I just got my new iPhone and I go through the steps to activate it. Guess what, I am told that AT&T’s servers are too busy with activating iPhones. I will have to wait for mine to be activated. Let me take you through the unboxing and then failure of activation message.

Unboxing the iPhone 3GS:

Unboxing iPhone 3GS Unboxing iPhone 3GS Unboxing iPhone 3GS

Now I plug it in, to activate:

Unboxing iPhone 3GS

Step 1:

iPhone AT&T Activation Failure 1

Step 2:

iPhone AT&T Activation Failure 2

Step 3:

iPhone AT&T Activation Failure 3

Step 4: FAILURE!!!

iPhone AT&T Activation Failure 4 iPhone AT&T Activation Failure

Website Comments

  1. Simcha

    I had the same screen trying to activate 3.0 on the 3G through Rogers. I needed to get to their server to download the new carrier file which I assume is needed for tethering.

  2. Josh Bobb

    Just got my phone about 1 hour ago in the Apple store in downtown SF. Still not activated. I get the “No Service” message on the phone itself, where the “AT&T” should be. I heard up to 48 hours from some people. I hope it doesn’t take that long.

    Apple = win. AT&T = fail.

  3. bfd

    That’s a iPhone Day Downer. My experience with the original iPhone was similar – took two days to get it online.

    I guess I just lucked out this time – as soon as I hooked up with iTunes at home, the new phone completed the activation and I’m back in business. All told, I was without cell service only for about 30 minutes (the time it took to drive home from the Apple Store and restore the iPhone)

    If you’re porting over a number from another provider or getting new AT&T service, then yes, you may be in for a wait. I think the keys for me were doing the initial set-up at the Apple Store and already having an iPhone with AT&T. The only difference is an extra $10/mo for data – which seems OK if 3G works consistently.

    ***Don’t forget to do a backup of your old iPhone before you go to buy the new one, that way you’ll be able to sync and go. (right click or control-click on iTunes when your old iPhone is plugged in to get the backup option).

  4. brian

    I had the “Waiting for activation” message displayed on my phone as well, but after I turned the phone off and on it activated right away. It could be a lucky coincidence, but it’s worth a shot.

  5. David

    I removed the sim card and reinserted, then the phone activated immediately.

  6. phone

    five hours and still waiting for activation. Tried all the tips listed here but now luck. I’m going to try turning it off, gently rubbing an egg on it, and then rebooting to see if this helps.

  7. Tony Filippelli

    Quick reboot did the trick for me. I noticed my old iphone said no service on it, so I rebooted the new one. Low and behold it connected right away.

  8. Cpo

    I had the same problem. I removed the sim card and replaced. After reboot, it worked right away.

  9. Lorna

    For those of you replacing an older iPhone… Once you activated the new one did the old one still work (can it be used as an iTouch now?) with no cell service?

  10. kda

    Even the egg didn’t work. Still get teh “Waiting for activation” message. Is there anything else I should be rubbing?

  11. GP

    Tried everything except the egg and no luck. Guess I’ll have to be patient, but I don’t like it.

  12. Brian

    I’ve been waiting for activation for about 10 hours now. I have removed the SIM and rebooted several times – no change…dang it!

  13. Travis

    Put in the sim from my old iphone and got service. should work until att can get around to killing the old sim and activating the new one.

  14. Jim

    got my iPhone about 3pm on Friday. Still waiting for activation. Tried restarting a few times, just tried popping out the SIM card. Don’t have any eggs. But I’m about to go get a breakfast taco and that’ll have eggs…

  15. Chelsea

    got my phone around 4PM yesterday. had it shipped to my house. i went to at&t to ask if it was possible to make the activation faster over there but they just old me to call customer service. and with that, they said that they couldn’t do anything to activate it but just wait.

    so this morning, it still wasn’t activated and i switched the sim card from my old iphone to the new one. it activated the new one. and then i switched the sims back. still activated, still working. haha.

  16. Jojo

    Same problem as everyone else. Power cycling and rebooting made no difference. It sat for 12+ hours and nothing. Finally swapped in the SIM card from my 1st gen iphone, and it activated in 10 seconds.

    Does this mean, at some point, it will die and I’ll have to swap the SIMs again? Or since it never activated on the new SIM, I’m good to go as-is with the old SIM?

  17. MZ

    Got my phone at 12:00pm and proceeded with activation, and got the dreaded “may take 48 hours to activate.” Well nearly 24 hours later and I STILL HAVE NO SERVICE. My fiance’s phone worked IMMEDIATELY and she did her 4 hours after I did! This sux!

  18. MZ

    *UPDATE* Tried all the tips and tricks found online … removing sim cards, rebooting the phone and even turning off 3G from the setting menu and rebooting (found on Apple.com) and nothing seemed to work. Well EXACTLY 24 hours later my iPhone 3G S finally WORKS! I Guess AT&T finally got around to it. I noticed my old 2G phone no longer had service and I received a text from AT&T on the 3G S!

  19. Starr

    Ugh. Guess I’m one of the unlucky ones. Over 24 hours with no activation. Tried all the tricks to no avail. Sigh.

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