Christmas morning is one of the the most widespread moments for iPhone activation, other than the official release date where a flood of new devices make it to users’ hands. On Christmas morning, with stores usually closed and a feasting public not apt to leave their homes, the easiest way to get your new iPhone up and running is to just call it in and have a mobile activation. Here is a look at the step by step process you will go through to get your iPhone started.
You begin by dialing in to your customer care line, where it will likely ask if you are calling about the number that you called in with. This presents and advantage for calling in on your old phone to have your new phone activated, though they will then ask you to choose a different phone since both phones will have to be turned off. It will be best to then switch to a land line during this.. Through this process you will also usually have to verify your account by including the last for digits of the Social Security number that is associated with your account, so you should have that ready ahead of time.
On the back of the box of the box of the new iPhone will be an IMEI/MEID number and an ICCID number, which will be requested of you by your customer service representative during activation. They will ensure that your new iPhone has been charged sufficiently so that it is able to operate, and that both devices are turned off entirely. They will then switch the service to the new phone based on the numeric codes from the box, which is also why it is important to keep those somewhat secret from public knowledge.
You will then be asked to turn on the new device to see if you have service bars in the upper left hand corner near the 3G service indication. This will show that you have successfully activated the phone, and if you have not it will likely still say “Searching…”. You can go into your old phone now and note that it operates as normal, yet will not be able to find and active signal.
It will be important to then do a test call, so you will have to go through the basic iPhone set up process for new users. This will include things like signing into your Apple ID, choosing to set up iCloud and Siri, and being asked if you want to use iPhone location services. Once you get through to your desktop then you will be able to do your test call, but you will note that you do not have your contacts saved to your phone at all. For this you will have to do a full sync back to your computer, where you have your contacts, calendars, media, apps, and other iPhone content saved. This is not actually part of the iPhone activation process, but instead just an element of how you get your new phone back to where your old phone was.
The customer service representatives at carriers like AT&T and Verizon are available on Christmas, but general support for the device away from the service is going to be difficult to find. Apple’s Apple Care service center is not operational on the holiday, so you will have to wait a day to get that kind of support.