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.
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.
Kevin: Yes they could!
Brooke: Great! That is really all I needed to know!
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: 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.
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!!
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.