Apple Watch, HomePod Users Report of Activation Failure During Setup

Apple’s status page confirms that there is an ongoing issue with ‘iCloud Account and Sign in’.

Apple Watch, HomePod Users Report of Activation Failure During Setup

Apple system status page suggests that the issue has been ongoing for the last few hours

  • Until the issue is resolved, affected users can’t use new purchases
  • It is likely to be an issue caused by traffic overload on Christmas
  • Apple has not offered any clarity on the matter yet

Apple Watch and HomePod smart speaker users are reporting problems with setting up the devices while using iCloud. Many new buyers have taken to forums to complain about this on Christmas morning, likely after receiving fresh Apple products as Christmas gifts. Apple's status page confirms that there is an ongoing issue with ‘iCloud Account and Sign in' for the past few hours and that ‘some users are affected' and may be ‘experiencing a problem with the service'.

Apple's status page suggests that the ‘iCloud Account and Sign in' issue was still ongoing at the time of writing this report. The issue was first reported by MacRumors saying that its forums were also seeing people post complaints of setup failure on the Apple Watch and HomePod.

One user, going by the username BeatCrazy, wrote that his new Apple Watch SE purchases are failing verification upon setup. Several users have commented below his post confirming that they were experiencing similar problems.

BeatCrazy says that the verification process is failing continuously, stopping him from setting up the new Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular models that he bought for his kids for Christmas. He says that he is able to sign in using Apple IDs and passwords, but the process halts when he is asked to enter the passcode of another device.

“I realize it is Christmas morning and Apple's activation servers are probably on overload, but this still seems unnecessarily frustrating. I got my two kids (<18 yo) Apple Watch SE + Cellular, with plans to activate via Family Setup/sharing. They each already have Apple IDs that are used on iPads regularly. I'm able to start the pairing process using my iPhone, sign into their Apple IDs with their passwords, but [it] keep getting hung when Apple wants me to enter the passcode of another device,” the user wrote. "Apple gives me a choice to ‘reset encrypted data', which I take as an offer to destroy all their existing Apple ID passwords and data - not a good option IMO.”

HomePod users have also thronged to MacRumors forums complaining of the speaker setup being stuck on ‘configuration'. Complains suggest that the setup is getting stuck even after multiple resets. “I cannot setup my mini. Gets stuck on ‘configuring' after initial setup, then after a while will reset itself. I have three other HomePods and never before had this issue. Unless there is a fix, mini is unusable,” says a user who goes by the name alecc131.

Because of these setup issues, some users cannot use their new Apple purchases until there is a fix. Apple is yet to respond to these issues, but it looks like this is happening due to an overload of traffic on Apple servers as a lot of users may be initiating the verification process after opening their Christmas presents for the first time.

Is HomePod mini the best smart speaker under Rs. 10,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.


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Further reading: Apple Watch, Homepod, Apple, iCloud
Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to More
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