iPhone 3GS Drops….. Planet Doesn’t Quite Go Bonkers [UPDATED X2]

For the second year in a row, people are lining up for a new iPhone. This time it’s the iPhone 3GS. The interesting thing is that it’s a lot less of a circus than it was last year. At least that’s what the Globe And Mail implies:

A few hundred people were in line just before the 7 a.m. opening of Apple Inc.’s flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, a fraction of the people who lined up around the block for last year’s launch.

News.com seems to agree with the Globe And Mail. But they do note that things are different in Europe:

It was a bit of a different story across the Atlantic. iFixit’s Kyle Wiens flew to London for the opening and was amazed at the number of people lined up there.

“I knew that Apple puts their retail stores in high-traffic locations, but Regent Street is ridiculous! So many people, it’s almost scary,” said Wiens.

Smaller lineups is not really a bad thing for Apple. Last year, the launch of the iPhone 3G turned into a circus as customers couldn’t activate their phones due to the demand. Also an iPhone OS software update was released on the same day which added to an already difficult situation. This time around, Apple released the software update two days before the release of the phone. So it looks like Apple has avoided the bad press that they had last year.

The same can’t be said for Rogers though. After trying to cultivate some positive press over the last few weeks, it seems that they’ve made some customers unhappy with activation problems:

My appointment was for 9:00. The Apple Store began processing only NEW activations around 8:15 due to problems on Rogers’ end. Apparently, the just-announced promotional pricing is so new that it isn’t in Rogers’ systems, so the Rogers computer will show all existing iPhone owners as ineligible for an upgrade (as would be the normal policy).”

He continues, “as a result, they have to physically telephone a Rogers Customer Care rep for each upgrade to confirm eligibility and billing (purchase price goes on the Rogers bill). Telephone hold times are running from 30-40 minutes just to talk to somebody. I’ve been told I’m next on deck at this point, one hour late for my original appointment (there are four people being processed for upgrades right now).”

That’s really going to set their efforts in regards to changing their image back a few steps.

If you’ve got anything else to report from anywhere on the planet. Please leave a comment and share your experience.

UPDATE: Macrumors is reporting that AT&T is having problems with activations as well.

UPDATE #2: News.com is reporting that Apple is offering $30 iTunes Store Credits for activation delays.

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