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Dumb(?) question about iPhone and activation


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Dumb(?) question about iPhone and activation
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-26, 18:21

I currently have a first-generation iPhone SE that I got in April 2016 (yes, five years ago).

I'm looking to step up to the 4.7" second-generation iPhone SE very soon.

I notice they both use the nano-SIM.

I paid for the current iPhone outright ($399) and have only been paying for my service with AT&T the past five years, having paid for the phone upfront.

And I plan to do the same with the new SE.

So do I have to do anything with/to/for AT&T? Do I have to have it "activated" by them?

Or can I just take the SIM card out of my current SE and put it into the new one and I'm up and running?

I'm not looking to make any change whatsoever to my plan, or hear any sales spiels about stuff I don't want, etc. I just basically want to turn my existing iPhone off and turn the new one on via SIM card swap. And just enjoy the larger storage, bigger screen, better battery, faster performance (A13 vs. A9), camera, etc.

Will that work? Does AT&T even know, or care, which iPhone I own if I'm paying for it upfront and not doing the subsidized thing? Can I just walk into their store (or any, I suppose?) and buy the phone outright and switch the SIM and everything will Just Work™, or is there something AT&T must do on their end to make it all legit?

When I bought my current SE five years ago, I know the young lady opened it up for me and did some thing and my new iPhone was active/working before I left the store. I never even asked what she did, I assumed activated it. But was it necessary? I don't know.

Thanks for any help. I'm hoping to get this phone within the next couple of weeks. My current SE not only chews through battery life like a shark, but the Lightning port is wonky and I have to struggle to insert the lightning cable just right for it to even make a reliable connection/charge. I can't even use the phone while it's recharging because any movement will break that charging connection. The only way I can currently charge my iPhone these past 1-2 months is to connect it to the wall charger on my nightstand and place it just so on the table and gingerly walk away and hope it stays connected. Usually it does, but sometimes I've gone back to it after a few hours and it's still on 9 or 14% or whatever it was when I put the cable in...it just never held the connection.

It's time, after five years, to move on. I love this SE, and if I could get it with an A13 or A14, even with this same exact body style and 4" screen, I would. But I can't, so...
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2021-04-26, 19:20

It's intimidating but super easy. Just back up your phone to iCloud right before you go to activate and then just do it and follow the steps. Super easy. It'll take awhile once you get it set up because it'll have to redownload everything.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-26, 19:59

So I can do it all here, no store needed?
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2021-04-26, 21:34

Yup 100%. I have activated my last 3-4 iPhones from home. No issues.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-26, 21:38

So I assume the process is more than just switching out the SIM then? There’s still a bit of procedure?

I activated my first iPhone back in July 2007(!), but everyone did. That was the era of AT&T only and you just bought it outright I believe (no subsidizing) and came home and connected it to iTunes, etc.

But a thousand things have changed since those days so I just wasn’t sure how everything was handled currently.

Thanks.
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Yontsey
*AD SPACE FOR SALE*
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Cleveland-ish, OH
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2021-04-27, 06:50

You don't even have to switch the SIM card. Basically, just turn on the phone and keep the two next to each other and as long as it's backed up via iCloud you pretty much just set it and forget it. They walk you through everything. It's seamless. Should be even easier since it's not a release cycle period right now too.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2021-04-27, 07:03

I did have to contact AT&T to fix some visual voicemail stuff after I upgraded, but otherwise the whole process is carrier-free like Yontsey says. If you order straight from Apple they'll ask you for your carrier and phone number and handle the new SIM on their end - no swapping needed. Open the new phone, go through the setup prompts, transfer your data from backup (or your old phone) and you're good to go. There's a 24hr-ish hour window where both phones still work as phones, but your old phone will eventually just say 'no service' and then you use it as an iPod.

So it goes.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-27, 07:27

Ah, I see.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-04-27, 08:09

Yeah, I did the same last year when I moved from Verizon to AT&T. Same process. The hardest part is that you think you're done with the migration but it is only the beginning. The apps downloading is what seems to take the longest for Mrs T and my phones. You *can* use your phone while that is happening, but the more you do then there is less processing power to work through the completion of the migration making it take longer.

You also can't really get it started and walk away completely. You should check on it every now and then. My phone migration got stuck at one point and I ended up factory resetting the new phone and starting over. Not a big deal, but be ready to watch shows/movies.BBQ out back etc while peaking in on the process every now and then.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2021-04-27, 08:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
My current SE not only chews through battery life like a shark, but the Lightning port is wonky and I have to struggle to insert the lightning cable just right for it to even make a reliable connection/charge.
Same things happened to both a 6S and a 6S+ we have. iFixit has both battery and lightning port replacements if you want to extend your old phone's life as an iPod (though it probably has only one or two more iOS cycles before its left behind). I replaced the battery in the 6S and it was only a little terrifying (it caught on fire ). I plan on replacing both the battery and the lightning port in the 6S+ to use as a 'garage pod', like for checking email or pulling up a YouTube video on how to sharpen my mower blade or whatnot.

So it goes.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-27, 09:23

It’s so old. It has a small crack in the forehead from a cat-assisted drop about 18 months ago, the screen itself has some discoloration/blotching issues on top of the two-and-a-half year old battery (had it replaced once already in late 2018) and the lightning port/charging issues.

Due to all that (plus its age) this will be my second iPhone I don’t sell to help offset the cost of its replacement (the first was kept for historical/sentimental reasons). But that’s totally fine. I’ll factory reset it, put it back in its originally packaging and set it on the shelf next to my original 2007 iPhone…two solid workhorses that more than did their job for the three and five years I owned them.

Because that 5/5s design is my favorite of all time, I kinda want to hold onto this one as well for future “memory lane” enjoyment. I still take my original 2007 iPhone out of its packaging 1-2 times a year for kicks and chuckles.

As for my new SE, I think I will go with the black this time. I’ve had a white/silver iPhone since October 2012 (iPhone 5), so I think I’ll change it up on this next go-around, just for something a little different for a few years. There will be a future third, or fourth, generation SE (I hope!) that I can always switch back to white/silver if I want. And they’ll eventually be full-face designs as well, I’m sure. I’m confident, within two years, every iPhone will be full-face/no home button design, including the $399 SE. it won’t have the high end screen and fancy cameras like the others, but it already doesn’t anyway. I think they can easily put out a full-face SE-priced design in the next couple of years. As long as I can buy a $400 iPhone every 3-4 years, I’m good.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-04-27, 09:24

Not interested in the mini? I know it costs more, but it seems like it would be a better size for what you're looking for.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-27, 09:41

I’m looking for that 12 mini look/size to wind up in the $399 SE realm. Go with the cheaper display tech, single camera, etc. (all the things that make the current SE different/more affordable than the flagships), and that’ll be my future iPhone in three years or so.

No, I’m not gonna drop $700 on a phone. Ever. But I can do the $399 and still live with myself/sleep at night. I’ll just wait until that full-face design, with tweaked components as needed, trickles down to my comfort zone.

And it will. This second-gen SE I’m about to pounce on will be my bridge to that future full-face SE in 3-4 years. It’ll all time out just right, I’m betting.

I read everywhere about how that 12 mini isn’t as strong a seller as the other 12 models. It’s all psychology and appearances. It’s tough to offer an inexplicably smaller phone at a premium price.

IMO, Apple goofed by not using that design - sans fancy display, multiple cameras, etc. - for a third-generation SE.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2021-04-27, 09:50

I think the 12 mini and 2020 SE are both fantastic products in their own right.

I'd be bummed if they discontinue it.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-27, 09:55

The 12 mini is my dream iPhone, in terms of “biggest screen possible in a one-hand design”. Absolutely. It is indeed, in my eyes, the holy grail iPhone. It’s pretty much the iPhone I mocked up in illustrator, and in real life foam-core and spray glue, over three years ago (after the introduction of the iPhone X).

“One-hand comfort/usability, with a large-as-possible display covering the entire front!” I’ve still got that model in my nightstand. It’s perfect!

And when I see/hold the 12 mini at the AT&T store, I just go “yep…”.

I just don’t need those high-end features/specs at that accompanying price, that’s all.

But take that design/chassis and “de-Cadillac” (cameras, display, materials, fancy colors, etc.) and it’ll make a hell of a future SE at an affordable price.

At some point the 12 mini and the 2020 SE are gonna have a baby. I just know it. May be a few more years, but it’s coming.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2021-04-27 at 10:07.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2021-04-27, 09:57

Yeah. I like my 11 Pro but would consider going down to a mini once I'm ready to replace this phone. That is likely another two years away though so who knows what the phones will look like in that time.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-27, 10:08

Folding and transparent, probably.

True 007/Mission:Impossible craziness.
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Capella
Dark Cat of the Sith
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Rochester, NY
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2021-04-27, 12:43

FWIW I just bought mine, backed my SE1 up to my PC via iTunes with a cable, cloned it back to the new SE2 when I plugged it in, physically switched the nano-SIM, and T-Mobile didn't give a shit.

Scates, I hope you love your SE2. It was a bit of an upgrade to get used to the size in the hand, but it's still way more pocketable and managable than other iPhones, it's super snappy for handling everything I throw at it (including some mobile games recently because I'm trash). I love mine a lot, and the improved camera is great for taking pictures of my cat and lewd selfies for my fiance.

"A blind, deaf, comatose, lobotomy patient could feel my anger!" - Darth Baras
twitter ; amateur photographer ; fanfiction writer ; roleplayer and worldbuilder
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-27, 13:05

I'm sure I'll like it fine. My stepmom just upgraded her first-gen SE to the current one (product red) and it feels pretty good in the hand, especially case-free. And my Mom had a 6s for 2-3 years, and that's basically the same type of phone...same display size and the 6/7/8 were all very close in body style.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-29, 14:24

Quick related follow up: those of you - Ken, chucker, Capella, etc. - who probably follow this kind of stuff more than I do these days…have you heard any solid rumblings re: a new SE?

I’m guessing no because this current one will probably be around another full year. I just don’t want to buy it, unaware that there’s a pending update looming.

I think I’m safe though.

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2021-04-29 at 14:37.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2021-04-29, 14:30

Haven't heard anything. Depending on how badly Apple wants to eliminate the Home button may determine what the next model looks like, though. I'm guessing something like the iPhone 12 Mini will be the next SE.

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pscates2.0
Mr. Katan
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2021-04-29, 14:37

That’s my belief as well, but I think it’s probably a 2022 thing.

I do think I’ll slog out one more month and see what happens at WWDC. I know the chances are basically zero, but I also have a ~15 year standing rule that I never make a major purchase within a month or so of an Apple event. Because you just never know.

I can make it to June 7 with this thing. I think. I may have to augment it with smoke signals and a pigeon.
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Elysium
Environmental Bloodhound
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Land of ice and snow
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2021-04-30, 14:19

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
I think the 12 mini and 2020 SE are both fantastic products in their own right.

I'd be bummed if they discontinue it.
Same. The mini finally got me to upgrade from my 8.

I went through the AT&T promo with the unlimited plan as with the trade in in credits and the corporate signature discount I basically was getting HBO Max for free for 30 months for the same cost if I stuck with my old plan and just bought the phone outright.

Activation was easy. The hard part was fixing AT&T’s creative accounting on the backend.

I’ll probably keep my blue mini as a house project/music server device. Still have my white 4S going strong as the kitchen stereo.

Formerly known as cynical_rock
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There is no snooze button on a cat.
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