AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

iPhone activation delays continue, Apple offers $30

updated 02:30 pm EDT, Sun June 21, 2009

iPhone activation delays

Apple and AT&T are continuing to experience problems with new iPhone activations. Following initial activation delays of up to 48 hours, Apple began notifying customers early Sunday morning that customers may experience additional delays due to "system issues" and "high activation volumes." Although Apple did not disclose any numbers, AT&T's CEO said that the carrier had "hundreds of thousands" of pre-orders for the new, faster iPhone and analysts expect about 500,000 iPhone 3G S devices to be sold by the two companies in the first weekend.

In the same email, Apple also told those customers that would receive an iTunes Store credit of $30 as a token for the lingering activation issues. "On Monday, you'll receive an email from Apple with an iTunes Store credit in the amount of $30. We hope you will enjoy this gift and accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay has caused," the company wrote in the email to customers.

It is unclear as to how many customers are affected by the activation issues. The credit, though, is small token for the inconvenience experienced by customers without phone service or those unable to use their new iPhones, significantly impacting the iPhone purchase experience.

"I'd rather just have my iPhone activated. I paid nearly the full amount because I didn't qualify for early upgrade pricing, but the device is just a brick until Apple or AT&T can fix this issues," one reader told MacNN. "They know that they are going to sell a bunch of iPhones, so it doesn't make sense that they wouldn't be ready for the activations."

Dear Apple Customer,

Thank you for your recent Apple Store order. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in your iPhone activation.

We are still resolving the issue that was encountered while activating your iPhone with AT&T. Unfortunately, due to system issues and continued high activation volumes, this could take us up to an additional 48 hours to complete.

On Monday, you'll receive an email from Apple with an iTunes Store credit in the amount of $30. We hope you will enjoy this gift and accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience this delay has caused.

Thank you for choosing Apple.

Apple Online Store Team

by MacNN Staff



  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    All carriers screwup

    Man, Apple is doing its best to compensate for AT&T failures. Yet again Apple is showing everyone how it's done. These are precisely the kinds of issues that prompt Apple to handle everything on their own and keep their ecosystem closed. If you want something done right do it yourself.

    If Apple could've started their own wireless carrier service (and I'm sure they seriously considered it) they certainly would have.

  1. hitekmike

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Over 72 Hours later!...

    Thanks for the write up, I've been struggling for anyone to listen about my activation nightmare (second time around.)

    AT&T finally confirmed on Saturday that I should be good to go even though I am on a GoPhone Prepaid Plan. read more here...

    Hopefully I will get an e-mail from Apple on Monday. My iPhone is basically dead...

  1. stewball

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Activation Problems

    I bought mine from the online Apple store. After trying to activate it in iTunes, and waiting 24 hours, and 4 phone calls to the AT&T store, I drove 1 hour to Tucson to the AT&T store. They manually removed my old SIM card info, then put in the new info into their system. It immediately started working. I received an email from Apple today letting me know it was activated.

  1. konaken

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hawaii buyers hosed

    Hey Apple, how about compensating the on-line buyers in Hawaii you hosed with your 48 hour hold in Louisville? Mine (and my friends) 3GS arrived at Honolulu at 6:39am Friday morning and has been sitting there ever since. I could have picked a 3GS up at the local AT&T store Friday morning. But Apple and UPS both sent E-mails saying, "No, really, you'll get your phone on the 19th". Hah.

  1. cvbcvb

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Received phone on Friday morning via UPS. Activated in the afternoon - took affect 2 hours later.


  1. trrydms

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Activation page

    Went here and followed the steps, activated right away after I was waiting for a couple of hours and nothing..

  1. mprogers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No problems here...

    It took under an hour to get activated in late afternoon on the 19th, and my wife's iPhone was activated just about instantaneously a few hours later.

    I read about some doctor who was furious with Apple because he couldn't use his phone for a few hours; I definitely would not want that guy as my doctor ("what, new treatment? Sure, I'll be glad to test it On The First Day It's Available, why not?").

  1. Le Flaneur

    Joined: Dec 1969


    if it's an iPhone 3G...

    Just jailbreak it using PwnageTool 3.0 (not an option for the 3GS)

  1. heyjp

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fast Activation On Friday

    I waited until the lines died down on Friday and walked into my closest AT&T store and bought a 32Gig iPhone in less than 10 minutes. On the drive back to the office, my old phone went off the grid. After arriving at my office, I activated my phone within 10 minutes and made my first call. Don't know why I got lucky.

    I think anyone that "has to have it" and buys an iPhone on "opening weekend" can't really get too upset if activation takes longer than usual. Anyone who's business depends on their cell phone connectivity should (1) always have a landline fallover plan and (2) should wait two days to buy a new newly released phone. Sheeeesh.

    For the last 2 years, Apple has averaged selling about 11,000 phones a day world wide, selling about a million each on the 2 launch weekends and somewhere between 500,000 and a million this weekend. Hard to design a network and server system that can sustain 10,000 a day AND peach at 300,000 a day for 3 days once a year.



  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Why not just activate it using PwngageTool and forget about the 3 day wait.

Login Here

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


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented