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Apple: iPhone 3GS activation may take up to 48 hours

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, June 19, 2009
News Categories: iPhone

Following a relatively smooth morning roll out of the iPhone 3GS, reports are beginning to surface suggesting that early morning West Coast sales and pre-order deliveries are beginning to put strain on Apple’s servers as larger numbers of users try simultaneously to activate their new handsets. According to AppleInsider, Apple is now providing a warning message through iTunes to affected users, stating that their activation needs extra time to complete, and may take up to 48 hours to go through. The message states that an email will be sent to the customer’s email address when activation is completed, apologizes for the inconvenience, and suggests the user try out some of the phone’s features that don’t require a cellular connection. The situation recalls memories of last year’s iPhone 3G launch debacle, when thousands of users were left waiting for hours in- and outside AT&T and Apple stores while employees tried in vain to activate their new phones.

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Comments

21

SIMPLE TURN OFF UR PHONES AND THEN BACK ON WAIT AT LEAST TWO MINUTES AND PUFFF TECHNOLOGY AT WORK .... U MAY HAVE TO CALL ATT TO GET UR PHONE PINPOINTED TO START UP ... ENJOY BECHESSSS

Posted by BOOGEY on June 19, 2009 at 4:43 PM (PDT)

22

Well, having exhausted the recommended options (and my patience) which worked well for others (power cycling and SIM card reseating) to no avail, I stole the SIM card from my 3G and got the 3GS on the network immediately.  I wonder if there’s something wrong with the new card?  Anyway, I’m activated now and I hope this doesn’t cause problems down the road.  Thanks, everyone, for the excellent advice.

Posted by Jeff Bowers on June 19, 2009 at 5:19 PM (PDT)

23

Picked up a 32Gigger at an AT&T store in Golden CO.  No line. 10 minutes.  Got back to office and synched.  Phone activated within 10 minutes.  Took 1/2 hour to load my 20 Gigs of music, photos and podcasts.  But no time to activate!!

Jim

Posted by Jim on June 19, 2009 at 6:13 PM (PDT)

24

Do you think the old 3G Sim’s would really work longtime? Are they the same Sim cards? Will the performance of the new 3gS be affected by the old 3G Sim? I’m not sure if this is correct but I heard something about this phone being like 3.75G-ish?? Not sure if it’s true but if it was then the old 3G Sim would hinder the phones speed and performance right? Oh and I have an old 2G iPhone so I couldn’t do it anyway. How do I activate my new 3GS and disable my old 2G completely?? And will I have to get rid of old Sim if I want to sell old phone..

Posted by Sean on June 19, 2009 at 7:31 PM (PDT)

25

I was having a similar issue, and I was upgrading from a first-gen iPhone.  I grabbed the SIM from my first-gen iPhone and put it in my 3GS and restarted, and I’m good to go.

Posted by Erik on June 19, 2009 at 7:38 PM (PDT)

26

I’ve been waiting 5 hrs for activation.  I’m OK to wait the full 48 if that’s really what it takes, since nobody needs to call me anyway, network works great.

Question: Does it matter that the phone no longer has the “initialization” message on the unlock screen?  I think I accidentally hit the OFF button on the top of the phone and when it came back up, no message.  And of course the top left still says “No Service.”  I don’t want to be waiting around for 48 hours if the phone isn’t really trying to connect to AT&T.

Any suggestions?

Posted by Steven on June 19, 2009 at 8:41 PM (PDT)

27

Okay, received my iPhone 3G S @ 10:00 am by UPS, plugged it in immediately on iTunes for activation, took approximately 2 hours until I pressed the (F & Q’s) link, then iTunes say’s “Timed out, you must start again, and re-sync”. So, I unplug and replug my iPhone, then it starts to back-up all my songs and appliances after 30 minutes, then I get “Activation Completed”. Works great!

Posted by Mavvey on June 19, 2009 at 9:03 PM (PDT)

28

I got the message on iTunes activation would take awhile and i waited 8 or more hours then got angry but decided to switch the SIM card from my blackberry curve with the SIM card in the iphone and it took maybe 30 seconds to get the NO SERVICE to change to one bar then it was fully activated after maybe 30 seconds more of having one bar…. try it out it worked well for me

Posted by john on June 19, 2009 at 9:48 PM (PDT)

29

48 hours to activate???????
NO WAY… it took me 15 MINUTES and the transfer from my old one to the new was effortless and it’s FAST and I LOVE IT!!!!!!

THANK YOU APPLE smile

Posted by macbabe on June 19, 2009 at 10:38 PM (PDT)

30

12 hours later and still waiting for the new SIM to activate.  But 4 hours in I got tired of waiting and just swapped the SIM in from my old 3G.  Hope this doesn’t cause trouble down the line.

Posted by Dyvim on June 19, 2009 at 10:40 PM (PDT)

31

Once your new sim card is activated it’ll deactivate your old sim card, rendering it useless. I work as an independent dealer for At&t.

Posted by mathew1690 on June 19, 2009 at 10:51 PM (PDT)

32

What does the SIM card tool look like?  Don’t think I received one.  Any way to pop it out without that?

Posted by Daniel on June 19, 2009 at 11:21 PM (PDT)

33

It seems like those of us waiting for a long time haven’t had our new SIMs linked to our accounts. I was reading on Apple Support that some people tried calling AT&T and their phones were activated right then.

What I did was, I used a different phone to call AT&T and told them my situation. They asked for my IMEI number and my new SIM number (written as ICCID on the box), which I found on the back of my iPhone box. My account was then updated with the new information and my phone works great. This whole process took maybe 10 minutes?

Posted by Shahid on June 20, 2009 at 5:53 AM (PDT)

34

@drakebullet

They don’t care.  The phone has already been sold

Posted by MSF on June 20, 2009 at 6:24 AM (PDT)

35

Don’t accept the “just wait up to 48 hours line.” I called yesterday and got that canned response. Today I called again and requested that they check the SIM # and they found that it was wrong (the one from my old iphone.) A few keystrokes and I am activated!

Posted by Scott on June 20, 2009 at 7:54 AM (PDT)

36

What SIM card tool?  It’s supposed to come with one? It’s been 18 hours since I first tried to activate the phone and still “waiting for activation”.

Posted by Elliot on June 20, 2009 at 9:23 AM (PDT)

37

I attempted to activate last night at 11:30 PM, 12 hours later no activation.  I stopped by my local Apple store and they were activating new 3G S immediately.  As it turns out, my first activation attempt fried the SIM card or it was defective right out of the box. I got a new SIM card from AT&T and I am good to go.

Posted by Marc Fogel on June 20, 2009 at 10:12 AM (PDT)

38

I talked to them online on their technical support chat. She changed the SIM and IMEI in the system by hand, and everything worked. She said this would’ve eventually happened automatically, but she just did it manually instead. You might want to try the same thing if you can’t wait any longer.

Posted by kentyman on June 20, 2009 at 10:17 AM (PDT)

39

It seems pointless to have pre ordered my new #G S. My friend who got hers last minute and went through ATT to activate it got her phone active in less than an hour. I pre ordered mine weeks ago and went through iTunes like Apple said to and so far it’s been over 24 hours and still no dice.

I’m really just annoyed that it didn’t seem to matter that I ordered in advance. I just know I won’t do it again.

Posted by jason alexander on June 20, 2009 at 10:40 AM (PDT)

40

SIM card tool is a little metallic tool that is attached to the paper case that hold the manual and the other paper in your box. Your iphone came with a tiny box, spend a few seconds looking oer the few things before asking “what tool”...

Posted by medic on June 20, 2009 at 12:00 PM (PDT)

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