Tales of activation problems on all three U.S. carriers were widespread yesterday. An InformationWeek article claimed that the problem was not with the carriers, but instead was on Apple's end -- specifically with iTunes activation:
It was suggested to me by someone with knowledge of the situation that Apple's servers are most likely to blame for the problems. An employee at one of the three major carriers who asked not to be named told me in an email, "Yes, my IT people aren't happy. The activation issue is out of the Apple stores ... on all carriers."
An article on iSource.com claims Apple had a "system issue" around 11:30AM Pacific time that affected activation of all iPhones.
Regardless of the difficulties, it seems iPhone 4S launch day was a success for Sprint, AT&T and Apple -- though Verizon oddly didn't announce any launch-day sales figures -- with most customers getting their activation issues worked out, eventually.