Echoing the problems UK consumers are facing with iPhone 3G purchases in retail stores across the country, AT&T has reported that in-store iPhone 3G activations were suspended at about 9:30EDT nationwide.

The halt of activations in the States is said to be because of problems users were having connecting with the iTunes 7.7 software.

A spokesperson for AT&T has said that both AT&T and Apple stores were sending customers with iPhones home to try and activate their devices after unsuccessful attempts in the shops.

Users attempting to sync their new devices with iTunes are apparently getting various error messages, with the likely cause Apple's servers being overloaded with requests.

In the UK this week, O2's website fell over under the strain of iPhone 3G pre-orders, and Apple has taken precautionary measures here with the iPhone 2.0 software not being released to existing iPhone owners until 12 July in order to ease stress on the system.