Why Your New iPhone 14 May Not Activate Properly

When Apple announced the iPhone 14 lineup a little over a week ago, the company confirmed that customers would be able to pre-order three iPhone 14 variants starting September 9. Apple also confirmed that early customers would be able to get hold of their very own iPhone 14 starting September 16. Notably, the three iPhone variants that have begun reaching consumers' hands include the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The first thing most iPhone customers do after getting hold of their phones is to run the initial setup process to activate the phone. While this has largely been a smooth process in the past, things may not go as planned this time around. We have been hearing reports (Via MacRumors) about a rather annoying bug with iOS 16.0 that may cause the activation process to fail on new iPhones. With millions of customers expected to get hold of their iPhone 14's today, there is a growing concern about the issue spiraling into a major crisis that could impact the activation process for thousands of iPhone consumers across the globe.

While Apple has not detailed the reasons behind the bug, the company did acknowledge that the problem exists. The company also notes that incomplete activation could manifest differently on different devices. While some users might not even be able to complete the activation process, others may actually complete the process but may end up facing issues with iMessage and FaceTime calls.

How to fix the iPhone 14 activation bug

Initial reports indicate that the iPhone 14 activation bug is largely restricted to iPhone 14 models that run iOS 16.0 (the software they'll have right out of the box). Apple — on its support page — also confirmed that the issue won't be a cause of concern for devices running the latest version of iOS (which at the time of writing this article is iOS 16.0.1). Unfortunately, most iPhone 14 devices that will reach consumers' hands today would have been manufactured before Apple rolled out iOS 16.0.1.

Additionally, the MacRumors report also talks about a connection between the activation bug on the iPhone 14 and open Wi-Fi networks. Apparently, the activation failure largely happened after consumers attempted the process while connected to an open Wi-Fi network. It is still unclear, though, whether people who connected to a secure Wi-Fi network at their homes experienced no issues with the activation process. 

MacRumors also talks about a temporary fix to solve the issue. During the setup process, when the phone prompts users to connect to a Wi-Fi network, Apple recommends people instead select the option that says "Connect to Mac or to a PC with iTunes." This step will take the users back to the previous screen, where they can try the Wi-Fi activation process again.

Issues with iMessage and FaceTime

Meanwhile, Apple's support page confirms that some users who successfully activated their iPhone 14's may still end up with a bunch of crippled features. Most notable among them is the inability to receive iMessages, or FaceTime calls. In addition, some users may note that the messages sent from the affected iPhone to other Apple devices show up in a green bubble instead of the blue one.

Those used to conversing on iMessage could also experience issues with how threaded conversations work in iMessage. In some cases, the recipient may see the messages being sent from the wrong account. For example, a message sent from your phone number could be displayed as being sent from your email ID.

In such instances, the easiest way to fix the issue is to update the phone to the newest version of iOS. If the issue persists even after updating the phone, Apple recommends users open the "Settings" app and tap on "Cellular." Next, select the "Messages" option and then tap on "Send & Receive." In the next step, choose the number you want to use with Messages. Repeat the same procedure with FaceTime, and you'll once again have access to all of your favorite iPhone 14 features in full working order.