updated 10:05 am EDT, Mon September 22, 2008
In-home iPhone activation?
In the near future, potential iPhone buyers may once again be able to handle some of the activation process at home, according to an anonymous Apple Store worker. The new process would not be a resumption of the one for the first-generation phone, which let users sign up for a new carrier subscription from within iTunes; due to people bypassing this en-masse for the sake of unlocking, Apple has settled on requiring iPhone 3Gs to be activated before leaving a shop. This resulted in massive wait times and activation delays during the initial launch weekend.
The rumored solution involves a "pre-activation" process, in which buyers would be able to submit contract details (or new billing information) before leaving for an Apple Store. Phones would still require "unbricking" in person, but would otherwise have all other information ready. It is unknown if support for this scheme would extend to carrier stores such as AT&T's.
In a separate claim, the Apple source says that while some US stores received 4GB fourth-generation Nanos recently, this was an accident, and they have since been shipped back. The source also dismisses rumors that the 8GB iPhone is being discontinued, suggesting that it is a confusion over the ultra-compact power adapter recall.