The iPhone 4S went on sale this morning at Apple, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and select third-party retailers this morning. The Web was abuzz with tales of long lines everywhere. But what has become almost customary for AT&T subscribers trying to activate their shiny new devices, the oldest iPhone carrier partner appears to be having trouble handing the rush of new phone signing onto their network.
Two hours after receiving our iPhone 4S, we still cannot activate it on the AT&T network, and reports suggest we are not alone. Attempts to authorize the phone on AT&T both directly from the device and when connected via iTunes on a PC have produced the same error message:
“Your activation is still pending. You will receive an email notification once your activation is complete. We’re sorry. There was a problem connecting to the server. Please try again later.”
The system seems to recognize the user log-in information and retrieves the correct number for the phone. But once the customer agrees to the terms of service attempts to finalize the activation time out.
Users on CultofMac report similar issues on the AT&T network, although it is unclear whether customer on Sprint or Verizon are experiencing similar problems. At least one Sprint customer reported to the site a successful activation on that network.
Reporting over 1 million iPhones pre-ordered in the first 24 hours last week, Apple’s successor to the iPhone 4 is proving to be an unexpectedly hot commodity — it is not surprising that the AT&T infrastructure is creaking under the strain. The much maligned carrier has been the weak link in first day iPhone activations pretty much from the launch of the Apple device in 1998.