iPhone 3G Available for At Home Activation?

The iPhone rumor mill is hot with a rumor that AT&T is now allowing for at home activation of the iPhone 3G. It seems that AT&T is now allowing the purchase of the 3G iPhone online and then instead of going to an AT&T store to activate it, you are able to activate it via iTunes. Now, I have read quite a few article about this rumor and have done some research on AT&T’s website (as well as talked to a AT&T rep – see below). Every article I have read says that it is an “unconfirmed” report BG has the most convincing report saying,

“While we haven’t spoken to any of our ninjas to confirm this yet, we did speak to three customer service reps as well as someone in the office of the President – each confirming that at-home activation is a go.”

I have updated the information for this article (see Update section), it seems that it is definitely an iTunes activation process….please read below.

When I took a look at AT&T’s website, it seemed that you were only able to order an iPhone 3G online if you were a new customer, starting a new line of service. If you are adding an iPhone to your current plan or upgrading to an iPhone it says to you will need to go into an AT&T store to purchase the iPhone. I did call AT&T and the rep that I talked to said that once I received my iPhone in the mail (free next day shipping!!) I would have to call in to AT&T to activate my iPhone. I’m not sure if they would then walk you through the iTunes process or if they have a new process. It did require that I sign up for a 2-year agreement and when I went back in to check something else, if would not let me “purchase” another iPhone. It said, “We’re sorry, but you can only purchase one iPhone online per household.”

I’m not so sure this is an open door for those hackers who want to get their hands on an iPhone 3G without AT&T but, it could definitely be more convenient for those of you who would like to skip going into an AT&T store this time of the year!

Update: Well, I just talked to another AT&T rep…this is what I got:

Kevin: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?

Brooke: I have a quick question…which I’m sure you have been getting a ton of questions about.

Brooke: If I purchase an iPhone 3G off the website, how do I activate it?

Brooke: Also, am I able to purchase it as a gift and then let some else activate it later?

Kevin: I’m am reading your question now.

Brooke: Ok…thanks

Kevin: I’d be glad to answer your question! Here’s how you activate the iPhone: You activate the iPhone in a whole new way—using iTunes right on your computer. All you need is a PC or Mac with iTunes installed, access to the Internet and an email address. Connect the iPhone to your computer using the supplied USB cable and follow the on screen instructions to complete the activation process. Should you encounter any difficulty, please visit an AT&T retail store to complete the activation of your iPhone. The credit approval for your AT&T service also happens on your computer. It’s part of activating through iTunes, but if you’d rather have your credit pre-approved before you leave the store, an AT&T store representative can help you with that. You will also select an available plan during activation.

Brooke: So, I could purchase one and then give it as a gift and that person could activate it themselves? It requires that I fill out monthly plan info…could they change that later?

Kevin: Just a moment let me check with my supervisor to make sure.

Brooke: thanks

Kevin: Yes they could!

Brooke: Great! That is really all I needed to know!

Brooke: Thanks!

Brooke: Wait…one more question!

Brooke: What if I buy it and they don’t activate it right away…will it charge my credit card?

Kevin: The phone must be activated within 30 days. Your only charged for what you use.

Brooke: So, if I don’t give it to them until Christmas and they don’t activate it right away then does it just become unuable?

Brooke: unusable

Kevin: Correct.

Brooke: oops sorry…ok, so as long as they activate it in 30 days it is ok.

Kevin: Correct, you are again.

Brooke: Haha…ok, thanks!

Brooke: I think that is all I needed.

Brooke: Bye

Kevin: Have I answered all of your questions? Will you be adding your lines today? If so, I can send you the page link now.

Brooke: I actually already have the page link…thanks

Kevin: Great! Have I answered all of your questions today?

Brooke: Yep…I think so!

Kevin: Thank you for choosing AT&T. Have a great day. Happy Holidays!!

Brooke: Thanks you too…Merry Christmas!

Kevin: Merry Christmas Brooke!!

Brooke: :)

I’m not exactly sure how an iPhone would become unusable after 30 days but, there you go!

UPDATE: We also received the following information and links from AT&T for purchase of iPhones online:

Please note the following customer requirements:

* 2 Year contract
* $39.99 rate plan or above
* $30 Data plan for iPhone is required for the life of your iPhone service and cannot be removed in the future.
* Limit one device per household
* No cash back reward may be provided in connection with the iPhone.

AT&T iPhone 3G – 8 GB
AT&T iPhone 3G – 16 GB

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  1. Brooke, I would like an iPhone for Christmas, I promise I’ll activate it within 30 days of its purchase date :)

  2. The real question is, how much is it going to cost? $199 for an “unusable” one? That sounds to good to be true. What happens if you don’t activate in 30 days?

    • I don’t know…I’m not really sure what “unusable” means. What would happen if you bought it and then jailbroke it so that you didn’t have to activate it…what would happen in 30 days?

  3. i bought my 3g a few months ago. the activation towers were down and they guy couldnt do it at the store. he just told me to do it at home. so yes it is fact

  4. Hmmm, who’s gonna be the one to see what happens to the phone when it becomes “unusable?”

  5. I purchased my iPhone online and because I am a premier customer ( law inforcement) my phone was activated over the phone from home. This was several months ago. I also was upgrading.

  6. This gets interesting! (if it’s really happening) So we all know that we can buy unlocked iPhones in certain countries, Czech Replubic for example for like 600 euros which is quite expensive if you convert to dollars.

    So now what if we can buy one of these american iPhones for $199, don’t activate it, bring it to Germany (where i now live). Jailbreak, unlock (coming soon right?) and sign up for a contract and use it with Vodaphone (which i believe is possible in Germany, 3G service and all). Sounds great to me. Then expect the ebay market to flood with this scenario.

  7. Do you know if it needs a Social Security Number to buy it online ?

  8. yes you need a ssn that is why i dont like this

  9. DJContagious says

    How did he know your name??

  10. I don’t got a iphone yet but is it like the ipod touch where you cant start to play right out of the box until you sync and register it? The other question is has anyone tried to buy one and jailbreak it instead?

  11. I wonder can it be activated with quickpwn?

  12. So can I get it online and get it shipped to my house….? Even if I am not an ATT Customer…?

    In that case, I could get one and try to unlock it with a TurboSIM…..

  13. This is my opinion on the whole “unusable” after 30 days scenario. Every iPhone and iPod Touch has a serial number. iPhones have an IMEI code as well. Maybe just maybe those numbers are tracked by AT&T. After the 30 days are up their servers will reject that code from activation.

    Now that might not mean that you can’t jailbreak it and then activate it with another carrier. That’s unknown. Brooke why didn’t you just ask him what he meant by unusable? I’m sure he would have answered as helpful as he seemed. ;)

    Anyway, if my theory is sound then it wouldn’t matter as long as you don’t plan on using AT&T as your default carrier. The iPhone 3G has not been unlocked in it’s current modem firmware 2.2 as well. So you’d have to also wait for the dev community to take care of that as well. :)

  14. iphonejunky says

    my question is..if i have a 2G and i get this 3G..cant i activate it through Quikpwn and just use my 2G sim card and still be on AT&T???

    • You can’t unlock a 3G yet, only jailbreak it. The sim card is not what varies from the old iPhones to the new ones. But if you’re an AT&T customer you don’t need to worry bout that.

  15. Part of an convo. with ATT rep

    Jerry H.: When you make the purchase with the plan online it will come with the plan your ordered. If you wait after 30 days a new plan will be needed, because it would expired without being activated.

    Elliot: ok, so I can order the phone online now, choose whatever plan, then give it to my dad 30 days after i bought it, so then when he goes into itunes he can choose the plan he needs and wants? and my credit card will only be charged $199 + tax?

    Jerry H.: Yes, that is true.

  16. Elliot: thanks for your time, i’ll go finish my purchase now, just to clarify I will only be accountable for the cost of the phone, and if its not activated i have a $200 paper weight, at no other costs to me?

    Jerry H.: Yes, that is true.

    Elliot: thank you!

  17. I also believe activation through itunes will be possible. I have a iphone 3g 2.2 jailbroken. On two occasions for no reason my iphone went into activation mode. You know the lock screen stating connect to itunes. I was unable to do anything until I connected to itunes and it state phone is being activated and after that everything was fine. Has anyone experience this, let me know.

  18. I thought everyone knew? The only way that I’ve heard of getting the iPhone 3G through Apple or At&t is to buy the iPhone, sign up for a service plan, cancel the plan after 30 days, then you have to pay $175 cancellation fee for cancelling your service with them. The $199 iPhone 3G, 30 days of service around $70, cancellation fee is $175. (These are minus taxes). Comes out to $444 (closer to $500 after taxes). So what way are you thinking it can work? Cause if there is a new way of doing it, let me know. Cause I’m all for it! =)