Approximately 1.7 million of us have already purchased, registered, activated and started using Apple’s new iPhone 4 running iOS4. 600,000 in the first 24hrs alone. 5,000 of which I had the pleasure of getting better acquainted with just two weeks ago at WWDC! According to several sales projections, that leaves only a mere 8 to 10 million more purchases, registrations and activations to go next quarter alone. That is if Apple is to hit that magical 100 million units by the end 2011. So what wisdom and insight can the rest of humanity gain from the relatively few of us that have been through this pre-order process over the last week???
When all was said and done, going to the AT&T Retail Store and having the iPhone 4 delivered to my home ended up being the best of both worlds. I did not spend all day glued to my computer waiting for my pre-order to get accepted online finding out later that it had in fact been canceled, and I did not spend all day standing in line at the Apple Store waiting for my new iPhone to be activated by an in store Genius. But in the end, there was one last hurdle to overcome, activating the new SIM card in the iPhone 4 via AT&T. AT&T did include a set of instructions to follow in the box that came from FedEx. And here is how things went for me…
If you are part of the 17% purchasing an iPhone 4 as a new customer of AT&T, skip to the next section. If you are upgrading an existing iPhone, be sure to back up and sync one last time. If you have purchases on your older iPhone, prior to registration of your new iPhone 4, you may want totransfer purchases to your iTunes account on your Mac or PC. Offload any photos you still have on the device, and be sure to listen to any outstanding voice mail messages. For the most part, act as if the phone was about to be lost stolen or destroyed, and you have one last chance to get everything off of it prior to updating. As a special note, I did have one iPhone 3G on iOS4 prior to the upgrade and one iPhone 3G still on iPhone OS 3.1.3. Both updates to a new iPhone 4 went without a hitch. So do not feel like you need to upgrade your old 3G to iOS4 prior to activating your new iPhone 4. Even if you intend to restore data from your backed up iPhone running iPhone OS 3.1.3 onto your new iPhone 4 running iOS4. This is exactly what I did in one instance and ti worked just fine for me.
Apple iTunes Registration
Registration is the process of associating the new iPhone 4 with an iTunes account. It is from this iTunes account that all data will come from. Apps, music, podcasts, movies, photos, the works! One of the new iPhone 4s I registered as a new phone, and the other I registered using the most recent backup information from my iPhone 3G. Both registrations via iTunes went quickly and smoothly. I was able to access both iPhones via iTunes and sync via iTunes right away. This is where the instructions were a bit confusing. According to the steps outlined by AT&T, the iPhone 4 should remain powered off during this process. As soon as I attached the iPhone 4 to my Mac, it powered on and preceded to ‘phone home’ so to speak. So from this point forward both of my iPhones remained powered on. Since I do manually manage music and videos on both phones, I did not get any of my music off of my 3G device and installed on my iPhone 4. As for your Apps, provided you register your new iPhone 4 with the same iTunes account as your old iPhone, all of the Apps you have purchased will be able to be installed and run on the new iPhone.
Don’t get all excited just yet, that party has just begun. While Apple now know of your new iPhone, and you have registered it with an iTunes account, AT&T wants on on the action. The online activation via http://att.com/Activations for both phones failed, and I was forced to call AT&T at 1(800)331-0500 to activate each phone. Both the online forms and the automated system on the phone walk you through the steps of activation simply and plainly. What was not clear is what I was supposed to do with my old iPhone 3G. For one activation I left my iPhone 3G powered on, and for the second activation I turned my iPhone 3G off. What I did to my old iPhone did not seem to have any affect on the registration process. Activation took just as long with the old iPhone power on as it did powered off. In both cases I also connected the new iPhone 4 to my local Wi-Fi, so both phones did have network connectivity during AT&T’s registration process. Here is where I got a little impatient. I did power on and off each iPhone 4 about every ten minutes or so for two hours each until the activation was successful. When all was said and done, the activation took about two hours for each iPhone 4 to activate and connect to AT&T’s 3G network. I probably could have waited two hours and powered on and off just once each.
Following the activation, I noticed that my voicemail was not functioning at all. After several trial and error attempts to access my voicemail, I was eventually gained access to an old school interface and had touch tone access to voice mail. Not visual voicemail. This was enabled by accessing the voicemail feature of the phone, and answering some automated questions. Shortly thereafter, I was prompted for a password to access visual voicemail. In old school touch tone voicemail systems this is often referred to as your voicemail’s pin. Something that I had long since forgotten about. Fortunately, I was able to recall what my pin was. Once I entered my pin, my phone started working as a modern day iPhone should work, visual voice mail and all. If you do not know your pin, you will have to contact AT&T support to have your voicemail password reset.
Overall things went very smoothly and there were no real obstacles that I could not overcome with a little patients. Systems may be slow or down at times, but it all worked out in the end. I now have two functional iPhone 4s and two Wi-Fi only iPhone 3Gs.