I'm thinking that they turned just about every service off in order to get it to pop up that fast.
If it is booting up as a fully functional system, then kudos to them! But I am skeptical.
I think part of the idea behind the comment is that if more people were interested in buying their phones up front, the carriers would have more reason to offer cheaper services, with less tie up. As it stands, they have convinced the American consumer that the appropriate cell phone plan is the one that they never fully use, and agree to for an extended period of time.
This is a case of marketing trumping computer science.
Actually, it's a case of human factors trumping computer science, which is a good thing, since few computer users are computer scientists. At least 5, if not 10 standard deviations of hard disc sales go to human beings who are not computer scientists . Human beings use base 10 innately, and there is absolutely no reason to force them to think in base two, just because they've attached something to a computer.