In order to begin using your iPhone, you have to activate it. For the first two iPhone models--the original iPhone or iPhone 3G--the activation process is based around a combination in-store and iTunes-centric activation. This article does not cover that, since those models are no longer being sold.
This article is for people who have just bought their first iPhone or are upgrading from a previous model. If you have a new iPhone, there are some steps you may be able to skip. Otherwise, this article covers activating an iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, or 4S running iOS 7. If you're using a version of the OS earlier than 5, use this article.
OK, with that out of the way, let's get started activating your iPhone!
- Buy the Phone - Surprise! The first step in setting up a new iPhone is buying it (though I suspect you already knew that). There are a number of places you can buy an iPhone. Do your research, make a decision, and head to the store or wait for the delivery.
- Ensure iTunes Is Up To Date - This isn't always absolutely required, but it's probably a good idea anyway. Learn how to install iTunes. Once you've got iTunes installed or updated, you're ready to proceed
Begin by turning on/waking up your iPhone by holding down the sleep/power button in the top right corner. When the screen lights up, you'll see the image above. Swipe the slider to the right to begin iPhone activation.