The iPhone 3G launched today in France, and I was up and out of the house at the crack of dawn. I was number 5 (of maybe 30) in line at a local France Telecom store, which had a special early opening at 8:00 this morning to sell iPhones to eager geeks. I came prepared with every document I might conceivably need (good thing, too – I needed a lot of them). I told the salesperson what I wanted (a black 16 GB model), which version of the contract I was going for, and that I wanted to transfer my number from my old cell phone, which is on a different carrier (SFR). He checked my old phone number, entered all the information in the computer, activated my iPhone, had me sign all the paperwork, and was about to say goodbye and thanks for my business.
Then I casually asked if there was anything else I needed to do as far as transferring the number from my old phone goes. And he got the classic “Oh, crap!” look on his face – he’d forgotten to enter that info in the computer during the activation process, and now the phone was incorrectly activated with a different number. But no problem, he said, he’d make a phone call and figure out how to fix it.
Alas, the people in the Department of Fixing Number Portability Goofs weren’t in yet – apparently they hadn’t been asked to get up early today along with the salespeople. So my nice new shiny iPhone 3G, which I have paid for, signed a contract for, and held in my hand, is still at the store, where it must remain until the middle of the afternoon when, I guess, the Number Portability folks have returned from a relaxing lunch and are prepared to fix the activation problem.
This evening, after I’ve had a chance to give it a proper playing-with, I’ll say a few words about why and how I came to own an iPhone after declaring previously in TidBITS that I was not a candidate for such a device.