Apple Caused iPhone 4S Activation Issues?

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Tales of activation problems on all three U.S. carriers were widespread yesterday. An InformationWeek article claimed that the problem was not with the carriers, but instead was on Apple's end -- specifically with iTunes activation:
    An article on claims Apple had a "system issue" around 11:30AM Pacific time that affected activation of all iPhones.

    Regardless of the difficulties, it seems iPhone 4S launch day was a success for Sprint, AT&T and Apple -- though Verizon oddly didn't announce any launch-day sales figures -- with most customers getting their activation issues worked out, eventually.

    Article Link: Apple Caused iPhone 4S Activation Issues?
  2. tigres macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
    Activation issues, Siri Issues, iOS5 upgrade issues, iCloud issues.

    Well, they sold some iPhones, that's for certain. Not their finest hour however, at least I got pretty beat up by it.
  3. tasset macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2007
    Can someone explain to me why the phones have to go through an 'activation' process at all? I mean, to get it in your hands you already have to dish out a couple hundred bucks, sign a contract most likely. You are ALREADY locked in. What the heck are they afraid of? I don't believe there is such an issue with iPod Touch or iPad (maybe it works similar though).
    If it was to prevent theft I could see, but every other week on here there is a story about a gang rushing an Apple store and making out with thousands of dollars of iPhones/iPads. This 'activation' process seems to be more unfriendly to real customers than criminals.
  4. marksman, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2011

    marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Verizon just got the 4 not that long ago so would not be surprised by their lower sales. Also their original launch was underwhelming. I think people who use their phones with data need a faster network thus Verizon rules the faux smartphone android market where the average user only uses a tiny fraction of data of an iPhone user.


    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    There are a lot of bacjebd services provided like visual voice mail, siri, notifications etc and beyond that there are probably other reasons.
  5. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    BS. This only goes on in the US. EMEA customers don't have this problem. Let's drop Visual Voicemail for the sake of argument. Your point is rendered moot as all phones are now on par. Android does not have this problem, nor does SE, nor Nokia. It is the operators pure and simple.
  6. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    The customers don't care who caused the bottle neck. At the end of the day, the customers are going to point their fingers at the carriers.
  7. Celtic-moniker macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia.
    What Siri issues?

    I haven't had any Siri issues. I had a brief iCloud password issue, which rectified itself, and only ever showed me a warning, despite still actually getting my email.

    No activation issues here either.
  8. RoelJuun macrumors 6502


    Aug 31, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Apple has the activation numbers of all carriers combined.. No wonder.
  9. jffmrk macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2010
    No problems here

    I got 2 Verizon iPhone4S yesterday morning. I activated both of them fine around 12:15pm PT. It took only a couple minutes before the activation complete message showed up.
  10. zeromeus macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2008
    I have no problem with activation. Of course, my iPhone didn't come until 8:03PM. I DID encounter a problem with Siri, though. I keep getting, "Unable to reach server." messages. This morning I woke up and Siri works!
  11. haydn! macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2008
    But when has Sony E, Nokia or any single Android handset maker attempted to active 1million+ handsets in a single day?

    I think if you take into account the scale of the iPhone launch, to expect no problems at all is a little unrealistic. Apples servers are more than capable of handling everyday usage, but product launch days like this are just a handful of peak days per year.
  12. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    You are missing the point when you buy a Nokia or Samsung phone it works out of the box. There is no activation process. This all part of Apple desire for control that this process even exist.
  13. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    Thank you for explaining that so that I didn't have to....
  14. Tronic macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Rumor has it that each carrier was given a certain channel into iTunes for activations and these channels were being overloaded. The reason there were so many AT&T threads is due to the fact that they have the most iPhone users in the US. My dad works for AT&T corporate and said that the activation of non-iPhones was smooth all day so therefore he also suspects apple is to blame.
  15. Finiksa macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    That's not true, Nokia and other phones are locked in the factory and have carrier specific firmware installed in the factory. iPhones are identical and unlocked out of the factory, they're locked to a carrier (if at all) during activation.

    Other phones also need to be activated, specifically GSM SIMs (usually while removed from the phone) and CDMA ESNs however this is done by the carrier in store or at the carriers office before shipping the phone. With iPhone you have the ability to do the activation yourself at home (theoretically).
  16. minik macrumors 65816

    Jun 25, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    I spent 3.5 hours (from 8:15AM to 11:45AM PDT) yesterday with 2 different Apple Store employees, 2 on-site AT&T employees, and 3 phone calls with AT&T just to get one iPhone 4S. I'm already an AT&T customer with an iPhone 4, but I wanted to port my other T-mobile number to the new iPhone 4S. The SIM card inside the iPhone 4S was bad too.

    It kept on going through the re-activation loop and I saw 8 different phone numbers under my name. The store employee told me to come back (today) and let the system clean out my records.

    I came back to the store this morning and a new Apple employee tried to handle my problem which wasn't the best. Anyhow, I hunted down the worker who handled my case yesterday. We all stood right next to 3 AT&T employees with their laptop and doing all kinds of return/purchase/return/activate/re-activate, 90 mins later I walked out with the iPhone 4S.

    I just let them do their 'job' without being angry at them.
  17. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    does not change the fact that out of the box the others work. Android they all hit Google servers but the phone can work with out receiving any activation return from Google as things finishing linking up the phone side works.

    Apple well the phones do not work at all and from that mess it causes a lot of problems.
    Apple could easily of solve those problems by prelocking the phones. They could easily change it later on but right off the back they are locked.

    This is Apple caused problem. Apples is at fault here.
  18. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    There is a world of difference between the need to activate a SIM and to activate an actual phone. SIMS always need to be activated because this is part of the billing process to associate the account with the user. There is no need to activate a phone.

    I Should be able to take an Iphone out of the box and put an active sim in it and it should work. That unfortunately does not happen but I can assure you it happens with every other device.
  19. kleinias macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2007
    I'm unsure that any of what you wrote is actually accurate at all (rather surprising considering your forum username). First, I was under the impression that Verizon's iPhone 4 launch was reasonably successful. Next, I've used an iPhone 4 (and now 4S) on both Verizon's and AT&T's network and the consensus actually seems to be that both networks have their faults.

    Verizon's network is superior when it comes to coverage and consistency and AT&T's can offer superior data speeds when you have a good connection. It seems quite unlikely that any of that really has to do with why folks get an iPhone or Android phone on Verizon's network (or AT&T's for that matter). I mean, wouldn't a persons first guess be that a lot of folks have Android phones on Verizon because Verizon didn't offer the iPhone until fairly recently.

    Lastly, I fully realize this is a Apple-centric forum and I'm an iPhone (and Mac) user (and I've never owned an Android phone), but calling Android phones "faux smartphone(s)" makes you sound as petty as when they say the same thing regarding Apple products.
  20. Slurpy2k8 macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2008
    Who cares where it was cause from? Everyone could have predicted there would be activation issues the first day. You have that many people hitting the servers, something has to give, and usually does. What the hell did you expect? But it's over now, so you can move along with your lives. There's not a single company on the planet that can handle the amount of traffic generated yesterday without issue.
  21. tranceme macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2006
    California, US
    Wrong. Not all Samsung phones come ready and activated. You're broad statement is incorrect. And, the process is different depending on the carrier. Heck, on Sprint, Epic requires going through a few steps. I agree that phone should be ready to roll.
  22. bretm macrumors 68000

    Apr 12, 2002
    Well I don't know what they were doing, but my wife's Atrix tool hours to get up and running and they did it on the store while I twiddled my thumbs.
  23. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    I've had plenty of Siri issues, and I've seen plenty of other people (via twitter or reviews) saying that Siri isn't very reliable.

    Some of the issues I've had is it says "I can't find the network" even though I am connected to a perfectly good WiFI signal. Oh, and then there's the issue where it answers a question you asked two times ago. And then there's the issue where it doesn't understand you at all.

    Siri has proven itself to be of Alpha quality, not even deserving a "Beta" label in my opinion. It is a really cool concept for sure, but Apple would have better served their customers by holding back - maybe demoing it- releasing the iPhone 4S, and saying it would come as a free update to iPhone 4S users later when it had the kinks worked out.


    Actually, Amazon handles that and more during the holiday sales rush (specifically Black Friday). There is dynamically scaling cloud technology out there to handle just such situations, and some companies have employed it successfully (Amazon being one). I can't for the life of me figure out why Apple hasn't figured out how to employ cloud better yet.

    I even have heard rumblings that they used some of Amazon's AWS/EC2 for iCloud, yet they clearly didn't do a good enough implementation.
  24. chrisburton83 macrumors newbie

    Feb 19, 2010
    just take a deep breath

    alright people. i know we are all frustrated, but why is everyone so angry on this thread! just because you had a bad experience, or don't like how apple (or any carrier) handled this launch, doesn't mean we have to be so mean to each other... or any employee of these companies.

    My wife and I each got a 4s, and had problems all day with activation, iCloud login, and siri. But we have freaking amazing phones that both work perfectly today! I get frustrated too with tech issues, but geez... no one is making me buy anything. and i am pretty lucky to be able to have such a fancy phone.

    let's take all of our pent up anger out on something else... like world famine or something. i dunno.

    i leave you with this luis c.k. bit that will hopefully make us all stop to think before we get so angry about a dumb phone.

    (this is him doing a version of it on conan, but check out his special called 'hilarious')
  25. BC2009 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2009
    All weekend long Siri has been sporadically telling me that it cannot connect to the servers or to the network. This is even more frustrating when basic voice dialing fails to work because Siri uses the server for voice processing. This is why Apple called it "beta" and this is why Apple usually does not release a marquee feature as "beta". I'm glad to hear your launch weekend experience has been solid, but my wife and I have had a different experience.

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