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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 2, 2007 at 10:35 AM

The iPhone, a good thing and a bad thing

Sales were good.

Goldman Sachs is estimating that Apple sold at least 700,000 units since Friday, double its previous estimate. It also upped its forecasts to 5.25 million this year, up from 4 million, and 12 million in 2008, up from 10.5 mllion.

From its note to clients today:

Our checks show that better-than-expected supply and

mix throughout the weekend was met by a frenzy of demand, driving

our unit, ASP, and margin expectations for iPhone higher.

Activation was bad. It took AT&T nearly nine hours to activate the phone I bought Friday evening. Others had similar problems and the issue is becoming the Monday iPhone story.

The registration/activation process seemed smooth until a screen appeared saying that activation would take awhile and AT&T would send an e-mail when it was finished.

I expectantly checked my e-mail for an hour and gave up around 11:30 p.m. The activation wasn’t done until after 7 a.m. the next morning.

AT&T ought to refund the $36 activation fee it charged customers.

I had mentioned the activation process in today’s column but it was cut when we trimmed it for length. It also seemed like a predictable anomaly — hordes of people were all registering at once, and I’d mentioned earlier in the blog that AT&T’s retail system was bogging down in the rush.

Now the question is whether the system can handle the ongoing and presumably steadier flow of new customers. We’ll have to see what happens after the next big batch is delivered to people who didn’t get them in stores Friday.

Goldman still expects Apple stock to hit $135, despite concerns about the activation process. From its note:

If not resolved as iPhone sales ramp, early support issues with AT&T could

degrade the overall user experience with the phone and slow sales.

Comments | More in | Topics: Apple

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