Apple iPhone 4: Activation problems for early owners

By Alan Ng - Jun 24, 2010

For those of you were lucky enough to receive your shipped iPhone 4 handset a few days before everyone else, it looks as if some users haven’t been able to use the device due to activation being required by Apple.

Thankfully, those of you who had been unable to use the device will be able to do so today – as we have now entered the official launch day for the device.

Apple may be trying to activate a portion of iPhone 4 handsets at a time, as they are probably keen to avoid activation problems which plagued the iPhone 3GS launch last year.

Let us know your thoughts on this. Did you receive your iPhone 4 early? More importantly – were you able to use it straight away?


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Also See: In-car iPhone 5, 4/4S holder options – Hands-on review

  • john

    I went to sams club and picked up my EVO went to walmart Picked up my Iphone4 both were activated in seconds. no issues no waiting..Took Iphone4 back the next day….Love the EVO and 3GS they both just work…Will wait till jan to upgrade to the 4 again needs to be debugged..

  • Martinb


  • Kate

    I got mine yesterday, plugged it in about 5pm last night. 24 hours later and still “Waiting for activation – this may take some time”! How much longer 🙁 Also has anyone noticed how crappy the flash is? I’m a bit worried it’s only mine. All the pics come out bright blue!

  • jmagee

    was waiting for 16 hours for activation – restarting per the advice here and it activated in 2 minutes.

    ATT customer services told me that all i could do is wait.

  • Erica

    I got the phone, tried to do the online activation. I got an error. I tried calling the toll free number, and it told me I had already accepted the terms and conditions. Phone reads "Waiting for Activation This May Take Some Time". Do I need to call in since I was not able to set up the activation as directed?

  • Mike

    Received phone at 4pm CST; charged unit for two hours. Was able to activate online using the businesscenter URL from ATT; old iPhone remained active during this time but 20 minutes later still no new activation. I then thought to power OFF the old phone and then power cycle the new iPhone4 – it worked. Could be coincidence, but seemed to save many hours from prior posts.

  • Andy

    Update… Finally realized I needed to turn it off and back on again! Worked immediately once I dd that… duh!

  • bailey

    from okc, got my phone around 3:00 today . after some technical difficulties i got mine synced up around 7:30. waiting for activation and praying it doesn't take forever.

  • MikeD

    If both phones show no service, power cycle the new phone. This worked for me.

  • Jason

    Got mine today. Activated online at 4pm still waiting over 2 hours later.. booooooooooooo

  • Parker

    Here is how you fix this problem: Restore your phone thru iTunes – like me it is likely you had your phone activating thru iTunes right as you were doing the activation on AT&Ts website. Once I did a restore it activated upon restart.

  • jdk

    almost forgot the wifes which arrived yesterday activated immediately…..i mean wtf?

  • jdk

    Seems we all have one thing in common here…two expensive bricks!! Been playing with mine for over 1 1/2 hours now and its still "Waiting for activation". The "This may take some time" is a f*in joke. Like jjwsei said, if they can take the time to deactivate the old one then spend another 30 seconds to activate my new one.

  • Kyle

    I got my phone in the mail at like noon. I hooked it up to itunes and registered it right away. It's now after 6 and I'm still waiting on activation. My 3gs still works too.

  • Noons

    Picked up at AT&T store at 10 am, still waiting for activation 5 hours later. Called the 800 number and store, they say it will activate sometime later today. Nobody has a clue!

  • Pat

    Received one of ours a day early from Apple and it activated immediately upon connecting to iTunes. Received the other today from AT&T and while it says activated on AT&T site, it says it might be up to 4 hours before its ready to use (as a phone). My old phone is already disconnected though….

  • jjwsei

    Got my phone today. Activated it by calling the toll free number. Within an hour my old phone was deactivated but my new phone was not activated. Waited for 2 hours then called AT&T. They said it may take up to 24 hours for my new phone to become active. What the hell!! I mean if they can take the time to deactivate my old phone then activate my new one. Unfortunately I'm not surprised.

  • johnnydfred

    Received my iPhone today. Have loaded 13GB of data (about 2 hrs), but still waiting for activation. "This may take some time" it says. Really? No, really.

  • jane

    I received my iphone about an hour ago and am still waiting for it to activate- crossing my fingers for sooner rather than later!

  • Bruce

    My wife's iphone 4 showed up yesterday and it worked perfectly out of the box. Mine arrived today and I am waiting for it to be activated. Other experiences similar to Dave Meeker's above. While it is waiting to be activated, the signal display regions says "no signal" but the wifi works great.

  • Andy

    From OKC… I received mine on the 23rd, activated online about 9pm and am still waiting for service to start. It is now 10am on the 24th.

  • Owen

    I got my phone on the 23rd and it’s now 7am on the 24th with still no activation. I don’t want to carry around two phones incase it happens later today but I have no choice I guess… Oh well.

  • Manso

    Got my phone yesterday. Booted it up this morning and I'm still waiting for activation. Let's hope it doesn't take all day.

  • Vareck Walla

    Fedex dropped the phone off about bout 4 pm central (Houston) set it up around 5pm. It is 6:30 am the next day…no activation. The old phone was instantly deactivated, so now I have 2 dead phones and an angry wife who is using my phone (3gs) until hers is running. I am pretty irritated with the whole process and plan on having my bill prorated for how ever long it was inactive.

  • Chris

    will it activate soon as long as its connected to itunes? mines not activating either and ive just recieved mine an hour ago….

  • chris

    from congers NY, got my phone about 1pm, activated it successfully through the web at about 4pm, instantly worked.

  • I received mine a day early, installed the new iTunes, synced it, and am waiting for activation about 3 hours later. Hoping it kicks in soon. In the meantime, my 3Gs is still active. It would have been a better experience if that expectation was set during the setup process. It did warn me, however, stating that it would take some time to activate and I'd receive an email when it was ready to go. I did get the email from Apple, along with an activation ID number… However it doesn't seem that AT&T has caught up with that yet.

    In the meantime, WIFI works, and the phone is great (aside from being able to make calls or get on the AT&T network, but what else is new? I've had that problem for years now…) 🙂