An unknown portion of new iPhone X owners have been unable to activate their device.

According to numerous reports on Twitter, Reddit and MacRumors forums, some people like Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman are experiencing iPhone X activation issues that yield a warning message saying “Could Not Activate iPhone”.

Other people are seeing long wait times for the activation process before it fails with an error message. The problem isn’t limited to iPhone X: one Reddit poster with an iPhone SE on AT&T couldn’t get his phone to activate either.

“Your iPhone could not be activated because the activation server is temporarily unavailable,” reads the prompt. Users can “try again in a couple of minutes” or, alternatively, connect their new iPhone X to desktop iTunes with a USB cable, then activate the device through the app.

However, developer Eric Jennings has had no luck activating his phone in iTunes. You could also try your luck by restarting the phone (hold the Side button, then swipe to shut down).

Some AT&T customers were given the automated activation phone number that responded with a message saying the phone had already been activated. The majority of complaints are from AT&T and Verizon customers, indicating a possible issue with a carrier backend.

Lastly, try swapping SIMs with your prior phone.

At any rate, it appears that iTunes activation servers are being hammered by the sheer number of new iPhone X owners trying to activate their device on launch day. If so, these activation issues should go away later today when the servers become less crowded.

If this problem persists, you’re advised to contact Apple Support at

  • Steelahlive

    I couldn’t activate at&t – i pulled the sim from my iphone 6 plus and popped right up – activated. I guess my question now is, does the other sim provide anything different in ways of “newness” or should i hold it as a spare?

    • Mr.Coolfreak


  • Juan Genao

    Yes. I could not active using the web / automatic activation, I had to call in and the rep entered the IMEI number and it worked. He stated that many were having the same issue this morning.

  • Fanboy 

    Nope! Working perfectly. Loving it! 🙂

  • Mr.Coolfreak

    Yep, been stuck on activation screen for 4 hours with Verizon.

    Reps have entered the imei/SIM card multiple times but no luck

  • Jamessmooth

    Finally just got mine activated. Took about 4 hours. AT&T chat support told me it was a problem on Apples end and that they had engineers working on it. I haven’t experienced this issue for years!

  • Alex Wilson

    Absolutly not one issue. Loved the new setup switching from my old iPhone 6 that was a breese.

  • HamptonWalley

    I cannot activate my Iphone 3GS 32GB. I did many restore, hard reset and still this 0xE800000C error in Itunes. The iphone cannot activate itself either.

  • Mark S

    Ha ha. First world problems. Go outside people. Talk to a human in real life.