Become Upgrade Eligible for iPhone 3G?

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Apr 12, 2001
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iPhone Alley posts a suggestion on how to convert an upgrade ineligible AT&T account into an upgrade eligible one to take advantage of the discounted iPhone 3G pricing.

At the heart of the matter is that existing AT&T customers who recently bought a subsidized phone from AT&T may not be eligible to purchase the subsidized iPhone 3G. iPhone Alley suggests a procedure in which you could get around this issue, but does carry with it a number of assumptions, so we are not sure it will necessarily will work as advertised.

When AT&T launched the original iPhone in 2007, upgrade eligibility was not required because the original iPhone was an unsubsidized phone. As a result, there were early reports of individuals taking advantage of this situation by buying a subsidized phone and then immediately upgrading to the iPhone. Typically this action would trigger an early termination fee on your existing account, but it appears the original iPhone is (was?) an exception.

iPhone Alley suggests that an individual borrow a friend's iPhone and use their existing AT&T SIM card to activate iPhone service. This is said to replace your current phone service and suddenly make your account "upgrade eligible" since you are considered an iPhone customer. They believe that you can then use this iPhone-account to qualify for discounted iPhone 3G pricing on July 11th.

This procedure carries with it a number of assumptions that may or may not be true:

- AT&T is still not charging termination fees when upgrading to iPhone from an upgrade ineligible plan
- That it will not affect the upgrade eligibility of the person's iPhone you borrowed
- That they will only look to see an active iPhone plan on your account as verification

A quick look at the AT&T discussion forums reveal others plotting similar strategies to become iPhone eligible, including purchasing a broken iPhone for the sole purpose of activation prior to July 11th.

You're mileage may vary and we certainly don't recommend following these steps, but provide them for interest.

Article Link
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,241
3,360
wait, if I have and iPhone I can get the new iPhone for the cheaper price?
if you have an iPhone and an active account at AT&T, you automatically qualify for the subsidized pricing.

arn
 

TXCraig

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2007
507
6
Houston, TX
People always try to scam people. AT&T is being real nice to allow us to upgrade while we are still under contact. Now people will try to scam the system and try to get something for nothing.
 

R.morningstar

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2008
4
0
I had a 1st gen iphone and sold it on ebay, so i am eligible, but my wife is not eligible for an upgrade for another year. I have been tossing around this idea for quite some time. I am just wondering if anyone has had a chance to try it out. My brother has an iphone and it would be very easy for me to do it. It really makes sense.
 

supmango

macrumors 6502
Feb 17, 2008
413
0
People always try to scam people. AT&T is being real nice to allow us to upgrade while we are still under contact. Now people will try to scam the system and try to get something for nothing.
You obviously haven't dealt with AT&T very much or you wouldn't feel so bad about the whole thing.
 

LoganT

macrumors 68020
Jan 9, 2007
2,366
116
People always try to scam people. AT&T is being real nice to allow us to upgrade while we are still under contact. Now people will try to scam the system and try to get something for nothing.
Or you know AT&T could let everyone upgrade under contract instead of just iPhone owners. BTW if I activate my mom's iPhone on my line (we have a family plan) does that mean she wouldn't be allowed to upgrade for the 199 dollar price?
 

SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
There is a modification of the posted idea I had...

1. Buy new iPhone3G. Give iPhone to my sister.
2. Activate the iPhone3G, then activate the old iPhone back to my phone number. If AT&T gives me any guff, I just say I forgot to sync it and needed some data off there before I switch phones. And I cant sync without it being activated to my phone #.
3. Switch back to 3G.
4. Check availability status. See if "available for upgrade" for my line and her line.

If you do it on the 11th, maybe AT&T wont have the code in place to prevent the upgrade availability.

If AT&T gives me any crap, I can say that my phone broke and I used hers for a while instead (and she went back to her BB).
 

gkarris

macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
8,257
988
"No escape from Reality...”
I don't know about this.

Can't AT&T tell that the same iPhone is going back and forth between at least 2 accounts?

What's to keep me from "loaning" my backup iPhone to several different people, for say, $25 a pop, just long enough to get them onto an iPhone plan?

(just get them on, then take the phone back - then they go to the store with their iPhone plan to get subsidized pricing - they can just say to sales that they "handed their old phone down to someone else")
 

dohspc

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2008
301
122
Plano, TX
I don't know if they track the phone because I already had my phone replaced with a new one once at an Apple store and nothing was entered into any computer that I saw. I was just told to use my SIM in this new phone so I think its associated with the SIM card, you may not be able to register the SIM under multiple accounts. What you may be able to do is put your ATT sim into the phone and activate it under itunes. This seems to go along with the hand me down instructions for the 2g iphone ATT has posted.
 

phr34k

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2008
77
0
Atlanta
Im curious about this myself. Hopefully someone will try it Monday.

FWIW,I was just told by a friend that works for at&t that it would work.Who knows... im still torn, as ive also been told by another friend that since my account has been notated with the code for the exception upgrade, that she can and will push it through....BAH, what to do???( Yes i know i could just wait til January when im eligible, but heck if it can swing this, why not?)
 

gkarris

macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
8,257
988
"No escape from Reality...”
I don't know if they track the phone because I already had my phone replaced with a new one once at an Apple store and nothing was entered into any computer that I saw. I was just told to use my SIM in this new phone so I think its associated with the SIM card, you may not be able to register the SIM under multiple accounts. What you may be able to do is put your ATT sim into the phone and activate it under itunes. This seems to go along with the hand me down instructions for the 2g iphone ATT has posted.
I'm thinking just lend your iPhone to a friend on AT&T who is not qualified for a subsidy. They put their SIM in it to upgrade their account to an iPhone plan, then take it back out and give the phone back to you - then they go over to the store to get an iPhone 3G.

I would imagine that AT&T would at least look for an ACTIVE iPhone on an account, but then again, they can just take that iPhone over with them to the store, then give they can give it back to you when they are done.

Maybe AT&T doesn't really care, as long as they get you on a $30/month data plan and a new 2 year contract.
 

dave006

Contributor
Jul 3, 2008
3,425
708
Just West of East
Caution: Action required by July 10!

Just a word of caution: This process will only work until July 10 to make you "Upgrade Eligible". After July 11, any current iPhone that is activated will not be able to upgrade at the $199/$299 price.

This change on July 11 is to support the "hand-it-off" activatations of the current iPhone that AT&T has announced.

It closes the upgrade loophole, you knew it could not last forever!:mad:
 

dave006

Contributor
Jul 3, 2008
3,425
708
Just West of East
Or you know AT&T could let everyone upgrade under contract instead of just iPhone owners. BTW if I activate my mom's iPhone on my line (we have a family plan) does that mean she wouldn't be allowed to upgrade for the 199 dollar price?
No problem for your mom, just as long as she has a valid iPhone voice plan and iPhone data plan on her account.

You can check both status in OLAM here https://www.wireless.att.com/olam/loginAction.olamexecute

On July 11, the store rep will be looking in OPUS to see that you have an "Upgrade Eligible" status on your link of service. If OLAM reports that you are "Upgrade Eligible" then OPUS will report the same status. :)
 

gkarris

macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
8,257
988
"No escape from Reality...”
Just a word of caution: This process will only work until July 10 to make you "Upgrade Eligible". After July 11, any current iPhone that is activated will not be able to upgrade at the $199/$299 price.

This change on July 11 is to support the "hand-it-off" activatations of the current iPhone that AT&T has announced.

It closes the upgrade loophole, you knew it could not last forever!:mad:
That closes that loop-hole, since AT&T and Apple don't really sell the old iPhones anymore, and anything after July 11 is considered a "hand-me-down".
 

dannyar

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2007
653
402
I can verify that this WILL WORK. Ive just done it with my wifes phone. She really wanted an iPhone as well, but since we upgraded her phone less than a year ago she doesnt qualify. I removed her sim card and placed it in my iPhone, went through the activation process on itunes that added the data plan. After doing so and returning to my account online at ATT.com it now shows her phone as an iPhone and is Now eligible for the upgrade like mine has shown all along. SO I CAN CONFIRM THAT THIS INDEED WORKS.
 

MacToddB

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2007
926
0
Rochester, NY
I imagine there will be at least an $18 activation fee, and maybe $36?

Now, what I want to know, is it going to be possible to 'get' an iPhone 3G, perhaps at the unsubsidized price AT&T has discussed, and use it with an iPhone 1.0 contract? First, would it be possible, and second would 3G be de-activated? I'd be okay w/ EDGE speeds (plus WiFi) if I could keep the EDGE plan, and add GPS and more memory than my 4GB model, for a premium up-front.
 

dohspc

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2008
301
122
Plano, TX
I imagine there will be at least an $18 activation fee, and maybe $36?
Yes the upgrade fees are
New customers 36
Existing customers 18

Now, what I want to know, is it going to be possible to 'get' an iPhone 3G, perhaps at the unsubsidized price AT&T has discussed, and use it with an iPhone 1.0 contract? First, would it be possible, and second would 3G be de-activated? I'd be okay w/ EDGE speeds (plus WiFi) if I could keep the EDGE plan, and add GPS and more memory than my 4GB model, for a premium up-front.
While you won't be under a contract if you pay 599/699 ATT won't let you use the 3g iPhone on the 2g data plan.
 

melninety

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2008
13
0
You could also buy a gen 1 on craigslist or ebay and then sell it after you upgrade to 3g.
 

futurecaptain

macrumors newbie
Jul 3, 2008
8
0
Spokane,WA
Really? Ya Think???

Hmmmm. I wonder if this really would work?
I guarantee that this will not work. Do people really think that AT&T hasn't thought of this like 3 months ago?? Come on people... I'm guessing that AT&T are going to look at who owned the phone at the original purchase and if they see that you just activated it a month ago I'm sure they will have something against that. You don't need the iphone when it comes out so why not just wait?? I waited after the first released and now this one is out which is cheaper and better....
 

MacBoy08

macrumors newbie
Mar 9, 2008
28
0
Fort Smith
who knows

continued speculation is kind-of pointless on something THAT technical...



i am hoping to going to work for AT&T soon, and so far all of the guys seem pretty on the ball about EVERY iphone/contract/activation issue...



its assumed they have themselves guarded..but ppl do slip up so hows about we just wait and see until someone can provide a 100% answer.
 

heyp

macrumors 6502
Jan 29, 2008
312
0
i'm thinking this will work for the first few people that do it and then at&t would figure it out (maybe)... big corporations like them aren't always on top of everything
 
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