21 Comments

Summary:

Things have settled down now since my trek to the Apple store in the late afternoon yesterday to see if they had any iPhone 3Gs left in stock.  They did and I picked up a black 16 GB unit and it’s now properly synced up and […]

Windows_ce_logoThings have settled down now since my trek to the Apple store in the late afternoon yesterday to see if they had any iPhone 3Gs left in stock.  They did and I picked up a black 16 GB unit and it’s now properly synced up and charging as we speak.  The line wasn’t too bad although it moved a lot slower than the Apple folks said it should when I first got there but I was in line with a video journalist from the local CBS affiliate (hi Keith) and it was quite enjoyable, at least as far as waiting in line goes.

The most interesting part of the entire purchase process was seeing the role that Microsoft played in every single iPhone purchase at the Apple store.  You see, Apple doesn’t use cash registers or even Macs for the purchase process.  No, they use handheld wireless devices made by Symbol, maker of such things, and every single one of them is running the Windows CE operating system.  That’s right, Apple had to turn to Microsoft for a point-of-sale (POS) solution solid enough to work under such volume sales situations.  These Symbol devices used barcode scanning to input each iPhone’s serial number and other information, used a credit card scanner to accept customer payment, and tapped a wireless connection to not only the Apple store’s network but to the AT&T network to activate the new service for the customer.  They handled the mad crowd with ease and even kept working when the Apple store power flickered once.  Talk about ironic.

  1. I noticed the same thing yesterday, even chatted with the apple store employee about that slice of irony… Wonder if an in house iPhone app is under foot (maybe delicious monster technology for barcode camera reading)?

    Share
  2. OpenmokoFreerunner Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Very cool post, not just about the iphone but about business in general. Many idiot business executives and mindless consumers who watch entirely too many reality tv game shows like to say that “this one” is a “that one killer”. In reality, perceived competitors are usually cooperating agents in serving the ultimate needs of the larger evolving market. There’s a reason why there are so few true monopolies in the world, and the truth is that, despite the potential financial rewards, neither apple nor microsoft would like to have to be the only technology show in town having to keep every technology need satisfied.

    I know that many people have grumbled here and elsewhere about James picking up an iphone, but if you keep your head on straight and keep posting like this then you might just make it out of the ifad with some loyal readership in tact.

    Share
  3. GoodThings2Life Saturday, July 12, 2008

    LOL, once again Microsoft to the rescue– in this case with Exchange support and WinCE POS handsets. Nice.

    Seriously though, I setup 4 iPhones at work yesterday to work on our Exchange server, and I’m not going to lie– it went really smoothly. The hardest/most annoying part was typing our absurdly long domain name (I still don’t like on-screen keyboards), but the detection went really well and the sync was really quick and easy. Plus, the Exchange team did a great job documenting how to track the iPhone users from the server side.

    Most importantly, I made 4 people laugh at the fact that I was willing to touch an Apple product sans rubber gloves (a joke I have with them) and not immediately wash my hands in acid! :)

    Share
  4. Allan Pedersen Saturday, July 12, 2008

    Yes sure when anybody need something rock soiid that can integrate to someting usefull by one a music player they turn to Microsoft. Apple cant use the crap them self i wundor what people sees in these iphones.

    Share
  5. Dave Nicholls Saturday, July 12, 2008

    For one Apple store that wasn’t the only Microsoft action going on. I’m from the UK, but I was working in Denver this week. Having tried and failed to get my Touch upgraded to 2.0 before I checked out of my hotel yesterday I decided to have one more try before heading to the airport. I was in the Park Meadows mall so I sat down on a couch outside the Apple store and connected to the free wifi. When I connected my Touch I found that it had corrupted and everything was gone. By this time my laptop battery was running low and I was facing an 8 hour flight with no music so I wandered in to the Apple store and, to their credit, no one turned a hair when I asked if I could plug in to their power and re-sync. I spent about two hours in the store with my Lenovo X61 Tablet and Touch sitting on a display counter next to a Mac Pro while I restored everything. I did get a few people come over to see the new ‘mac tablet’, which was very amusing. Thanks to the folk in the store for putting up with me, and I hope no one gets into trouble for allowing Vista on the premises.

    Share
  6. Microsoft is now Apple’s ho.

    I TRIED to warn the world yesterday!! But did anyone listen?!
    http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/james-kendrick-tech-fiend-ultimate/

    Nooooo!

    Now I try it again:
    http://mikecane2008.wordpress.com/2008/07/12/i-knew-it-kendrick-bought-an-iphone-3g/

    FIIIEEEEEEEEND!!!!

    So when are you and Kevin doing your Torment Mike Cane With Our iPhones Video?!

    Share
  7. Nice of MS to help Apple count its money that way. Do they have anything to polish the glass in the Apple Stores?

    Share
  8. >>>Thanks to the folk in the store for putting up with me, and I hope no one gets into trouble for allowing Vista on the premises.

    Ha! I’ve sat in the Soho store using — at that time — the cursed 770. *On AC*! (It has an upstairs theater and each seat has an outlet.)

    That store — don’t know if this is still happening — had this woman who’d show up with a Windows laptop and sit for hours and hours and hours sucking on the free WiFi. EVERY DAY! Never asked to leave. But the Apple Cultists would exchange looks and also leave snarky posts I’ve seen around about her.

    Share
  9. Well, a few years I remember visiting a Microsoft booth at some computer show (CES?) and what did they use to scan my badge? A Handspring device with PalmOS software. A year or so later I observed the same at a Nokia booth.

    Share
  10. The guy just used the words “rock solid” and “microsoft” in the same sentence!

    Share

Comments have been disabled for this post