Apple May Return To Home-Activation for iPhone

Since today is apparently smartphone day here on Tech Watch, we’ll start with some news about the sector’s crowned prince: Apple’s [AAPL] iPhone. Apparently Apple and AT&T [ATT] have learned something from their little iPhone 3G launch debacle: home activation was the way to go. Forcing customers to activate in-store led to epic, day-long lines even months after the device had gone on sale. Now, there’s word the home activation process is coming back.

Appleinsider says they have spoken with Apple Store employees who have noted a new option called "Home", currently inactive, appears in the store’s EasyPay system when they sell an iPhone 3G. This could mean that at the next model refresh, Apple will re-deploy the home activation method as a way of staving off a fresh set of lines for updated devices.

Consonant with that rumor are rumors that 8GB iPhone 3G stock is drying up at Apple stores around the country, and that a refreshed model could be imminent. Sources are saying that the 8GB model will be discontinued, just as the original 4GB model was, and replaced by a 32GB model at the top end. Just when you figured out how to shoe-horn all your favorite bands into 8GB...

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