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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

A number of iPhone 3G S customers in the U.S. are reporting problems activating their new purchases for use. According to a message displayed during the activation process, it may take up to 48 hours for activations to go through.
Due to current iPhone activation volumes, it may take up to 48 hours to resolve your issue. We will send a confirmation to {e-mail address redacted} once your activation is complete. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes. You can set up your iPhone and enjoy features that do not require access to the AT&T network. To get started, please disconnect and then reconnect your iPhone.
Several MacRumors forum members have reported that they have had success by calling AT&T and having a representative assist them with activation, while others have reported that AT&T representatives have simply told them that nothing can be done to speed up the process.

Article Link: iPhone 3G S Customers Reporting Activation Delays


macrumors 6502a
Jan 6, 2009
Well, what should you expect from a pig - but a grunt - especially on a day like today? :D


macrumors regular
Jan 2, 2006
Back in 2007, I waited 30 hours during launch weekend for my original iPhone to be activated. That was the longest, most depressing 30 hours of my life....

On the other hand, my 3G S activated within about 10 minutes this morning on the West Coast....


macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2005
I bought my 3G S at an ATT store this morning at 10am CST. They activated it in about a minute. I bought my gen 1 and gen 2 iPhones at the Apple Store. The first one activated great. The 2nd one with the in-store activation was a total pain. I opted for ATT locally this time which saved me a 2 hour drive and apparently an activation hassle.

Very worth it regardless. (snappilicious)


macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
Oh, AT&T. Another nail in the coffin we're preparing for your use on the day your exclusive deal with Apple expires.


macrumors newbie
Mar 19, 2003
seemed like my activation was hanging.......then I ejected the SIM card with the little tool in the packaging and replaced it and the phone activated immediately - worth a try - TC


macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2007
In Canada also

Apparently Rogers is having some of the same issues here in Canada (or Calgary at least). Was at the Rogers store today and they said that many of the 32GB iPhones are not activating right now.


macrumors 68020
Jul 24, 2007
I had a problem with my 1st gen iPhone that I bought on iDay. I wasn't able to get it activated until the next day at about noon. I had to actually call and talk with someone twice before it actually worked. I would recommend that anyone having problems call AT&T.


macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2007
i really don't care as long as i can check out the other features. but will it deactivate my 1st gen iphone's sim? then i'll be pissed if i'm phone-less for up to 2 days.
my 3gs got delivered at 9am, but i don't have my laptop to activate/sync it.


macrumors 68000
Jun 13, 2007
Austin, Texas
Oh, AT&T. Another nail in the coffin we're preparing for your use on the day your exclusive deal with Apple expires.

Yes, because Verizon would somehow magically be able to handle the activation process better than AT&T can...

I doubt any other carrier has ever had to handle as many activations in one day as AT&T does with the iPhone.


macrumors member
Nov 11, 2008
Although I'm in the UK on O2, I'm still so pleased I asked them to activate my 16GB iPhone 3GS in store. I was first in line at a store so I thought that my chances of it activating quickly would be high

Oh and my iPhone 3GS is much more than I thought it might be, so quick at opening everything. I even think syncing has significantly increased in speed!

Just a bit depressed I've spent £440 on it!


macrumors newbie
Jun 19, 2009
No Activation Issues Here..

For what it's worth, I activated a new line today with an iPhone 3G S in an AT&T store in a matter of a few minutes. A friend of mine did the same.


macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2007
picked my phone up this morning 730 AM EST, opted to activate it at home. Took almost no time to activate, and i was up and running.

MUCH better than last year's 2.0 OS / 3G release on the same morning. My sister and I's phones took 5 hours to re-activate after the OS install, and we had just left on a trip after we DLd the update. Luckily I have an ATT laptop card and could keep trying activation on the road.

I also got 3.0 OS for my original phone about 5 minutes after it release wednesday, had zero problems with it.

Getting better i guess, but with the volume of users activating I'm not surprised things are getting bogged down.

Hey ATT - get a new IT staff that knows how to batch update people's iPhones to support MMS and tethering, AND can run a server farm to keep up with activations.


macrumors newbie
Mar 14, 2007
Restart your iPhone

For the two phones I picked up at the AT&T store, and for a friend's phone that came via UPS from the Apple store, restarting did the trick.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2007
This activation problem has crept up the past two "big" first days. It's a drag but it seems easier to simply wait a day or two and then everything goes fine. In New York on the first day of the 1st gen the phone lines cleared after midnight. I guess maybe that's why those people were waiting at 6AM - not because of getting the phone first but getting to activation first!


macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
Oh, AT&T. Another nail in the coffin we're preparing for your use on the day your exclusive deal with Apple expires.

Oh please. This would happen with any provider. None of their systems are designed to handle hundreds of thousands of activations in a day.


macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2009
London, UK
seemed like my activation was hanging.......then I ejected the SIM card with the little tool in the packaging and replaced it and the phone activated immediately - worth a try - TC

Same deal here in the UK. Ejecting and reinserting worked - I had put the SIM in whilst the phone was powered off too.

That said my MMS still hasn't been activated, but I imagine it will be before the AT&T ones are :p - O2 texted me to say about 2-3 days at most.

Then to sort out tethering - and all is good.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2009
I disagree with the VZW could not handle the volume. They would set up some sort of temporary network to be ready for it or localize it. They run out Mules or temp cell sites to more place more often than att. I know this to be true i have one of the largest festivals in the country in my back yard Bonnaroo. I never loose signal or call degradation while the some 100,000 extra people show up. I just think lazyness and cost is the factor here.


macrumors member
Jun 19, 2009
Denver, CO
What a bad experience (still love you though, Apple)

I went to the 5th avenue store today at 10:00 AM to wait in line to buy my girlfriend an iPhone (she's currently on Verizon). I got to the desk, got an agent at 10:30, and didn't walk out of the store until 1:45 PM. And that was after I decided to not even attempt to do a port at the store. Anyway. The rep was super nice, friendly, entertaining... but that doesn't buy back my time.

MY iPhone, that I had shipped to my office, upon plugging it in, isn't activating. I get the delay message everyone here is talking about. Bah!

I'm going to try to pop out the SIM card, but doubt it'll work. We'll see!

- J


macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2003
Mine say waiting for about 30 minutes. I popped the sim out, put it back in and bingo - phone activated. It could have been a coincidence but it got me going.

TB Apple

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2009
Bellmore, NY
Activation - Long Island NY

Fed-Ex arrived at 10:30 and had a little hiccup with activation (had to unplug and restart phone), but up and running after about 10 miniutes :)

Mr Maui

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2002
The possibility of having delays when there are hundreds of thousands of phones trying to be activated in one day should be considered a normal possibility. After the weekend, activations will likely happen without delay or issue.


macrumors 68000
May 25, 2006
My activation was smooth as could be. Took 5 minutes maybe, and then an alert was sent to my phone that said "activated." That really suck though for all the ones that will take 48 hours :(
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