And the iPhone activation problems begin… - Macenstein

And the iPhone activation problems begin…

Those of us who managed to live through the painful debacle that was the last iPhone launch (my activation took 5 days, thank you very much AT&T) may be interested to know that Apple may not have learned all its lessons from AT&T’s mistakes. According to faithful Macenstein reader Dave, Apple is having some slight technical problems at its Ann Arbor, Michigan store activating the new iPhone 3G for customers.

“Word from Ann Arbor, MI: an Apple rep came out of the store saying “our corporate servers are down” and that they were having technical difficulties. I can’t find anything on the wire about this being nation-wide, but I thought I’d let someone know.”

Dave, you did the right thing in telling us. Now we can get over there and fix it. Just hold on, we’re coming. – The Doc

[UPDATE: Yes, the problem now seems to be nationwide and getting worse as more time zones come online. Many customers being told to activate the devices at home, which kind of makes you wonder how “mandatory” the mandatory in-store activation really is…]

[UPDATE 2: From Dave “Servers are back up, but are “up and down” the rep says.“]

19 Responses to “And the iPhone activation problems begin…”
  1. Dave-O says:

    My understanding is you have to pay $600 if you want to activate at home.

    Two strikes against at&t, I wonder if that exclusivity arrangement has a three strikes clause.

  2. Brad says:

    Yup. Walked out with mine just a little while ago. Not only could they not activate it, but for some reason, they couldn’t sell it to me without deactivating the old phone. Nice job guys.

  3. Jason Langford says:

    I’m at the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Florida and an Apple Store employee came out about 45 minutes ago and notified us that AT&T servers were down and they were having trouble activating phones. Since then I’ve seen 7 people walk in and none have come out with phones.

  4. darrell says:

    seems like it’s more of Apples servers and not AT&Ts. my first Gen iPhone took forever to update it’s firmware this morning it affected tons of others too. when it comes down to it, it might just be bandwidth issues – you can only be prepared for so much.

  5. Torg says:

    just updated my 1st gen iphone… took an hour to d/l – then when you think its done the phone restarts. Then it was an hours worth of errors from itunes (connection with server) – I kept retrying until I got through (about an hour and a half). All seems to be working now.
    -d (portland,or)

  6. Jacob W. says:

    I love how the problems start in the Ann Arbor store, the only place where I can buy an iPhone.

  7. Wayne says:

    No, don’t make excuses for Apple. They knew that every single First-Gen iPhone would be updated within hours of releasing the software. And they should have known that they’d sell out their initial allocation of 3G phones in the first weekend.

    My First-Gen iPhone is currently bricked because of their incompetence. My MobileMe/.Mac web access was down for 36 hours in the rollover, and is currently not working as I desperately try to get some phone numbers via MobileMe. (Remember, my iPhone’s dead.)

  8. Alex says:

    This can’t be right. Steve Jobs and Jonny Ives must have designed this into the iPhone experience somehow. It’s genius and our puny minds can’t comprehend it. I’m telling you, you are just too dumb to enjoy the serenity of a bricked iPhone. It’s the calm before the joy.

  9. davewhippedgoliath says:

    I have 4 people at work with useless original iPhone’s they upgraded but failed the reactivation process with iTunes till they can connect they have no access to their phone

  10. Noah says:

    LOL it is definitly the calm before the storm. Something was bound to happen like this, they fix it fast, no problem 🙂

  11. Tony says:

    Guess I was lucky updating to iPhone 2.0 . Started hitting the iTunes site at 8am (1.1.4 was still posted) with the 2.0 update showing up around 8:20am. Connected quickly but the process slowed as the update continued. Total time about 40 minutes.

    However… been having some quirky issues with my email ever since. Mail was downloading older emails from the past 2 weeks. After deleting about 80 messages, everything seem to be operating smoothly, including access to the App Store

  12. Jason Langford says:

    I’m still in line at Mall at Millenia, and we’ve moved a lot in the past couple of hours! While waiting in line I was browsing Gizmodo and apparently they’ve activated several iPhones by doing the following:

    When activating your iPhone KEEP IT PLUGGED IN after you receive an error message in iTunes(if you’re lucky enough to receive one!). Give it about 10-15 minutes without closing iTunes or unplugging the phone and the process should go through. Word on the street is that all servers are operational, they’re just excessively slow.

    Not sure if that will help those who are trying to get Generation 1 iPhones to 2.0, but I thought that was some decent information to share! Good luck activating!

  13. Glad you guys got the message. I guess Apple wasn’t honoring any discounts either – a rep came out and told us that while we were still in line. I hear now that people are having trouble activation phones at home. Between this and MobileMe, it’s been a helluva ordeal. California started grabbing phones not too long ago: I wonder how the West Coast is faring in this mess.

  14. D9 says:

    I guess this is why Apple is a not a major player in the enterprise market.


  15. darrell says:

    funny thing is that this is affecting almost everyone in just a few hours, but now everything seems to be working normally for me. i guess thats what happens when you have an international rollout. servers can only take soo much. i’m not forgiving Apple of AT&T for this debacle – but there’s only so much bandwidth that a server can take i’m sure.

  16. aranhamo says:

    MobileMe still isn’t working either, or rather and the web apps.

  17. Frank says:

    If AT&T does not have the infrastructure to support in-store activation of the iPhone, they should not require it. Why do you have to activate in-store and not at home?


    Apple and AT&T couldn’t bear to have their phones jailbreaked and lose money. Instead of using intelligence to solve that, they put the burden on us to wait longer in line, and have activations fail.

    Well, at least some people have hardware. I waited 2 1/2 hours and they ran out of phones.

    Way to go, Apple and AT&T.

  18. Trish says:

    So you could have been at the Plano Texas store today where security decided to clear the entire mall because someone dropped a purchase while leaving Macy’s. Suspicious package? Maybe an Apple directive was behind this to buy some time and not make their store seem so lame-o with activations.

  19. Brad Balach says:

    just to let you know, there are two activations for the phone, one on the easypay wich connects the phone to AT&T’s network, the other is a software activation that gets the phone up and running, the second one is the one that is down, it was a problem with the iTunes servers.

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