Can 3G eventually be enabled?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rylenolflu, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. rylenolflu macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2008
    So I've heard that the SIM for the iPhone is actually 3G capable. I also hear that people will have to wait for a newer iPhone for it to use the 3G data speeds. IF the iPhone is capable of 3G, isn't it just a matter of Apple and AT&T enabling 3G service for iPhone users. Basically, what I'm asking is this, if I were to purchase an iPhone, is it possible that it could run 3G data transfer without having to buy a newer iPhone? Thanks.
  2. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
    no, its different hardware that is not currently in the iphone.
    And the sim is only to connect your phone to your service accont. There is no 3g sim.
  3. EricNau Moderator emeritus


    Apr 27, 2005
    San Francisco, CA
    The iPhone is not capable of 3G, despite whatever the SIM says. In other words, no, 3G will only be available with the purchase of a new iPhone.

    (The iPhone is not currently equipped with 3G hardware for battery-life reasons.)
  4. Shap macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2008
    so ATT lied to me.. Their sales rep said the hardware was there, apple just had to flip the switch.
  5. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    yep, they totally lied to you. not entirely surprising - customer service staff at at&t (and most companies) are not very knowledgeable in my experience...
  6. Akitakoi macrumors regular


    Jan 31, 2008
    If you have ever looked at your AT&T sim card it does have the 3G logo on it.
    To bad the hardware in the phone is not 3G.
  7. hexonxonx macrumors 601

    Jul 4, 2007
    Denver Colorado
    All current AT&T sim cards have the 3G logo on them. My cheap Samsung GoPhone has a 3G card in it.
  8. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Yes there is. 3G SIMs are different from regular SIMs.

    In fact, they're required to make a 3G phone work on 3G networks. (A 3G SIM has extra code inside for its CPU to handle encryption and so forth.)

    Many carriers now buy only 3G capable SIMs... it's cheaper to do that in bulk, plus then the customer can upgrade to a 3G phone at any time, using the same SIM.

    But of course, a 3G SIM won't make a non-3G phone become something it's not.
  9. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
    interesting ... thanks for the info...
  10. tom2517 macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2005
    It doesn't matter if the SIM is 3G or not, the chipset inside of the current iPhone is not 3G capable.
  11. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    This topic keeps coming up again and again. Think of it this way guys. Your iPhone is like the AM/FM radio in your car. Can you get XM on it? No. You have to get a different radiio that has the capability for AM/FM and XM.
  12. ijohn3 macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2007
    I had to call apple support for my iphone was having some issues with freezing..i started talking to the guy on the phone about the new 3g. He said you may not have to get a totally new iphone because the 3g chip might be able to be placed in your phone along with a new battery at a store.

    Has anyone heard anything about this? If its true, sounds like a great idea to me!
  13. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    Not possible. The chip to connect to the cellular network is wired into the circuitry, it's not independent and hanging out on the battery. They'd have to replace the existing chip, and that's not cheap. Whoever you spoke to was making **** up, or was really misinformed.
  14. jeffmc macrumors 6502

    Sep 21, 2007
    Apple doesn't replace ipod batteries. If a battery dies, the entire unit is replaced. I can assure you they won't open iPhones in the store either, there's no way this is possible.
  15. Drumjim85 macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2007
    DFW, TX
    you can get the battery replaced in the iphone for $75... but like you said, they probably just replace the unit...

    I wonder if there will be some kind of upgrade plan they'll have (if this is true) ... i doubt they would... they don't do that for any current products ...
  16. DaffyDuck macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    It's an iPhone not an IBM XT (They had replaceable board mount memory chips).

    Sorry if this sounds offensive but the idea seems so preposterous to me it's difficult to believe anyone would even think this. For one thing, the power requirements and circuit layout for the 3G chip are almost certainly going to be different. They are 2 different technologies. It's like trying to replace the ARM processor with a Pentium 4. Also, have you seen how small the pins are on modern microchips? They are soldered by machine and it's not very easy at all for a human to do it without destroying the chip. It's the price we pay for miniaturization. If it breaks or becomes outdated it's much easier to just replace.

    Lastly, integration continues and it's possible that Apple may want to integrate other functions currently carried out by other chips into the 3G chip (if they go with a custom chip) to reduce the size or increase battery life of the iPhone.

    No offence though. :)
  17. DaffyDuck macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    I have heard they send you a new unit and refurbish and sell the old unit. I'm not sure if this is true though.

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