iPhone activation required error hits iOS 7


Since iOS 7 was released there have been a few problems, and one of the major ones was to do with iMessage. However, iPhone 4S, 5 users are now getting the iPhone activation required error, which means they are locked out and cannot use their device.

Product Reviews has brought this to our attention after they received an email from an iPad 4 user, they said that they could not activate their device and received an error message. This is when Product Reviews decided to look at their iPhone 4S running iOS 7 beta Gold Master; they also got the iPhone activation error message saying, “Could not activate iPhone”.

If you look at the screenshot below via PR, it says in a nutshell that the iPhone could not be activated and the reason for this is because the activation server is temporarily unavailable. To try and fix this problem, users can connect their devices to iTunes to activate, if the issue persists then contact Apple support.

The source above also reports that when you connect the iPhone or iPad to Apple iTunes it will prompt another message, which basically said iTunes not being able to back up the iDevice because a session could not be started, obviously because the iPhone or iPad being locked out.

Phones Review cannot check this because we are not running iOS 7 Gold Master, we are not getting this issue on our iOS 7 public version. We will keep in contact with PR to see if they come up with a solution. This is a problem hitting some betas and those with public releases in some circumstances, Phones Review would love to hear from those that are getting the ‘could not activate iPhone’ error.

Please let us know if you are running iOS 7 beta software or public release version, we would love to know if you are seeing the activation server temporarily unavailable message?


137 thoughts on “iPhone activation required error hits iOS 7”

  1. targettor says:

    Getting exactly the same problem with my iOS7 beta Gold Master on iPhone 5. I have a registered develper ID and my phone’s ID is linked to it. I haven’t solved the problem yet.

  2. LOG1E says:

    was running beta downloaded 7.0.2 and “option” updated and fixed my phone (must of got in early before the crash) but my ipad 2 cant activate

  3. retroblue says:

    Just had this appear on my 4S … iOS7 GM (pre-release install).

    The only thing that’s changed, is I reset my iCloud backup’s pictures backup, as it was over 5GB, and I recently installed Mavericks to one of my machines. Is this only affecting people with dev accounts or multiple AppleIDs?

    So, no phone today. Guess it’s going to be a nice, quiet Sunday 😛

  4. Jack says:

    Yep, I’m locked out of my phone as well. Connected it to iTunes but wasn’t able to back up the device because a session could not be started. Thanks a lot Apple.

  5. Alister H Rae says:

    My I phone 5 running iOS 7 is not working, when I connected to I tunes I got an error box saying I could not restore because I phone locator is switched on? I cant switch it off as my phone is not activated? What on earth is going on?

    1. Discit says:

      Same here with my iphone4. itunes error says I need to turn off “find my phone” from the phone itself first, before restoring, but the phone’s activation screen won’t let me turn that off.

  6. Leo says:

    This happened to me last night on my iPad 2 – running iOS7 GM. Have tried many times to activate with no success. My iTunes says that “The software on the iPad “xxx” has expired and must be updated to a newer version. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to do that without delving into the device management tools. That’s what I’ll try next.

  7. Irfan says:

    I suffered from this problem got it resolved… Been to the local apple store and a few ppl had this issue. All had developer ios7 build. This officially expird today. Restart your phine to DFU mode and have itunes restore it

    1. Discit says:

      I couldn’t get DFU mode to work for me, but recovery mode (just holding down the home button as it was booting up then plugging it into itunes) worked great, for me at least.

  8. Alister H Rae says:

    I have just done a system restore, my cloud backup seems incomplete, lost all my app’s and some standard app’s are missing ie contacts, any idea how to get my apps back?

        1. Discit says:

          Do the recovery mode restore posted by Kayla and others.
          You don’t need to worry about firmware versions. When you do the recovery mode restore, let iTunes automatically download and install the current version for your device.

  9. Kaitlyn says:

    I have the final beta of ios 7 on my iphone 4s. I have the activation error as well. When trying to restore in itunes, it says that it can’t do it because “Find My iPhone” is on and needs to be shut off. I can’t shut it off because I’m locked out of my phone. After putting the phone into DFU mode, it says my phone is not compatible. I’ve tried multiple things from Apple Support, including adding hosts on my MacBook Pro and still cannot get into my phone. HELP.

      1. Discit says:

        Kayla posted a solution above to this exact scenario. I tried DFU mode too, but you need to do the “recovery mode” restore for this, and it will update you from the beta to the current ios7 software in the process.

        1. Kaitlyn says:

          Mine actually would not do it in recovery either. I first had to open Terminal and create a new host file. I then had to download the correct ipsw for my iPhone and update the software by holding “option” when clicking update and choosing the downloaded file.

  10. targettor says:

    My iPhone is now working again!
    Downloaded 7.0.2 as a file & used iTunes (press “Alt” key while starting iTunes on Mac) to update my USB connected iPhone from that file.
    All my data is still here after the update. (Photos, mails, Adress Book)
    @dbfa47717b7edb2f95718f6779374777:disqus : thanks a lot!

      1. Discit says:

        Just an update –
        Doing a recovery mode restore, like Jakeb and others have recently posted, bypasses the “turn off find my iPhone first” error, as well as automatically updates to newest OS without worrying about firmware versions.

    1. Discit says:

      If you activated “find my iphone” it will not let you, at least it did not let me. Itunes just keeps saying to turn off “find my iphone” from the phone’s control panel, which you can’t get to anymore…

  11. haley says:

    when another update comes out, will downloading 7.0.2 manually make our phones crash like this again, or is this the real update and not a beta version?

  12. Jakeb says:

    Hi, I got the error while normal use yesterday. I unlocked my iphone 5 and all of a sudden it restarted and gave me the error. I am in the middle of contacting apple support but they are full of these cases right now. I was in a chat with an apple care specialist who was in the middle of telling me how to delete “the .ipsw files” on my computer, WHEN THE CHAT DISCONNECTED….. That was the first step to fixing it he said after he knew I had a backup from the day before. So the first step again is deleting the .ipsw files from your computer. I will provide more information later on in my chats.

  13. jedmerrill says:

    The message is misleading, because the problem is not that Apple’s activation servers are slow. That’s the symptom. The problem is our beta software is out of date, and it is all “out of date” at the same time, thereby overburdening the activation servers, too.

    Only developers should be having this issue. If you were never a developer and never had the beta installed, it probably is the activation servers, so keep trying or “contact Apple support.”

      1. jedmerrill says:

        Search Google for iPhone5,2_7.0.2_11A501_Restore.ipsw (Sprint) or iPhone5,1_7.0.2_11A501_Restore.ipsw (AT&T/Verizon). Download it, if available. That is the current version. Then find your phone in iTunes and hold down Alt while clicking Check for Updates and select the ipsw file. Make sure you have the most current version of iTunes.

        1. jedmerrill says:

          After following these steps, mine was stuck on a screen that said “Verifying iPhone software” for about five minutes, but then said “Updating iPhone software” and proceeded to fill out half of the on screen update bar.

          Then it said “Verifying updated iPhone software” again for five minutes, “updating firmware” for about 30 seconds as the line went all the way to the end, “Verifying updated iPhone software again”, and then iTunes said the phone would now restart. The restart had another line… About two minutes holding my breath, then a real restart, and the phone works fine.

          It does have an updated Activation screen, however, so don’t panic. You’ll only have to enter your password this time, and it immediately starts to set up iCloud, etc.

          1. Jakeb says:

            Guys if you have a back up of your iDevice with itunes and your itunes is updated to 11.1 then use the steps i have listed in a newer post.

    1. Discit says:

      I’m not sure this works if you turned “find my iphone” on, even for developers.
      The locked activation screen won’t let you turn “find my iphone” off, but itunes won’t restore it either, for some reason saying you need to turn off “find my phone” from the phone itself first. It’s a closed loop for some of us I think, unless we can bypass the activation screen to turn find my iphone off, or tell itunes to restore it even though it’s turned on.

    2. Discit says:

      – update –
      The solution Kayla posted above will update you to the most current version of IOS, without needing a developer account.
      Start your phone in recovery mode, holding down the home button, then connect it to iTunes and follow the prompts to restore it.
      This should work, even if you are getting the annoying error telling you that you need to turn off find my iphone from your phone first, when you darn well can’t, with the activation screen blocking you. You should be automatically put in iOS 7.2 with the activation server available again. I think a bug in the old software is trying to activate it incorrectly, causing a catch-22 if you had find my iphone turned on.

  14. Kayla says:

    My iphone says activation required but when i connect it to my itunes and restore it I cant restore because it says “cannot restore, Find iPhone is on” But i cant turn it off bc i cant get into my phone, what do i do?

    1. Discit says:

      Please follow the steps me and others did to restore your phone in recovery mode. This bypasses the “turn off find my iphone first” error others are getting trying to update via itunes, and automatically puts you on the current software.
      I’m not sure what if any data you will lose, but it will be better than a dead phone.

  15. Jakeb says:

    EVERYBODY! I have found the easiest solution (only use this is you HAVE A BACKUP ON ITUNES, or generally dont care about losing information on your device) The back up is recommended because this WILL restore your i device.

    Connect your USB cable to your computer but not to the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until step 3.

    Turn off the device: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then slide the slider. Wait for the device to turn off.

    If you cannot turn off the device using the slider, press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. When the device turns off, release the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons.

    While pressing and holding the Home button down, connect the USB cable to the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The device should turn on.

    Note: If the image of a battery appears, let the device charge for at least ten minutes to ensure that the battery has some charge, and then start with step 2 again. If you don’t see the Connect to iTunes screen, try these steps 1 through 4 again.

    iTunes should automatically open and display the following message:

    “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes.”Note: If iTunes not open after two minutes, please open iTunes yourself.

    Use iTunes to restore the device.

    Then update and restore your iDevice from a back up you have made.


    1. Jakeb says:

      to check: open itunes, go to top left of your screen click on the iTunes drop down and then “check for updates”. Update and restart it before doing these steps. OR IT WILL NOT WORK.

    2. jedmerrill says:

      The alternate solution below does not do any harm to your data, though it may not work if your phone did not have enough room to install new software in the first place.

      1. Jakeb says:

        yes, but this solution is a lot simpler for the general public who are having this problem. Most people who have used their device have connected in to itunes or the computer to charge etc and it has backed up. For example: I got lucky and connected it the day before the error and am in the process of backing it up now after fixing the issues.

        1. jedmerrill says:

          I agree it is simple, but from experience, iTunes backups are questionable. They may be corrupted for a variety of reasons, as happened when I first installed iOS 7 Beta. I lost 20 GB of data that day, but if there is no high value data or save files on your phone, try it.

          Now I back up both to my computer and to iCloud before beginning a Beta install, but iCloud backups take a long time, and it is too late to do that for people who are stuck in activation mode.

      2. Jakeb says:

        after about 5 minutes, my iphone 5 has been restored and is now on 7.0.2 instead of the beta 7.0 and i have complete access of my iphone with all of my data intact.

    3. Simon says:

      I found that after performing the steps above I then had to repeat the process (ie. Switch off phone, disconnect USB, hold ‘Home’ button and plug-in USB cable. I then had the option to restore the iPhone. Please be warned that it restored to factory settings so unless you have previously backed up the phone you may lose all your stuff 🙁

  16. Discit says:

    Sorry for posting this twice. “Moderation” would not let me post a link to Apple’s support page I used to help.

    I figured this out, for me anyway. The activation lock screen would not let me through, telling me that the activation server was unavailable and to try to activate through iTunes. When I connected to itunes, it told me the OS on my phone was expired and needed to be updated, but would not let me update it.

    I did not see where in iTunes to “activate” the phone, and a restore would not work, telling me to turn off find my iPhone first from the phone’s control panel, which I could not do, since the screen was locked.

    This is how I got past it:

    I followed instructions on getting the phone into restore mode, and then let iTunes restore it automatically to the current OS version.

    1. Open itunes.

    2. Unplug your phone. Turn it off, holding the power and then using the off switch that pops up.

    3. After it’s powered down, hold down your “Home” button on the front of the phone.

    4. Plug it back into iTunes, keeping the Home button held down until it gives you the phone screen saying to plug it into itunes, different from the regular phone screen.

    5. Let the home button go and follow iTunes steps to let it restore the phone. No need to figure out the correct download/ipsw file. If you do the recovery-mode restore steps from apple’s support article (which this did not let me link), it should find the right software for you and update it automatically.

  17. Richard says:

    Yep- just got the ‘activation required’ messages since last night. In addition the last update wiped out my wi-fi and the only solution apples Genius Bar offered was to fork out $200 to them to fix their glitch to my otherwise working phone. So frustrated and now I don’t have a working phone or device.

    1. Discit says:

      People have posted the solution here.
      Hopefully if you were using Beta ios7 you have a backup are are comfortable restoring.
      I could not restore at first because I had “find my iphone” turned on. Doing a recovery mode restore fixed it though.
      1. Open iTunes and get your cable ready.
      2. Turn your phone off, using the power button and slider.
      3. Hold down your home button on the front of the phone, then plug your phone in. It should automatically turn on with a connect to iTunes display.
      4. Follow iTunes steps to restore your phone. It should automatically update you to the live ios7 build in the process.

  18. alex says:

    yup, me too. cant acces contacts, diary, apps, nothing. at least i managed to get my photos out!! for a company that earns as much as a small country, you would think that i could speak to someone on a Sunday!!

  19. ChristinaaaNoel* says:

    I had this problem around 10 oclock last night. I am a Beta User and have been trying to download the GM for over 2 weeks now, but can not seem to find a file compatible with my mac (all for windows…odd, i know). Anyways, i managed to fix mine, and my 2 sister’s phones, in about an hour each. JUST BE PATIENT WITH IT!!!

    first off, if you phone is not backed up, prepare to lose all your stuff.
    if you have “find my iphone” you’re also in for a little bit of difficulty.
    If you use iCloud, you should be fine if you have done a back up recently.

    first thing you need to do is go update your iTunes. it should be 11.1.1 software.
    next, plug in your phone to your computer and once iTunes reads it, go to your device and attempt to back it up, if you are really worried about it (but it probably will not let you if you are locked out like i was). The next thing you need to try to do is click “restore iphone.” if you have find my iphone, you are going to get an error message that says you cannot restore you phone until you log out of find my iphone. This was put in place so that people could not restore a stolen phone. if you do not have it, it should just begin to restore your phone back to the factory settings. once it is complete, you can restore your back up to your phone (iTunes will ask you to log into your apple account and then proceed to ask you if you want to restore from iCloud or a back up on your computer; chose whichever you have).

    If you’re one of those lucky people that has Find my iPhone, BE PATIENT!! while your phone is still plugged into your computer, hold down your lock button and your home button until your screen displays an iTunes icon, an arrow, and a USB icon. once it shows this, unplug your phone, wait about 3 seconds, and plug it back in. When iTunes reads your device again, try again to restore your iPhone.

    Keep doing this until you get a message that says something about “it could not restore” you will know what message i am talking about because it will say at the bottom “more information” or “ok” click on the “more info.” and it will pull up a web page. keep it open to refer to incase you are still having trouble. Go back to iTunes and click “ok”

    Your iTunes is going to do one of two things. It is either going to tell you that you need to update iTunes again (even if you already did at the beginning). if it does this, just go ahead and update it again.

    If your phone still isn’t restoring, repeat the process of holding down the two buttons until the “Plug into iTunes” icon message comes up. remember to keep your phone plugged into your computer while doing this, then unplug and reconnect after about 3 seconds. Once you do this, your iTunes should day that it has recognized a device in recovery mode. follow the messages, allowing it to continue restoring. you should see at the top of iTunes (where is says what song it playing) a message that says “extracting” or “installing”, something like that. THIS IS GOOD. this means that the restore is finally working. it may take about 15-20 minutes, but just let it do it, and then it will ask you to log into your apple id and ask you which back up you want to use and all that!

    I really hope i helped, because i know how frustrating it can be!!

    Good luck to you!

    1. Jordan says:

      Hi christina, i have been trying for almost 10 hours now, my problem is that as iTunes finishes ‘Extracting software’ i get Error 3004 pop up. i have tried everything suggested and was wondering if you had any tips? thank you

      1. ChristinaaaNoel* says:

        I sure hope you got your phone working again! i believe the 3004 Error was what i got when my iTunes told me that it needed to be updated (even though i had already updated it). i just kept trying and it eventually did not do this.

        1. Jordan says:

          Hi Christina, I managed to finally do it on Wednesday afternoon, it turns out my laptop hosts page must not have been contacting the apple servers correctly so I just borrowed a friends laptop and it worked perfectly first time. Thank you for the guide on how to do it!

    2. Søren says:

      Hi there. This did not work for me. I am – like Jordan – getting the 3004 error from iTunes.

      No matter what I try, I get this error.
      I’ve tried DFU, Downloadmode (itunes icon), and normal mode where the phone is on.
      I have tried both letting itunes download the latest iOS and downloading it myself and installing with the shift-click trick.

      I am using iTunes version (lol)

      1. Søren says:

        Never mind, I fixed the 3004 error!
        In my windows hosts file, I had a line with an apple server. I deleted that line, rebooted my computer and it worked! (in recovery mode)

  20. kiasdfjo says:

    People have posted the solution here.
    Hopefully if you were using Beta ios7 you have a backup are are comfortable restoring.
    I could not restore at first because I had “find my iphone” turned on. Doing a recovery mode restore fixed it though.
    1. Open iTunes and get your cable ready.
    2. Turn your phone off, using the power button and slider.
    3. Hold down your home button on the front of the phone, then plug your phone in. It should automatically turn on with a connect to iTunes display.
    4. Follow iTunes steps to restore your phone. It should automatically update you to the live ios7 build in the process.

    This works everyone!!!

    1. Jeff says:

      So this works if you willing to restore your device from backup or totally restore it to factory defaults.

      if you dont have any backup and don’t want to wipe out your device, see my comments up. 🙂

  21. betavictim says:

    The biggest problem I’m having is that my phone no longer registers with iTunes since this started. I tried two PCs, both with the latest version of iTunes, but I can’t get any love. I’ve repeated the DFU steps repeatedly, and nothing. Suggestions?

    1. shayan says:

      I am also having the same problem. I have “Activation Required” on my lock screen and can’t access phone. Also, it charges when plugged into wall, but doesn’t recognize when plugged into computer/itunes. HELP

  22. Sheepsblood says:

    Turn Off Phone

    Go to iCloud (Find my Phone – click all devices – click iphone (MUST be showing OFFLINE (grey dot) – click remove from account)

    Put phone in Restore MODE> Restore As New

    If you have a back up, Restore from backup


    iCloud Asking for previous user name?

    There is a FIX for that!

    1. Rename appleID Back to old AppleID

    2 .Sign out of device on that account

    3.rename account back to the appleID they want

    4.verify new appleID

    5.login to device with new ID

    6.Create new backup on device (settings -> iCloud -> Backup -> Backup Now)

  23. simrat says:

    Call apple and get them to help you with a share your screen. This helped me get my photos on to my computer because i havent backed up since january

    1. Kabafin says:

      How could you reach anybody on sunday? Very interested on how you could save your images. I also have not backed up my photos and i just come home from holidays with tons of photos 🙁

  24. leigh the king says:

    Beta releases and GM’s are intended for devs, for those looking for quicker access to the OS before release clearly didn’t understand what they were doing before participating in no doubt cracked iOS7 software, fools! oh and what has iMessage and other bugs got to do with this, i wouldn’t class an expiration date of preview software a problem with iOS7, seriously these tech reporters are getting worse

    1. chadbag says:

      Uh, the betas and stuff have not expired and this is affecting real honest Developers with real honest iOS 7 versions downloaded from Apple through the developer portal. My development iPhone 4 and two development iPad minis are affected by this. Very annoying.

  25. Ger Hartnett says:

    The key point mentioned below is to make sure you disable find my iphone before you start the process. I didn’t and at the end of the 7.0.2 update I got “could not be updated…unknown error occurred”. Then I had to factory reset and restore from last backup 1 week old.

  26. Andre Gouvea says:

    using public v7.0.2 on iPhone 4s keep getting a error to authorize my computer.
    I’ve done that but still not syncing. followed all apples instructions to resolve this but still no luck.. any advice?

  27. Sheepsblood says:

    If your phone is in RESTORE MODE it will not go to the start up screen or anything else. When Update complete in iTunes you should see an Apple with a progress bar ….

  28. katie says:

    What if I never even downloaded Find My Iphone?? It juts keeps telling me the activation server is temporarily unavailable even though i don’t have the app…

  29. enne says:

    I had the problem. I could not re active my cell phone last night since I had ios7 try out version before. I took to Apple store and they fixed it.

  30. strohtennis says:

    I had beta Goldmaster running. Got this error. Went to Verizon, they were told that I should activate with iTunes version 11.1. I have version 11.1.1 and it still won’t activate. Going to the Apple store tomorrow.

  31. vicky says:

    stupid apple, the apple store is going to be crowded tomorrow. how idiotic is this??? How can they mess up big time??? I havent been able to use my device since 3 days now , so annoyed >=[

    1. Jake says:

      It’s because you’re running an unauthorized expired beta of IOS 7, idiot. This is your own fault. People running public builds don’t have this issue.

      1. Jeff says:

        Jacob is right. This is not because of the use of unauthorized beta versions. Apparently it’s a bug. To fix this, you need to download 7.0.2 from the iOS Dev Center. Connect your device to iTunes then click shift + ‘update’. Then choose the file downloaded from the iOS Dev Center. It should take a few minutes to update. and vioala! Your system should be updated to the latest version.

        Who’s the idiot now Jake?

        1. Md says:

          Hi Jeff. Stuck up with the same issue. Can u show me where is this ‘update’ button that you have mentioned? I used ‘Check for update’ button in iTunes but it says that i am already using the updated version though i am using the beta. Could u please elaborate the steps to get through the problem.?

          1. Jeff says:

            Hi md. Hold the shift key before clicking ‘check for update’ that should do the trick

      2. Cynde Lee Reneau says:

        You are so misinformed and it’s people like me that test this stuff to work out the bugs for ungrateful people like you. Unauthorized? Really? I actually PAY $100 a year to test for apple and people like you make stupid uneducated comments like this because you don’t even understand what you are talking about. wow!
        I actually updated to the “public” version and was still bricked because of a file that was backed up in my restore file. You have NO clue what you are talking about.

        1. James says:

          Same here! I am Paying a lot of money for this and getting locked out of my phone when i rely on it for work, i am now stuck because apple have messed up!

  32. Joel Ray says:

    Same thing here 🙁 Got multiple issue trying to restore and update . Even tried in dfu mode but then itunes does not recongnise the device ! This is bad Apple not good form!

    edit – Anyone else receiving a 3004 error when they use a iPhone3,1_7.0_11A465_Restore.ipsw file to restore ??

  33. frenchguy48 says:

    I spent 2 hours on the phone with Verizon and apple support Sunday afternoon and they tried every known trick including those mentioned here. Apple finally kicked the issue up to “advanced tech support” and they refused to get on the line with me. They told the tech to tell me there is heavy traffic and try again later. That was 15 hours ago. Have tried dozens of times and still no activation.

  34. Ali Yalçın says:

    Hi, first download ios 7.0.2
    Then open xcode and connect your phone to your Mac.
    Select your phone from the Devices tab.
    then restore to ios 7.0.2.
    And the problem is solved

    1. Indeed says:

      This does work indeed – however you’ll have to restore through itunes not Xcode (and you must have the most up to date itunes).

      Also you’ll lose all your data assuming you didn’t back it up.

      Seems to be the only way to unbrick your phone at the moment.

  35. avis says:

    Same here. This is so annoying.
    My iphone 4s is saying I cant restore my phone without deleting find my iphone.
    I cant delete find my iphone without going into my phone.
    Any suggestions?

  36. mikey448 says:

    hey, my phone was previously running on ios7 beta 6 and now my phone also leaves me with an ‘activation required’ message, is there a way i can get around losing all of my data on my phone since i have some very important files on there?

    1. Tuấn Quang says:

      Hey guy
      I’m using ios 7 beta 6 like you, but, yesterday, my phone noticed “Activation Required”.
      I tried so many things, such as restoring ios 6.1.3 ( Also ios 6.1.4). But ITunes always say ” The Iphone could not be restored. An unknown error 3004″
      I really don’t know why.
      Please help me. Thank you so much!

  37. GorrillaMan says:

    I would like to briefly tell you the story of a friend of mine, an old man in his late 80’s somewhat forgetful and nearing the end of his life.

    His treasured iPhone 4 routinely upgraded to IOS7 but for some reason the upgrade failed and the iPhone was bricked. Myself and a colleague set about trying to help. After some searching on the internet we decided to go through the restore procedure – which we did. Having done so we were unable to activate the phone because it had at some time in the past been associated with an iCloud account. The email address that it hinted to us was long defunct and he was unable to remember the answers to his security questions – or maybe he had entered them incorrectly in the first place – we will never know.

    Next stop – Vodafone helpdesk: “We can’t help you, if you upgrade your contract you can have a new phone.”

    Apple helpdesk: “Security questions please……? That’s not what we have here – sorry we can’t help you.”

    It is easy for a tech company like Apple to dream up a security strategy which seems bullet proof to tech savvy people, but a lot of real life iPhone users aren’t that. Just like my elderly friend who is now distressed and confused that he can’t have his iPhone back, and to be honest, he can’t afford a new one. It would be easy to prove that he is the rightful owner – he has been paying the monthly bill for years – so what is the problem?

    Even if the upgrade had been successful I have my doubts about the morality of forcing such a radical upgrade on the general population of users. There will be many users, who like my friend may be elderly, or otherwise lack the capacity to cope with such a radical change to their iPhone and for whom a phone is a lifeline, or in some cases a treasured possession and their only source of comfort and security in life. Now stolen from them by one of the biggest, most powerful and most arrogant companies on the planet.

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