iPhone 3G Activation Issues

iTunesWe’ll write a longer update later about our morning but while we were at the Apple Store (for 2 hours) there seemed to be a problem with the local network. Employees were scrambling fix routers, airport express and find hard wire cables but then realized it was not a local issues, but a worldwide issues. Both Apple stores and cellular service providers were having issues. Eventually the Apple employees just told me to take it home and activate it.

I stopped by the AT&T store and they were having the same problems. They went to just selling iPhones without activating them and just making sure people were signing up for service. We stopped at a local coffee house/restaurant, Panara Bread, and activated Brooke’s iPhone after about 3 attempts. My iPhone was another story! At the time of writing this article, I was still getting the following error every time I connected my iPhone via USB to our laptop and iTunes:

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  1. David Pexton says

    Does this essentially mean you can buy a 3g iphone and….that’s it? Then just wait for someone to unlock it?

    • I donĀ“t think so, since:

      “They went to just selling iPhones without activating them and just making sure people were signing up for service.”

      Any comment on this, anyone?

  2. It means you can sign the contract etc and take the unactivated iphone home and bang your head countless times against the desk while waiting for your phone to be activated.
    I’ve been trying to activate mine for the last 6 hours. :(
    Something i’ve noticed with mine is if you place your thumb in the middle of the screen and slide it off the phone to the left, it slides over the metal surround without catching anything on the way. If i do it to the right i can feel the metal surround sticking up slightly. It’s as if the screen has been pushed to far down on the right hand side. It’s bugging me :(

  3. maddcatt1 says

    So what version of Itunes where you using for activation?

  4. Yes i am in the same boat. I have been trying 6 hours as well. I called support and waited 30 min. to just be told there is nothing we can do. I can not receive or make calls. this sucks.

  5. I have an iPod Touch and I can not update! It’s really annoying! I’ve been trying all morning! Is there an iPod Touch firmware download I can get somewhere and just manually do it?

  6. David Pexton says

    Go to the pub

  7. And now, when I press “check for updates” I get a message saying “1.1.4 is the current software”

  8. wel my old iphone wont activate either,
    but after awhile it did activate but it still says connecting to itunes
    and then that error pops up
    and yea i guess they are down
    every one and there mom is trying to activate

  9. I tried going from 1.1.4 to 2.0, got an error in the update of a lost connection. Now I’m bricked and i’m getting this same message as above and also and unknown error (20). frustrating…

  10. the same problem in italy (brooke problem) !!!! Incredible!!!!
    i’ve called italy iphone support…. “.. o.. sorry… to many many connection… try to activate your phone later…”…


  11. Wuuuuuuuu!!! iPhone 3G.!!! Wuuuuuuu! Maldito tio steve! Wuuuu!

  12. maddcatt1 says

    Well if everyone is trying to activate there iPhones from home the version of Itunes that the store is using is just a stripped down version with nothing special. I thought that would be the case.

    Also, I don’t know when the 2.0 firmware update came out but if i was today, apple really blew it. They should have waited a weak or so, and not had there system all jammed with people trying to upgrade there firmware on the day they launched there new iphone and tried to force instant activate in the stores.

    Smart real Smart

  13. iTunes said my ipod has to update and when i click update, it goes to 1.1.4. it doesn’t go to 2.0

  14. so much for service!..lolz…

  15. itouchjunkie says

    ya they should have released them seperatly

    • I 100,000% agree with you there… Mobile Me on Tuesday, 2.0 on Wed and then 3G on friday. I have been trying for over 2.5 hours to get mine first gen to activate.

      Apple = FAIL

  16. Seems like they’ve done an incredibly professional job lol :-P

  17. apparently if you activate it over a 56.6kb modem you get priority

  18. Same thing as last year, but this time on a much larger scale. Think of all those thousands and thousands of new iPhone 3G owners trying to activate, then think of the 6 million original iPhone owners trying to update to 2.0…

    Apple usually launches with ease and class. I just don’t see how you could avoid this situation.

  19. Oddly enough, my 1st gen phone has no service now. At least they look nice… no phone though.

  20. 7 hours without service. Only thing i can do is emergency calls. Missing all my calls from my lady friends.

  21. hopefully this will make them cave in and sell it online??

  22. Mack Dime says

    My jailbroken 1st Gen, 1.1.4 iphone is still working PERFECTLY!!!!

    Sorry to dog you guys, but WHY oh WHY is 2.0 that much better? Stay on 1.1.4, jailbreak that mofo and go to town…patience is a virtue :)

    • 3 words: super monkey ball lol

    • 2.0 software is much better than 1.1.4. I updated yesterday from a jailbroken 1.1.4 iPhone and am loving 2.0. The App store apps are much much better. So far I have purchased 6 and downloaded about 20 other free ones! The pay ones are really worth it! They are truly better than jailbroken ones. The only thing I am missing are my themes. I will jailbreak again in the future…..when possible.

    • Totally agree with you mack dime.

  23. So, in the opinion of those who are dealing with the activation problems, should I run out and buy one of these (or at least try to, depending on availability) tomorrow, or should I wait a week or two?

  24. I wenrt to the Apple Store in Buffalo, NY and the line was HUGE. I then went to a AT & T store and they told me they would pre-sell me one but I would not get the device for 7-10 days. Steve Jobs is a marketing genius.

  25. Ummm, so anyone heard about the crappy yellow display on the new models?
    They are saying, someone must have realized that and to stop the ALERT! riot it would have caused, apple killed the server.

    Those who have activated, all say it has a crappy yellow display, compared to 1st gen.
    Pics at modmyifone.com

    This is bad :( Its a disaster. I haven’t bought one yet, though :D

  26. surprising that Apple has not fixed this issue yet. I tried about 10 times. I am giving up…Neither my 1st gen iPhone is working nor the second….I am left with no phone :-(

  27. My phone works. I was in the apple store for about 2 hours and i was told the guy to unplug and i will do it at home. It kept getting the error in iTunes, he unplugged it and I have service and can make calls and everything. BUT… I cant sync yet, when i plug into iTunes at my house i get the error. btw i got the white. =]

  28. I finally got through to the iTunes, and my phone is halfway through the activation / sync, but I have a message on my phone which says “Activation Alert…No Signal Detected. Signal is required to complete activation” Has anyone seen this?

    • Well, I got this alert and then the iPhone restarted by itself and it worked perfectely. It’s activated and working like a charm. now all I’m waiting for is unlocking and jailbreaking. Heard they did that already… That was really really fast.
      Keep up the good work guys

  29. I’ve finally got my 1st gen phone working. Looking forward to exploring the App Store. I’m glad I don’t have the money to get the new phone until Monday. Hopefully the kinks will be worked out by then.

  30. Hey – get someone to send you a text message on your bricked phone.

    Hey it worked!!! I was stuck in Error message -4 with a bricked 1st gen iphone and i GOT A TEXT MESSAGE and voila, I had a working iphone. I had to ‘mess around’ (reboot, sync, leave it connected to computer) for a while to get AT&T service. YEA!!!

    Weird thing though, now my AT$T signal is down on all AT$T phones here at home. Wonder about traffic on AT$T nets?

  31. after 8 hours it finally synced. yea

  32. okay, i NEED this stuff on my touch. I have been up for a total of 11 hours today, all needing this stuff. this is really bugging me bad.

    I agree that things should have been released on seperate days
    (mobileme monday, app store tuesday, 2.0 wednesday, 3g friday.

    Everyone in the world is either trying to activate an iPhone, upgrade an iPhone, un-brick their iPhone/Touch, upgrade a Touch, or rebooting their computer thinking it’s their problem (this would be me)

  33. I’m looking at this from a business perspective on my blog. How much more of these customer service problems can Apple have? I wonder if many are going to look elsewhere.


  34. Well it seems that apple have really messed up today! First the iPhone 3G problem and now something else has gone wrong! I restored my iPod touch to firmware 1.1.4 this afternoon (I’m in the UK) so that I could upgrade to 2.0. I clicked on check for updates and it found it. I pressed ok to try and download it but it just kept on failing! Now when I press check for updates it doesn’t even find 2.0. There is now no link on apple for it or on iTunes. Any help would be greatly appriciated!!!

  35. doug i’m pretty sure i saw you at the apple store this morning, i wasn’t sure so i didn’t want to say anything. but yea the reason the networks been faulty is because they’re trying to get the 3g up and running in our area, which has caused a lot of problems for at&t in the area. Maybe you haven’t noticed as much, but I have with my phone. I always used to be able to get signal pretty much anywhere in my neighborhood and now its a complete dead spot. I called at&t about it and they told me it had to do with getting the 3g networks up and running. but hey at least we’re finally getting it here!!

  36. Is the Youtube quality over 3G the same as WiFi or is it low quality such as the iphone 1st gen is over EDGE