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Apple warns iPhone 3G S activations may take up to 2 days

post #1 of 131
Thread Starter 
In a near repeat of problems that plagued last year's iPhone 3G launch, Apple's iPhone activation servers are showing signs of buckling under the pressure of hundreds of thousands of customers who are attempting to activate their new handsets and warning of delays that could span two days.

"Your activation requires additional time to complete. Due to the current activation volumes, it may take up to 48 hours to resolve your issue," reads a message spit out by iTunes when attempting to activate a new iPhone 3G S after the hours of noon Eastern time on Friday. "We will send a confirmation to [your email address] once your activation is complete."

Apple, in the same message, apologizes for the inconvenience and says that customers can proceed to setup their new handsets and explore features that do not require access to AT&T's network. After disconnecting from iTunes, a message appears on the iPhone 3G S's screen that says: "Waiting for activation. This may take some times."

While many customers acquiring their new iPhones in Europe or during the early morning hours in the US reported activating their devices quickly and without issue, AppleInsider can corroborate that activations delays are spreading rapidly. Both our new iPhone 3G S's remain in the state seen in the below image.

The activation issues draw parallels to the high-tech meltdown that spoiled last year's iPhone 3G launch from the onset, leaving thousands of customers with iPhones that couldn't function or make calls, as the iTunes servers required to fully activate them were knocked offline for extended periods of time.



Friday's complications underscore the complexity Apple faces in orchestrating a multi-national product launch of such scale, but also signals that despite having two years of past experience under its belt, the Cupertino-based company is still unable to accurately prepare its systems for the beating they'll take on day one.
post #2 of 131
Mine took about 5 minutes to activate this morning, so no crush at least as of 10:30 am EST.
post #3 of 131
Activation through iTunes took maybe 5 minutes tops for me too. I had to restart the phone for it to actually connect to AT&T cell network though.
post #4 of 131
This is the reason that they should have let the preorders deliver early rather than holding them at carrier distribution centers. That would have staggered the demand on the servers and would have helped to mitigate the problems they are facing yet again. I'll get home and have to wait to activate because they plan poorly.

Maybe Apple and AT&T were meant for each other.....MMS and Tethering.....
post #5 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by wally626 View Post

Mine took about 5 minutes to activate this morning, so no crush at least as of 10:30 am EST.

Lucky You!!! \ Thanks Apple! I guess I have to carry both around when mine finally starts to work? So much for a Happy Father's Day weekend!
post #6 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In a near repeat of problems that plagued last year's iPhone 3G launch, Apple's iPhone activation servers are showing signs of buckling under the pressure of hundreds of thousands of customers who are attempting to activate their new handsets and warning of delays that could span two days.

"Your activation requires additional time to complete. Due to the current activation volumes, it may take up to 48 hours to resolve your issue," reads a message spit out by iTunes when attempting to activate a new iPhone 3G S after noon eastern time on Friday. "We will send a confirmation to [your email address] once your activation is complete."

Apple, in the same message, apologizes for the inconvenience and says that customers can proceed to setup their new handsets and explore features that do not require access to AT&T's network. After disconnecting from iTunes, a message appears on the iPhone 3G S's screen that says: "Waiting for activation. This may take some times."

While many customers acquiring their new iPhones in Europe or during the early morning hours in the US reported activating their devices quickly and without issue, AppleInsider can corroborate that activations delays are spreading rapidly. Both our new iPhone 3G S's remain in the state seen in the below image.

The activation issues draw parallels to the high-tech meltdown that spoiled last year's iPhone 3G launch from the onset, leaving thousands of customers with iPhones that couldn't function or make calls, as the iTunes servers required to fully activate them were knocked offline for extended periods of time.



Friday's complications underscore the complexity Apple faces in orchestrating a multi-national product launch of such scale, but also signals that despite having two years of past experience under its belt, the Cupertino-based company is still unable to accurately prepare its systems for beating they'll take on day one.

Perhaps if Apple had let the iPhones that were scheduled to arrive via UPS yesterday actually arrive yesterday, and those people activated a day earlier, that maybe this would not be such an issue today?

Just a thought...
post #7 of 131
I don't think anyone could have really predicted just how huge the demand was going to be for the 3G S.

All we've heard for the last month was about how Palm will steal a good chunk of former iPhone users or potential iPhone users - how everyone will be flocking to the Pre.

Didn't happen. In fact, exactly the opposite happened. It's as if the Pre is some distant memory. Anyway, Palm's dog and pony show will come to an end soon enough. We're already seeing disappointing sales figurs for the Pre, it's off to a slow start, and Palm does seem to *still* be buyout-bait.
post #8 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

I don't think anyone could have really predicted just how huge the demand was going to be for the 3G S.

All we've heard for the last month was about how Palm will steal a good chunk of former iPhone users or potential iPhone users - how everyone will be flocking to the Pre.

Didn't happen. In fact, exactly the opposite happened. It's as if the Pre is some distant memory. Anyway, Palm's dog and pony show will come to an end soon enough. We're already seeing disappointing sales figurs for the Pre, it's off to a slow start, and Palm does seem to *still* be buyout-bait.

zzzzzzzzz
post #9 of 131
I would be surprised if 95% that bought it today weren't able to activate tonight
post #10 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by wilco View Post

zzzzzzzzz

Quote:
People who start their post with "ummm" are invariably assholes.



Interesting.

What does that make people who post a string of z's as their only reply to a message?

post #11 of 131
So, if I am an at&t customer who is in possession of his first iPhone, what happens to me if I try to activate and get told to wait? Does my old phone still work? Do I have no phone until it goes through?
Should I wait until the volume goes down to initiate activation?
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post #12 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masteric View Post

Perhaps if Apple had let the iPhones that were scheduled to arrive via UPS yesterday actually arrive yesterday, and those people activated a day earlier, that maybe this would not be such an issue today?

Just a thought...

Why do you think they released the 3.0 update 2 days before?
post #13 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

So, if I am an at&t customer who is in possession of his first iPhone, what happens to me if I try to activate and get told to wait? Does my old phone still work? Do I have no phone until it goes through?
Should I wait until the volume goes down to initiate activation?

Your current iPhone continues to function until your new ones is activated. You just have to carry both around in the interim incase the switch happens when your out, because your current phone will lose service as soon as your new one picks up service.

K
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post #14 of 131
I got the same 'Waiting for activation' message and no signal on the iPhone when I tried thru' iTunes. Then I called ATT, the ATT rep asked for SIM card number (need to take SIM out - note that there is a pin in the package for this purpose) and IMEI number (on the iPhone package cover). In about two minutes it was activated.
post #15 of 131
all the hype about the preordering and shipping for delivery today, and after waiting for my delivery, it's making me wait "up to 48 hours" to activate and actually USE the phone i just paid $300 for? nice, at&t. if i were you, i would just hang my head in shame. lets' recap:

1. i wont actually count your attempt to overprice the phone, as you relented.
2. no tethering
3. no mms.
4. no activation - effectively wasting my time preordering. i should have just gone to the store.

bet this is your last "exclusive" iphone release. you have done nothing to earn our hearts, mind, or dollars. i cant wait for verizon to carry the iphone.
post #16 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by slesherinyork View Post

Lucky You!!! \ Thanks Apple! I guess I have to carry both around when mine finally starts to work? So much for a Happy Father's Day weekend!

My activation doesn't work also. But I just pop the old sim card from my iPhone 2G into the 3GS and it activated it. I guess this only works if you already have an activated iPhone (sim card) with you. I'm now using the 3GS. Very excited.

Btw, this is my first post. Registered just to share my experience so we have less frustrated iPhone users.
post #17 of 131
Apple is probably working on this as fast as possible. To handle this load about once a year probably doesn't justify building extra infrastructure. Hopefully these activations will happen via E-mail soon.
post #18 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

I don't think anyone could have really predicted just how huge the demand was going to be for the 3G S.

All we've heard for the last month was about how Palm will steal a good chunk of former iPhone users or potential iPhone users - how everyone will be flocking to the Pre.

Didn't happen. In fact, exactly the opposite happened. It's as if the Pre is some distant memory. Anyway, Palm's dog and pony show will come to an end soon enough. We're already seeing disappointing sales figurs for the Pre, it's off to a slow start, and Palm does seem to *still* be buyout-bait.

One person did...... Steve Jobs.
post #19 of 131
I had no problems activating, activated fine around 12:30 PM EST
post #20 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by adamw View Post

Apple is probably working on this as fast as possible. To handle this load about once a year probably doesn't justify building extra infrastructure. Hopefully these activations will happen via E-mail soon.

There's a lot of people here that wouldn't agree with you =P
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post #21 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by techyogi View Post

all the hype about the preordering and shipping for delivery today, and after waiting for my delivery, it's making me wait "up to 48 hours" to activate and actually USE the phone i just paid $300 for? nice, at&t. if i were you, i would just hang my head in shame. lets' recap:

1. i wont actually count your attempt to overprice the phone, as you relented.
2. no tethering
3. no mms.
4. no activation - effectively wasting my time preordering. i should have just gone to the store.

bet this is your last "exclusive" iphone release. you have done nothing to earn our hearts, mind, or dollars. i cant wait for verizon to carry the iphone.

Judging from your verbiage I'm guessing you didn't get one so they are not making *you* do anything...
post #22 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by TS@Waltham View Post

I got the same 'Waiting for activation' message and no signal on the iPhone when I tried thru' iTunes. Then I called ATT, the ATT rep asked for SIM card number (need to take SIM out - note that there is a pin in the package for this purpose) and IMEI number (on the iPhone package cover). In about two minutes it was activated.

Why didn't you just use a sim from a AT&T Pre Paid Go Phone, it works.
post #23 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Fred 1 View Post

One person did...... Steve Jobs.

Hehe, true.
post #24 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Fred 1 View Post

Why didn't you just use a sim from a AT&T Pre Paid Go Phone, it works.

I do not have one
post #25 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

I don't think anyone could have really predicted just how huge the demand was going to be for the 3G S.

Seriously? The rush for the original and then 3G iPhones wouldn't have added up to just the tiniest hint?
post #26 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

I don't think anyone could have really predicted just how huge the demand was going to be for the 3G S.

With all due respect, there are people at Apple and AT&T whose only job is to anticipate market demands. They literally have nothing else to distract them from gathering every bit of info they need to accurately predict things like this. Just sayin'.
post #27 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big KC View Post

[/i]

Interesting.

What does that make people who post a string of z's as their only reply to a message?


ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZing!!!
post #28 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

I don't think anyone could have really predicted just how huge the demand was going to be for the 3G S.

on the contrary, both companies knew exactly what they were getting themselves into. they took pre-orders for ten days, so that was a known quantity.

and they architected the servers, so they knew capacity.

both things were and are quantifiable.

it seems that the activation issue is an at&t issue. given their level of customer service it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. one might have thought they could take some of last year's billions [with a "b"] in net profit and invest a little but hey, that would mean things might go right. and it's only the customer getting screwed, right?

my phone sat in the "take some time" state for 50 minutes before i picked up the phone and called at&t. all that needed to be done was to pop the sim and re-insert it. i feel for those of you not getting activated; i know i would be verily pissed. in a major way.
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post #29 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by abby1448 View Post

My activation doesn't work also. But I just pop the old sim card from my iPhone 2G into the 3GS and it activated it. I guess this only works if you already have an activated iPhone (sim card) with you. I'm now using the 3GS. Very excited.


So exactly when during the process can you take the SIM card from your old 3G and put it in the new 3Gs? Can you do that right out of the box? Do you need to connect to iTunes first?
post #30 of 131
So how does this work exactly. If I'm on AT&T now, and go update to an iPhone tonight, does my old phone die while I wait for the iPhone to activate? Will I be phone-less indefinitely?
post #31 of 131
I got in line at 7AM and waited for just over an hour and a half at the Apple store at La Encantada in Tucson AZ and couldn't get in to get my two reserved iPhone 3GSes. There were 50-60 people ahead of me and in that 90 minutes I'd say maybe 10 people got their phones. I figured it would take at least 3-4 hours at that rate for me to get my phones. I will try back later (and maybe try my local Walmart, ATT etc.).

I was at the back of a line of maybe 100 people on day one in 2007 in San Diego and got my 1st gen iPhones within 45 minutes, but back then you could activate at home. The policy of activating in the stores is terribly counter-productive IMHO. If only I had known that if you buy it online, it is activated by ATT before it ships -- according to an Apple rep at the store.

Consider ordering online if you haven't already purchased. At least today, waiting in line may not be worth your time.
post #32 of 131
Thanks for the tip... I'll give it a try before they are swamped too...
post #33 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by roehlstation View Post

Why do you think they released the 3.0 update 2 days before?

Software update and activation use entirely different servers, so you're comparing apples & oranges.
post #34 of 131
My boyfriend's phone wasn't activating within the 10 minutes the Apple dude told us, so after about 20 I turned it off and on, then it was fine. This was a little after 10 am PST.
post #35 of 131
I activated and it said it could take time. Two minutes later my buddy called me. I thought it was an AT&T confirmation call at first. So it was pretty much instantanious for me. This was about fifteen minutes ago.
post #36 of 131
I'm really shocked this happened again. I thought releasing the 3.0 Update two days early and taking pre-orders would have helped prevent a repeat of last year's debacle (maybe those measures did help to some degree). Good work to the people who braved the early-morning lines and beat the rush. Tough luck for those still awaiting activation. Hang in there. I can't imagine any pending activations actually taking the full 48 hours.

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post #37 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by ort View Post

So how does this work exactly. If I'm on AT&T now, and go update to an iPhone tonight, does my old phone die while I wait for the iPhone to activate? Will I be phone-less indefinitely?

If you pick it up at an Apple store and do not activate it there, I think so. If it's shipped to you, then no. It won't die until you activate your new phone. I had mine shipped to me and just activated the 3GS and my 2G lost service right after. (tear)
post #38 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by YodaMac View Post

So exactly when during the process can you take the SIM card from your old 3G and put it in the new 3Gs? Can you do that right out of the box? Do you need to connect to iTunes first?

I first connect the new 3GS to iTune. It already has a sim inside. iTune tried to activate it but show me the "wait 48 hours" message. I then swap the sim from my 2G phone and 3GS activated itself. Simple as that. I think the step is

1. Connect the new 3GS to iTune, allow it to attempt to activate.
2. When failed, swap the old sim in. 3GS will now activate itself.
post #39 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by YodaMac View Post

So exactly when during the process can you take the SIM card from your old 3G and put it in the new 3Gs? Can you do that right out of the box? Do you need to connect to iTunes first?

agreed, i need more details, fedex just dropped mine off, i really have no desire to carry 2 phones around for the weekend.
post #40 of 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

Software update and activation use entirely different servers, so you're comparing apples & oranges.

Really? The iPhone 3.0 Software Update is applied through iTunes, as is Activation. Or so I thought.

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