AT&T adds online account setup for Apple iPhone 3G customers

AT&T today announced that its iPhone 3G customers can set up accounts online before heading to the nearest store to activate and complete the purchase, reducing in-store wait times as the busy holiday shopping season approaches.

New customers can perform a pre-qualifying credit check and determine eligibility to port an existing phone number to AT&T in advance by visiting Existing AT&T customers can also determine eligibility to add a new line for iPhone.

The new AT&T online service joins Apple’s existing offering to give customers the fastest way to get up and running with their new iPhone 3G by starting the setup process online and finishing in the store. For more information, please visit

iPhone 3G combines all the revolutionary features of iPhone plus 3G networking that is twice as fast on the nation’s fastest 3G network, built- in GPS for expanded location-based mobile services and iPhone 2.0 software, which includes support for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and runs thousands of third-party applications that are available through the Apple App Store.

Source: AT&T Inc.


  1. You would think that either Apple or AT&T;would have had this system setup in July 2008, but better later than never. Maybe they didn’t want it setup in July so the spectacle of the long lines would make headline news.

  2. Actually, most likely reason for not doing it back in July is to avoid the activation meltdown that happened last year. Turns out it was good that they didn’t do it, since they had their hands full with MobileMe.

  3. One thing is clear; all things being equal, it is unlikely iPhone will sell as well this holiday season as it did last year.

    Before, you could just buy the device and put it under the tree. The person could decide to activate it, hack/unlock/jailbrake it, sell it (on Ebay or overseas) or return it.

    This year, you will have to sign the contract before you take that iPhone out of the store. Couple this with economic downturn and numbers might be lower.

    On the other hand, upfront price is lower, and most of those gift iPhones end up staying in the family anyway, in which case they are either upgrades to the existing plan, or transfers from another carrier. The gift giving person is a family member and won’t mind signing that contract upfront.

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