After emailing customers to let them know their orders had shipped, AT&T is now texting new iPhone 4 owners to give them more details about their new device’s activation.
The text message contains a link to AT&T’s website which provides more information about the activation process, being yet another indication that some orders might indeed ship a day ahead of schedule.
Under the overload of activation requests the last couple years, some users had reported not being able to activate their new iPhone for up to 48 hours. Maybe Apple decided to ship these iPhone 4 earlier to some of us in order to ease the load on AT&T’s servers on Thursday, when the iPhone 4 is officially hitting the shelves.
I haven’t received such a text message myself but I’m curious to see who among you got one. Let us know by leaving a comment below.
[digg-me]After playing with my kids iTouch’s it became clear to me how much the iTouch is lacking in functionality. Before buying one I considered it just an iPhone without the ability to make calls. The lack of camera was the biggest surprise, because I can’t figure out why they left it out. The GPS and Camera would have been really nice to have even if I can’t use it as a phone.
So would it still be better to buy an iPhone and use it just like an iTouch but with camera and GPS? I found a thread on one of the iPhone forums where a guy, who was going to college and couldn’t afford the $30.00 a month data plan, but wanted an iPhone anyway. He was on campus where they had a robust wifi connection all of the time and didn’t really need the data plan. He already had an AT&T cell phone (a Razor), and just wanted to get a used iPhone and put his SIM card into it.
After giving the guy a hard time, a good samaritan responded with a way to do just that. He pointed out a cool service offered by unlockit. It is an APN Changer for 3G iPhones. It lets you turn off the Edge and 3G data service on your iPhone. This lets you use an AT&T SIM card with your iPhone but lets you use it without adding the iPhone data plan.
To use this service do the following:
Put the AT&T Sim card in the already activated iPhone. Make a wifi connection to a local wifi source. Navigate to this page. Click “Continue To The Next Page”. Click Disable Data (Fake APN). The Install Profile window appears. Click Install. Another Install Profile window will popup warning you that authenticity of this profile cannot be verified. Click Install on this window too. You should now see a message stating “Could not activate Cellular Data Network; You are not subscribed to a cellular data service.
You should now be able to make phone calls and be able to use wifi to access the internet. When you aren’t connected, you should get an error.
To remove the 3G/Edge block, simply go to your Network settings and removed the Fake APN profile.
As I reported yesterday, Apple has started to offer an online signup process for the iPhone 3G. This new process allows you to:
Enter your billing information. Review eligibility and pricing. Select your AT&T rate plan.
Once you’re done, choose your closest Apple Retail Store and let us know when you’d like to come in to complete your purchase. An Apple Specialist will be ready to help you personalize your new iPhone 3G, make calls, browse the web, receive email, and more. This “at home” option generated a lot of rumors over the weekend but it turns out that you will still have to go an Apple Store to complete the activation of your device. Apparently, you can’t go through the online process and activate in an AT&T Store, but this option may come soon.
If you want an unlocked iPhone, you’d be better off not to wait for the iPhone 3G. When purchasing an iPhone 3G, you will be required to activate your phone in store, whether you are at the Apple Store or at an AT$T location.
This is certainly going to hurt the unlocked iPhone market.
Something bugs me though. What if I want to buy an iPhone as a gift for someone? Would I have to activate the phone in store? That doesn’t make sense to me.