Apple sells 1 mn iPhones on launch weekend

July 14th, 2008 - 11:55 pm ICT by IANS  

San Francisco, July 14 (DPA) Despite activation problems that frustrated thousands of buyers, Apple sold more than 1 million iPhone 3G mobile phones on the launch weekend of the hotly awaited communications device, the company said Monday. On Friday, the phone went on sale in 21 countries - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and the US - and will go on sale in France Thursday.

“The iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s chief executive. “It took 74 days to sell the first 1 million original iPhones, so the new iPhone 3G is clearly off to a great start around the world.”

That positive prognosis ignored the inconvenient glitches caused when an Apple server designed to let users activate their gadgets crashed under the load of existing iPhone owners trying to upgrade to new software that was released at the launch of the iPhone 3G.

Most of the glitches appeared to have been solved by Monday morning, but the problem was a severe embarrassment for Apple that prides itself on maximizing ease of use for its customers.

The new iPhone 3G updates the previous iPhone with much faster connection speeds and built-in GPS, but many analysts believe the most significant update is the new software that allows users access to thousands of applications developed by third parties and available through Apple’s online store.

Prices for the phone vary around the world, but in the US the new iPhone 3G is priced at $199 for the 8GB model, and $299 for the 16GB model when customers sign a two-year contract at a minimum cost of $70 a month.

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