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Steve Jobs Apologizes as Apple Celebrates Record

Apple CEO Steve Jobs
James Martin
Safe to assume that Steve Jobs had a few choice words for his underlings during the anything-but-smooth debut of the iPhone 4. Still, despite various and sundry glitches, Apple still pulled off what it said today was its most successful product launch start in its history.
iMovie for iPhone
Apple CEO Steve Jobs
James Martin

During the first three days the iPhone 4 was available for general purchase, Apple said it sold more than 1.7 million units.

"This is the most successful product launch in Apple's history," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO in a PR statement the company issued early Monday. "Even so, we apologize to those customers who were turned away because we did not have enough supply."

But even as they celebrated, Jobs and Co. must be wondering how many more times they could have rung up the register had there been ample inventory to meet demand. What's more, Apple had to delay the white version of the iPhone 4, which it says will be available during the second half of the year.

In its statement, Apple did not address the iPhone 4 reception problems that many customers have encountered. Over the weekend, Jobs issued a cryptic email to a customer that he should "stay tuned." Earlier, Apple had suggested customers avoid covering both sides of the black strip in the metal band when they hold the iPhone. The tech blog AppleInsider carried a story on Saturday reporting that Apple was going to issue a fix to the iOS 4 operating system this week that would resolve the problem.

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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.