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iPhone 3G Activation… or Not!

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Well, I lined up at my locat AT&T store at about 6:20 this morning and was about the 15th person in line.  Everyone was in and out at a relatively quick rate, but with non-activated iPhones.  The iTunes server has crashed so customers are being sent home to do the activation at home when iTunes is up and running again.  I wish that was my only problem!  For whatever reason, I was the lucky person who had even more issues at AT&T.  I was under the impression that since I was already a customer of AT&T with the first generation iPhone that the process was going to go rather smoothly.  Nope, not at all.  The computer freaked out on the employee and was giving him errors when trying to update my account to the new iPhone plan.  I was in the store for at least 45 minutes waiting for them to figure it out.  In the meantime, they handed me the “accessory package” they were offering for $155.  I couldn’t help but stare at the beautiful Jawbone bluetooth headset and fall in love with it.  I also found a decent case that will look sleek and sexy on my hip.  My dad was the one purchasing the iPhone for me and noticed I couldn’t keep my eyes off the accessories and bought them for me as well!

I am now sitting at home with a beautiful, sleek, white 16GB iPhone 3G that doesn’t work.  WAIT WAIT!!!  Update!!!  As I am writing this post, iTunes is finally beginning to activate my phone.  This is very exciting!  I am currently restoring the new iPhone with the backup of my previous iPhone.

If you are having issues with activating your iPhone 3G, here’s what worked for me.  Keep your iPhone connected to iTunes!  When the error messages pops up about being unable to connect to the iTunes Store, click OK.  Then click on another item on your list (I clicked iTunes Store), then click back to your iPhone.  It will attempt to connect to iTunes Store again.  Repeat this process over and over again until it works!  Once I started doing this consistently and immediately after receiving the error message, I was allowed to connect after about 5 minutes.  Not bad.  I read that this is what Apple employees are recommending as this is what keeps your place “in line”.  Be patient, and I’m sure it will work for you!

I hear that there are also issues with updating to the 2.0 software on first generation iPhones.  I would suspect that this will be a problem all day.  Not only are thousands of people activating new iPhones, but another group of thousands of people are trying to get the new software.  This is going to be a log day for all us impatient iPhone lovers, but oh well, it’ll be worth it in the end.

UPDATE 1:  AT&T screwed me.  Instead of fixing the issues they were having when I was updating my account, they just sold me an iPhone and sent me on my way.  iTunes has done everything it can to activate my phone, but since I “don’t have service”, I cannot finish activating.  I basically now have an iPod Touch.  I can play with the new software, but all the phone features are disabled.  Sigh.  I called AT&T and they said I need to return to the store where I purchased my iPhone to get it resolved.  VERY ANNOYING!  I’m gonna try to get something free out of the ordeal.  I’ll update you when I get back.

UPDATE 2:  Well, I went back to AT&T and got everything worked out.  I actually went back to the same kid who was helping me before and the computer let him do the process just fine.  I asked AT&T to waive my $18 activation fee for the inconvience for having to drive back to the store for an error on their end and they gladly obliged.  I am now a very happy customer with a very beautiful white iPhone 3G.

During this 2nd attempt of activating my iPhone, I chatted with the employees about how many iPhones they sold and the somewhat long line at the store.  This location received about 60 iPhones and only 5 white ones!  I am SOOOO glad I got in line at 6:20am, otherwise I probably would not have gotten the white version.

Thank you Apple for this beautiful product.  Now I’m going to try to get my MobileMe account up and running.  What a day.  I only had 3.5 hours of sleep last night.  Thank God for Starbucks!!

  • Aaron

    I wrote about this on my blog today. Do you think these issues are going to start driving people away from the iPhone? Will you still want to deal with Apple next time?

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Its-iPhone-3G-release-day-Remember-patience-is-a-virtue

  • llofte

    I don’t think this will drive people away from iPhone. This is something that was bound to happen because of server overload. Thousands of people were trying to activate their iPhone at the same time and AT&T nor Apple could really handle the volume. In the end it all works out. I don’t think there will be any problems with activation after today. If so, it will be rare or minor. I will definitely continue to deal with Apple. I love their products and understand that days like today are just what’s bound to happen. I was honestly expecting it and was prepared for it. After it’s all said it done, it was worth every minute of it.

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