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iPhone 12 AT&T iPhone 12 does not activate correctly - no plan or number

macmyworld

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 25, 2006
346
429
Minneapolis, MN
Bought my iPhone 12 from Apple and started the transfer process from my iPhone 11. It died trying to activate and the transfer process from the iPhone 11 also died. I restarted both phones but the transfer would not start again.

I have tried to manually setup the iPhone 12 but it does not connect to AT&T. The activation screen pauses and it then continues, but no connection.

I'm totally stumped on how to activate the iPhone 12 at this point. Ideas?
 

glhughes

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2009
124
32
I have the same problem. I transferred the information to the eSim on the 12 pro from my 11 pro, somehow it created multiple cellular plans (primary and secondary) and did not have any signal. I removed the secondary plan and now neither phone has service.

I've upgraded iPhones pretty much every 1-2 years and never had a problem like this. You turn them on, sign in, and they just work.

EDIT: I have tried following the att.com/activations link as suggested by AT&T to activate a phone, but it errors out saying I have to call them ... without a phone! WTF.

EDIT 2: Apple support was useless. They don't even know what an iPhone looks like. Amazing.
 
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CK1Czar

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2010
70
1
I'm having the same problem. Going to ATT store this morning to see if it can be fixed.
 

ecthomp

macrumors newbie
Mar 11, 2011
23
14
I ordered directly from ATT and there was a paper in the box instructing us to go to this site to activate. My activation seemed to be stuck spinning, lost connection, and then wouldn’t let me try again. Neither phone had service and neither would activate. I ended up restarting my new phone and it started working. ATT has been a huge pain this time!
 

mrwilly25

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2015
122
70
I ordered directly from ATT and there was a paper in the box instructing us to go to this site to activate. My activation seemed to be stuck spinning, lost connection, and then wouldn’t let me try again. Neither phone had service and neither would activate. I ended up restarting my new phone and it started working. ATT has been a huge pain this time!

I have always gone to their activation site every time I upgrade to activate the phone, whether it be purchased from Apple or AT&T. I do the site activation first, then wait 10-15 min to power on the new device. New device immediately has service and old device stops working.
 
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glhughes

macrumors regular
Jul 4, 2009
124
32
I'm having the same problem. Going to ATT store this morning to see if it can be fixed.

Went to the AT&T store today to get a new SIM. Phone is working now. What I found hilarious is that there was a guy upgrading his phone to an iPhone 12 next to me (bought it in the store and they were walking him through the process) and he was like "it's asking me to enter my phone number" and "i have no service" -- hey, that sounds familiar. I think something got messed up with AT&T and Apple this year; I've never had a problem like this before.

EDIT: I'm not sure if it means anything, but they tried to activate the SIM that came with the phone (AT&T branded) and they said they couldn't find it in their inventory. So maybe a bad batch of SIMs or somebody forgot to register them?
 
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DoofenshmirtzEI

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
862
712
I also had problems getting my phone to activate, but I was able to call AT&T and get them to do it. The SIM card itself was fine though.
 

CK1Czar

macrumors member
Jan 21, 2010
70
1
I went to the ATT store and they said the SIM they had on file didn’t match, so they had to give me a new SIM card. Working now.
 

DoofenshmirtzEI

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
862
712
Just FYI, if you activate a phone with an AT&T SIM in it (like mine bought as an AT&T phone from Apple) on the eSIM, then either the physical SIM will end up bricked, or you will end up with primary/secondary plans depending on how you do it. So if your phone doesn't activate properly, don't activate the eSIM on a phone that already has a carrier physical SIM in it.

There is something screwy with the activation on some amount of phones, that's for sure.
 
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DoofenshmirtzEI

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2011
862
712
I have always gone to their activation site every time I upgrade to activate the phone, whether it be purchased from Apple or AT&T. I do the site activation first, then wait 10-15 min to power on the new device. New device immediately has service and old device stops working.
I tried to do that, and it kept trying to set the phone up on a new line, not replacing my old phone. Could not figure out a way to get it to properly activate online, so I had to call AT&T.
 
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tanster

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2009
159
43
SF Bay Area
Purchased my iPhone 12 Pro through Apple.

Experienced the exact same thing--couldn't activate my AT&T iPhone at home. Transferred all the contents from my old phone just fine, but couldn't figure out how to move my phone number over. In the 12+ years of upgrading iPhones, this has never happened before.

Tried going to att.com/activations, but got an error message.

Finally had to go to my local AT&T store, where staff transferred my IMEI and SIM card from the old phone to the new phone.

All good now!
 
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