People familiar with this week’s disclosures between Apple and its retail workers say the electronics maker designed its in-store payment process for the iPhone 3G so that EasyPay portable systems (pictured below) carried by staff members can process orders for the new phone.
As such, the only forms of payment accepted for an iPhone 3G will be credit cards, debit cards, or Apple gift cards. However, gift cards can still be purchased by cash or check at point-of-sale (iMac) systems on the front of stores.
EasyPay handhelds will also process every part of the iPhone 3G transaction before activation, the same people say. This will include everything from a credit check (if applicable, see below), customer selection of a calling plan, add-ons, number porting and actual purchase.
Some other notes from Apple’s ongoing retail meetings:
- Apple stores will not be able to help business customers who want to upgrade to iPhone 3G. Business customers are categorized as any person for whom part (or all) of their wireless bill is paid by their employer, or who receives discounts on their mobile phone while working for their employer.
- If you’re not an existing AT&T customer, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number to an Apple representative so they can perform a quick credit check.
- All iPhone 3G buyers will be required to present valid US government issued identification (such as a driver’s license) at the time of purchase.
- Customers signing up to a new AT&T FamilyTalk plan will need to purchase at least two iPhone 3Gs with the plan, unless a first-generation iPhone is already owned by one of the family members who will be using the plan. In this case, the new phone is sold and activated and the old iPhone is transferred to the new plan.
- Some retail store workers say employees can also “personalize” iPhone 3Gs by creating an email account for customers at the point of sale.
- Apple retail employees may not be able to determine if existing non-iPhone AT&T customers are eligible for the upgrade pricing. As such, it is unclear how sales of iPhone 3Gs to non-iPhone AT&T customers will be possible in Apple stores. Additional information will be published when available.
- Porting non-AT&T mobile numbers to iPhone 3G on new AT&T accounts can take up to 4-6 hours. During this time, outgoing calls can still be made.
- Apple Retail employees will receive additional training July 9-10.
- Apple’s retail managers were expected to receive more details regarding the launch day procedures during a conference call Monday (today).
- The slogan seems to be “GET READY, GET SET, GO …”
- Apple is expected to issue a press release with additional details as early as Tuesday.
- In the meantime, Apple has provided customers with a support document that describes how to replace an original iPhone with an iPhone 3GS.
- After payment for an iPhone 3G is processed, Apple employees will activate (unbrick) the phone by connecting it to a modified iTunes app. The activation process on the modified iTunes app will reflect the first steps of the original iPhone home activation process, and employees (at least at AT&T) are advised not to go past the “Configure” screen. your iPhone ”, as can be seen in the AT&T training screenshot below.