iPhone 3G S Activation: How Long is “Some Time?”

iphone-3gs-activationSo it’s the day after the first iPhone 3G S handsets arrived. I figured the initial activation challenges must be over, but we still have two new iPhones that can’t actually be used as a phone. I think we’re hosed until I call or stop in an AT&T store at this point, but I’m hoping that I’m wrong.

With the new, included SIM cards, our new iPhones just sit at the “Waiting for activation” screen. I’ve cycled them on and off several times as some have suggested, but it’s deja vu all over again. I wasn’t entirely sure we were supposed to use the new SIM cards, since these are upgrades from original iPhones. When I put the old SIMs in the new devices, they “activated” and were usable. Of course, that’s only because those SIMs were provisioned and are active.

After hours of using the new phones with the old SIMs (even over 3G), AT&T sent me a text message and email address. They tell me that I’m using an ineligible plan with my iPhone 3G S. I suppose that’s accurate since the old SIMs are tied to the old plans. So, I put the new SIMs back in and here I wait. And wait. And wait some more.

On a whim, I logged into our AT&T account online. It shows that our devices are now iPhone 3G S handsets, but the rate/date plans appear to show the old info. When we ordered the new phones from Apple, we specified and chose new plans but apparently AT&T didn’t get the message. Funny how I get messages very quickly when I’m using the wrong plan on my new phone, no?

At this point, we can use the iPhone 3G S for everything else, so I’m enjoying the new features. I did some preliminary browser testing over Wi-Fi with the 3G S and the Palm Pre: so far, these two run neck-and-neck. It all depends on the web site I test with; sometimes the iPhone is faster, and other times the Pre wins out. Even if I can’t make a phone call with my new iPhone, I can at least browse the web and use apps. Hmm, maybe I’ll get Skype on there since I’m on Wi-Fi for now. I could always use SkypeOut in a pinch…

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