The definitive iPhone activation and eligibility thread.

ATTingular

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May 27, 2007
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#1
Facts about the launch have been spread across a good dozen threads. This isn't very convenient for easy look up, so I've tapped out virtually all the facts I know and do not know as of right now. Feel free to ask questions, as I'm here to provide information. Updates and edits are highlighted in italics and blue.

Requirements


iPhone will require a 2 year commitment. This is for both voice and data. You can pick the voice plan, but the data plan is required. This isn't going to be "I'll try it out until the rebate gets back," the device needs it. If you don't have these features on account, the phone won't even fully power on. Your account must be provisioned with these features, or popping your SIM into the tray on top of the phone will not work. Why? Several phone functions will be deeply integrated with the internet and data services. The visual voice mail is one of them. This means you cannot just buy it to use as a widescreen iPod, or just use the wifi connection.

For those not familiar with how AT&T handles data, a data plan is similar to a text messaging package, but gives you either a bucket of data to use or unlimited data access. It's a monthly charge in addition to your voice services, and you wouldn't want it if you don't want to pay for it. For most devices this isn't a problem, but the iPhone is a revolution, as we all know, and part of that revolution requires an always on data link. Thus you need the data services on your line.
Activation: Where and how

Second is where and how you activate it. You'll have 3 options. 1) In a AT&T corp. store, and activation will be almost standard. 2) Online, you click and buy, and they ship it (see note below). Activation can be handled either over the phone, or in a store. Again, same as today. Devices bought in Apple stores will be activated by customer service over the phone.

The iPhone will not be able to be ordered over the phone or from att.com for at least 30 days after launch. All devices from launch day to Day 31 will be sold and activated in-store, or from Apple.com.

The number delivered to AT&T stores will vary from 12 (if any) to 36. Most phones will arrive on the 28th, but reps may not be allowed to tell you if they're stocked for the 29th. Waiting lists are strictly prohibited, any rep saying he'll hold one is either lying or risking his job. It is first come, first serve.

Apple and AT&T will be the only providers of iPhones in the world at launch. Because you will be required to sign a contract and have a feature on your account, purchasing an iPhone from alternative sources like eBay will be neither cheaper or easier. This is because any iPhone on the site had to have been purchased with a contract, the contract then had to be terminated. Throw in activation fees, an eBay phone will be over $200 more than retail and you'll still need the data for it to work.

Those wishing to use the iPhone with other carriers will not have a fully functional iPhone in most cases. First, the phone must be unlocked, which it will not be out of the box. Second, iPhone requires a specialized Apple server for some features. This is exactly how Blackberry and the Sidekick are set up. You can unlock both Blackberries and Sidekicks, but unless the carrier you're using them on has the server too (not a problem for BB's, but since the SD is T-Mo exclusive, it's a T-Mo exclusive) it will not fully work. Basic stuff like calling and SMS should work fine, however visual voice mail and data features are not likely to work correctly if at all.

Eligibility: The Can Haves and Have-Nots

Third, who can and cannot have the iPhone. Good news is that almost anyone can use it. Unfortunately, people on corporate accounts (accounts actually in the name of a large enterprise, also know as CRU accounts) cannot have the iPhone. This is due to contract issues, these lines don't have contracts on them individually, instead the entire collection of lines has one contract. People working for a corporation may purchase the iPhone if they sign up for a personal line. These are called IRU's and retain the same discount as a work line. Those looking for their job to pay for their new toy should look into submitting their bill to accounting every month for payment. AT&T doesn't really care about who is paying the bill, only that it is paid, and it's paid for the full 2 years.

Small businesss owners which have lines under the businesss name and Tax ID do not (generally) have CRU's. CRU's are only for very large corporations (e.g. Motorola) that have a large number of wireless lines that are all managed under one agreement and contract. Basically, if you have to sign a new 2 year agreement for each line (like a consumer) you can get and use this device.

Non AT&T subscribers can get a iPhone with a 2 year agreement, but there is no discount. It's $500, $600, or the door. Current subscribers that are out of contract have the same option.Customers currently in contract (based on current consensus) will be able to purchase the iPhone with a contract extension and data subscription. You may or may not be asked for an upgrade processing fee.

Current AT&T employees will not be able to get the iPhone until 2 weeks have passed since launch. As employees, you should know this, as it's the same policy that's enforced with all handset launches. Once the 2 weeks are up, you will NOT receive the standard employee discount of 30% off retail price. It will be full price.


VS

Current AT&T subscribers still using legacy former AT&T Wireless equipment and plans will be required to pick a new plan, just as if they wanted any new phone. This is due to the fact that the old AT&T used a different billing system that cannot be integrated with the Cingular/new AT&T system. Current Cingular subscribers will not need to change their voice plan, even though we're AT&T, we're using the same systems as before so we don't need to migrate anyone.

Features

Email
The iPhone will ship with full POP3 and IMAP functionality. Several email sites have been mentioned specifically, including gmail. It will not be, at least at first, capable of enterprise email. No Goodlink or Exchange for you, then again, if you're using either you probably have an CRU and are thusly disqualified in the first place.

Web browsing:
Those dreading EDGE will be happy to know that AT&T is right now busy upgrading the EDGE network to double the current speeds. While remote access to iTunes is not currently planned, you will have the ability to check your AT&T account remotely.

Touchscreen
The touchscreen technology is based on electrical capacitance, basically how your fingers have a static charge to them and it is this charge that actually interacts with the screen. Wearing gloves will disable your ability to interact with the device.


Apps and Widgets
3rd party apps will be available in due course, but because 3rd party apps were discussed so late in the development, there will be a multi-month delay in new apps. Several widgets will be included at launch with more available as time goes on. These will probably have to be certified by Apple, prior to being put on the site.

Items for follow up, or alternatively titled:
s### I don't know yet.

)Data plan pricing. This will come out very soon.
)Waiving of activation or upgrade fees under certain circumstances.
)iChat will also not be available at launch, so IM service is in the air.
 

boxta

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May 15, 2007
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#2
thanks for sharing

does that mean I may line up all night but NOT able to get an iPhone even if it's available because I am an existing customer?

hmmmmmmmmmm

Non AT&T subscribers can get a iPhone with a 2 year agreement, but there is no discount. It's $500, $600, or the door. Current subscribers that are out of contract have the same option. Customers currently in contract will have to check their eligibility at the time of purchase. Eligibility is affected by numerous factors including revenue, frequency and amount of roaming, and any delinquency of bill payments.
 

ppenguin

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Jun 5, 2007
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#3
So I am unclear on the corporate thing. Does that mean I can't get a new 2 year contract under my own company's (which I own) EIN number?
 
Jun 5, 2007
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#4
Customers currently in contract will have to check their eligibility at the time of purchase. Eligibility is affected by numerous factors including revenue, frequency and amount of roaming, and any delinquency of bill payments.​


is there anyway we are going to be able to check this BEFORE we camp out?​
 

DiscoJoey

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#5
WTF! i don't want a data plan, i just want to use wifi! if im going to get a freaking data plan id wanna wait G3 on the iPhone, and i don't wanna wait! this data plan crap is stupid!
 

iphonenut

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May 17, 2007
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i can't freaking believe this!

why would a major company set up a system where they TURN AWAY their loyal customers?!?!?

that is the stupidest thing i've ever heard.
 

Spin This!

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May 4, 2007
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WTF! i don't want a data plan, i just want to use wifi!
Agreed... Apple will be turning away a lot of people if this is the case. Sorry, Apple, good luck selling 10 M iPhones if you're going to rope customers into an expensive data plan.
 

ATTingular

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does that mean I may line up all night but NOT able to get an iPhone even if it's available because I am an existing customer?
is there anyway we are going to be able to check this BEFORE we camp out?
Yes. Your status isn't likely to change based on 2 days. If it does, most AT&T managers will override the default and give you the upgrade. However, read below for the specifcs.

So I am unclear on the corporate thing. Does that mean I can't get a new 2 year contract under my own company's (which I own) EIN number?
CRU's are only for VERY large corporations, with at least 50 wireless lines and high revenue. As a small businesss owner, with the lines under your businesss; name and Tax ID, you will be able to sign a contract and get the device.

i can't freaking believe this!

why would a major company set up a system where they TURN AWAY their loyal customers?!?!?

that is the stupidest thing i've ever heard.
I'm not entirely sure what restrictions there may be on existing customers under contract. That's why I went with the conservative "check for your eligibility" Since there is no subsidy, you may be able to sign an extension. I've heard conflicting reports. I'll add that to the last section.

WTF! i don't want a data plan, i just want to use wifi! if im going to get a freaking data plan id wanna wait G3 on the iPhone, and i don't wanna wait! this data plan crap is stupid!
Then you're SOL. This device, like many advanced pieces of technology, requires an always-on data connection. Some functions integral to operating the phone will not work without data. Thus you do need it. It's not about screwing anyone over, it's just another part of the iPhone revolution.

The WiFi was never meant as a substitute for EDGE data. WiFi is there to allow you faster browsing speeds when it's available. Since WiFi isn't everywhere, you need a fall back.
 

Somekid231

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May 31, 2007
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#9
Novice question - sorry.
What is a 'data' plan vs. a regular plan? And why would one not want a data plan...

-C
 

ATTingular

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May 27, 2007
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#10
A data plan is similar to a text messaging package, but gives you either a bucket of data to use or unlimited data access. It's a monthly charge in addition to your voice services, and you wouldn't want it if you don't want to pay for it. For most devices this isn't a problem, but the iPhone is a revolution, as we all know, and part of that revolution requires an always on data link. Thus you need the data services on your line.
 

twindc23

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Jan 10, 2007
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#11
great informative post. Thanks!
:laugh2:

looks like im gonna camp out an Apple store a night before release. I hope i don't have to go any sooner than that.

HEHE... PS3 launch. that was fun =)
 
Jun 5, 2007
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#12
attingular, i just called customer service today and they told me i am eligible for a two year service upgrade or w/e...does this mean that i am alright?
 

ATTingular

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#13
Again, I'm not 100% on how upgrades will be handled, but if you're already eligible for a standard upgrade then you're golden no matter what.
 

timschizzle

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May 22, 2007
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#15
Again, I'm not 100% on how upgrades will be handled, but if you're already eligible for a standard upgrade then you're golden no matter what.
I just called 611 from my phone and conned the lady into answering almost all of my questions.

I just upgraded in march because i busted my girlfriends phone so i used my upgrade to get her a new phone. The AT&T rep said that i was not eligible for an upgrade until 10/18/2008!

I told her my story about my g/f's phone and told here that i was looking to get a new phone on the 29th.... never mentioning iPhone... she said that i could get a new phone by purchasing it outright with no discounts.

I then told her that I was planning on getting an iPhone, and I asked if i will beable to get one even though I can't upgrade, she said yes, I would just have to purchase the phone outright, and then I could get it set up for my existing number. I asked how much it would be upright and she told me $499 for the 4GB and $599 for the 8GB.

Afther that I threw her a curve ball. I told her that my dad had a question... He is available for an upgrade and was looking into an iPhone and wanted to know how much it would since he can upgrade. She said she wasn't sure but to hold on for one second while she found the paper that told her info about the iPhone.

She then read out part of the paper she had to me stating that the only prices or any numbers related to cost in the information they had was $499 and $599 and that those were the prices everyone would pay as of now. She said there was nothing about upgrade discounts, but that she was going to be getting more info about that in the coming week.



Here is what it boils down to:

Everyone can get the phone, upgrade or not. if you aren't available to upgrade you will pay the prices we have all heard. Thoes are the "outright prices before contract"

What they don't know yet is if there will be discounts for people who can upgrade.
 

WTEngel

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May 22, 2007
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#16
I called AT&T Customer service and got an identical story. Bottom line, anyone who purchases an iPhone is purchasing it outright, whether you are eligible for upgrade or not. New customer, old customer, heck, if you want to go to the Apple store and purchase one without a plan or anything, unactivated, it sounds like you can. You wont be able to power it on or use it for anything other than a paperweight because it isn't active with a valid SIM chip, but hey, it's a damn good looking paper weight right?

$499.00 - 4gb
$599.00 - 8gb

Plain and simple. No upgrades, subsidies, blah blah blah...at least that seems to be the story AT&T is sticking to.
 

mav

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May 9, 2007
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#17
Thanks for posting this.

As I mentioned in my other thread, I already found out that I'm not eligible. At least this is the stance several of my local AT&T stores are taking. I was hoping to get one under my corporate account, but it looks like that path has been taken away as well.

This sucks.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Jun 5, 2007
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#18
I just called 611 from my phone and conned the lady into answering almost all of my questions.

I just upgraded in march because i busted my girlfriends phone so i used my upgrade to get her a new phone. The AT&T rep said that i was not eligible for an upgrade until 10/18/2008!

I told her my story about my g/f's phone and told here that i was looking to get a new phone on the 29th.... never mentioning iPhone... she said that i could get a new phone by purchasing it outright with no discounts.

I then told her that I was planning on getting an iPhone, and I asked if i will beable to get one even though I can't upgrade, she said yes, I would just have to purchase the phone outright, and then I could get it set up for my existing number. I asked how much it would be upright and she told me $499 for the 4GB and $599 for the 8GB.

Afther that I threw her a curve ball. I told her that my dad had a question... He is available for an upgrade and was looking into an iPhone and wanted to know how much it would since he can upgrade. She said she wasn't sure but to hold on for one second while she found the paper that told her info about the iPhone.

She then read out part of the paper she had to me stating that the only prices or any numbers related to cost in the information they had was $499 and $599 and that those were the prices everyone would pay as of now. She said there was nothing about upgrade discounts, but that she was going to be getting more info about that in the coming week.



Here is what it boils down to:

Everyone can get the phone, upgrade or not. if you aren't available to upgrade you will pay the prices we have all heard. Thoes are the "outright prices before contract"

What they don't know yet is if there will be discounts for people who can upgrade.
i called 611 also to make sure that i was eligible for an upgrade and she said yes. next i asked her if upgrades got a discount and she said she hasn't got any word on that yet, but im keeping my fingers crossed
 

wjp09

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Feb 25, 2007
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#19
Nice sticky :) Hopefully this will keep down a lot of new threads about questions already answered.
 

Youngbinks

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#20
Great and very informative thread. I am also eager to hear if upgrade eligible people get a discount on the iPhone. I am prepared to pay the full $599 but if there is any chance of a discount that would be great.