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MacRumors
Jul 1, 2007, 11:03 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

It's been well publicized that the iPhone requires a 2 year contract for activation, and that the other iPhone functions (iPod, Internet) are unusable without proper activation.

That hasn't stopped people from trying to activate the iPhone otherwise, or to get an off-contract plan.

No Contract

Earlier reports (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/06/28/pre-paid-iphone-available-for-some/) from AT&T documentation revealed that iPhone would be offered with "Pick Your Plan" contractless rates for customers who don't pass the required credit check.

The catch for these Pre-Paid plans is that the Pick Your Plan monthly rates (http://www.tuaw.com/photos/iphone-prepaid-gallery/296285/) offer significantly fewer voice minutes than the 2-year standard plans (http://www.apple.com/iphone/easysetup/rateplans.html). So, the only users that should be actively interested in this option would be those who plan to use very few voice minutes and wish to remain contractless.

TUAW (http://www.tuaw.com/2007/07/01/prepaid-iphone-in-a-nutshell/) provides the "work around" to qualify for the Pre-Paid option. Simply enter "999-99-9999" as your social security number during activation.

Widescreen iPod / Wifi

For those interested in simply having a Widescreen iPod and probable Wifi with no mobile phone, Gizmodo posts (http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/how_to/unconfirmed-activate-the-iphone-with-extra-iphone-274046.php) unconfirmed instructions on how to do so. Again, these are unconfirmed so you should proceed at your own risk. (And you need 2 iPhones)

1.) Obtain 2 iPhones
2.) Plug in iPhone #1 In iTunes select "I am a new AT&T Wireless Customer" and "Activate 2 or more phones on an individual or FamilyTalk Plan."
3.) Follow the steps for the FamilyTalk plan and enter "Cell Number X" to port a number over from another provider (e.g. Sprint)
4.) When the you receive the "Activation Complete" e-mail, plug in iPhone #2.
5.) Select the option "I am an existing AT&T (Cingular) wireless customer" and "Replace a phone on my account with this iPhone"
6.) Fill in the information re-using "Cell Number X." Allow the iPhone #2 to activate using this number. This number will be legit.
7.) Plug in iPhone #2, it will unlock the phone for use, but without a cell phone number assigned or account from AT&T.

Unlocked

Efforts are underway to try to create an unlocked iPhone. Despite some claims on the internet, there's been no evidence that this has been successfully accomplished.



pdpfilms
Jul 1, 2007, 11:06 PM
Interesting that the gizmodo method yields an iPhone that only acts as an iPod. What would prevent you from using WiFi?

arn
Jul 1, 2007, 11:14 PM
Interesting that the gizmodo method yields an iPhone that only acts as an iPod. What would prevent you from using WiFi?

Sorry... my bad. I don't see any reason why the Wifi wouldn't work.

arn

QuarterSwede
Jul 1, 2007, 11:17 PM
From what I understand from reading the article, it doesn't seem that they actually know this will work. It's just speculation I think.

arn
Jul 1, 2007, 11:34 PM
From what I understand from reading the article, it doesn't seem that they actually know this will work. It's just speculation I think.

Actually, I got the same submission from the guy and he said "I accidently figured out how to unlock an iPhone for use without charge from AT&T, but with full support of the phones features including WiFi (but no AT&T service)."

And gave those instructions. So not just a theory. A claim. :) But I'd still proceed at your own risk.

arn

yzp
Jul 1, 2007, 11:38 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)




Unlocked

Efforts are underway to try to create an unlocked iPhone. Despite some claims on the internet, there's been no evidence that this has been successfully accomplished.

how can you unlock an iPhone? unlocking proceess is in my opinion, a kinda hack...

iPhone runs on macosX... macosX is pretty hard to hack... so iPhone is!

natejohnstone@g
Jul 2, 2007, 12:00 AM
What I want to know is if I can get the iPhone to work as a phone (on att service) but NOT sign up for the data plan. I realize that this will mean I won't get EDGE internet access, but frankly I don't want it, I'll use WiFi.
Thanks!

McBain2
Jul 2, 2007, 12:02 AM
TUAW provides the "work around" to qualify for the Pre-Paid option. Simply enter "999-99-9999" as your social security number during activation.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to knowingly give out a false social security number? Or maybe it's just illegal in certain circumstances. Anyway, not something I'd ever try.

powerbook911
Jul 2, 2007, 12:13 AM
Queston: If you cancel AT&T do you lose the activation fee? I know within 30 days you can get out of the contract.

Whatever the case, once you cancel, an you put the phone on a new account? I might try to get the pay as you go?

arn
Jul 2, 2007, 12:13 AM
What I want to know is if I can get the iPhone to work as a phone (on att service) but NOT sign up for the data plan. I realize that this will mean I won't get EDGE internet access, but frankly I don't want it, I'll use WiFi.
Thanks!

Data plan is required from my understanding.

arn

Yankees 4 Life
Jul 2, 2007, 12:23 AM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to knowingly give out a false social security number? Or maybe it's just illegal in certain circumstances. Anyway, not something I'd ever try.

Hey this actually works! i tried it on my brother's iphone. However, it is illegal to give out a false social sec. number, so i would be weary of doing it again....

G5Unit
Jul 2, 2007, 12:25 AM
Data plan is required from my understanding.

arn

Yes but couldn't you cancel the data plan right after?

Multimedia
Jul 2, 2007, 12:53 AM
I'm confused about the last few steps of the instructions. :confused:

Could you elaborate on them? I don't exactly understand which phone gets hooked up when with what number from where. Does this mean we have to buy 2 iPhones to get one working as an iPod and Wi-Fi micro Mac with no monthly fees? How do we get rid of the one we have to activate before the other one works without a plan? :confused:

zephead
Jul 2, 2007, 12:58 AM
So realistically, it costs $1000/$1200 to get an iPhone minus the phone? Or can you return the 1st phone and keep the 2nd after you've already "activated" the 2nd phone??

aerospace
Jul 2, 2007, 01:02 AM
1. not everyone has a social security #
2. 999-999-9999 is an obvious fake so if apple accepts it for more than 1 person(everyone's # is different) than its thier own fault
3. prepay would be a cool option, not sure if att prepay plan allows web browsing though

aerospace
Jul 2, 2007, 01:04 AM
So realistically, it costs $1000/$1200 to get an iPhone minus the phone? Or can you return the 1st phone and keep the 2nd after you've already "activated" the 2nd phone??

within 14 days you can return it, you pay 10% restock fee

GusR9
Jul 2, 2007, 01:07 AM
hi guys!
I want to buy an iPhone but I dont want a 2 years contract and i dont want At&t so can i user the prepaid option with that social security number select a plan and then cancel it? how can i do that? calling to at&t or with itunes?
I would be very happy just using the ipod and wifi

arn
Jul 2, 2007, 01:14 AM
Could you elaborate on them? I don't exactly understand which phone gets hooked up when with what number from where. Does this mean we have to buy 2 iPhones to get one working as an iPod and Wi-Fi micro Mac with no monthly fees? How do we get rid of the one we have to activate before the other one works without a plan? :confused:

:) It's not the most practical solution.

Rereading it, it seems maybe #7 should read:

"7.) Plug in iPhone #2, it will unlock [Phone #1] for use, but without a cell phone number assigned or account from AT&T."

but I've sent out an email to the author to verify. I didn't really think anyone would do it, but thought it was interesting as it's the only info about this possibility. I'll post more as I get it.

arn

arn
Jul 2, 2007, 01:17 AM
hi guys!
I want to buy an iPhone but I dont want a 2 years contract and i dont want At&t so can i user the prepaid option with that social security number select a plan and then cancel it? how can i do that? calling to at&t or with itunes?
I would be very happy just using the ipod and wifi

There are two separate issues.

1) If you do the 99-999-999 social security number, you can jump to a non-contracted plan. That does mean you still have to pay $60+/month for service + internet. If you stop paying the $60/mo, your phone (+ wifi) will stop working.

2) Alternatively, someone posted convoluted instructions on how to get the iPhone activated (wifi+ipod) without a cell phone number -- but it's a non-practical solution.

At this time, there is no practical way at this time to use an iPhone as an iPod+Wifi device without paying a monthly fee of $60+.

arn

Ugg
Jul 2, 2007, 01:18 AM
hi guys!
I want to buy an iPhone but I dont want a 2 years contract and i dont want At&t so can i user the prepaid option with that social security number select a plan and then cancel it? how can i do that? calling to at&t or with itunes?
I would be very happy just using the ipod and wifi

You would have to pay the first month's charges of $50.

At this point, there's no confirmation that wifi will work without an active phone. I'd hold off until somebody actually confirms it.

MagnusVonMagnum
Jul 2, 2007, 01:20 AM
Hmmmm, I wonder what would happen if someone captured the data stream from the method mentioned here to create the activated but numberless iPhone and then made a program to output that data at will. In short, the program might then be able to create an unlimited number of activated iPhones. Spread it around the Net and Apple's plan to force people to use AT&T in order to just use the iPhone for WiFi Internet might just be thwarted. Of course, I'd need to know more information about the process to even have an idea if that would work, but I'm personally all for customers have the choice to do what they want with the products they buy, not corporations telling them what they can and cannot do with something they purchased and rightfully own. Apple would still get their iPhone sales, but the consumer wouldn't necessarily have to keep paying AT&T $60+ a month when all they really want is an iPod with WiFi Net access.

GusR9
Jul 2, 2007, 01:26 AM
But if i follow all the steps of prepaid then I cancel the account in the moment, can I do it?? or its impossible and I'll have to wait a month taking the risk that maybe my phone is not going to work..

yagran
Jul 2, 2007, 01:51 AM
the sooner these get unlocked succesfully the sooner i can buy one here in the UK :D please hurry up US guys!

GusR9
Jul 2, 2007, 01:58 AM
waiting like you but in mexico..hehehe
hurry up!

zzuser
Jul 2, 2007, 02:33 AM
What happens when you take out the SIM in an activated phone?

arn
Jul 2, 2007, 03:05 AM
here's the response from the original submitted

Had two phones to set up: one for me and one for my wife. Accidently plugged in the wrong phone (Phone #2 in step #4), after I had initially began registering the first phone the day before. It was a pretty stupid mistake and I forced phone #2's activation through thinking it wasn't working with the same number.

I have spent all day on the phone with Apple and AT&T to fix this issue - apparently, the steps outlined below cause a serial number database mismatch between the IMEA numbers stored in databases at Apple (iTunes) and at AT&T. Additionally, AT&T's database does not see Phone #1 anymore when you 'overwrite' the information using the same cell phone number (e.g. Cell phone Number X). Apple's database sees Phone #1, but not Phone #2 for some reason - hence the partial activation (and unlock of its features).

This does not produce a fully unlocked phone that can accept any simcard - it simply allows an individual to semi-activate an iPhone to use most its features over WiFi (e.g. Youtube, Mail, etc) without a cell number association (thus and a bill from AT&T) on a phone. The phone will always display a quick message "waiting for activation from AT&T" at boot up, but will then allow you to use the phone's features (except ones that need the cellular network).

Let X= 'a phone number you want to port over from another carrier' (e.g. 888-555-1212)

6.) Fill in the information re-using "Cell Number X" as the primary phone number again - it will over-ride the first registration. Allow the iPhone #2 to fully-activate using this number. This phone should work with this .

7.) Plug in iPhone #2, it will unlock the phone for use (not necessarily with another carrier), but without a cell phone number assigned or an account from AT&T. This phone will be in a semi-activated state.

LastZion
Jul 2, 2007, 07:15 AM
You guys are super stars.
Please keep up the great work, waiting patiently in AU.

als2663
Jul 2, 2007, 07:52 AM
Why don't you activate the phone with AT&T, and then cancel your service - you have 30 days to do that at no charge:) . Then just keep the phone!

twoodcc
Jul 2, 2007, 08:17 AM
cool stuff. hopefully apple will release a device like that, so people won't have to do this

maccam
Jul 2, 2007, 08:18 AM
Why don't you activate the phone with AT&T, and then cancel your service - you have 30 days to do that at no charge:) . Then just keep the phone!

Did you try this? I agree with the others... Keep trying to unlock it!!

123
Jul 2, 2007, 10:02 AM
If you stop paying the $60/mo, your phone (+ wifi) will stop working.


What? So I buy an iPhone now and decide to buy a rev 2 iPhone next year. I can't cancel/move the plan and use my rev 1 iPhone as a wifi web-device? iPod? Are you sure?

Airforce
Jul 2, 2007, 10:30 AM
Why don't you activate the phone with AT&T, and then cancel your service - you have 30 days to do that at no charge:) . Then just keep the phone!

Not possible. You will have to return the phone as it says in the contract.

Yankees 4 Life
Jul 2, 2007, 11:08 AM
What? So I buy an iPhone now and decide to buy a rev 2 iPhone next year. I can't cancel/move the plan and use my rev 1 iPhone as a wifi web-device? iPod? Are you sure?

hey when you buy a second iphone in the future, it adds 2 years to your service.. so you will have 3 years left on the contract when you buy an iphone next year... i know its a bummer cuz i just reupped this year too... :( lets hope they take that silly crap off and make it like any other fone. :)

i heart my :apple: iphone

RichardF
Jul 2, 2007, 11:15 AM
Not possible. You will have to return the phone as it says in the contract.

Are you sure the contracts says so? It is rather odd that you'd have to "return" a phone you bought (full price) and therefore own.
You may have to pay an early termination fee for breaking a contract with at&t but the phone is yours.

Am I wrong?

zephead
Jul 2, 2007, 11:23 AM
Not possible. You will have to return the phone as it says in the contract.

So do they refund you the 500-600 bucks you paid?

catdog02481
Jul 2, 2007, 11:24 AM
What happens when you take out the SIM in an activated phone?

Just did that, it starts fine and says no sim and cannot connect to edge but then went on to work with the wifi well without any problems...! More on that later...

stainless
Jul 2, 2007, 11:58 AM
Get an iPhone place register the phone with the 999-99-9999 SS#, then when the activation email comes in, request the moving from another carrier and use the registration/activation number from the email provided. Now, in theory, you should have a contract-less activated phone. Which Apple will see as activated with full service and the new darkside will see as pay-as-you-go plan, so no 2 year contract.

Just a thought, and being that I haven't activated my phone yet, I think I might give it a try.

I agree, we all need to get a method of unlocking the iphone... I travel, A LOT and I have sim cards from many providers, even place ATT doesn't cover. Not to mention that roaming charges are out of space with then.

bretm
Jul 2, 2007, 12:30 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it illegal to knowingly give out a false social security number? Or maybe it's just illegal in certain circumstances. Anyway, not something I'd ever try.

No company but the Social Security Administration actually has the legal right to require you to give your serial number for anything. But good luck trying not to these days. Your Social Security Number has one singular purpose by law, - to obtain your Social Security Benefits when you retire. But it's been hijacked as an identifier number.

bretm
Jul 2, 2007, 12:31 PM
Just did that, it starts fine and says no sim and cannot connect to edge but then went on to work with the wifi well without any problems...! More on that later...

Um, but it's already activated. You're paying for it.

pdpfilms
Jul 2, 2007, 12:39 PM
Get an iPhone place register the phone with the 999-99-9999 SS#, then when the activation email comes in, request the moving from another carrier and use the registration/activation number from the email provided. Now, in theory, you should have a contract-less activated phone. Which Apple will see as activated with full service and the new darkside will see as pay-as-you-go plan, so no 2 year contract.

Just a thought, and being that I haven't activated my phone yet, I think I might give it a try.

I agree, we all need to get a method of unlocking the iphone... I travel, A LOT and I have sim cards from many providers, even place ATT doesn't cover. Not to mention that roaming charges are out of space with then.

I think it's important to note that an unlocked iPhone and a non-SIM iPhone are two very different beasts. We were told not long before the release that the phone would be 100% feature-locked until activation. This is true, and activation allows us to get at those features. However, this does not mean the phone is unlocked in the common sense of the word, as the phone features can only be used with AT&T.

It seems what Jeff is doing is helping us to progress towards unlocking the phone, and it is certainly a good step.

musiq021
Jul 2, 2007, 12:53 PM
I dont know if this would be considered off topic, but I didn't think so and I find it very curious; When I bought the iPhone, the woman at the desk said 'You must activate it within 30 days'. What the hell is that supposed to mean? After those 30 days, is it considered a dud and no longer activateable or what, is it then auto activated maybe?

Anybody else predict some hidden signifigance in this verbal warning? I could be wrong.

pdpfilms
Jul 2, 2007, 03:23 PM
I dont know if this would be considered off topic, but I didn't think so and I find it very curious; When I bought the iPhone, the woman at the desk said 'You must activate it within 30 days'. What the hell is that supposed to mean? After those 30 days, is it considered a dud and no longer activateable or what, is it then auto activated maybe?

Anybody else predict some hidden signifigance in this verbal warning? I could be wrong.

Have you activated yours yet? Even if you did, I'd call them up and ask what she meant. Make up some story like you have an emergency 31 day trip to Africa coming up. Ask them what will happen when you try to activate it when you return.

imageforce
Jul 2, 2007, 08:02 PM
im not in a hurry, ...
from what i heard, the european/german version (hopefully coming out in october) will be an overhauled one.

but it would be great anyway :)

btw, can you not change the information on a simcard?
AND I WANT iPhone2 to be able to videocall/chat someone via UMTS

uuuh i love my :apple:

strangelogic
Jul 2, 2007, 09:08 PM
You would have to pay the first month's charges of $50.

At this point, there's no confirmation that wifi will work without an active phone. I'd hold off until somebody actually confirms it.

Actually - if you cancel the Att service within 30 days all you pay is the activation fee. And they won't let you return the phone after 14 days - you already have a 10% stake in it from the second you open the box.

From what others have seen there are clear indications that killing the phone service does not necessarily kill the wi-fi and the rest of the 'features'; however, I agree with this post that I'm sure not going to be the one to test that out. There is a 'chance' though I think it unlikely that att will update apple's registry of who is being naughty and nice... However, at some level - it's one thing to lock it to make sure you activate it, and to make sure it only works with att - it's another thing altogether to 'break' it after the fact, and I read nothing that implies they will re-lock it if you kill your contract.

brwnbooger
Jul 2, 2007, 10:17 PM
I called att to cancel today... they instructed me to return the phone to the apple store and I will have to pay is the restocking fee and whatever minutes I used (no activation fee). So if I cancel after 14 days, I shouldn't be able to return it the apple store according to apple's return policy right? Or is ATT's cancellation policy different like everything else about ATT's policy with the iPhone?

About the two phone activation process. It makes sense logically.... Say if by some chance my iPhone breaks or gets "lost" tomorrow and I go buy a new one to replace it. Then, I would activate my new phone with iTunes and say i'm already a customer... that should then activate my new phone and deactivate the "lost/missing/broken" phone for obvious reasons(two phones can't have the same number). The only question then is... Will apple recheck if the phone is activated with ATT properly when you connect to iTunes, update the firmware, restore software? Is that initial unlocking of the phone only performed once for the life of an iPhone? They shouldn't check because customers will be really pissed off if iPhone 1.0 locks up because they upgrade to iPhone 2.0. I mean you're already paying an arm and leg for this thing and you can't even truly own it without selling your soul to ATT? If this method works then it's possible to get an open iPhone with no contract at the cost of a 50 or 60 dollar restocking fee. However, this is only the first step to truly unlocking the phone...

I'm like many others waiting for someone else take the risk for 50 or 60 dollars to test this method. I'll probably wait a week or so to see if it's confirmed, if not i'll try it out. If it works the opened iPhone is definitely worth value overseas even if it's still locked to ATT, if not -50/60 bucks.

brasscat
Jul 3, 2007, 02:17 AM
I would hate to be the guy that has all 9s for a social. Talk about identity theft! :p

jwtseng
Jul 3, 2007, 08:23 AM
Does the whole social security number credit check thing only appear for new ATT customers? So if I am already an ATT customer, then the prepaid iPhone option won't show up for me, right?

Yankees 4 Life
Jul 3, 2007, 09:41 AM
i'll give it a go.. we'll see what happens