Resolved Transferring contacts from Android to iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by TheDude75, Jan 16, 2013.

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  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    Hi Everyone,

    I just got a new iPhone 5, and I would like to migrate all of the information from my Motorola Defy (Android) phone to it.

    I have looked online at some general advice, but I am particularly concerned about getting all of my contacts from the Motorola to the iPhone. I have a mixture of business contacts (through my Exchange Account), and personal contacts (primarily on my SIM card). I am not too concerned about the Business Contacts because Exchange hosts everything on a server (so I am confident that email contacts will migrate quite seamlessly) however I am a bit lost about how to make sure that my personal contacts don't get lost. Traditionally when upgrading from one phone to another I would simply copy all contacts to my SIM and then insert the SIM into my new phone and copy all contacts from the SIM (it didn't really matter if I had to change SIMS (or by extension phone numbers) because I simply used the SIM like a flashdrive to store data). Unfortunately I cannot use the "tried and true" SIM method because my Motorola uses a normal sized SIM whereas my iPhone 5 uses a Micro-SIM (so the Motorola SIM simply won't fit into the iPhone!).

    I have had a couple of other thoughts regarding how to transfer contacts -

    1). Sync all of my contacts to my Gmail account (required for Android phones - in order to access the PlayStore (equivalent of the iPhone Market))
    2). Download an App for Android to save the contacts to a file on my SD Card, and then download the same App for my iPhone (and restore the contacts from file)

    Are there any Apps available for both the Android and the iPhone from the same developer for transferring contacts between the two types of phones?

    Any general advice on how to safely transfer all of my contacts and other information (Pictures, Texts, etc) will be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

  2. macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2012
    My recommendations:


    I recommend your first option. First you convert all of your contacts to Google contacts (then you also have them available and backed up and able to add/remove/edit them on your computer) and then follow the instructions in this link:

    Exporting them to your SD won't do much since you can't have an SD in your iPhone.


    1) Connect your phone to your computer and copy the pictures from your SD to a folder on your computer. (or just remove your sd and insert to your computer if possible)
    2) Add this folder to your photo album in iTunes and sync them into your iPhone with your iPhone connected to your computer. You won't be able to edit or remove these pictures on the iPhone later though. If you want to remove any of them you must remove them from your synced folder on your computer and then "sync them off" your iPhone.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2012
    Even if the SIM cards were same sized you wouldn't be able to do it I think.
    The iPhone does not work that way. You cannot view anything that is stored on a SIM.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    The iphone is capable of importing contacts from a sim (settings - mail, contacts and calendars - import SIM contacts).

    The problem is that most smartphones don't store contacts to SIM anymore, its too restrictive and small. SIM cards can only store one or two fields per contact. Smartphones have no such restriction with telephones, emails, address, photos, facebook etc being stored against contacts. SIM is just incapable of storing such information.

    Thats why its much better to store your contacts online (Gmail, Hotmail, Icloud etc) hopefully making it easy to transfer contacts as you change smartphones.

    Storing contacts on SIM is a dead route for smartphones.
  5. macrumors P6


    Jan 23, 2005
    Follow this guide to export all your contacts in a VCF file. Then email that file to yourself on the iPhone and open the file to import it into the iPhone's address book.
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    This is the method that I used to migrate from Motorola Defy (Android) to iPhone (5)

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks again for your insights & advice.

    Ultimately I decided on the following workflow, and by using it I have managed to transfer everything from Android to iPhone (with the exception of Text Messages) -

    1). Copied SIM contacts to Android phone memory
    2). Exported contacts to SD Card (on Android phone) in VCard format - Importing, exporting, and sharing contacts
    3). Transfered VCard file from SD Card to PC
    4). Created a Google Account
    5). Opened the Google Account from a browser (on PC), went to Contacts, and then uploaded VCard contacts to the Google account
    6). Configured the iPhone (using a separate Windows user account - so as to allow for importing pictures & videos through iTunes)
    7). Created a "CardDAV" account on the iPhone and synchronised all Contacts - Sync contacts with your iOS device

    I hope that the technique above helps others with seamless migration to an iPhone.

    Kind Regards,

  7. macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2011
    If you were coming from an android phone why do you need to do the first three steps? Android is tightly integrated with google and it should give you an option to store your contacts on gmail anyway. But fiddly to do all that copying to sd and moving to pc when the phone could have done it directly for you in the first place.
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    Answers to questions possed

    Hi Guys,

    Answers to questions above -

    1). The Android phone didn't have a Google account associated with it, as a result I had to create one. Further when I created the account, enabled it on the Android phone and performed a contacts Sync none of the phone contacts got saved to Google. I have since learnt that Google will only save contacts as you add them to the phone - hence the need to export to VCard and then upload manually to the account.

    2). The SIM card that I was working with still had quite a few contacts, it had been in use for a long time, and actually got moved through several phones, Nokia, Android and then... (got dumped at the iPhone - as a micro-SIM is requied!)

    Hope this helps

  9. macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2012
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 13, 2012
    Your carrier should have a machine in the store that can transfer contacts across the devices. It's some black box that sits on the counter behind the registers.
  11. macrumors 68030

    Oct 21, 2012
    Heads up for the future - Apple stores have a little machine that'll do this for you :).
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
    Hi Brian Y,

    Thank you for the heads up, I will definitely keep this in mind!

    Kind Regards,

  13. macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2013
    Transferring contacts from Android to iPhone

    Its So simple...

    Just make a contact backup file like 0001.vcf

    Transfer this file to ur iphone through mail or whatsapp..

    Download it

    Save it...and all ur contacts will be in ur Iphone contact book

  14. Markrose, Oct 31, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Oct 27, 2013
    Transferring contacts from Android to iPhone

    What I'm wondering is why are people still posting suggestions when he's already found the answer?
  15. macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2013
    The best way to transfer contacts Is the bump app IMO... From iOS to android or PC/mac it took about 2 mins to transfer 187 contacts from my ip5 to my s4!. bump :)
  16. macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2013
    What is this program? Does it really work? I have the same issue and want to transfer my S3 contacts to my iPhone 5.
  17. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2013
  18. macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2014
    Transferring contacts from Android to iPhone

    There are two basic ways to transfer your data from one device to another. You can use cloud services to store your files in a location that is accessible to all your devices or you can pull your data off your old phone and manually transfer it to your new one. Both ways work well, so it comes down to personal preference. If you have a Dropbox account, a gmail address and a Twitter account, then you should use the cloud to transfer your data. If you don’t have any cloud accounts, then choose the manual method and use your computer as the conduit between your phones.
    Use Cloud services like Google, Dropbox and more..

    Stephenjoe, engineer
  19. macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2013
    Verizon has back up assistant which is cloud and can go to and from any phone.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2014
    The other option is to manually export contacts from Gmail, then import them into Outlook or almost any other contact manager. This isn't as convenient as actual syncing, because the two databases will eventually diverge without regular effort. But if you don't care about keeping the local version up-to-date, don't want to install another program, or are not using Outlook, it's a better choice.
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