iphoneTales of activation problems on all three U.S. carriers were widespread yesterday. An InformationWeek article claimed that the problem was not with the carriers, but instead was on Apple's end -- specifically with iTunes activation:

It was suggested to me by someone with knowledge of the situation that Apple's servers are most likely to blame for the problems. An employee at one of the three major carriers who asked not to be named told me in an email, "Yes, my IT people aren't happy. The activation issue is out of the Apple stores ... on all carriers."

An article on iSource.com claims Apple had a "system issue" around 11:30AM Pacific time that affected activation of all iPhones.

Regardless of the difficulties, it seems iPhone 4S launch day was a success for Sprint, AT&T and Apple -- though Verizon oddly didn't announce any launch-day sales figures -- with most customers getting their activation issues worked out, eventually.

Top Rated Comments

kleinias Avatar
131 months ago


Verizon just got the 4 not that long ago so would not be surprised by their lower sales. Also their original launch was underwhelming. I think people who use their phones with data need a faster network thus Verizon rules the faux smartphone android market where the average user only uses a tiny fraction of data of an iPhone user.
I'm unsure that any of what you wrote is actually accurate at all (rather surprising considering your forum username). First, I was under the impression that Verizon's iPhone 4 launch was reasonably successful. Next, I've used an iPhone 4 (and now 4S) on both Verizon's and AT&T's network and the consensus actually seems to be that both networks have their faults.

Verizon's network is superior when it comes to coverage and consistency and AT&T's can offer superior data speeds when you have a good connection. It seems quite unlikely that any of that really has to do with why folks get an iPhone or Android phone on Verizon's network (or AT&T's for that matter). I mean, wouldn't a persons first guess be that a lot of folks have Android phones on Verizon because Verizon didn't offer the iPhone until fairly recently.

Lastly, I fully realize this is a Apple-centric forum and I'm an iPhone (and Mac) user (and I've never owned an Android phone), but calling Android phones "faux smartphone(s)" makes you sound as petty as when they say the same thing regarding Apple products.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
haydn! Avatar
131 months ago
Android does not have this problem, nor does SE, nor Nokia. It is the operators pure and simple.

But when has Sony E, Nokia or any single Android handset maker attempted to active 1million+ handsets in a single day?

I think if you take into account the scale of the iPhone launch, to expect no problems at all is a little unrealistic. Apples servers are more than capable of handling everyday usage, but product launch days like this are just a handful of peak days per year.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wordoflife Avatar
131 months ago
The customers don't care who caused the bottle neck. At the end of the day, the customers are going to point their fingers at the carriers.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Finiksa Avatar
131 months ago
You are missing the point when you buy a Nokia or Samsung phone it works out of the box. There is no activation process. This all part of Apple desire for control that this process even exist.
That's not true, Nokia and other phones are locked in the factory and have carrier specific firmware installed in the factory. iPhones are identical and unlocked out of the factory, they're locked to a carrier (if at all) during activation.

Other phones also need to be activated, specifically GSM SIMs (usually while removed from the phone) and CDMA ESNs however this is done by the carrier in store or at the carriers office before shipping the phone. With iPhone you have the ability to do the activation yourself at home (theoretically).
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
minik Avatar
131 months ago
I spent 3.5 hours (from 8:15AM to 11:45AM PDT) yesterday with 2 different Apple Store employees, 2 on-site AT&T employees, and 3 phone calls with AT&T just to get one iPhone 4S. I'm already an AT&T customer with an iPhone 4, but I wanted to port my other T-mobile number to the new iPhone 4S. The SIM card inside the iPhone 4S was bad too.

It kept on going through the re-activation loop and I saw 8 different phone numbers under my name. The store employee told me to come back (today) and let the system clean out my records.

I came back to the store this morning and a new Apple employee tried to handle my problem which wasn't the best. Anyhow, I hunted down the worker who handled my case yesterday. We all stood right next to 3 AT&T employees with their laptop and doing all kinds of return/purchase/return/activate/re-activate, 90 mins later I walked out with the iPhone 4S.

I just let them do their 'job' without being angry at them.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tranceme Avatar
131 months ago
You are missing the point when you buy a Nokia or Samsung phone it works out of the box. There is no activation process. This all part of Apple desire for control that this process even exist.

Wrong. Not all Samsung phones come ready and activated. You're broad statement is incorrect. And, the process is different depending on the carrier. Heck, on Sprint, Epic requires going through a few steps. I agree that phone should be ready to roll.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
apple screen time screen icons

Persistent Kids Finding Loopholes in Apple's Screen Time Limits

Tuesday October 15, 2019 9:44 am PDT by
Apple is currently engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with persistent kids looking to circumvent Screen Time restrictions, but the company has been receiving some criticism for not moving quickly enough to lock down some of the loopholes, reports The Washington Post. A few of the loopholes and ways for parents to shut them down are documented on the site Protect Young Eyes, while these and...
2012macpro

Apple Outlines Metal-Capable Cards Compatible With macOS Mojave on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro Models

Monday September 24, 2018 3:26 pm PDT by
Apple's new macOS Mojave update is not compatible with mid-2010 and mid-2012 Mac Pros with stock GPUs, but it is supported on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models that have been upgraded with graphics cards that support Metal. Apple today shared a new support document that provides a list of graphics cards that are Metal-capable, which will be useful for 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro owners who want to...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
anker lightning cable mfi

Unwrap a New Apple Device? Stock Up on Extra Certified Lightning Cables for as Little as $6

Monday December 25, 2017 5:45 am PST by
If you unwrapped an Apple product today it likely came with one of the company's first-party Lightning cables, but having an extra on hand is always a good idea, so you can place it in other rooms in your house, in your car, or in a bag when you travel. For that reason, now's a good time to shop for third-party Lightning cables that are cheaper than Apple's own accessory, but still Made For...
ipad pro 10 5

Apple Discontinues 10.5-Inch iPad Pro Following Launch of Lower-Priced 10.5-Inch iPad Air

Monday March 18, 2019 6:09 am PDT by
Apple has stopped selling the second-generation 10.5-inch iPad Pro, originally released in June 2017, after launching a new 10.5-inch iPad Air today. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro had remained available from $649 following the release of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models in October 2018, but it has been replaced by the 10.5-inch iPad Air with a cheaper starting price of $499. The new iPad...