My New iPhone 3G S: Fast, But No Activation or Secure Network Connections [Updated]

AT&T delivered my new iphone 3G S on June 19th as promised. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how to activate it (should I swap the SIM card from the old phone?) and it didn’t come with any documentation to that effect. Ultimately, since there was a sticker on the box with my phone number, I assumed AT&T did what they needed to do, so SIM-swapping was unnecessary.

I plugged it into iTunes, and saw the (common) message that it needed activation and that could take a while. I’d read this could take up to two days, so I kind of expecetd it. No biggie, since I could still sync it, put it on WiFI, etc.

I took the option to restore it from the latest backup (of my current iPhone). This worked great, with all my apps brought over, including all my settings and their positions on the various home screens. Connecting it to my home WiFi network, my Microsoft Exchange account asked for a password, and it was all set. MobileMe did as well, but it claimed it could not get a secure connection to the server. The Inbox worked, but I could not see or interact with any other folders in my account.

Without MobileMe I don’t have bookmarks, contacts, etc., but I used Safari to browse to some sites and could see the speed improvements. Then I tried Tweetie and it failed. Like MobileMe, it could not get a secure connection. So I deleted it, thinking maybe it just needed re-installing. To re-install it I went to the App Store. Connecting there was fast, and so was browsing, but when I went to purchase Tweetie it failed because it could not get a secure connection.

So I have a phone on my own WiFi network that somehow cannot connect securely. I’ve tried:

  • Turning off SSL for MobileMe email, but it still won’t connect.
  • Blowing away the MobileMe account and re-added it, but that was no help.
  • Double-checking all network settings, but everything is fine (and matches my existing phone which works great).
  • Turning off 3G and hard-resetting the device. No help.

I do not know if — and do not see why — activation would have any bearing on secure connections via WiFi, but at this point I’ve decided not to trouble-shoot the secure connection issue any further until the phone is activated and I verify the problem persists.

So I’m waiting…

It’s been nearly 24 hours and I’m waiting.

[UPDATE:] I visited my local AT&T and they got it activated. That’s the good news. The bad news is that — as I feared — this didn’t address the secured network connection issue. So I’ve now got a valid phone but no contacts, email, bookmarks, etc.

[UPDATE #2:] After resetting Network Connections and a few other tricks failed, I found a forum post that said to click OK on the initial error about an invalid certificate, and then just wait. According to the post, it would take a while but the phone would chew on it and apparently reset its certificate. Well, it worked, and everything is working now. To be honest, I think I had done that yesterday, so it’s possible it only worked in conjunction with many other things I tried today.

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