Steal an Upgrade? How to Change Your iPhone 5 Number on AT&T

Tomorrow, the iPhone 5 will arrive on the doorsteps of the millions who pre-ordered the device for release date delivery. Many of those customers may have taken an upgrade from a mom or sibling to get the new phone. However, those who pre-ordered through AT&T with a different number than the one they wish to use will have to follow a few steps to use a different number than the one that they pre-ordered with.

AT&T has begun sending out text messages to those that upgraded to the new iPhone 5, set to be released tomorrow. In that text, the carrier provides a link which is meant to help those wishing to activate with a different number.

While you might skip over it, the information there is extremely useful for those that stole an upgrade from a family member in order to get the new iPhone 5.

Read: AT&T iPhone 5 Pre-Orders Begin to Ship.


Many who pre-ordered through AT&T may wish to change their number when the iPhone arrives.

For many, stealing an upgrade from a family member was the only way to get the iPhone 5 without paying a steep ETF fee or waiting for an upgrade to arrive. AT&T is aware that people have done this and it has provided an easy way of changing the number on the iPhone 5 assuming that’s what you wish to do.

Those that intend on keeping the same number that was attached to the order will not have to do anything tomorrow. Just follow the activation steps and you’re good to go.

And for those that are switching numbers tomorrow, here is what to do:

  1. Charge your device if needed
  2. Contact AT&T at 1-800-331-0500 or 611 from a different wireless device. At the prompt, enter the wireless number that you used to place your iPhone order.
  3. At the next prompt, choose option #2 to activate your phone on a different mobile number, and an AT&T representative will help you from there.
  4. After speaking with an AT&T representative, turn on your iPhone, follow the on screen instructions and choose a Wi-Fi network. If Wi-Fi is not available, connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC with iTunes ( and follow the on-screen instructions.

We assume AT&T’s representatives will be slammed with calls tomorrow so if you’re intending on doing this, remain patient.

Once those steps are completed, you should have a brand new iPhone 5 with a number that isn’t the same number that you used to order.

Consider this your Public Service Announcement.