AT&T now offering home activation for iPhones sold online

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In an unexpected move Thursday, AT&T began accepting online orders for Apple's iPhone 3G, allowing customers to have the device shipped to their doorstep for activation within the comfort of their own homes.



The exclusive US iPhone carrier is accepting orders from both new AT&T customers as well as existing AT&T and iPhone customers who may want to add an additional line of service to their monthly plans.



As part of the online buying experience, the carrier is offering customers the option of speaking live to an AT&T representative through an online chat. After selecting a specific iPhone model, shoppers can choose their rate plan and add features such as roadside assistance, VoiceDial, and Smart Limits for parental controls.



Overnight shipping is free with each order, and AT&T says shoppers have 8 days left to order an iPhone online and have it arrive in time for Christmas. The online ordering process provides for number porting and will include a credit check for new customers who must provide their social security number.



As such, each iPhone 3G ordered online will be tied to a users account before it ships but won't be fully functional until customers plug the handset into their computer and activate it through iTunes.



A move towards online sales on AT&T's part is surprising given that Apple has thus far chosen not to offer a similar service through its own website. The only way to purchase an iPhone 3G from the electronics maker is hit up one of its brick-and-mortar retail stores.







In neither case can iPhones be purchased as gifts for non family members due to the need for personal and number porting information required at the point of sale. The only way to safely give the gift of iPhone this holiday season is to purchase an iPhone Gift Card from Apple's online or retail stores.



However, it would appear that parents could potentially order an iPhone as a gift for their children through the online process.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 38
    I hope that Apple.com starts selling them this way!
  • Reply 2 of 38
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member
    So from what I can tell, this still isn't like the first generation iPhone, correct? I mean, I still can't go into an Apple store, buy an iPhone, then take it home and activate it there myself?



    That's what I was hoping for.
  • Reply 3 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,614member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s


    That's what I was hoping for.



    I wonder why
  • Reply 4 of 38
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    So from what I can tell, this still isn't like the first generation iPhone, correct? I mean, I still can't go into an Apple store, buy an iPhone, then take it home and activate it there myself?



    That's what I was hoping for.



    It's not, in the sense that you can't buy an unregistered phone. If you order online, you get an unopened iPhone sent to your door, but the handset's hardware is linked to your personal information before it ships. This way you can't easily unlock it and export it for profit. You're committing to a two year service agreement when you submit your order.



    K
  • Reply 5 of 38
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I wonder why



    I don't want to commit to a contract. If I buy it directly from AT&T/Apple, I will have to sign up for a two-year contract as far as I know. I've told myself that I won't be strangled by contracts anymore.



    I would LIKE to buy a 32GB iPhone 3G (if they release it in January), but buy it from eBay for less than retail with no strings attached (maybe even get in a MS Live Search discount if it's still around). I would then sell my 32GB iPod touch 2G to make up some of the cost.



    Then I would "hopefully" be able to sign up for an AT&T account without any preconditions. I don't give a crap about T-Mobile.
  • Reply 6 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I don't want to commit to a contract. If I buy it directly from AT&T/Apple, I will have to sign up for a two-year contract as far as I know. I've told myself that I won't be strangled by contracts anymore.



    I would LIKE to buy a 32GB iPhone 3G (if they release it in January), but buy it from eBay for less than retail with no strings attached (maybe even get in a MS Live Search discount if it's still around). I would then sell my 32GB iPod touch 2G to make up some of the cost.



    Then I would "hopefully" be able to sign up for an AT&T account without any preconditions. I don't give a crap about T-Mobile.



    First of all you can't do this, 1 because you'll never find a 3G online for less than retail and 2 you can't activate a 3G for anything less than 2 years. I don't understand why people wait 6 months to get an iPhone 3G, you're just prolonging the time until you can upgrade again.
  • Reply 7 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    After selecting a specific iPhone model, shoppers can choose their rate plan and add features such as roadside assistance, VoiceDial, and Smart Limits for parental controls.



    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Voicedailing doesn't exist on the iPhone through any standard feature, so what is the article and/or AT&T talking about?
  • Reply 8 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luke1robb View Post


    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Voicedailing doesn't exist on the iPhone through any standard feature, so what is the article and/or AT&T talking about?



    Looking at the setup process it says:



    VoiceDail is $4.99/month and it includes: VoiceDail, VoiceClip, & VoiceInfo...



    Can someone explain all this to me? Trust me I'm a crazy Apple Fanboy Fanatic, and I am clueless on this.
  • Reply 9 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I don't want to commit to a contract. If I buy it directly from AT&T/Apple, I will have to sign up for a two-year contract as far as I know. I've told myself that I won't be strangled by contracts anymore.



    I would LIKE to buy a 32GB iPhone 3G (if they release it in January), but buy it from eBay for less than retail with no strings attached (maybe even get in a MS Live Search discount if it's still around). I would then sell my 32GB iPod touch 2G to make up some of the cost.



    Then I would "hopefully" be able to sign up for an AT&T account without any preconditions. I don't give a crap about T-Mobile.



    Yeah, keeping dreaming about that one. Every cell phone provider requires a contract, so I guess you won't be buying any cell phone. They need to make money too. Second, you will never find an unlocked iPhone 3G in any size for "less than retail" on eBay.



    And you will never be able to sign up for an AT&T account without any preconditions with an unlocked iPhone. So keep living in dreamland.
  • Reply 10 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luke1robb View Post


    Looking at the setup process it says:



    VoiceDail is $4.99/month and it includes: VoiceDail, VoiceClip, & VoiceInfo...



    Can someone explain all this to me? Trust me I'm a crazy Apple Fanboy Fanatic, and I am clueless on this.



    Possibly:

    That voice dial is not internal to the phone... the "voice recognition" part is at AT&T ...

    I had that service on my landline several years ago ... speed-dial a number that takes you to the phone companies "server"... then speak the name you want to call, and it would dial/forward you to it.



    Kinda half-ass and not worth the 3.99 or whatever they charged for it... i think i dropped it after one month because it was SO convenient!
  • Reply 11 of 38
    irelandireland Posts: 17,614member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I don't want to commit to a contract.



    Who does, I was having fun with you.
  • Reply 12 of 38
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by luke1robb View Post


    First of all you can't do this, 1 because you'll never find a 3G online for less than retail and 2 you can't activate a 3G for anything less than 2 years. I don't understand why people wait 6 months to get an iPhone 3G, you're just prolonging the time until you can upgrade again.



    1) Umm, it says on AT&T's website: "In the future, AT&T may offer a no-commitment option of $599 for 8GB and $699 for 16GB."

    http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-pho...phone-info.jsp



    2) I was talking about less than the $699 retail price, not the $299 price for the current 16GB 3G with a 2-year contract.



    3) Why would I burden myself with a 16GB iPhone when I have a 32GB iPod touch? If I'm gonna make the move to replace my iPod and my current phone, I want to have at least the storage capacity of my current touch. And only a 32GB iPhone 3G would satisfy that.
  • Reply 13 of 38
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,572member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hillstones View Post


    Yeah, keeping dreaming about that one. Every cell phone provider requires a contract, so I guess you won't be buying any cell phone. They need to make money too. Second, you will never find an unlocked iPhone 3G in any size for "less than retail" on eBay.



    And you will never be able to sign up for an AT&T account without any preconditions with an unlocked iPhone. So keep living in dreamland.



    I never said anything about wanting an unlocked phone -- as I said, I don't give a crap about T-Mobile which is my only other option in the United States as far as I know.



    I was simply talking about paying a higher upfront cost instead of being tied with the 2-year contract if I wanted to bolt or switch phones for some reason.
  • Reply 14 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In an unexpected move Thursday, AT&T began accepting online orders for Apple's iPhone 3G, allowing customers to have the device shipped to their doorstep for activation within the comfort of their own homes.



    That's how I got my iPhone from Rogers in July.
  • Reply 15 of 38
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    I never said anything about wanting an unlocked phone -- as I said, I don't give a crap about T-Mobile which is my only other option in the United States as far as I know.



    I was simply talking about paying a higher upfront cost instead of being tied with the 2-year contract if I wanted to bolt or switch phones for some reason.



    Your iPhone is locked to your SIM card, not the other way around. You can use your AT&T iPhone SIM card with (almost) any GSM phone in the market even if you have signed up for a 2 year contract.



    The only benefit for not signing a 2 year contract is if you plan to move out of the country within the 2 years. Even so, you can discontinue your contract for $175 (goes down $5 a month after the first year if I am not mistaken) and you save a lot money over buying an iPhone without a contract. So, if I were you I would pay the $199 or $299 for an iPhone with a contract and I decided to switch carrier or move out of the country I would pay the $175 cancelation fee ($699 - $299 - $175 = $225 saving over non-contract iPhone if it ever comes out).
  • Reply 16 of 38
    Unless I'm mistaken, paying the cancellation fee will not get you an unlocked phone, though. So you save 225, but get a brick instead...



    But ah, gifting subsidized phones. Nothing says I love you like: I've got you a third of a phone. I hope you like it, you'll have to pay the other two thirds.
  • Reply 17 of 38
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post


    Your iPhone is locked to your SIM card, not the other way around. You can use your AT&T iPhone SIM card with (almost) any GSM phone in the market even if you have signed up for a 2 year contract.



    I switched the SIM card from my AT&T Nokia dumb-phone into a friend's iPhone 3G, and it worked fine. The iPhone (with my card) answered calls to my number, and dialed out with the proper caller-ID. AFAICT, this only works with another AT&T SIM (not, for example, a T-Mobile SIM).



    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I plan to buy an iPhone in January after MW09, cancel the service and pay the one-time fee, and then use the iPhone with my cheap voice-only plan. (Let's not get into why I want an iPhone without AT&T's data plan here.) The Nokia will sit on a shelf as a backup.



    If I ever want to upgrade my plan in the future, I'll always have that option too.
  • Reply 18 of 38
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foobar View Post


    Unless I'm mistaken, paying the cancellation fee will not get you an unlocked phone, though. So you save 225, but get a brick instead...



    But ah, gifting subsidized phones. Nothing says I love you like: I've got you a third of a phone. I hope you like it, you'll have to pay the other two thirds.



    He wanted to be able to change phones not carriers. He can sell his locked iPhone on ebay for more than $what he paid for plus the cancelation fee or he can use turboSIM or similar tool to unlock it (I agree it is not as good as software unlock).
  • Reply 19 of 38
    dluxdlux Posts: 666member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    1) Umm, it says on AT&T's website: "In the future, AT&T may offer a no-commitment option of $599 for 8GB and $699 for 16GB."

    http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-pho...phone-info.jsp



    I seem to be having trouble finding that reference*. However, there is this:



    "Can I activate iPhone 3G on GoPhone Prepaid service?

    No. GoPhone Prepaid is not available for iPhone 3G at this time."



    (emphasis added)



    Hmmm.







    Edit: * Just found it - you have to click on "Current AT&T Customer" (direct links don't seem to work)
  • Reply 20 of 38
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dlux View Post


    I switched the SIM card from my AT&T Nokia dumb-phone into a friend's iPhone 3G, and it worked fine. The iPhone (with my card) answered calls to my number, and dialed out with the proper caller-ID. AFAICT, this only works with another AT&T SIM (not, for example, a T-Mobile SIM).



    As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I plan to buy an iPhone in January after MW09, cancel the service and pay the one-time fee, and then use the iPhone with my cheap voice-only plan. (Let's not get into why I want an iPhone without AT&T's data plan here.) The Nokia will sit on a shelf as a backup.



    If I ever want to upgrade my plan in the future, I'll always have that option too.



    Are you sure? I tried my wife Prepaid AT&T SIM card on my 3G iPhone and didn't work! are you sure it was 3G iPhone? you sure you did not use turbSIM or unlocking tool? I tried many SIM cards (non AT&T) with my 3G iPhone and non worked. This is why they called it locked. The phone only works with one SIM card.



    Edit: You are correct. It seems the 3G iPhone works with any AT&T SIM card but I don't know why it is not working with the prepaid one (even though many report them working). Maybe something wrong with mine.
Sign In or Register to comment.