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.



Forgot to mention, I took out sim card, put it in old phone, turned it on, turned it off, put back in iPhone, called number for the second, maybe third time. Then the phone worked. I think once the sim is allowed to connect to the network for the first time it gets you over a hump. Seemed to me that alot of people who were having success had removed there sim cards and used them in their old phone.

Good luck, and the phone is pretty dope so far

here as good math problem

Cant use old phone cant use Iphone = Ifucked

i'm now posting via iphone internet.............no just playing, but maybe it'll take the hint.....sigh

I had the sim out earlier, and it did work fine in my old-ass ghetto Nokia-brick. Still no luck in the the iBrick.

okay this girl I am hold with is girl #12.. I am up to 17 people now.. she remembered me whemn I spoke to her this afternoon.. I remmebered her as well.. nice girl.. and couldnt believe I was not activated yet.. guess what on hold for person #18.. come on lets make it an even 20~!!!!!

Sorry guys...

I took the number down wrong...

It's 1800-331-0500...

Let me know if this works...

I have to say I've been very lucky so far as far as people go... all very nice and very apologetic.

Actually, Quiet Guy (who still has me on hold,) is the least friendly so far... very dry and techie. Maybe that means he's actually doing something other than apologizing...?

hour 25 is fast-approaching.

17.5 hours got six digit email at noon activated at 2:08pm. Key I think was my discussion this morning with ATT rep who corrected my account...was improperly marked as a business account. Also the ATT rep at store had upgraded my account but set it to activate at the next billing cycle July 13th!!! fixed all that at 8:30 am today. Happy to say damn thing works and looks great!

there is hope out there!

going on hour 26 here and on hold again. now they are saying its my phone.. ITS not the phone.. I have not even got the email to confirm its active

Mine took 16 hours, but it is finally working.

ok just switched the sim and that works....lets try
the other half of the trick

just got back from the beach and WOOHOO! i got mail: "Congratulations, AT&T has successfully activated your iPhone service." (after 17 hr wait)

then after reconnecting usb, "iPhone is activated" appears on its screen -- whew, such a beautiful thing!

thanks everyone for your posts here and to all the launch people who are making this work, no matter what.

ok bac the sims back home and it still
does not look like it is on the box...no

congrats... still have my fingers crossed here. about 15 mins from the 26-hour mark.

on the phone with the magic # again...lol

AT&T are such fuck ups.

Same problem here.

I have been waiting 24 hours for my iPhone to be activated.

Everytime I speak to anyone its a different story...

Wait 30 mins
Wait 3 hours
Wait 24 hours
Wait 48 hours
Wait 24 hours
We don't know
Technicians are working on it
Turn phone off and on
Unplug it
Don't unplug it
Remove SIM card
Don't remove SIM card
My corporate discount is blocking activation so we're transferring you to Corp Dept.

Its a fucking joke.

I was among the first 25 people at the Apple Store in SF, slept over night, bought 2 of them, and this is where I end up.

With a dead paperweight. Because of AT&T


The customer service was just terrible. If they knew what they were talking about at least I'd feel better and put up with the wait, but this is ridiculous.

One person on the phone was so stupid she kept telling me to go to APPLE.COM site to activate my phone. I tried to correct her and say she must mean iTunes, but she said to go to

http://www.apple./ itunes activation site

WITH the SPACES in teh URL!!!

What an idiot.

I begged one woman for some compensation for this and she refused.

I had one woman who was very nice who actually did give me a $30 credit and seemed to know what was going on and explained the problem happening to a lot of people. She was nice.

Man this is a real bummer.

I don't want to take the SIM out and risk screwing anything up, but if you think that might work, I can try it.

If anyone learns anything please let me know, I would be really grateful.


Still on hold with the magic #....who built this activation system
anyway hes gonna so lose his job for this foolishness...

Just about 25 hours now. Called back support and the guy basically had nothing. All that he could tell me is that my account had been put on hold at some point in the last day. Not able to tell me the reason in any way.

He said they had a lot of problems that put people into hold that they resolved around 1pm (not sure what time zone). Orders are now processing and it was just a matter of time.

Promised that it would be active in the next 8 hours.

WTG Apple & AT&T on the easy 32 hour iPhone activation.

Boggles the mind.

ok now she askin if i had another carrier
when i have had this cingular for 3 years
now im bac on hold think there gonna fix it

Don't count on it, pro100.

Quiet Guy said there was another agent working on getting my acoount straighened out, and that I should be on in minutes.

That was 20 minutes ago, and counting... still nothing.

Going on 23 hours and nothing yet...

Only one more hour until I can call 1800-331-0500 and start my angry tirade!!!

This is freakin' ridiculous!!!

ok a guy comes on the phone and he is gonna
process the order manually.on hold..no stupid
music tho

AT the 26-hour mark now, holding on the 0500 number to begin my own tirade...

Unfortunately, they are closed until Monday.

How long have most of you been on hold? I have been holding for close to 2 hours now. I am on 3701 number...

very funny.

I am now on hold because there is a 'glitch " in my account and the supervisor said we may have to rebuild it with a new number.. I am a real estate broker I have had this easy to remember number for 8 years on everything I do.. I told him changing this number is NOT an option.. geesh what a wasted crappy day.. this will teach me to NOT get into new techno stuff until all the kinks are smoothed out..

he said it shows active in there system.. well goodie for them

Oh dear god... I have called the 3701 # back now, holding again for an agent.

What concerns me, is that I called the 0500 #, and after it took my # it said it was transferring me to "business account services"...

This is getting rediculous.

I WILL be getting some free stuff out of this.

Okay, at the 3701 number I finally got someone. Make sure you ask them to please check your account and make sure everything is in order. Apparently the order was on hold because of incompatible features or something.
She got all my information and manually activated the phone. She said it will take up to half an hour to activate. I'll let you guys know if it works.