AT&T Employees - Can you explain the various upgrade swap scenarios to us?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Iron Chef, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. Iron Chef, Oct 7, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

    Iron Chef macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    I've always appreciated the AT&T employees that are members on this board for answering questions about how to do an upgrade swap with another person on a family plan. Perhaps we can even make this designated thread since I know a lot of people are asking these types of questions in many different threads.

    Here's my scenario:
    I'm on a family plan. I used my sisters upgrade to buy the 4S. I currently have iPhone 4. My sister uses the ancient Samsung phone that has a normal SIM. I will sell my iPhone 4 and she plans to keep existing Samsung phone.

    How do I go about doing an upgrade swap without having to call AT&T? Is it just about putting my iPhone 4 micro-sim into her new iPhone 4S before I activate it through iTunes?
  2. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    Had this problem last year, as soon as you upgrade the device, the old sim card will go dead. You then need to take both phones, the one activated under your sisters number (4S) and her phone to AT&T. They will give you a new micro-sim for your phone/number and a new regular sim for her cell phone/number. Its a 5 minute process. Make sure you go to a Corporate store, otherwise you will be charged for a new sim card.
  3. jca24 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2010
    Yes, the take her to an ATT store and trade the full size sim card from her phone for a micro sim for the iPhone 4.

  4. sb1805 macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2009
    But say his sister had an iPhone 4 (micro-SIM). Could he, before activating the new 4S, just put his current SIM in that, and put his sister's SIM card in his old phone? Then activate as normal without going/calling ATT? I know his sister would be going from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4, but say she broke her iPhone 4 for the sake of argument.
  5. protobiont macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010
    Alternatively, since the 4s is "technically" his sister's phone, why can't he activate it when it arrives, and then swap SIM's putting his iPhone 4 sim in the 4s and his sister's newly activated SIM in the old iPhone 4?
  6. Iron Chef thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    Thanks guys. Do any of you know if AT&T has a policy against upgrade swapping? Or does it not matter to them since they get someone in the family plan to extend for another 2 years regardless? Reason I ask is because I want to know if I need to be coy and make up a story of why my sister "doesn't want" her brand new 4S, or just tell them straight up, I want to swap the numbers on these phones?


    Keep in mind though that I am going to sell the iPhone 4 to a friend, so she still needs to be able to use her existing Samsung phone. She doesn't care about technology and is fine with just being able to text and talk until her phones crap out.
  7. protobiont macrumors 6502a

    Jul 6, 2010

    Everything I have heard is that they have no issue with it. Like you said, why would they care who has what phone as long as the contract it signed?

    They have articles about it on the site (search some of the threads on here), but they aren't explicit about how to perform the upgrade. As best I can tell, the most secure way is to call ATT before you do anything after you get your phone (which I don't want to do, cause I don't want to sit on hold!)
  8. lnferno macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2008
    Are the SIM cards in the iPhone3G different than the iPhone4?
  9. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5


    Nov 20, 2008
    Ventura County
    In order to get her phone to work again you will need to go to an ATT store. Your best bet is when you get the 4S, take that phone and your sisters phone in and have it all done there. Probably be easier for all parties involved.
  10. Iron Chef thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    Yes, the iPhone 4 and 4S use the new micro-sims
  11. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Mine did not go dead, it shorted out and burned the house down.

    So I went to AT&T but they wouldn't pay for the fire damage, they said it wasn't covered.

    Since my sim was burned, they charged me $75 for a new one, but at least the new phone was fine. Smelled of smoke but that was easily removed with soap and water.
  12. iPhone3gPSU macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2009
    I have a similar situation, and thought I'd ask it here instead of starting a new thread...

    I added two extra lines to my Family Plan to get the subsidized price of the iPhone 4s. However, I want to use the iPhone 4s on my existing lines so that I don't have to change my phone number, and can keep the unlimited data. Is this, too, just as simple as swapping Sim Cards?

    (Once I put the old Sim Card in my new iPhone 4s, I plan to just put "dummy" phones on the two new lines and get rid of the iPhone data plan.)
  13. Khryz macrumors 6502a

    Jan 7, 2007
    Looks like nobody read the OP. The sister doesn't want a new phone.

    Anyway, OP you don't need your sister for anything. When you get the phone, call AT&T and tell them you're activating the phone under a different line (yours). You can say Upgrade Swap if you want, the rep told me last night they do it all the time.

    Once AT&T finish, your sisters old phone will still work and nothing is required on her part. No need to switch SIM's either.
  14. Irock619 macrumors 68000


    Sep 16, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Don't need to switch sim cards. Just go into the store or call AT&T and give them your IMEI #. That number is located in the phone settings and on the original box. They will switch the IMEI number in the system and that's it. Simple!!!
  15. iphonenub macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2009
    How long will that conversation take? Will the phones be slammed friday?

    Also, wouldn't it be easier to go to an ATT store and get a microsim with your number and when the iPhone arrives just put your new microsim in and trash the one it came with?
  16. benjamin9876 macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2009
    how about if i sell the iphone 4s to people i dont know ?
    what is the case then ?
  17. bellaisa macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Just bring both phones to the AT&T and have them do an upgrade swap and tell them to activate the new iPhone on your line, and then not to do anything on your sister line and to cancel the newly added data plan. I am doing the same as well.
  18. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US

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