With the second-generation Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone having been in the hands of consumers for several weeks now, we're hearing stories left and right about all of its warts. But even with complaints swirling about performance and what the iPhone still lacks, the second-generation product is already proving to be a great encore.

This past Monday, the head of Deutsche Telekom's (NYSE:DT) wireless subsidiary T-Mobile claimed that early sales have exceeded expectations, with more than 120,000 3G iPhones having jumped off the shelves since July 11. Significantly, 75,000 were sold in Germany alone, despite distribution problems that had the item on backorder.

While T-Mobile's iPhone markets -- which include Germany, the Netherlands, and Austria -- are only a small subset of nearly two dozen international markets, the acceptance of the second-generation iPhone is better than with the first. Initially, many Europeans balked at paying a premium price for a device that browsed the Web at relatively slow speeds and were irked that the device didn't take advantage of the latest 3G networks.

But now that European carriers have cleared the way for the new iPhone by deeply discounting the first generation, consumers appear to be responding well to the latest edition. And while many problems have been noted, consider that -- relative to other global phone makers such as Nokia (NYSE:NOK), Motorola (NYSE:MOT), and Samsung -- Apple receives way more scrutiny than any other manufacturer does. Had the same level of connection issues with the latest iPhone occurred on the latest RAZR or N-series, it probably wouldn't even have registered on industry sites, let alone the mainstream press.

What's interesting, though, is that the microanalysis among Apple zealots brings the quality of carrier networks to the forefront. Many bloggers are pulling the curtain back on how different carriers manage their networks and the bandwidth-thirsty devices like the iPhone. AT&T (NYSE:T) has been scorned again, this time for dropping iPhone calls due to poor 3G network coverage, while France Telecom's (NYSE:FTE) Orange is being lambasted for apparently limiting download speeds to iPhones.

I'm sure the iPhone still needs plenty of improvements. But overall, Apple has made a wildly successful entrance into the mobile market and is raising the performance bar for accompanying services as well.

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