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Old iPhone on AT&T w/o iPhone Plan?


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Old iPhone on AT&T w/o iPhone Plan?
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jdcfsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2009-06-15, 13:59

I'm upgrading my 1st gen (Edge-based) iPhone to the 3G S and plan to give my old one to my brother so he can use it as a glorified iPod Touch. But I'm wondering if he puts his current AT&T SIM card in the phone, could he use it like any other AT&T phone and just not use the internet over cell? Or would he have to activate the phone on his plan and add an iPhone plan in the process? Curious. Thanks!

90% of statistics can be made to say anything 50% of the time.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-06-15, 14:00

I'd like to know the answer to this question, too. Planning on doing something similar.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2009-06-15, 14:13

Yeah, me too (but my thread about it is a black hole of nothingness, so maybe I'll get some answers/ideas here)...

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zippy
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Unknown
 
2009-06-15, 14:25

Can't you just try it out and see? Or is your brother located elsewhere?

Worst case would be that you would have to donwload and use an unlocking tool - the one from the iphone dev-team has always worked well for me. I haven't checked yet to see what they are saying about iPhone OS 3.0 and unlocked iPhones yet. There's always a chance that the newer software will 'brick' a previously unlocked phone. So just don't upgrade to 3.0 until the unlock tool has been verified to work.
http://blog.iphone-dev.org/

Do you know where children get all of their energy? - They suck it right out of their parents!
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2009-06-15, 14:42

Yeah, that's the thing. So much is unknown when a major new release hits. All the old stuff (workarounds, fixes, etc.) might be "addressed" by this latest release. You want to be sure - and careful - before doing anything too major.
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jdcfsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2009-06-15, 15:41

Just tried it and it doesn't work by just swapping the SIM card. Jailbraking is an interesting idea though. I know that it allows for use of any off-network SIM cards, but would it also allow for AT&T cards without the iPhone plan?

90% of statistics can be made to say anything 50% of the time.
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zippy
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Unknown
 
2009-06-15, 16:18

Yes. I know it's been employed by a fair number of ATT customers who did not want to be forced into a contract or a data plan.

And just to be clear, you will need to 'Unlock', not just 'jailbreak' the phone. Jailbreaking is a process which lets you get apps on the device from sources other than the app store. Unlocking is the procedure that will allow you to use a different SIM card/cellular network. Of course, jailbreaking is a necessary part of unlocking, so a full unlock will do both.

The iPhone-Dev Teams Pwnagetool and/or Quickpawn will be what you need.

Do you know where children get all of their energy? - They suck it right out of their parents!

Last edited by zippy : 2009-06-15 at 16:35.
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jdcfsu
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2009-06-16, 15:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy View Post
Yes. I know it's been employed by a fair number of ATT customers who did not want to be forced into a contract or a data plan.
Cool. Thanks for the info.
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remlemasi
Formerly “theelmerguy”
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Irvine, California
 
2009-06-20, 22:13

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu View Post
Just tried it and it doesn't work by just swapping the SIM card. Jailbraking is an interesting idea though. I know that it allows for use of any off-network SIM cards, but would it also allow for AT&T cards without the iPhone plan?
Hmm... My sister has "borrowed" my iPhone 3G on a few occasions (for a few hours or so) by swapping our SIMs. We're both on AT&T and she doesn't have data, so when she tries to access Safari without WiFi it just says "no internet connection" or something like that. Similarly, when I try to access internet on her LG slider over 3G, it works just fine (albeit the crappiest internet experience ever).

So all we did was swap SIMs and it worked. Maybe, your case is different because it's an Edge iPhone? Or maybe because my iPhone plan had never been cancelled/upgraded, deactivating the phone? I don't know, but it worked for us.
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jdcfsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Florida
 
2009-06-20, 22:22

Interesting. I don't know. But jailbreaking worked just fine. He was up and running in about an hour.
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torifile
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2009-06-20, 22:29

You need a newer SIM card - I think a 64k kind? - in order to use the iPhone. This is unrelated to data plan, etc. I have 2 lines on my plan, one iPhone and one regular old dummy phone (an SE T226, if you must know) and I can swap the SIMs out between them without a problem because the T226's SIM is relatively new. That might have been the problem. BTW, you can get a new SIM from AT&T for like $5 and these will work just fine.

The only thing you'd want to be sure of is to turn off data somehow. I don't know that it's possible to turn it off when on cellular networks and on when on wifi though.

If it's not red and showing substantial musculature, you're wearing it wrong.
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remlemasi
Formerly “theelmerguy”
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Irvine, California
 
2009-06-20, 22:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile View Post
The only thing you'd want to be sure of is to turn off data somehow. I don't know that it's possible to turn it off when on cellular networks and on when on wifi though.
Is the iPhone capable of automatically "signing up" for a data plan or buying data-bytes if you put a SIM linked to a talk-only plan? My understanding is that it won't, but it would be most undesirable if it did.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-06-20, 23:04

My old phone was deactivated, I think. When I put in the other SIM card it keeps asking to be plugged into iTunes and it starts the activation process. I don't see why this phone should be any different than my mother's blackberry. It supports data, but she doesn't need to have it to use her phone. What a rip-off.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-06-21, 19:57

So has anyone done this with an unlocked phone? Does AT&T have any problems with this? Anyone know if it violates any agreements, off hand?

Are these questions okay to ask? Or am I pushing the Posting Guidelines a little far?

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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torifile
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2009-06-21, 20:08

Unlocked phones are not illegal and shouldn't violate any ToS'. The phone is yours to do what you want - you only agree to maintain *your* contract for the duration of your 24 months. Nothing else.

If it's not red and showing substantial musculature, you're wearing it wrong.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-06-21, 20:30

That's what I thought too. Thanks torifile, hearing it from someone else is reassuring.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2009-06-21, 21:50

My Mom was looking to get a refurb iPod touch at some point. I know they're much thicker and heavier, but I'm considering offering her my first-gen iPhone for $150 (she'd pay $179 for the iPod touch). It would give her the same functionality (albeit a bit thicker and heavier), plus a camera (and I'd give her my dock, Marware case, etc.). She'll buy a pink sleeve to put on it anyway, so the scuffs and all would be no issue...



But could she also convert it back to phone use (she's already with AT&T) at a later date, if she wanted?

Would her monthly data fees be the original $20 for that non-3G model, or would they be the newer $30?

How does that work exactly? She goes to them with an iPhone (even my older first-gen model) and says "I want this to be my phone now...make it happen?"

Or is she locked into the Sony phone she has now, via some contract stuff? How firmly is hardware tied to your contract and cellular service?



She saves $30, I get 3/4 of the way to a new iPhone (and the thing stays "in the family", so, years later, when Mom is done using it, I can get it back and hold on to it for "historical value").

I think I might've hit on a plan...maybe I'll bring it up to her next time I see her.

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torifile
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2009-06-21, 21:54

You're not locked into the hardware you buy when you sign a contract. You can sell the phone you get immediately after you get it as long as you continue to pay your monthly contracted fees. They don't care as long as they recoup the costs of the subsidy through your monthly fees.

You can use any phone as long as it'll work on the network. All you need to do is maintain the terms of your original contract. So, your mom will be fine to use the iPhone, even without talking to AT&T about it (as long as she has a SIM card that'll work).

If it's not red and showing substantial musculature, you're wearing it wrong.
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psmith2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Tennessee
 
2009-06-21, 21:57

Interesting to know. Thanks.

I'll run it by her, but she's probably better off with a slim, light iPod touch (if she still even wants one).
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torifile
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2009-06-21, 22:10

Quote:
Originally Posted by pscates2.0 View Post
Interesting to know. Thanks.

I'll run it by her, but she's probably better off with a slim, light iPod touch (if she still even wants one).
In my opinion, anyone in the market for an iPod touch really ought to think about the iPhone. Having the iPod in the phone will make it that much more usable. And it'll end up getting more use than the touch will making a much more worthwhile purchase.

The only downside to the 1st gen iPhone vs. the iPod touch (aside from the capacity in some cases) is the recessed headphone jack. I can't think of any other problems with the 1st gen iPhone that would make me hesitate to recommend it.

If it's not red and showing substantial musculature, you're wearing it wrong.
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Miko
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
 
2009-06-21, 22:20

First gen iPhone also has a mic so that voice recorder in 3.0 would work out just fine, no need for special headphones. I just hope your mom doesn't have a huge file library she'll take a hit on the capacity.
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-06-21, 23:04

That recessed jack was hell. I really hated it.
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torifile
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2009-06-22, 07:20

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
That recessed jack was hell. I really hated it.
In all honesty, it's the reason I upgraded to the 3G. I use the iPod part *so much more* now that I don't have to carry around a special adapter.

If it's not red and showing substantial musculature, you're wearing it wrong.
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2009-06-22, 07:25

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maciej View Post
That recessed jack was hell. I really hated it.
I hear you, paying $10 for an extension cable ticked me off to no end, especially when I'd forget to bring it to work with me. I'll be unlocking my v1 iPhone soon simply because I don't want it to randomly deactivated at some unknown time down the road (although in reality it'll probably end up collecting dust with my 2G 20GB iPod).
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ghoti
owner for sale by house
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
2009-06-22, 07:29

I just carved the plastic on my headphone plug. Took a few minutes, and I never even thought about it again. I don't see how this is such an issue.
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2009-06-22, 07:39

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghoti View Post
I just carved the plastic on my headphone plug. Took a few minutes, and I never even thought about it again. I don't see how this is such an issue.
Not all jacks have a small enough metal core that will allow carving to work. I did carve one set of headphones, but I couldn't carve the computer speaker input wire at work enough for it to fit my v1 iPhone due to the metal core (and the fact I could get in trouble for defacing work property).
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Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-06-22, 10:17

Yeah, my favorite set of headphones (well the ones I use for 'on the go') had a big square jack. There was no way to carve that. I did carve the cheap-o aux-in wire (for the car) that I bought from walmart, that worked okay for a while. I never did buy an adapter either, my phone was too small to carry any meaningful amount of media on it. But now, with the 3G [S] my troubles are all behind me.

User formally known as Sh0eWax
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