Can I get a 3GS in this fashion? (help plox)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by chinchillin, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. chinchillin macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2009
    I hate to be so demanding in my first post, but this is time-sensitive, so I hope someone here has the answer I want (not necessarily the one I need)...

    So I've got a 3G. There's another line on my family plan eligible for a 3GS upgrade. (Im buying from an Apple store, FYI)

    My (primary) # is NOT eligble for said upgrade. I want to buy this 3GS using the other line's upgrade, swap my SIM into this 3GS, and go about my business.

    The Apple store employee says (this first part I agree b/c I know firsthand) that when they activate that 3Gs, the line that is eligble for the upgrade is going to immediately get shut off, and their calls forwarded to the phone I'm buying.

    But shouldn't I be able to give the person on that upgrade-ready line the sim that would be IN the 3Gs, let them insert it into their personal phone, and everything be fine.. while I take MY sim, and pop it into the 3GS, and be good on my end, as well?

    The person at the store said they weren't sure, implied the IMEI # would be tied to the phone # in question (the one upgrade-ready, NOT mine), and generally implied I couldn't go about this in this fashion.

    Is this the case? I don't want to deal with jailbreaking, etc. I just wanna back up BOTH our iPhones beforehand, swap sims, restore if necessary, and NOT pay the full price for the phone.

    Anyone else done this, or CAN it be done? I realise MUCH obliged in advance. (Yes, i searched, but i couldn't find what I needed)
  2. Simgar988 macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2009
    don't hold me to it, but I'm pretty sure you can...

    but most of all I'm glad someone has finally discovered the search function!
  3. nehunte macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2009
    I work for Best Buy Mobile and sell a ton of iPhones and have dealt with about every situation to deal with in terms of the iPhone.

    1. Go to Best Buy :p
    2. If you don't go to Best Buy, inform the salesperson that they don't have to activate the new sim, that comes with the 3GS, on the eligible #'s account. So, if they just simply do the upgrade by only adding the IMEI number, then the other person's phone would work just fine.
    3. At that time, you would then only need to take the sim card out of your current iPhone and throw it into the new iPhone.

    IMEI's don't mean anything to AT&T. It's all about the sim card. When you swap sim cards, after about 30 seconds into a phone call, AT&T realizes you are using a different phone and updates it in their system, no big deal. The only question I have is; does this other line that you're actually using the upgrade for have an iPhone as well? If so, then you're good to go. If not, then you need to make sure you remove the iPhone data plan off the other line so that you won't be charged for it in proration or anything like that.

    Honestly, the guys at Apple are a bit dim when it comes to all of this type of stuff because their specialty lies in Apple products, not necessarily on how to make them work with the AT&T system. As far as AT&T, they're just there to make you life more complicated than necessary. Try a Best Buy Mobile if one is close to you. Since we're not tied down to only one carrier, we can typically switch things around fairly easily without jumping through too many hoops.

    (Sorry for any possible spelling or grammatical error, too lazy to spell check)
  4. chinchillin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2009
    Simgar998- I do what I can. heh.

    nehunte- I'll be looking for a Best Buy tomorrow near here. But if I can't find one/they're outta stock, any likelihood that the Apple store employee will go along with NOT activating the SIM? To answer your q, yes, the other line has a iPhone, a 3Gs, in fact (it was bought on ebay as a gift, therefore the line is still technically 3Gs upgradeable). Even if they pressed the issue and HAD to activate that SIM (the one that comes with the 3Gs), can't I just pop my sim in once Im in the parking lot, take this NEW sim back to the family member, tell them to pop that one into THEIR iphone ( I intend to have them backup their phone - mine as well- before this goes down), and live happily ever after?

    I appreciate everyone who's responding with the quickness. :)
  5. MacBacker macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2009
    Left Coast, USA
  6. nehunte macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2009
    "You got it dude!"

    Full House reference.... nobody laughs.

    Yup, that will do it just fine. Keep in mind that having an "inactive sim" in the other 3GS might brick the phone up, so there is a small chance that after you put the "new sim" in the other line's phone, you may have to plug it back into iTunes to unbrick it.

    The chances of it happening are small, but I don't want you dropping a load in your pants when your wife's phone can only make 911 calls.
  7. daihard macrumors 6502a


    Feb 19, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    This is what my wife and I did just a few days ago. It may not exactly be the same as your situation, but anyway...

    I had an iPhone 3G on my primary line. My wife had a Samsung Eternity on her secondary line. Her line was eligible for upgrade. So we bought a 3GS on her line, activated it on her phone number, and swapped our SIMs. Now I am using the new 3GS on my primary line, with her using my old 3G on her secondary line. No problem here.
  8. ChaSSe macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2009
    Just do this.
  9. lemonademaker macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2009
    In a Van Down By The River! Metro Detroit!
  10. madlymocha macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2008
    I did this when upgrading my 3gs:

    My husband had a Blackjack due to upgrade. I went in, bought the 3gs, let them activate it with my husbands #, went home switched our sim cards and all was well. When I log into my AT&T account it shows that I have the 3gs and he has the 3g.

    Same as posted above.
  11. sp44 macrumors member

    Sep 18, 2006
    What if you're not giving the iphone3g to someone else. Then what? I just want to use my wife's line to upgrade. She wants to keep your RAZR on that line.

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