Bypassing Palm Pre’s Sprint Activation

Update: This whole process has been automated and “idiot-proofed” by Rod Whitby on his blog.

Last week, I went to pick up a Palm Pre sans a Sprint contract. The Sprint sales person had no problem selling me a $550 Palm Pre, but it was up to me to “Activate” the device. Sadly, I couldn’t find good step by step instructions on how to do this. The best I could find, still was very confusing because it never explained why I was doing the things it was asking me to do.

So here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to bypass Sprint’s activation for a Palm Pre. Hopefully you can use the webOS Internals tutorial and this to bypass activation. This will enable you to develop apps or use the Palm Pre as a wifi/bt device. Note, you will need to be comfortable with linux command line, tools, and editing files.

First, the goal of this “hack” is to bypass the Sprint Activation but also to enable WiFi so you can create a profile on without service. We are going to be basically hacking an additional menu item which then brings up the WiFi preferences pane.