The much-hyped launch of the iPhone 3G has been hit by activation problems and stock shortages.
Buyers in many countries, many of whom queued for hours, were unable to activate their phones at the point of purchase.
Some telcos have blamed Apple for the problem, insisting that the fault lay with the company's iTunes server.
"This is absolutely annoying," customer Kilian Ganly told The Wall Street Journal. "Somebody screwed up big time here."
Meanwhile, some Apple staff have been telling customers that the problem lay with the phone companies and not Apple.
The problems were particularly acute because existing iPhones also received an update that required re-registration, leaving users without a phone for hours.
The iPhone 3G was made available simultaneously in 21 countries and the mass launch may have overloaded the registration servers.
Supply of the new handsets was also limited. Police were called to the Apple Store in Regent Street after the outlet stopped selling handsets at 3pm on Friday to customers who were not already in the queue.
However, others used the queues to make new friends and had a more positive time. "It was a bonding experience," said Chiara Grabill, 28, a Columbia Law School graduate.
"People were making friends, passing out Red Bull and water bottles. When you came out of the store with a new phone, everyone cheered."
Apple was contacted for this article but was unable to comment.
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