The June 29 launch of the Apple iPhone was inarguably the most-awaited, most hyped event in consumer-technology history, sparking veritable street parties among Apple CEO Steve Jobs' faithful fans.
Almost immediately, though, the euphoria seemed to dissipate: Internet chatter seethed over alleged network activation delays. Infamous Norwegian hacker Jon Johansen said he'd found a way to take his iPhone online without using AT&T, the network carrier for the supposed wonder gadget. Rumors flew that more malevolent hackers had found weaknesses in the iPhone's Web security.
Now comes the accounting. On July 24, AT&T posted its second-quarter earnings -- a period whose final two days included the iPhone launch. AT&T -- the sole network provider for the phone -- reported service plan activation numbers that were lower than analysts expected.
Invetsors and gadget gurus alike, will be paying close attention to Apple's own quarterly results due out after the bell Wednesday to see what the company says about sales of the device.
Here is a sampling of CNBC's coverage.
AT&T: Butterfly Effect?
AT&T's strong second-quarter profit beat expectations, but its iPhone-related figures left a bit to be desired -- and dragged down Apple shares as much as 5% Tuesday mid-morning.
CNBC technology reporter Jim Goldman weighed in on the ripple effect: "We knew that AT&T would telegraph Apple's earnings with its own earnings news [Tuesday] morning, but the level of disappointment is palpable," he said.
Goldman reports that AT&T recorded 146,000 iPhone service activations during the last 30 hours of the quarter -- "which the company said was ahead of its own internal projections" -- but "nowhere near what any analysts on the Street" had called for.