While it's now common knowledge that unlocked iPhones, hacked to work on networks other than AT&T's, are -- for the most part -- crippled by the iPhone 1.1.1 software/firmware update (as warned by Apple) and made unable to recognize SIM cards, several users are now reporting a similar issue with iPhones that were not unlocked, nor hacked in any fashion.
Users experiencing this problem receive the error message:
"The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be a supported AT&T SIM card. [...] Only compatible AT&T SIM cards may be used to activate iPhone. Please insert the SIM card that came with your iPhone or visit an AT&T store to receive a replacement SIM card."
This can sometimes be resolved by removing the iPhone's SIM card, then connecting it to your computer and restoring. iTunes may then reload the iPhone software successfully, after which you can re-insert the SIM card and attempt synchronization with iTunes. If that fails, try removing the SIM then putting your iPhone in recovery mode and restoring, via these steps:
- Disconnect your iPhone from your Mac or Windows computer.
- Press and hold the sleep/wake and home buttons simultaneously for about 20-30 seconds, until you see a graphic of a USB cable with an arrow pointing to iTunes.
- Connect your iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes if it does not automatically launch.
- Now proceed to restore your iPhone. Click the Restore button under the Summary tab. Restoring the phone will erase contacts, calendars, photos and other data on the phone, but will restore automatically backed-up information including text messages, notes, call history, contact favorites, sound settings, widget settings, etc.
- Re-insert your SIM and attempt activation.
Finally, you can try removing the SIM card and re-inserting it, making sure it is free of debris and properly seated.
If you are experiencing a similar issue, please let us know.