Just read this article on the german news site heise.de. Looks like Germany’s exclusive provider T-Mobile is already sending out their activated SIM cards, but without the actual phone.
This basically means you have to pay the contract fees although you cannot use the services. T-Mobile support suggests you use the SIM in another phone while the wait for your ordered iPhone continues. Doing this can get expensive because the included minutes and data plan – according to the footnotes – are only ticking when you’re using the SIM in an iPhone issued by T-Mobile (Update below!).
According to a spokesperson T-Mobile will supply these customers with extra minutes, but this still begs the question why they are sending out the SIM cards without the phone in the first place. Especially as the waiting time for an iPhone over here in Germany is rumored to carry on until October. This could possibly mean that people will have to pay for several months without getting the service they are paying for. This process also means that I have to get back to you and fight for the minutes that I have to pay for, because I have to use another phone. But what about those of us who don’t happen to have another phone lying around?
Why is it so hard for T-Mobile to package the phone and SIM card in one box? Stupid moves like this are the reason why people start hating your services, even though it might not be solely T-Mobile’s fault. This is also Apple’s fault, of course. They are the ones who apparently can’t deliver the phones. T-Mobile’s top priority should be to make the customer happy. If Apple really can’t deliver the phones T-Mobile has ordered, they should be the ones to pay and not the waiting customers.
The only conclusion of this is: Don’t leave the store without the SIM and the phone!
Obviously T-Mobile got aware of the problem and now allows the use of the SIM (including the minutes and data plan) with other handsets. Also T-Mobile will offer various credits (from 30 to 60 Euros).