I want to upgrade my mom's 4 to a 5 for christmas. I also want to keep it a surprise. Is is possible to purchase the phone first then activate later?

3 Answers from the Community

  • Answer

    I am wanting to do a similar thing, and while I don't have a definitive answer, here is what I learned.

    To do this, you will need at least the phone number and account number for the phone being upgraded. Some may have a "Billing password", too, though the one I was doing didn't seem to. You probably have to choose a new contract plan, even if you stay on the same carrier network.

    The good part of buying online is that the phone won't activate until turned on the first time, so her old phone will keep working. When I chatted with AT&T about this, they told me the phone has to be activated within 14 days, but I didn't see any mention of this when I purchased through Apple.

    Also, AT&T told me that I will be able to merge two contracts into one "Mobile Share" contract after they are activated, which is good because Apple won't let me buy a phone with an existing AT&T service and add it to a different account.

    • Answered by Ross H from Mountain View
    • Dec 10, 2012
  • yes

    • Answered by Altaf S from Elmhurst
    • Dec 8, 2012
  • Yes, you can get it then activate it after christmas or you could (I am not sure but I think you can schedule it to start through your provider on christmas day or something)

    • Answered by Jay J from Charleston
    • Sep 19, 2013