AAPL Stock: 110.38 ( + 0.8 )

Printed from

iPhone activation without 2-year agreement

updated 11:40 pm EDT, Mon July 16, 2007

iPhone prepaid how-to

Brian Mitchell of Ecoustics has posted instructions for bypassing AT&T's 2-year activation agreement for the iPhone and instead use pre-paid service. Essentially, in order to get to the pre-paid activation screens in the iTunes setup you have to fail the credit check. This can be accomplished by entering 999-99-9999 as your social security number. However, you do have to enter your real address and credit card number and click a button that says it is agreeing to the two-year activation terms from AT&T and select a higher rate plan before the credit check window appears. The author pf the instructions states "It's shameful the pre-paid activation process is not easier to locate. Apple probably could have easily made the pre-paid option more visible in the setup screens, but I suspect AT&T Wireless prevented it or changed their mind too late. Nonetheless a simple statement by either company about the pre-paid alternative would be nice."

by MacNN Staff





  1. l008com

    Joined: Dec 1969



    didn't macnn post this article weeks ago? like back when it was news?

  1. Darwiniandude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    missed it

    I think Macnn missed it, but i've already read it everywhere else. Maybe they kept it aside for a slow news day, and used it when the guy at Macnn that normally makes stuff up called in sick today. :)

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    the point is...?

    Yeah I guess it's cool not to be shotgun-wedded to AT+T for two years, but seriously... what are your choices? I guess you could use iPhone on T-Mobile's network but then it becomes just a phone - the cool features like visual voicemail and web browsing wouldn't work without EDGE... right? Why buy an iPhone if you're just going to use it as a regular phone?

  1. jpmist

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Didn't work for me

    I tried the 999-99-9999 SS# and it didn't work.

    ATT has caught on to this and when you do it, it stops the iTunes sign-on with a message saying that ATT needs more time. 4 hours later you get a 15 digit code and an ATT phone number to call. At which point you'll have to fess up with your real SS# because they can see your attempt to use an invalid SS#.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What if no SSN?

    What happens for us who don't have SSN? Ten years ago, this wasn't such a colossal hassle. One could still open bank accounts, credit cards and such. Then, 11 September happened. Now, almost no US company will extend credit or any other kind of service which normally requires an SSN. Getting a drivers license requires five trips to five different offices! Of course, online applications are out of the question; you must call, wait for a person, go through three levels of management until you get to speak with someone who knows how to deal with persons without SSN. Not to mention that those on the front lines will tell you "I'm sorry, we cannot do anything for you without a SSN".

    I'm sure AT&T will gladly open a pay-as-you-go plan for a SSN-less person; unfortunately, I'm sure their front line staff has no clue this is even possible.

  1. freediverdude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    name needs to be fake too

    Sounds to me like what's happened is that the credit check process looks at your name as well, and if your name looks credit-worthy, it says "we need to verify" instead of "declined". So I think I would try using a fake name as well and see if that declines it.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Polk Hinge Wireless headphones

Polk, a company well-established in the audio market, recently released a new set of headphones aimed at the lifestyle market. The Hin ...

Blue Yeti Studio

Despite being very familiar with Blue Microphones' lower-end products -- we've long recommended the company's Snowball line of mics ...

ZTE Spro 2 Smart Projector

Home theaters are becoming more and more accessible these days, but maybe you've been a bit wary about buying a home projector. And h ...


Most Commented