Cannot activate iPhone 5 (Verizon):

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jread, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. jread macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2012
    Austin, TX
    My wife and I have been T-Mobile customers for years. We wanted the iPhone 5 so I ordered two of them from Verizon (transferred our T-Mobile numbers) and got them today. My phone activated instantly with no issues. Her phone will *not* activate! Every time I try I get the following message:

    "Device unknown

    This iPhone is not recognized and cannot be activated for service. Please visit your nearest Apple Store for more information."

    Does anyone know why this is happening and what I should do about it?
  2. zachnelson macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    Have you called AppleCare (they're still open!) or Verizon?
  3. jread thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 17, 2012
    Austin, TX
    I had talked to Verizon and they did everything they could. Ended up having to go to the Apple store for troubleshooting, and they determined the phone was bad and replaced it with a brand new one. They said they hadn't seen this particular problem before, despite helping hundreds of people with various issues today.
  4. JLomeStang macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2012
    Sounds Similar

    Well, sounds similar to my issue.

    I've been a T-Mobile customer for about 10 years. Pre-Ordered my iPhone 5 on the 14th and it arrived today. Couldn't activate. Went to both Verizon and Apple and so far no resolution has been found. Today they decided to cancel my Verizon account all together (not that they could find it in their system in the first place...) Tomorrow I am supposed to go back to iPhone store to get a new sim which Verizon will then activate on a "temporary number" until the 13th of October, when my current phone number will kick back into play.

    So basically... I won't be using my brand new iPhone for 3 more weeks, after finally receiving it... that, on top of dealing with a family issue tomorrow and trying to find a way to squeeze a visit to the Apple store into the mix.

    Very frustrating first experience so far with Apple/Verizon.
  5. AztecKing macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2007
    Southern Oregon
    Mine did the same thing. Wife's activated right away but mine never would so Verizon replaced it.
  6. Fusion79 macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    Did you activate the SIM before turning on the iPhone? I got mine from Verizon and there were instructions included with the iphone. Before turning it on I had to call an 800 number from a different phone and activate my SIM. I then turned my phone on and everything worked fine. I already had a verizon account so I don't know if that makes a difference.
  7. CKtoph macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2007
    I may be completely off base here, but when I was in the Apple store to pick up my iP5, the first one had some scratches on the bezel out of box, so he brought out a new one and worked a exchange. But the new one just wouldn't activate.

    So, after going to the manager, they figured out that it was because, only with Verizon, one account holder could not simultaneously hold 2 iPhone 5s. Now, this doesn't make much sense to me, but instead of doing a straight up exchange. He refunded the first iPhone to a gift card, which then blanked my account of knowing it has an iP5, then re-purchased the new one, and then it activated perfectly fine.
  8. GL-LdF macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2012
    iPhone 5 (Verizon) from Apple not scheduled to be activated until mid-October

    I have spent the last 2 hours trying to get my new iPhone 5 activated on the Verizon network. I was just told by a "Tier 2" representative at Verizon that the phone is not scheduled to be activated until mid-October. They said the phones purchased directly from Apple have this issue. ARGH!!! A Verizon service rep currently is working to get the activation date changed. He said it takes ~30 minutes, and that he would call me back after the phone is activated. If I can't get the phone activated today, I'm returning it.

    I've been an Apple customer since 1977 (!), and this is the first time I have been really, really furious with Apple.
  9. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2010
    I'm not sure why this is Apple's fault unless an Apple employee entered in the late activation date. Shouldn't your anger be with Verizon's activation process?
  10. Dechter macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2010
    I think you were just sold a line of baloney. Apple doesn't activate phones, the carriers do.
  11. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Something isn't right here. Why would Verizon wait 3 weeks to activate a phone?? Call and speak to someone else. Or take your phone to a Verizon store and have them activate it. Someone is screwing up your account, methinks.
  12. GL-LdF macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2012
    iPhone 5 (Verizon) from Apple not scheduled to be activated until mid-October

    The Verizon rep I spoke with told me that all he had been doing today is changing the activation date on iPhone 5s purchased from Apple. I don't know whether the glitch lies with Apple (I know that they do not activate phones), which sold me the phone, or Verizon.

    I tried going to a Verizon store, but the hours listed on the web were not the same as the ones listed on the store window and the store was closed. Frustrating.

    My iPhone is now activated, but it took a total of 3.5 hours if I include the time it took to get to and from the Verizon store.
  13. Pandy916 macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2012
    Verizon can not activate my iPhone 5 either

    I'm also switching from another carrier to Verizon and chose to keep my same number. I got my phone on Friday and could not activate it myself. I went to Verizon Saturday and after two hours, the Manager could not activate it either after speaking with three people from customer service who advised him that they could not find my order, although he provided them with everything that was on my order form/receipt. He was finally transferred to someone in their IT Dept. and the tech did find my order. She advised that my activation had failed and she would have to resubmit it. She advised it would take up to 24 hours and my phone would be working. Welll, it's 5:15pm and my phone still is not working. I called the IT Dept. today and guess what....they're closed. I got this information after holding on for 30 minutes....Go figure. My first impression of Verizon is not a good one.

    I am ready to get my $400+ money back and stay with my own carrier.

    Any suggestions???
  14. slate5 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2012
    similar situation

    I had the exact same problem. I spent 3 days trying to activate a phone that had no number associated with it in the Verizon system--even though I had a receipt with a phone number. Spent hours on the phone with multiple tech support people-- all kinds of confusion. I had to wait the 24 wait period as well which did not resolve the problem. Finally, after a 2 hour call a rep told me that I needed a new sim card and he made a notation in the verizon system. When I went to the Verizon store, they first said I would need to go to an apple store bc they had no Sim cards in stock, but then they found one in the back. When they replaced the Sim it worked right away.

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