Iphone Activation, Syncing and Service Plan Details Announced

Apple and AT&T have announced that iPhone users will be able to activate their new iPhones using Apple’s iTunes software running on a Mac or PC without having to wait in a store while their phone is activated. The companies also announced three service plans for the communications device.

Activating iPhone takes only minutes as iTunes guides the user through steps to choose their service plan, authorize their credit and activate their iPhone, according to company reps. Once the iPhone is activated, users can then sync all of their phone numbers and other contact information, calendars, email accounts, web browser bookmarks, music, photos, podcasts, TV shows and movies just like they do when they sync their iPods with iTunes.

“Users will be able to activate their new iPhone in the comfort and privacy of their own home or office, without having to wait in a store while their phone is activated,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in a press announcement. “There are tens of millions of people in the US who already know how to sync their iPods with iTunes, and syncing their new iPhone with iTunes works the same way.”

The service plans start at USS$59.99 per month. All three plans include unlimited data, Visual Voicemail, 200 SMS text messages, roll-over minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling. With everything else already included, iPhone customers can choose the plan that’s right for them based on the amount of voice minutes they plan to use each month, said Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO, AT&T. In addition, iPhone customers can choose from any of AT&T’s standard service plans.


All iPhone plans include Visual Voicemail, an industry first, which allows consumers to see a listing of their voicemails, decide which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without listening to previous messages. Just like email, Visual Voicemail on iPhone enables users to immediately and randomly access the messages that interest them most. Unlike most wireless plans that charge additional fees for new features, there are no additional fees for Visual Voicemail, Stephenson said.

The iPhone goes on sale at 6 p.m. (local time) on Friday, June 29, and will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores and AT&T retail stores. It will be available in a 4GB model for US$499 and an 8GB model for $599.

iPhone activation requires an Internet connection; an iTunes Store account or a major credit card; a valid Social Security number (as required by AT&T); the latest version of iTunes and a Mac or PC with a USB 2.0 port and one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X 10.4.10 or later; Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later; or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Enterprise or Ultimate Edition. iPhone requires a new two-year AT&T service plan. Customers with existing AT&T accounts will have the option of keeping their existing phone number and upgrading their account to work with iPhone.