What if I don't activate my iPhone 4?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by yifanlu, Jun 20, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    I really don't want to use AT&T, but I will if Apple forces me to :(

    Anyways, the last iPhone I bought was the 2G, where you had to activate it at your house, therefore, you can get away with not activating it (and eventually unlocking it). Now, when the 3G came out, I noticed they fixed the problem by forcing activation in store, or before shipment. However, this new iPhone 4 is shipped directly from warehouses (I suspect) in China. I don't think they went through and activated every single phone. So does anyone think you can get away with not activating the phone, and not getting into the 2 year contract?

    I don't know if the 3GS launch was shipped pre-activated, or from China, so if you had a first day 3GS shipped to you, can you please tell me your experiences?

    I'm suspecting that if you don't activate the phone, AT&T will come knocking at your door (bill in the mail maybe?).
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2008
    Long Beach, CA
    To put it as simply as I can: When you paid for the phone at 199 or 299 you were agreeing to the 2-year contract. If you don't activate, you will either 1) still have to pay monthly for a phone u never activated, or 2) they will make you return the device / or pay the unsubsidized price for it
  3. macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2010
    The problem is that it is not SOLD to you unless you sign the contract. With the original iPhone, you bought the device and you activated your AT&T line and everything at home. SInce 3GS I think, when buying online, you first select your AT&T plan and all, then you get iPhone, at least if you but it in the US.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    Houston, TX
    You will be charged the full 600/700 dollar price of the iPhone
    They have your credit card number from when you bought it and they would simply charge that
  5. macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2010

    Say you lost you credit card/debit card and get one reissued from your bank!!:D
  6. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Thanks for the response guys, but does anyone know from experience? Because I chose a number transfer for my new iPhone 4, and if I don't activate it, I won't have a number, and if I don't have a number, how can AT&T bill me? Just a thought (that is likely wrong).
  7. macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2010
    When you ordered your phone and selected transfer my number, did you have to setup an account with AT&T ?

  8. macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    You entered into a legally binding contract when you purchased the phone. You're an owner now, responsible for the monthly bill and the early termination fee if you choose to terminate the contract. No matter what, you're on the hook. Get out your wallet.
  9. macrumors member


    Jun 29, 2006
    Apple scans the IMEI and serial number of the phone prior to leaving the warehouse, so it is partially activated at that point. Activation on AT&T's side takes place when Apple's system syncs after shipment, and ultimately finishes upon you syncing your phone with iTunes when you get it (if the SIM is still in the phone)
  10. macrumors demi-god


    Apr 20, 2009
    Same as not paying any debt. Bill collection comes knocking on your door. :D
  11. macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2010
  12. macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2008
    You can not activate it as much as you want, but you'll still get your phone bill every month, and thats all ATT cares about.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I was wondering though, since they are shipping phones anyways and letting those people activate themselves, will they let me when I pick mine up at the store? I'd really like to activate on my own, because I make unboxing videos and such... i want my iPhone unopened until i get home
  14. macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    They have your credit card info: Billing Address, Phone Contact #'s, etc., they can locate you to send the bill. As with any other contract you can choose to not honor it, have your credit wrecked & possibly deal with collection agencies. There are probably easier ways to try & steal $400 though.
  15. macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2008
    los angeles
    or you get charged with fraud.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2006
    Ez.....just buy one off eBay or CL when it's unlocked (w/ no contract0...it'll cost u ur first born, but it's worth it. If it's a problem money can solve, it's not a problem :)
  17. Eso
    macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2008
    It doesn't activate service, it activates the device. So yeah, feel free to never activate (or plug into iTunes as that is all it takes to activate) as you pay AT&T every month for your iPod.
  18. macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2009
    Not too sure, but AT&T will get what's due to them. They will either claim you did not follow their terms and conditions after a set amount of time, and just bill you for the ETF of $325 or they will just be sending you your monthly bill based upon the calling/data plan you ALREADY setup. The original iPhone was NOT subsidized by AT&T and therefore a 2 year contract was not required. The 3G was the 1st iPhone that AT&T started subsizing, I think $400 retail value.

    To summarize, you will either be billed $325 or you will pay monthly fee for 2 years. If you don't pay, they take you through collections, and possibly eventually sue for a judgment against you.
  19. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2009
    To be clear, I'm not planning to not pay bills or do any scamming, or anything illegal.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Aug 2, 2008
    If you plan on paying your bill every month, then yes you are perfectly fine not activating, you will just have a 2-300$ iPod sitting there, so theres really no point in not activating it.
  21. macrumors 65816

    May 30, 2009
    You'll get a bill in the mail every month, just like you would if you had activated it. You sign the contract before you even walk out of the store. The people who pre ordered already signed their contract when they pre ordered, hence why they had to pick voice/text/data plans.

    You'll just have a heap of metal sitting there, doing nothing, costing you $70 a month.
  22. macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2007
    If you don't activate the phone within 30 days, then Apple will charge you $400 on your credit card to make up for the subsidy that they're not receiving from AT&T each month.

    You can also just go into an Apple store and buy the "no commitment" phone for $400 more than the subsidized prices (so $599/$699 for the 16GB/32GB versions).
  23. macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2003
    This is also my question. I already got my iPhone 4 unfortunately, I will be out for the whole summer beginning this Tuesday. Apple already sent me my phone number prior to arrival but not planning to activate it through iTunes.
  24. macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2010
    when you were ordering - you entered that 9 digit number called SSN - and that's how collection agency will come after you and/or crap out your credit history
  25. macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2014
    personal experience

    this is my eexperience.
    i have an iphone 4, verizon, non activated. if you bought it on amazon or ebay, you should not have to activate it. BUT if you had purchased directly from att, you may not have a choice. depending on the options they gave yoiu.
    good luck! (this is 5 years later lol)

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