8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 4, 2009 2:58 PM by ouimetnick
ouimetnick Level 2 (235 points)
I got a new Original iPhone today. Advance Replacement. I use it as an iPod touch with out the phone. I know I need a SIm, so I borrowed my brother's at&t sim from his iPhone 3G. I've borrowed it before, when I had to update or restore my iPhone. But when I put the sim in the iPhone and connect to iTunes, It says activation is not available at this time and to try it again later.

How could that be. The 3GS launched June 19, 2009! Shouldn't the hype have died down by now? How can Apple not have enough activation servers. They know the iPhone is in 80 countries and over 25 million have been sold. What to do?
Are Apple's Servers down? How long are they normally down for?

Also, an Apple rep said that If I go to an at&t store, buy a unactivated sim card and stick it in my iPhone, I can unbrick my iPhone, buy it I won't have to activate with at&t. Two reps said that would be possible with the Original iPhone. When I was on 2.1, i tried that and I had to activate with at&t, but a cancelled with at&t with in 30 days, so I was good to go. Has this changed with the new iphone OS 3.0?
Can anyone confirm that you can buy a blank at&t sim card, stick it into an Original iPhone and activate the ipod features and everything with out activating with at&t.


Thank You,

P.S. I am in the United States, so at&t is the carrier for my iPhone.

Gateway MX6426 Apple iPod Shuffle 3G Silver 4GB, Windows XP,  Apple iPod touch 2G 8GB, iPhone 3G 16 GB and iPhone 8GB all with 2.2.1
  • ouimetnick Level 2 (235 points)
  • ouimetnick Level 2 (235 points)
    Why won't anyone help?
    Here is a picture when I try to activate my iPhone, http://att.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=180903&d=1246724073 The screenshot says"iPhone Activations are not available at this time" To activate your iPhone, please try again later. You may now disconnect your iPhone. Well, my iPhone still says connect to iTunes for activation. Just so Apple knows, I did pay $399.99 to buy an iPhone, now I SHOULD BE ABLE TO USE IT.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 (123,405 points)
    More than likely your attitude has something to do with it.

    Just so Apple knows? Apple won't know squat here. Although there are some Apple employees who peruse these discussions, each post and thread here is not read by a moderator or by any Apple employee.

    Why don't you contact AppleCare?

    Or you aren't interested in doing so since you are trying to get around having service with AT&T, but you want access to all firmware updates for free anyway. Maybe this is why no one here has tried to help you. Why didn't you purchase an iPod Touch instead? Because you have to pay $10 for a firmware updates with an iPod Touch? One has to pay for it one way or another, either by trying to work around the system with an iPhone - that is iPhone, with Phone prominant with the name, or paying $10 for a firmware update which doesn't include Phone in the name, which you are trying to use an iPhone as anyway.
  • ouimetnick Level 2 (235 points)
    I read this,http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3406
    However can I get an unused at&t sim card, stick it in my iPhone and unbrick the phone? Two Apple reps said it could be done, did it change with 3.0? it didn't work for me when I was on OS 2.2. Also, why won't Apple let me use my brother's active at&t sim card from his 3G in my Original iPhone. I was able to do it before, but it says iPhone activation is not available. When will it be available.
    I did pay $399.99 for an iPhone to use it, not for it to say slide for emergency. Also why can't Apple be like every other cell phone maker, where you slip your sim card in it and are good to go. Every software update or restore make me have to re-authenticate with Apple. *** Why does a phone need to re-authenticate with Apple for me to use my $400.00 phone?
    Not trying to be rude to you Allan, it's just it really annoys me on how Apple screws their customers over a simple software update/restore or getting an iphone exchanged. The book that came with my replacement iPhone said no need to re-activate, just put your sim in the iPhone, connect to iTunes and your good to go. Well thats a lie. I have to activate the phone. before when I restore, it says authenticating with apple and then I was good to go. This one says the same thing, however a minute later it comes up with the error. see screen shot above.
    Can't Apple help me? AppleCare is closed today, so another day with out my iPod.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 (123,405 points)
    With my first generation iPhone, which remained activated with AT&T for over a year prior to purchasing a 3G, I can install firmware updates or restore the iPhone with iTunes if wanted or needed as long as I have the no longer activated SIM card inserted in the iPhone that was used with the iPhone when it was activated. Firmware updates for the iPhone are provided free of charge with the intention that the iPhone was activated and remains activated. It is different with the iPhone because the iPhone is primarily sold as carrier locked with a designated carrier. And you have no intention to use an iPhone as a phone with it remaining activated, so why don't you purchase an iPod Touch instead, which doesn't include a phone and isn't designed to be activated with a designated carrier? Sorry, but what you have done and are wanting to do makes no sense to me. You paid $400 for an iPhone which is designed to used as a cell phone (it is a phone, an iPod, and an internet device), and designed to remain activated in order to install firmware updates or restore the iPhone with iTunes if needed or wanted, but you could have purchased an iPod Touch 32GB instead for $399, without having to deal with what you are dealing with - trying to work around what the iPhone is designed for to be used as an iPod Touch only.
  • ouimetnick Level 2 (235 points)
    You See i paid $399.99 for it, but it was my brother's christmas gift. I already have a touch 2G 8GB. But when he got the 3G, at&t took the sim card from the Original iPhone and put it in his 3G. The iPhone 3G didn't come with a Sim so they had to use the old one. I think it should have though. he upgraded and gave me the Original iPhone. I have audio issues, so Apple sent me a replacement, and I am not able to activate it using that sim. It says Activation is not available at this time. I was always able to use his Sim card to restore and update the original iphone, but it won't let me activate this replace iPhone.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 (123,405 points)
    I'm not sure what the problem is with the activation. When I received an iPhone as an exchange under warranty, I didn't have to activate the iPhone. I inserted the activated SIM card from my iPhone that was being returned to Apple in the new iPhone shipped to me as an exchange. This was going from first generation iPhone to first generation iPhone. The unlimited data plan for the 3G and 3GS is different from the unlimited data plan for the first generation iPhone, so this is probably why activation is required when trying to use the activated SIM card for the 3G with the first generation iPhone.

    You will probably have to wait to call AppleCare tomorrow or on Monday, but at least you have an iPod Touch to use until that time.
  • ouimetnick Level 2 (235 points)
    The data plan most likely does, however I have done it countless times before. The 1st time I did it, I had to change the data plan to the $20.00 and then back to the $30.00 one. From that day on, it just says authenticating and then I would be all set. Now it says authenticating for 5 seconds and gives me an error. It worked fine the last time on the same computer with the same version of iTunes. I think apple/at&t's activation servers are down, but its not like the 3GS launched this morning. It gave me that error message yesterday when i tried at 7:47 PM, it also gave me it today. I don't want to keep trying my brother's sim card, because the constant swapping between his and my iPhone most likely will make the sim break as the golden part has some scratches in it from being removed and inserted so much.