Being the best in the industry

Ah, the trials and tribulations of being best in class. As Apple has experienced today on the launch of the 3G iPhone, being on top brings endless scrutiny and any small foible or stumble is magnified greatly.

I was one of the brave souls who was actively searching for the iPhone 2.0 firmware updates early and in fact found it like thousands did, a day early. I installed the new software yesterday and began downloading software from the new App Store in iTunes. Everything was going swell; I had purchased a few different applications and everything was neatly downloaded to my phone via itunes and the install was quite painless. I even downloaded directly from the phone itself, later “pushing” the downloads from my iPhone back to iTunes without nary a problem.

This morning I tried to connect to iTunes again to download some more applications and found what most in the world found: Server connection could not be completed. It had finally happened. The illustrious iTunes Store had been brought to its knees by all of the adulation from Apple’s fan base and new customers. This is being heralded as a “Catastrophe”, “Disaster” and other choice terms usually reserved for Apple’s competitors such as Microsoft or RIM. But this time, the normally “can-do-no-wrong” Apple was being lambasted by all of the same media who usually fall over themselves to heap praise on the fruit-named wonder.

As I sat and pondered this scenario I discovered another flaw with the App Store and the blissful new software distribution model that has come from it. I tried to access the applications that I had downloaded hours before, only to find that none of the applications would load. The free applications load just fine, but the paid-for applications such as Super Monkey Ball and Texas Hold’em would fail to open each time. Apparently these game which are protected by Apple’s DRM must need to authenticate with Apple’s servers before they will be allowed to run.

So, there I sat with new applications that I’d paid good money for and now could not use because of network issues or because Apple’s servers were on fire, etc..

I did not know that this was the case and honestly I am now a bit leary of relying on applications bought from the new store in the future.

You can bet that once applications become runnable on hacked versions of the 2.0 firmware, I will once again actively seek these versions rather than the officially sanctioned Apple versions.