AT&T iPhone 4S users hit by activation delays

As expected, the launch of Apple's iPhone 4S to retail stores on Friday was greeted with lots of people waiting in line at their favorite outlet to be among the first to get the latest version of the best selling smartphone. This is the first time that an iPhone launch has been accompanied by three wireless carriers here in the US (AT&T, Sprint and Verizon Wireless). News.com reports that for the most part Apple had enough units of the iPhone 4S available for everyone who showed up at 8 am today. This is in contrast to 2010's launch of the iPhone 4 where there were simply not enough units to go around on launch day and shortages continued for weeks.

However, not everything went smoothly. Cult of Mac reports that a number of AT&T customers experienced problems with activating their new iPhone 4S devices on Friday. No such widespread issues were reported for Verizon or Sprint customers. In addition, Apple's iCloud service has experienced some small periods of downtime since launching on Wednesday. However, Apple's online status page indicates, at least as of this writing, that iCloud is now 100 percent operational.

While none of the wireless carriers would reveal specific sales numbers for Friday's iPhone 4S launch, AllThingsD.com reports that all three seem to be happy with today's release. Sprint claims it had "its best ever day of sales in retail" today thanks to the iPhone 4S launch. AT&T claimed that it " ... had already activated a record number of iPhones on our network -– and is on-track to double our previous record for activations on a single day." Verizon was a bit more subdued in its official statement but did say it had seen "steady traffic" in its retail stores and added, "We’re looking forward to a busy weekend."

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