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Limited form of in-home iPhone activation to return?

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Ordered online...

    I recently ordered an 8 GB iPhone online via the AT&T web site, and did the entire activation process at home. Received phone, let it charge, called on old cell phone, spoke to nice lady, nice lady activates new iPhone and current cell disconnects automatically. After that, it was just a matter of connecting to my iMac and completing the activation via iTunes. Not once did I have to set foot in an Apple store.

    My employer does have a discount program with AT&T, so I don't know if my case is tied to the discount or if anyone that orders via the AT&T online store is capable of performing activation at home. Either way, it is possible to not go to an Apple store for iPhone activation.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    old news, and NOT true...

    As always, McNN didn't bother updating their sources.

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fraud, fraud everywhere..

    In other words, the fraud that you are buying these phones, when in fact you are leasing them, will continue. Why does corruption on Wall Street and in Washington surprise us when our very language has become so corrupted that it can't reliably represent reality?

  1. RiquiScott

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In-home on day 1

    On launch day, my wife and I left the AT&T store with our iPhones still in the shrinkwrap, and activated them via iTunes later that morning.

    While I'm sure the AT&T salesperson had to enter the phones' information into the computer, I don't think there's anything that physically has to be done to the iPhone in-store to activate it.

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