If you’re giving someone a smartphone, video game system, or Apple Watch, unwrap it before
Christmas day. They’ll thank you for it.

Last Christmas, Apple’s servers could not easily handle the mass amount of activations of new phones and operating system downloads, leading to enormous slowdowns in accessing its iCloud.
Apple apologized in a tweet, explaining that “high capacity” demands were affecting installations and activations for the many people receiving Apple gadgets. The problem existed for over 30 hours before, Apple resolved the issue.

Similar slowdowns have affected proud new owners of gaming systems who were either activating Xbox or PlayStation systems. It also affects anyone receiving video games, whether online or even physical DVDs. Even those games require installations and updates.

If you’re giving someone an iPhone, activating it requires only that you have access to their old device. Place the old iPhone next to the new iPhone and follow the directions. You may need their Apple login information to accomplish this. You should also contact your wireless carrier ahead of time. Simply handing someone an unwrapped iPhone or Apple Watch that has not
been set up or activated by the carrier will take a long time. Especially as tens of thousands of other people try accessing the iCloud and servers at the same time.

Activating gaming systems may also require you to know and enter your username, email
address, and password. Surprises won’t be easy if you want to get those devices up and
running early.

The same is true for smart home devices, although Amazon will ship its Echo devices already
tied to your account.

If the device requires batteries, such as iPhones, smartphones, watches, tablets, and game controllers, unwrapping them early gives you a chance to make sure they are fully charged.

Otherwise, the receiver of the gifts will likely have to sit with the device tethered to a cable and electrical outlet.

Parents who received a bicycle as a child and had to wait on mom or dad to put it together
should have some idea of how frustrating it can be to get something they want, but not be able
to use it after unwrapping the surprise.