update their devices. This means that thousands of iPhone owners, both new and old, are left with “bricked” iPhones instead of newly updated iPhones like they had hoped.
Now, I’m not writing this post to vent or to skewer Apple or to rant on and on about how disappointed I am to have a bricked iPhone after months of waiting and waiting for this supposedly revolutionary new software update to hit… No. I shall do no such thing. Because I think there’s something to be learned here; a lesson Apple’s had coming for some time.
Here it is: We all love the grand unveiling of new things, but if you’re unprepared to really deliver, don’t do it. Roll things out in phases—slowly, steadily, over time, incrementally—so that your customers have time to react, give you feedback, and don’t crash your servers. The whole dramatic reveal is fun and everything, don’t get me wrong, but when you can’t really deliver on your promises, you fall flat on your face and open the doors to a flurry of criticism. Even worse, you make the people who love you, who stand up for you, who sing your praises on a daily basis and promote you to their friends and family look like fools.
Sure, this whole glitch will get sorted out, and in a couple of days the Web will be all atwitter as newly minted iPhone users from around the world begin blogging and tweeting and sharing photos using all the brand new applications from the iTunes Apps store. But right now, there are hoards of upset Apple fans trying to stay calm and patient and forget the fact that Apple promised “the second coming” at 8am today.
So Apple, you’re one of my favorite companies. Innovative, mysterious, and generally able to “deliver the goods.” But you’re not delivering right now, and that’s upsetting. So fix it. Please.
And in the future, if you insist on these media-fueled dramatic reveals, ensure you’re linked into Google’s servers or something so that you don’t go down and leave your fans with useless $500 bricks of aluminum and glass.
Update: (3:49pm EST) iPhone is up and running with the software update and all. My wounds aren’t quite healed yet, but a few downloads from the new Apps store should do the trick.
Update 2: Ladies and Gentlemen: I give you… the iBrick.