AT&T and iPhone 4S Activation Woes & Options

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Today’s iPhone 4S launch has seen AT&T activations hit levels so high that it has, again, brought their activation servers — and customers — to their knees. People receiving their iPhones at home are experiencing trouble with the activation process, but we’ve found a few paths that might just help you get there sooner.

iPhone 4S Activation Woes

Many Users Are Seeing this Message

iTunes Seems More Reliable

Reports seem to indicate that connecting your iPhone via USB to your Mac and letting iTunes activate leads to more success than doing it just on the iPhone. Some users are also getting messages in iTunes saying, “AT&T Is Activating Your iPhone,” too, indicating that iTunes has successfully placed your phone in AT&T’s queue. Most that have seen this report their activation being completed within five minutes of receiving this message.

Activating your iPhone 4S


Don’t forget about 611

AT&T Mobile’s phone-based customer support (available by dialing 611) can help put you in the activation queue, too. You’ll need to provide them with the ICCID and IMEI numbers (available on your iPhone in Settings > General > About). Once in the queue, customers are being told it could be one to two hours before activation completes, though like iTunes above, most people report activation happening much more quickly than that.

Waiting Is The Easiest Part

There is the option of simply waiting until later. Frankly, unless you just have to get up and running now, this could be the best use of your time. Do it just before bed tonight or, perhaps even better, first thing tomorrow morning. 

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Tried for hours, called AT&T (611) and they activated it immediately using the IMEI number off the box and having me switch my sim card from my iPhone 4 to the new iPhone 4s. Very helpful service person where others may not be so helpful. Lots of stress out there when these things break down - the activation service that is.

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