updated 11:30 am EDT, Thu June 26, 2008
Two-step iPhone activation
The activation process for iPhone 3Gs may actually be a two-step process, an Italian site claims to have learned. Anonymous sources suggest that the first part, the forced in-store activation, will involve getting each user signed up to their respective carrier, and their contracts started; the second, however, is believed to involve the App Store and iTunes, because of special billing information needed to download software. 3G owners will be able to buy and download programs through cellular broadband as well as local connections, though a size limit is being imposed on HSPA transfers.
If confirmed the plan would contrast sharply with that for the original iPhone, under which people were able to simply buy an iPhone and take it home, and subsequently sign up for a carrier contract on their own time through iTunes. Apple is said to have become frustrated, however, by the number of people buying iPhones and unlocking them for an unofficial carrier, thus depriving Apple of shared revenue streams.