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iPhone 4 Launch Day Brings Lines, Glitches and Disappointed Shoppers

iPhone 4
Apple fanboys around the world lined up today to get their hands on the latest handset from the reigning king of electronic industrial design. As usual, the day began with absurdly long lines (some of which began forming days ago) that wrapped around blocks and snaked through malls as the most masochistic of iPhone 4 buyers settled in for hours and hours of waiting.

If you weren't smart enough to pre-order your new iPhone, chances are, you're completely out of luck. Reports have it that inventories are too low for any walk-in purchases. Even quieter outlets like Radio Shack, Best Buy and Walmart are struggling to keep up with the demand of those who took the time to reserve their phones ahead of time. If you didn't already order your iPhone, don't bet on one til next week at the earliest.

Even if you were on of the lucky few and managed to get your greasy paws on one, early reports suggest you may have been in for a rude surprise. As soon as some of those early iPhone shipments were opened, complaints came in that some handsets were suffering from a mysterious yellow spot in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. A few Engadget readers have reported that the issue clears up after a day or two of use, and one poster on the AppleInsider forums claims the issue is the result of the bonding agent used by Foxconn in the manufacturing.

A bigger concern, though, is the strange tendency of some handsets to decline in signal strength and drop calls while being held by the bottom left corner. It seems that when you hold that corner (where the Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS antenna meets the GSM and UMTS), you're bridging the two antennae and interfering with reception. Both Insanely Great Mac and Engadget have video proof that the phenomenon is real, although Engadget was only able to reliably recreate the problem on one of the three iPhones it tested.

It's still a bit early, but the day may shape up to be another debacle in the launch of the iPhone 4. While initial reviews of the handset have been glowing, reports of the issues above have been widespread enough to cause concern. When combined with the pre-order mishaps, the manufacturing issues that have delayed availability of the white model, and an under-stocking at retail outlets across the globe, this is hardly shaping up to be a "magical" product launch. [From: Engadget, CNN, AppleInsider Forums and Insanely Great Mac]

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