Could Not Activate iPhone-Sim card does not match AT&T

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by littlegreeny, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. littlegreeny macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    Anyone else getting this error? I called AT&T twice and they verified everything on my account. They said there is nothing else they can do. It's been 6 hours since I got my phone and am not sure if I should keep trying to activate it or wait and see if it works.

    My previous phone was the 1st generation iPhone and now it no longer works since I tried activating the new iPhone 4S...Hence at the moment I am without a phone and very unhappy.

    Any suggestions/tips?
  2. davcreech macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    getting same error

    Uggghhhh...I'm getting same error and I've been in local AT&T store today for 1.5 hours no luck (meanwhile, watching 5-6 people walk in, buy their iPhone, activate it and leave happy), 1.25 hours on phone with AT&T, 45 minutes on hold for Apple, only to be disconnected, 1.5 hours on hold for Apple, only to be disconnected again. Waited awhile...needed to cool down before actually getting to talk to someone... Called again, 1 hour...disconnected and finally now, I spoke to someone that transferred me to iPhone dept and now I sit on hold...30 minutes so far (and really just waiting to be disconnected).

  3. littlegreeny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    I hate AT&T!!!!!!! It's been 7 and a half hours and my phone is still not activated!!!

    Just got off the phone with AT&T (for the third tine) and the rep said my account is still processing the activation. He said it completed 4 of the 7 steps needed to activate.

    How can some people get their accounts activated in seconds and others take hours? WTF? :mad:
  4. medsportsguy macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011

    any luck? Im in the same boat! att gave me a loaner iPhone 4 and said to try and put the sim card in the 4s tomorrow and see if it not hopeful

    note- 3 people with the exact same problem today at the ATT store when i tried to get the issue resolved..all had gotten the phone delivered from apple
  5. fsck macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    Same boat

    Same boat here with the sim card message. It's been 15 hours now. Have spoken with ATT and APPLE. The Rep at apple pretty much leveled with me and said that this issue is tied to iphones ordered via apple. The ones ordered via AT&T do not experience this issue (only delays with activations).

    I should have upgraded via AT&T. Apple continues to drop the ball lately...

    Does anybody know if the ATT store can correct this problem or should I just head over to the apple store and get my phone swapped? (I can only imagine what a nightmare that is going to be - if they even have any left in stock)

    PS. I took the sim card out of the 4S and put it in my wife's iphone 4. It works just fine. This confirms that the sim is in fact activated and the issue is at apple's end.
  6. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    They tie the initial activation. I was trying to do an upgrade swap and ran into this as well. As soon as I put the SIM with the matching phone number in the phone it activated right away. I was then able to put my SIM back in. I imagine it's to try and prevent fraud.
  7. snook911 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2007
    Yorba Linda, CA
    I have the same problem and after spending 45 minutes on the phone with at&t and being told by a rep and a supervisor that the new iPhone 4S's could not be activayed over the air and had to be activated through iTunes i went down to the AT&T store. They were nice and tried everything. They even put my sim in the managers iphone 4 and like you said it worked in the 4 but they could not get it work on my 4S. after about a hour of trying they said I was going to have to wait out the activations and if that did not work I would have to take my phone back to apple. Even though I doubt they will have any replacement stock I made an appointment for tomorrow at 3. I have had every iphone at launch and have never had a problem so maybe it was just my turn.:mad:
  8. medsportsguy macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    Thanks for the updates guys. Mine still does not work. Did not work via iTunes, did work in another iPhone 4. I too made an apt in an apple store in nyc for Sunday (all the iPhone apts are already booked for tomorrow and most of sunday which tells me that something might be up). Please update if you get anywhere..thanks!!
  9. alienvenom macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2009
    I have the exact same problem. Tried replacing SIMs in the store and each SIM gets reception on previous iPhone 4, but will not activate on the new iPhone 4S and returns the error "The SIM card in your iPhone does not match the SIM card associated with your account."

    iTunes returns the same message as the iPhone UI.

    On the phone, a supervisor was kind enough to come clean with me saying they have seen a few cases like this and the only thing they can do is wait -- I think Apple needs to update their database. I too have a Genius Bar appointment, but it's on Sunday and will have to use my iPhone 4 until then. I'm hoping it'll work sometime on Saturday, when all of the activations have been flushed through their system.

    Apple has definitely gotta get their act together about the activation problems. It's always a battle; both AT&T and Apple blame each other.


    call the store manager and see if they can squeeze you in. maybe right before they close tomorrow.
  10. ikathy17 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    I GOT IT TO WORK - I've been just as frustrated as everyone on this problem - I called ATT (1hour 40 min) - ended up with no new phone and my old phone wasn't working - went to ATT store - "it will work in a few hours" - hours came and left - read somewhere "put the SIM card from the phone I swapped with" - note: my husband's line eligible, mine not - so I bought phone under husband's phone - but had ATT swap out - when I put my husband's SIM card in - IT WORKED - maybe ATT will read this post and solve a lot of people's problem - well it worked for me - try it - bc waiting doesn't work.
  11. littlegreeny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    14 hours and my phone still hasn't activated. I made an appointment at the Genius Bar at my local Apple Store tomorrow afternoon.

    Total of 4 phone calls to AT&T...No one was helpful.

    I was so looking forward to getting my phone and this has been such a huge disappointment. :(
  12. cbpelikan macrumors member


    Oct 7, 2011
    Woke up in the middle of the night thought I would give it another try.....Nope! Still getting SIM error. This is insane. Spent all day yesterday on the phone with Apple and AT&T blaming each other. Went to AT&T store. Really don't want to drive 3 hrs to the closest Apple store. And my old 3GS had service cut 15 hours ago.
    Pre-ordered through Apple/Upgrade swap.
  13. Ramio macrumors 6502a


    Sep 13, 2011
    Houston, TeXas
    I had the same problem and finally fixed it. This is what I did. I bought a 4s on my 3rd line and when I got it, I took the sim out and put my sim from my primary line and it would give me the does not match message. I called AT&T and they transferred the service to the sim I wanted to use. I tried and it still said does not match. After that, I put the deactivated sim card that originally came with the phone back in(make sure you call AT&T and have them transfer the service to the sim you want to use before doing this). When you put the de actIvated sim, connect to iTunes and then the sim will recognize your number and will activate. Afte that, take it out and put the sim you want to use. It worked perfectly.
  14. pellets007 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 28, 2009
    New York
    Ridiculous. A $500 brick until I can get to an AT&T store. And who knows when that could happen. Five iPhone launches and they still can't get anything right. :rolleyes:

    I hate AT&T.
  15. chakdey macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2008
    is there anyway to bypass the activation? I bought the 4S on the primary line, and want to use it for my secondary line. But in order for it to work you must activate it on with the line you bought it with. So that would mean the primary line would get turned off and switched to the 4S. The problem is...the primary line person is not around to swap sim cards after phone is activated. I hope im making sense and please tell me there is a solution. lol

    This whole activation thing is going to suck for people who have bought these iphones 4S from ebay
  16. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    Feel sorry for you as I called the activation line on the instructions in the box and got right though to an AT&T person who activated both of my new 4S units. She just confirmed the SIM and IMEI number on both and asked me to turn both phones off. When I turned them back on they both worked perfectly. All took less than 5 minutes!

    I have nothing but praise for AT&T, they did great in getting me both of my phones, on time and up and working.
  17. rollingrock macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2009
    Were you doing a cross upgrade? If not, then that's why you didn't have a problem. I called AT&T before doing anything and it's screwed up. Going on 20 hours now.

    Cross upgraded one of my 5 lines to the 4s. Getting the SIM Card doesn't match error. I was told by AT&T to bring both phones in, and after doing some SIM swapping, all should be good. Just waiting on the AT&T store to open to give this a shot.
  18. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Did you guys happen to swap sims before you tried to activate? it only wants to activate the card it came with. If your doing a upgrade swap just activate the 4s with ther other account then after it's activated swap them.
  19. littlegreeny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    I still don't understand why I'm having this problem...This problem seems to be happening to individuals who have multiple lines???

    I had the original iPhone with AT&T (I know I waited a long time to upgrade). I think AT&T screwed up my activation. I called AT&T Premier when my phone wouldn't activate and the CSR did something with my sim card in the system.

    My 12:10 appointment can't come fast enough! :mad:
  20. snook911 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2007
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Wow, it seems like alot of people who had this problem are upgrading on a family plan and trying to switch sims. I can understand possibly having a problem if thats what you weree trying to do. Unforntunatly for me I am on a single line and I am using the sim card that came in the phone and it still says please put in the sim that came with the phone. AT&T even confirms the sim is activated but it just won't work!!:mad::confused:
  21. littlegreeny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2011
    Same situation here. I'll let everyone know what happens during my Genius Bar appointment....I'll ask the genius if others having this issue can resolve it at home or at an AT&T store.
  22. bswanson1000 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    To anyone getting the SIM mis-match error and that has verified with AT&T that it is correct:

    You need to go to an Apple store. Your phone is bricked. I visited them, had them get me a replacement, plugged my SIM card in from my iPhone 4 (the same one I was using to activate my 4S and was getting the SIM mismatch error) and it worked instantly. The SIM card had already been activated yesterday at some point, but the phone continued to give me the mismatch error.

    After 24 hours of the same message, I'm finally using my phone. Don't let them give you the run-around, GO SEE SOMEONE at the store sooner rather than later while they still have replacements.
  23. falco269 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    Were you doing an upgrade swap? - Ordered the phone on one line and want to use it on another?

    So you tried activating 4S with a card from a 4 and not the one it came with?
  24. bswanson1000 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    I tried activating the phone with the SIM card it came with but ran into issues. I called AT&T and the CSR tried to manually activate the phone. No dice. In doing so, it deactivated my old SIM. To use my old phone, I had to put the NEW SIM into my iPhone 4. Upon trying to re-activate my phone with the active SIM, it gave me the SIM mis-match error.

    I verified that my information was correct with AT&T many times, both in-person and over the phone. They also tried swapping fresh SIM cards, still no dice.

    After 24 hours of this I went to the Apple store and described my problem and told them I wanted a new phone. Since the genius had seen a phone with the same problem yesterday he had them swap it out. I put the SIM card in that I had been using (the exact same one giving me problems for the last 24 hours) and the phone instantly worked.

    I registered an account here only for the purpose of letting people know what's going on. I was in the same boat as the minority here that are getting the error, and I wanted to help others out letting them know they need to get into an Apple store ASAP before their supply of 4S models run out.

  25. falco269 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2011
    Thanks for the explanation.

    This thread is also discussing the same issue:

    It seems that phones ordered from the Apple store are locked to the number they were ordered on, no matter if AT&T switches the SIM/IMEI to a different line in their system before activating.

    A couple people in the other thread have had success activating the 4S with a SIM from the line it was ordered on and then switching back to the line they want to use it on.

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