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Friday saw the launch of the iPhone 3G, the second version of Apple's smartphone.
As at the launch of the original iPhone a year ago, a queue formed at the Apple flagship store on London's Regent Street. The queue was, however, smaller this time, numbering only around 70 people. Almost none of those waiting were existing iPhone owners, because Apple stores in the UK are unable to process upgrades from the first- to second-generation handset.
Prior to the store opening at 8:02am — the exact timing being a reference to the UK's exclusive carrier for the iPhone, O2 — ZDNet.co.uk polled some of those waiting for their phones to see what had piqued their interest.
At the time of writing, however, reports were starting to suggest that there were major problems with the launch once it began. Apple's stores have been unable to activate the handsets because the process requires Internet Explorer, while the stores all use Macs. Also, O2's credit-checking systems appear to have crashed, at least temporarily.
Steve, who works for a law firm, avoided the first generation of the iPhone because it did not have 3G connectivity — it used the slower Edge data standard.
"The iPhone 3G was quite hyped up on the internet," he told ZDNet.co.uk. "I started queuing at 3am." Steve added that he was switching provider from Orange — with whom he had a Nokia N95 — to O2 so he can get the iPhone.
He also said that, while his workplace did use Microsoft Exchange — now supported for the first time by the iPhone — he would not be able to use his iPhone as a work device. "The company phones are BlackBerrys," he said. "It's unlikely they will let us change."
Brian had experienced the first iPhone, and was attracted by Apple's decision to open up the device to third-party applications.
He was also keen on the new version's 3G capabilities. "The original one just wasn't fast enough," he said.
"I like the Exchange compatibility too," he added. "I'm an IT consultant and need to have that technology behind me. The style of the phone also looks good for clients."