Rush of iPhone 4S activations forces some on AT&T into holding pattern

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Some customers attempting to activate their new iPhone 4S on Friday encountered server problems, and were met with a message in iOS 5 stating their activation was "pending." [Update: Some activations now "unavailable."]



Those users who cannot activate have apparently had their attempt placed in a queue, as the iOS 5 setup notification states that the user will receive an e-mail notification when their pending activation is completed.



The problem appears to lie with AT&T's activation servers, as a number of customers have reported difficulty getting their iPhone 4S up and running on the carrier's network. Friday's launch marks the first time in the U.S. that a new iPhone has debuted simultaneously on carriers other than AT&T, with Verizon and Sprint joining the fray.



Some customers on AT&T reported being stuck in the activation process for hours on Friday. The situation is particularly frustrating as the new iPhone 4S cannot be used, and its new features like Siri cannot be tested until the device is activated.



Update: Later Friday, some users began receiving a new error message: "iPhone activations are unavailable at this time." It states that the system is "unable" to process any new activations, and users are advised to try again later (see screenshot below).



Activation issues with a new iPhone on launch day with AT&T are not new. For example, in 2009 Apple warned users that activations of the then-new iPhone 3GS could take up to two days.



Previously, activations were accomplished by plugging an iPhone into a Mac or PC via USB and completing the process through iTunes. But the new iPhone 4S comes preinstalled with iOS 5, which allows for PC-free setup and activation directly on the device.











Friday's launch of the iPhone 4S is the largest debut yet for a new iPhone model. In addition to being available on three carriers in the U.S., the new device is also available in Canada, Australia, the U.K., France, Germany and Japan. Apple's stores opened at 8 a.m. local time to begin sales, drawing crowds around the world.
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 63
    Yikes! I guess it's not such bad thing after all that mine hasn't gotten here yet. Still, I wish UPS would hurry its ass up already!
  • Reply 2 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacDevil View Post


    Yikes! I guess it's not such bad thing after all that mine hasn't gotten here yet. Still, I wish UPS would hurry its ass up already!



    I had no problem activating mine...
  • Reply 3 of 63
    alr26alr26 Posts: 29member
    I flagged down my UPS driver, and like the rest of AT&T I am in the "holding patern". \
  • Reply 4 of 63
    jj.yuanjj.yuan Posts: 212member
    Don't remember any news about AT&T server delay for a major Android phone release. Have I missed something?
  • Reply 5 of 63
    rbonnerrbonner Posts: 635member
    I love that Apple and UPS can deliver millions of these on day 1, but AT&T, our network provider, can't properly load balance servers.
  • Reply 6 of 63
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,035member
    AT&T sucks. That is all.
  • Reply 7 of 63
    http://wireless.att.com/activations



    went there and it worked fine.



    restarted my iPhone and it found service
  • Reply 8 of 63
    alr26alr26 Posts: 29member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post


    Don't remember any news about AT&T server delay for a major Android phone release. Have I missed something?



    Who want's to wait in a line for a droid? Far more iPhones are actived in one day than droid has in several days after a new release.
  • Reply 9 of 63
    This afternoon is going to be very interesting as people get home and unwrap their new 4S.



    (unless there are instructions to the contrary) My plan is to download only iOS 5. Then after the sw pkg is validated, as a second step, I'll then upgrade her existing handset to iOS 5 first.



    Then backup the existing handset via a wired sync, and then upgrade the software on the existing handset.



    Only then do I plan to activate the new 4S. Mixing "activation" and "data migration" feels like too much as one step with this level of connectivity errors/timeouts.
  • Reply 10 of 63
    alr26alr26 Posts: 29member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tazinlwfl View Post


    http://wireless.att.com/activations



    went there and it worked fine.



    restarted my iPhone and it found service



    I tried that method and got this error:



    "ACT005: We apologize for any inconvenience. iPhone users must connect to iTunes to activate service. All other users click here to register your mobile number and update your new equipment. If you need further assistance, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-331-0500."
  • Reply 11 of 63
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Got mine about an hour ago-- it's on Verizon. No hitches whatsoever. Love it. Siri rocks.
  • Reply 12 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ALR26 View Post


    I tried that method and got this error:



    "ACT005: We apologize for any inconvenience. iPhone users must connect to iTunes to activate service. All other users click here to register your mobile number and update your new equipment. If you need further assistance, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-331-0500."



    Very odd - I did mine just hours ago. It let me complete the set-up process (over wi-fi) and then when it said "No Service" at the top I tried to make a call and it wouldn't work (611 neither), I went to the email AT&T sent me and followed the instructions. It worked perfectly.
  • Reply 12 of 63
    Have one 4s registered this morning, the second one still has not been able to register. Sucks. I wish they would have at least saved your information to make it easier to resubmit your request. Small price to pay.
  • Reply 14 of 63
    Ya' know...



    How much of a technology breakthrough would it take for Apple and the carriers to develop a "pre-authorized" system...



    Much like you can make 911 calls on an unauthorized phone, why couldn't you have a limited amount of voice and data available, out of the box?



    This would eliminate:



    1) in-store delays to open and authorize the phones.



    2) millions of day-1 hits on the carriers servers rippling through the Internet around the globe



    3) long lines, extra employees, extra time for each transaction



    4) customer dissatisfaction -- I bought it, paid for it, waited for it, got it... but I can't use it!



    (all I really want to do is play/talk with Siri).





    In fact, a really classy, customer-oriented setup would be for the carrier to call your phone to permanently activate it, OTA, when its server activity permits a fast activation.



    'course, that would be the logical way to handle it...



    (Mine's still on the truck for delivery)
  • Reply 15 of 63
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 664member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post


    Don't remember any news about AT&T server delay for a major Android phone release. Have I missed something?



    No, the servers were able to handle all 12 of you.
  • Reply 16 of 63
    I'm not sure that the problem is with AT&T and I suspect it is Apple's servers that are causing the problem. When I got the error I called AT&T, gave them the IMEI for the phone, and they activated it. However, the iPhone still requires going through the activation wizard, which I assume hits the Apple servers, so I'm stuck.
  • Reply 17 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post


    Don't remember any news about AT&T server delay for a major Android phone release. Have I missed something?



    What does it mean: "major Android phone release"?
  • Reply 18 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by writhe View Post


    I'm not sure that the problem is with AT&T and I suspect it is Apple's servers that are causing the problem. When I got the error I called AT&T, gave them the IMEI for the phone, and they activated it. However, the iPhone still requires going through the activation wizard, which I assume hits the Apple servers, so I'm stuck.



    What is the "activation wizard"?
  • Reply 19 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


    What is the "activation wizard"?



    When you turn on your iPhone 4S, it asks a series of questions (ex. language, country, billing zip code, etc.) much like an installer for a program on your computer before contacting remote servers. While it's trying to contact the servers, it displays a message the basically says, "Trying to activate the phone. This process may take up to three minutes."
  • Reply 20 of 63
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jj.yuan View Post


    Don't remember any news about AT&T server delay for a major Android phone release. Have I missed something?



    Guess the major Android phone release wasn't so 'major'
Sign In or Register to comment.