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Apple iPhone 3.0 Software Update : Cupertino, We've Got A Problem

The launch of the iPhone 3.0 software update is the prelude to the big Kahuna, the rolling out of the iPhone 3G S across hundreds of stores worldwide on Friday.

Yet today's release has, according to many, been marred by a number of issues that have prevented existing iPod touch and iPhone users from updating their favourite devices to the latest OS.

Apple's servers were apparently swamped by the sheer number of download requests. Softsailor (opens in new tab) reported that the iPhone 3.0 activation server was temporarily unavailable and that the MobileMe service was sluggish or inaccessible at times. Likewise, we did report earlier today that the Singaporean Apple iPhone server was behaving weirdly.

But that was not the only issue. A CNet reader (opens in new tab), Michael Samstag, told the online tech news website that the new OS 3.0 might have damaged his iPhone. He said “It has the ‘connect to iTunes’ message and will only allow emergency calls, I signed up for the ‘Apple callback’ for tech support and they called back and put me on hold for 20-minutes. Then the call got disconnected and now the earliest callback time is between 6:15 p.m. EDT and 6:30 p.m. EDT. So, I’m looking at having no cell for a minimum of three hours, probably longer.”

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Gadget website Gizmodo also received reports of iPhones being bricked from the update and the official Apple iPhone discussion forum (opens in new tab) is, as one can expect, flooded with issues that arose from the new update.

Lost apps during upgrade (opens in new tab), lack of MMS, mail client crashing while checking, iPhone backup hanging up and dozens of other problems encountered by iPhone users worldwide. Expect the number to grow over the next few days.

Some of the issues though are related to the network rather than the OS upgrade itself. AT&T users won't be able to get MMS and tethering until the end of the year.

For those still stuck with bricking phones, Gizmodo (opens in new tab) simply recommends connecting and disconnecting the device a couple of times until it gets authenticated.

And if you want to follow in real time the trouble that iPhone users all around the world are living through, head over to Twitter, using the search string "iphone fail". Just as a reminder, the iPhone 3.0 OS is free for all iPhone users and costs £5.99 for iPod touch. Oh and disclaimer, I don't own an iPhone.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.