After you’ve made your choice as to the model of iPhone you want to purchase and have picked out accessories (cases, cables, and other goodies) to go with it, it’s time to pay for the goods. When the Apple Store associate scans the iPhone box with an iOSbased point-of-sale device, the device immediately starts asking questions that you’ll need to answer. Among those questions are the following:
» Are you a current customer of a particular mobile phone company that features the iPhone? If so, what is your telephone number?
» Are you coming over from another cell phone company? If so, what company, and what is your telephone number?
» What voice, data, and text plan would you like to sign up for?
» If you are not eligible for a phone upgrade on your existing plan, are you willing to pay the extra cost to buy the unsubsidized phone? (Many carriers subsidize the cost of the phone, knowing that you’ll more than pay them back in your monthly subscription fees.)
In the case of an existing iPhone owner upgrading to a newer iPhone, the point-of-sale device will check your existing phone number and will immediately let the Apple Store associate know whether you’re eligible for an upgrade. There’s usually a nominal fee associated with the upgrade, and you will be asked if you want to accept that fee. The associate will then display your existing voice, data, and text plans, and you’ll be asked if you want to stay with those plans or change to a different plan. Of course, you’ll also need to swipe the credit card that you’ll use to pay for the phone and the plan, and your signature is required on the point-of-sale device.
Upon agreement to the terms and conditions of the carrier’s plan and the use of Apple’s hardware and software, your new iPhone is activated. Note that if you have an existing phone, the service to it will be cut off immediately.
Activating your iPhone at an Apple or a carrier store has another benefit. Most of the stores have a set of cables and special software that are used to transfer all your settings, data, addresses, photos, and more from your existing phone to the iPhone. This is especially important if you are getting your first iPhone and coming over from another phone platform.
Regardless of whether you choose to pick up your new iPhone in person at an Apple or cellular service provider’s store or if you have it shipped to you from Apple or Amazon, you still won’t be able to use the phone (except to make emergency phone calls) until you connect it to your computer.
Source of Information : Taking Your iPhone 4 to the Max