It’s an open secret that Apple’s new iPhone(s) will be launching late next month.
An operation that once resembled an airtight container is now more like a leaky sieve, with insider details, hidden code and nefariously gained components giving tech fanatics a clear idea of what to expect when Tim Cook takes to the stage.
Despite recent signs that sales of the iPhone have been slowing, thanks to increased Samsung domination and an ageing lineup, there’s no doubt that both the iPhone 5S/ iPhone 6 and budget iPhone 5C will sell like icepops on a hot day once they hit shelves.
That’s why it’s so worrying that Apple has just seen its iPhone activation servers go down for the second time in as many weeks.
Coupled with the hacking of its developer site, Cupertino is struggling with problems it can ill afford in the run up to its busiest time of the year.
iPhone sales may be slower than normal right now, but users who’ve bought new iPhones and haven’t been able to activate them are understandably annoyed.
If Apple doesn’t get hold of this issue now, imagine the chaos when millions of users start hovering-up the new devices in September/October, only to find they don’t work.
The result would be chaos. And another PR disaster for a firm that once prided itself on rarely screwing up.
After last year’s maps debacle, which saw Tim Cook forced into a public apology for the shoddy app and Scott Forstall shown the door for his part in it, the guys at Infinite Loop will want the smoothest launch possible.
That’s why you can bet right now that Apple will have its engineers making extra sure that its activation servers can cope with the demand that an iPhone launch brings.
In a way, these problems have come at the perfect time. Apple still has a few weeks to get on top of them.
But with Samsung readying its Galaxy Note 3 and a new Nexus smartphone also round the corner, any kind of slip will give succour to Apple’s increasingly confident rivals.
Apple hasn’t commented on the problem, and is unlikely to any time soon.
Its ‘never apologise, never explain’ approach, a hangover from the days of Steve Jobs, means it’ll take something huge in order for it to do so.
But if things aren’t ship shape come the end of September, expect iOS’s share to remain stubbornly low as Android continues to slay all before it.