The new iPhone 3G requires the phone to be activated in the mobile service carriers stores or Apple stores (and possibly also requires activate-in-iTunes as of current iPhone practice) in order to get a full working and all features enabled iPhone. The requirement is an fraud protection effort to beat unlockers who crack the AT&T network tied SIM-locked subsidized iPhone and sell it at higher price in gray market. The process to perform the in-store activation is leaked when the memo apparently meant for Rogers stores in Canada, giving insight explanation to the ‘unbrick’ mechanism using store activation-only iTunes version.

Store Setup Requirements for iPhone

This document outlines the initial store setup requirements that you must fulfill in order to effectively sell the iPhone in store. To ensure customers can leave with a fully functional iPhone, it must be first be “unbricked”. This process involves using the tether (a USB cable: see below) to connect/sync the iPhone to a unique ‘Activation Only’ version of iTunes via a computer. More information about the unbricking process will be provided in training (found on Fast Track and Sales Central) and you will be informed when the job aid is available.


Bricked: Default state of the iPhone, only emergency calls allowed.
Unbrick: Enabling the phone for services.
Tethering: Connecting an iPhone to a computer running iTunes.
Activation: Customer account setup and CTN provisioning which is completed in-store and is immediate. This is identical to today’s process for other wireless products.

Requirement 1) Download/Install ‘Store only version’ of iTunes

  • In order to unbrick the iPhone in store (which is a requirement of the iPhone Sales Process), you must have iTunes version 7.6.3b4. Installed on your computer. This version has a special ‘Activation Only Mode’ that must be enabled and used in store.
  • The iTunes version that is currently available on the Apple website is version 7.6.2. This version does NOT have the activation only mode and as such please action the following steps to complete the installation of version 7.6.3b4:
    1. Download and install 7.6.3b4 from the following link. Do not attempt to use any other version of iTunes as V7.6.3b4 is a specific activation only module designed for in-store use.

    2. When you enter the link above you will be asked if you want to ‘open’ or ‘save’ the file. Select ‘Open’. The file is 102mb and may take 5 to 15 minutes to download, depending on your connection speed.
    3. Once downloaded you will see a window containing two files. One file is for a Mac and the other is for Windows. Please double-click the Windows.exe file.
    4. A small ‘warning’ window will pop-up that advises you to extract all files –Please do so.
    5. An ‘Extraction Wizard’ will start. Click ‘Next’.
    6. You will be asked where you want the files to be extracted to. The default location (a temporary file) is ok, so select ‘next’. You will then be advised that the extraction has finished. Click ‘Finish’.
    7. A new window will appear with the extracted files in (both Mac and Windows). Double click on the Windows.exe file. You may be presented with a Windows security warning. If so, select ‘Run’ as the files are safe. There may be a delay before the next step starts.
    8. Pop-up windows and instructions will guide you through the rest of the installation process. You must close MS Outlook (if it’s open) before completing the installation.
    9. During the installation process you will be asked if you would like an iTunes shortcut on your desktop – Please do so.
    10. You may be asked to restart your computer – Please do so if asked.
    11. Once you have restarted you will see an iTunes shortcut on your desktop.
    12. The download process is complete – you must now follow the following steps to complete the process.
  • You MUST now enable the ‘Activation only Module’ within iTunes.
    1. Create a shortcut on your desktop by right clicking on a blank space on your desktop and selecting ‘new’ and then ‘shortcut’.
    2. A ‘Create a shortcut’ wizard window will appear. In the box within the window marked ‘Type the location of the item’, please type or copy and paste the following bolded text in this EXACT format.
    3. Please ensure you use the whole of this text with all punctuation/grammar exactly as specified:

      “C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe” /StoreActivationMode 1

    4. Click ‘Next’. You will be asked to enter a name for the shortcut. use:

      iTunes Activation Module

    5. Click ‘Finish’. You will now see a new iTunes shortcut on your desktop with this name.
    6. This shortcut is the Activation Module and should be used to unbrick the iPhone. When you first start this version of iTunes there will be a terms and conditions agreement that you will need to “accept’ in order to proceed.

Note: Unbricking the iPhone should only be completed after activating the iPhone on Sales Central. Full instructions on how and when to activate and unbrick will be provided in a training job aid on fast track and sales central. You will be informed when this Job Aid is available.

Note: As of July 11 2008, an updated version of iTunes (7.7) will be publicly available from It will have the activation only mode built in (like 7.6.3b4) so you will not need to use unique Weblinks to download it. As it is a publicly available version of iTunes it still needs to be configured for store use. Therefore you MUST ‘enable’ version 7.7 in the same way as you did for version 7.6.3b4 that is detailed above.

  1. To update your current version (7.6.3b4) to V7.7 to benefit from software updates; Open iTunes, select ‘help’ and ‘check for updates’ or go to and download iTunes from the ‘downloads’ section. You do not have to uninstall previous versions first.
  2. You MUST still enable the activation only mode, using the shortcut creation method above.

Requirement 2) Tethering the iPhone

  • Every iPhone box contains its own tether (USB cables to connect the iPhone to the computer) which is required to complete the unbricking process and for customers to sync their iPhone’s at home.
  • In order to speed up the in store process you will receive 2 tethers for your store as part of your Demo unit docking station shipment.
  • Attach each tether via a USB port (ideally USB 2.0) to separate computers. There is no need to remove the tethers; they can remain connected at all times. If the tether is not long enough, you can extend it with a USB extension lead purchased from many electronics stores.
  • The iPhone will need to be connected at the other end of tether for unbricking – only after the activation has been completed in SC (see training module on SC and Fast Track for details).

Requirement 3) Sales Central Training and IDs

  • iPhone should only be activated via Sales Central and through the call centre in an emergency.
  • An iPhone Sales Process job aid will be available on Fast Track and SC. It details all the related sales process discussed in this document and others, including Sales Central.
  • Please ensure all store reps have their own unique and active Sales Central ID and have reviewed the job aid.
  • The iPhone product will be made available through DOAT in due course (you will be advised when this happens) and no other special permissions are required in order to activate the iPhone.

Additional Information:

  • Product training is now available on Fast Track – Please sign up as soon as possible!
  • Mosaic Representatives will be visiting select stores in the lead-up to Launch.
  • Launch day plans will soon be available. In the interim please do not modify your store opening hours, speculate on launch plans, contact the media or create any form of waitlists or advertising related to the iPhone.

So probably this leak information doesn’t show a way for user to hack the in-store activation process yet, as presumably user will still need the access to Sales Central for successful activation. The download link to the iTunes version 7.6.3 is dead, but if you want to try to install iTunes with “StoreActivationMode” function before iTunes version 7.7 is officially released, download the iTunes 7.6.3b4 for Windows and Mac, hosted unofficially.

However, it’s still unclear if iPhone 3G owner is allowed to perform his or her own activation to unbrick the iPhone 3G via iTunes, as in the case of original iPhone. AT&T, the sole distributor for iPhone 3G in United States, stated that “the activation process for 3G iPhones includes a short tether process to unbrick the 3G device and will be performed in all AT&T stores (tether cords will be provided). Apple stores will also perform this tether process, however, in the event that your device is not tethered in the Apple store, your device will be inoperable until you get home and tether through iTunes.” So it’s possible that users can activate the iPhone 3G themselves at home, most likely when they have signed up for some kind of service contracts with AT&T.

Source from