iPhone Activation Problems Plaguing Countless New iPhone Owners

UPDATE - July 11th, 2008: If you're looking for information on activation issues plaguing iPhone 3G owners, visit the following link: Not Again: iPhone 3G Release Plagued by Activation Problems.

Does the following sound familiar: you rushed home with your new iPhone, plugged it into your computer, loaded up iTunes, and started zipping through the activation process. After selecting a plan, perhaps setting up an iTunes account, and agreeing to a few sets of terms - you were just about ready to use your iPhone. Then, it happened. "It", in this case, refers to the "your iPhone activation requires additional time to complete" message that seemingly countless iPhone customers have received.


Subsequently, users who receive the wait message receive an email from Apple's iTunes store which states the following: "AT&T is now processing your activation. You will receive an email confirmation once your activation is complete."

There are mixed indications from AT&T about what is causing the delays. AT&T representatives have suggested individual account issues, overwhelming activation volumes, and delays related to porting numbers from other networks. Though most customers who have actually gotten to speak with AT&T customer service (hold times are over an hour in most cases) report being told they can expect a 2-6 hour wait, some have reported being told they may not have their iPhones activated for 24-72 hours.

Most customers who are in the activation waiting period have also already had their existing phone's service disabled by AT&T, further increasing the frustration involved in waiting.

It's worth mentioning that the iPhone is, in a sense, useless without activating it. Short of being able to make emergency calls, there's little one can do with their new iPhone except play with the unlock slider on the "Activate iPhone" screen. And folks, despite those who might feel like it is, your iPhone not being activated is NOT an emergency - so please resist the urge to call 9-1-1 and complain to them. Besides, they can't help.

For those of you that have contacted iPhoneFAQ looking for answers to these activation issues, check back to this post, we'll update information here as it becomes available.

(Updated - June 30th, 11:20am EDT) AT&T customer service has indicated that pre-existing AT&T customers waiting for activation with their previous phone already disconnected can remove the SIM card from the iPhone, place it in their other phone, and use that for calls while waiting for thieir iPhone activation email. According to AT&T, doing such will not interrupt or affect the waiting activation.

Disclaimer: we're not supporting this information from AT&T or suggesting you do anything but wait. However, for those of you who may need to place urgent calls, this may be an option to exercise.

(Updated - June 30th, 11:08pm EDT) At this point we've been lucky enough to get the two iPhones we've been struggling with getting activated actually up and running. Unfortunately, there isn't one particular solution we can suggest to any of you. Both are live now as a result of one thing and one thing only:Â persistence.

Each phone took over 24 hours and 10 calls to AT&T to get activated. On almost every call, the AT&T representative on the other end identified some culprit or another holding up the process. We're confident, at least with these two particular phones, that without interaction with the AT&T staff, activation would not have completed.

Be sure to do the following:Â get your order number (even if you didn't get this in email, a rep should be able to give it to you), ask about "holds" on your account, verify IMEI and SIM card numbers, make sure nothing on the account is "awaiting verification". Keep checking your activation status and speaking directly with iPhone activation support.



mark I had that same conversation at 3, 4 and 7 and now at 8:30 I am told to wait and they are "fixing it"..i hope it turns out better for you then it did for me

this hold music is from a dramatic saga

i think the movie to this hold music
would be very compeling...

RIPPING out what is left of hair... some moron picked up the wrong line.. said OH sorry and then freakin disconnected me from the supervisor I was speaking too.. OMG this can't be really going on

Okay AT&T I am at the 24 hour mark and still no activation!!!! I was formerly a Cingular customer, and this is my first experince with AT&T service. So far your support has been very friendly, but of absolutly no help. This is absurd! I sincerly hope this is no indication of your future performace. One extreamly disappointed and frusterated new customer. Just wondering if this counts towards the 14 day return (out of contract) tryout period? I sure hope AT&T is willing to credit the time if we still aren't satisfied with their performance!

Still on hold after about 2-1/2 hours for the 3701#.

This woman on the phone is starting to irritate me a great deal. I realize that I am on hold and that my call for the next agent will be processed as soon as possible. That's just about as frustrating and irritating as the email that says my order is being processed.

I guess AT&T is all about permanent processing rather than actually DOING something.

OOOOkay... my first hateful bitch at AT&T.

She now says that my account is flagged to talk to Billing. (No one mentioned this a hour ago, when last we spoke.) She offered grudgingly to transfer me to Billing.

After a couple of rings, I get a message that says Billing is gone for the weekend, and rattles off their normal hours.

I think mine is going back to the AT&T store on Monday.

clear mom I am with you... this is a waste.. after 16 or so people one tells me I have a 37 cent balance.. first I had heard of it.. this is really really bad customer service

here is what I think is sad. bought my iphone today. tried to activate it 3 hours ago. still waiting for something, and am on hold right now with them to pick up. sad fact #1, i feel fortunate that I am not one of the people who is on hour 24, waiting to get it activated. im sure I could be, but now at 3 hours, it seems to be a good standard?! second sad statement - im switching from sprint, so poor customer service is a standard as well that im used to. not saying att is rude, because I have yet to talk to one, but I am ready to get the run around and speak to 6 people just to get back to where I start. if it can be fixed right away, I might go run in excitment.

Ok, so only 4 hours in but my old phone still works. Is this a bad sign? How long before you all were cut off from your old phone service? Just trying to see if I'll have three days to wait (judging by everyone else's diffculties).

well, i'm part of the membership club --went to the APPLE SOHO in nyc and bought the 8gb

nothing but headaches from the jump

1. realize that the $CvMB@GS at apple failed to mention that there $h|tty ITOONS only works with 32bit vista and noooo 64bit support, the site just says "vista" support, when you dig 5 layers into that site --they mention the lack of 64bit support --way to go apple fags, and you tout that your POS OSX is pure 64bit..yet you cant code 64bit vista support???? morons....

2. Had to bust out the old IBM server running win2k3 server, install ITOONS, activated 8:13pm EST, took the 3 minutes like it said, got the infamous email "AT&T is now processing your activation" @ 8:16pm

3. now i'm just sitting here with my thumb in my ASS, looking at this $h|t device I knew i should have not dropped a half-G on......

4. The one beacon of hope is that I seem to have my old phone still active... out/incomming call, voicemail and the email push from blackberry...still works

I switch over from Tmobile(after 9years) about two months ago, got the blackberry pearl, with the 400minute plan and the $20data plan. Maybe my account is on some new system that is allowing me to have my old phone active ????? maybe its because its been ported over already a couple months ago???? who the phuck knows...

Att/pple should have bit the bullet and hired a REAL IT company like IBM to leverage there on-demand infrustructure this way IBM would just scale up to the sky if they had too...they can the environment to it....instead apple decided to run this activation there x-serv hardware...

in case you couldn't tell, I'm a senior system engineer for a fortune 50 bank....and this shit is absolutly unexcuable...could you imagine if you went to the ATM and could not take money out? or check your balance online?

I think att/pple need to seriously look up the definition of ZERO IMPACT - ZERO DOWNTIME..Fvck|ng morongs...GOD!! i'm so pissed....

HEADs...i mean plural HEADS...would roll for this at my company... att/pple SERIOUSLY SERIOUSLY dropped the big MUTHA F*** ball here....

HEY Jobs...why dont you stop being an A$$hole investing all the money in pretty looks and build some real IT infrustructure to support all your new/old customers that just invested hald there weekly/monthly pay into your POS $CvMB@G company!!!!

was just told my phone is active. it isnt.

by the way, when you call the activation support 877 number, if you push three instead of one, then you type your number etc, they ask you if you want to be transfered to a rep, the HOLD music is MUCH better.

They've now taken me off hold and put me through to a voicemailbox saying they can't field my call.

Now the womans voice is just looping over and over.. no more music. Holding for 2.5 hours and going. This is ridiculous. Does anyone know what the average wait time is? I got an email to call this number (3701) saying there was a problem with activation. No shit there is a problem with activation.. Wait until they decide to clear the system..

HOLY CRAP they just spit me out and cancelled my call with a recording stating they had too high call volume.. Are they joking with this?

Reading JedBlack's post makes me feel better. Oh the anguish. I hate f***ing waiting for this.

20 hours, 6 calls, 3 disconnects, 0 working phones.

ok....HEREs wat happened after being on hold with
the young girl who new nothing..she went on to a simpler
subject and some apparently spanish guy comes to aid
he is obviously very determined....he place me on hold
comes bac and finds out if im a new customer..organ nusic again
on hold..he comes back and says hez putting everthing in and gonna
and basicly gonna activate manually wat the computer is supposed to do
auto..so again hold music the dramatic hold music...so he comes bac and
says turn ur phone off and then bac on..i have acctivated it on my end
it says active with is not much but progress..so now im waiting

Just got back from seeing Ratatouille... It Was Awesome! iPhone.. Not so much. No own hour 27

Going on 36 hours been on hold with 3701no for 45 mins and still haven't received the elusive e.mail with order number, It is like a bad dream and I can't wake up

see I'm going crazy not 36 but 26 I don't know what I will do if I get to 36 hour

MAGIC NUMBER WORKS call it!!! they put me on hold and while on hold i got my email!!!!

1877 800 3701


FYI - The tech's telling you your phone is "active" on their end started over 18 hrs. ago. They then just say that it's only a matter of time

When I call the 3701 number I get their voicemail box now, or it says they have high call volume and to call back later...sigh.

I went to voice mail because they are closed for the night. (3701 number)

let's all say one nice thing about the lovely iphone....

Went to see Ratatouille after being told my phone would be activated in 2 hours. Back from movie - still no activation.

Now on hour 26 here.

I'm out of options... I have no idea what to do. If it's not on by tomorrow I'm taking it back Monday.

It's the greatest device that never worked

I am still on hold with the 3701 number. If they are gone, should I just hang up or keep waiting? Does anyone know if they will be open tomorrow?

The hours this morning said they were closed on Sunday. But who knows, maybe they'll come in to help fix things.

That is great...is there anything I can do or any other number I can call to get this piece of junk working? I really need my cell phone to work.