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iPhone Activation Overload

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Why are people leaving Apple Stores with unactivated 3Gs? Per AppleInsider: "...the iTunes servers required to fully activate them experienced a high-tech meltdown due to an overwhelming number of simultaneous requests, ultimately falling offline...the backlog of activations kept thousands of other customers waiting in long lines outside of retail stores much longer than they or Apple had anticipated." Why is the simultaneous activation so intense? The first-gen iPhone was launched exclusively in the U.S. and then to European countries, while "this year's launch kicked off in 21 countries over the course of 24 hours." Also, in an attempt "...to stifle the grey market for iPhones that were being purchased in the U.S., then unlocked and resold overseas at higher prices, Apple also did away with home activation, mandating that each and every new iPhone 3G sold in the U.S. be fully activated before it leaves the store." [AppleInsider]