Cross upgrading - How does this work? (ATT)

DreamscapeRuins

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2011
67
0
Inside your mind
My Mom and I both recently upgraded to the iPhone 4S from the iPhone 4. They'll be here tomorrow.

Thing is, we didn't upgrade on our own lines. I have my own, separate ATT account. My mom has a family plan on her account with 4 active lines. Two of those lines had an available upgrade, however ours did not. I've upgraded on her account, but I intend to use the phone on my own. She upgraded on a different line on her account, but intends to use the iPhone 4S with her number.

Logically, we should be able to pop out our SIM cards and stick them in the 4S, right? However, I heard otherwise. I heard, in passing, that this was much more difficult than I thought it would be.

Has anyone else cross upgraded on ATT? How does it work? Am I in for a difficult process tomorrow?
 

Jordan921

macrumors 601
Jul 7, 2010
4,669
1,457
Bay Area
Just pop out your sim from the iPhone 4 and pop it into the 4S. Just go back to make sure that if there was a data plan added to the line that was used to upgrade that it doesn't have a data plan if it isn't using a smartphone.
 

jekyoo

macrumors 6502
Sep 11, 2007
343
1
Chicago
Simply popping in your sim will not work. iOS 5 introduces a new activation process where it initially needs to be activated on the original line before you can just pop in any at&t sim. there is no way around this.
 

Jordan921

macrumors 601
Jul 7, 2010
4,669
1,457
Bay Area
Simply popping in your sim will not work. iOS 5 introduces a new activation process where it initially needs to be activated on the original line before you can just pop in any at&t sim. there is no way around this.
You are wrong. Do you have first hand experience in this? My brother used my moms upgrade to get his 4S and just popped in his sim card and went through the activation process and everything worked just fine.
 

auburnfan24

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2008
187
8
I can attest to this info. I have had every iPhone since the original and have switched between multiple phones a hundred times.

I just recently bought a brand new iPhone 4S off ebay and it had not been activated before. As a security measure, apple requires the phone to be activated by the original number (last four of SSN and zip code to authenticate) before you can move forward and 'pop in your sim'.

I had to go to an at&t store and have them call the original owner to activate the phone and deactivate their current phone then switch all the sim and imei numbers to the correct owners and then activate it on my number.

This has never been an issue until the 4S with so many people switching and people stealing phones. I think it is a smart way to stop people from snatching new unopened phones that have been ordered.

Just make sure the original owner activates it FIRST before you start removing sims and calling at&t...or else you will be in the same boat as I was. It wasn't easy, or fun.
 

FreakinEurekan

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2011
3,430
394
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Simply popping in your sim will not work. iOS 5 introduces a new activation process where it initially needs to be activated on the original line before you can just pop in any at&t sim. there is no way around this.
I don't think that's entirely true - you do need to activate for the original OWNER, but not necessarily the specific SIM. I bought a 4S as an add-on to my own family plan. When it arrived, I swapped in my SIM from my iPhone 4 and activated it with no problem. The SIM that came with the 4S is sitting here on my desk.

Next I'm ordering an iPhone 4 as an upgrade on my primary line (the one now running the 4S) and I will activate it with this SIM that came with the 4S (the new line).

Convoluted, yes - but it let me get the 4S a month before my upgrade eligibility, and I was going to add the 4 as a Christmas present for my mother anyway so didn't mind adding the extra line to my plan a month early.
 

djransom

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,971
59
Chi-Town
If you order via Apple then it MUST be activated on the original line that it was purchased on before the SIM swap can be done. I learned this 1st hand last week.
 

Ctguy

macrumors member
Jul 31, 2010
69
10
Your mom should have no problem swapping sim from 4 to 4s. I was in similar situation, I have no problem swapped my iPhone 4 sim to 4s. I first activated the iPhone 4s with numbers that came with it then swapped the sims.
 

Jordan921

macrumors 601
Jul 7, 2010
4,669
1,457
Bay Area
If you order via Apple then it MUST be activated on the original line that it was purchased on before the SIM swap can be done. I learned this 1st hand last week.
Not the case with my brother. He had an iPhone 4 and ordered the 4S on my moms line which was using a motorola razr. Just popped in his sim and worked fine.
 

DreamscapeRuins

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2011
67
0
Inside your mind
Hah. I like the mix of answers I'm getting.

Anyways, got the phones today. Some of you are right. Once you turn on the new phone, it takes you through the activation process. At the end, it makes you confirm the number (which is obviously not the right number, since we bought these on different lines). There is no decline button there, it just says confirm. I ended up turning the iPhone off to start over. Switching the SIM cards wont do it.

I'm wondering if I can switch SIM cards after I confirm that number and activate it on that line, but I dont know. I'll have to try it here in a second. I'm not sure if iTunes will allow me to restore it, since its not activated.

I'll probably end up having to make a trip to ATT today and explain everything. I feel like they'll get ticked off that I cross upgraded, but what can they do about it? Its not against policy.
 

dave006

Contributor
Jul 3, 2008
3,382
696
Just West of East
First AT&T does not care and they call this an Upgrade Swap and they do it all the time. The skill of the RSC helping you determines how quickly and or painless the process goes.

Sounds like you ordered from Apple as an upgrade. That's the reason for the phone number validation step.

Caution: If you complete the activation on the new iPhone 4S the line that the upgrade was ordered on/against will stop working as it's current SIM will be deactivated. Please make sure you tell the donor that their phone is going to stop working...

You have two options for activation: on the iPhone ( PC / Mac ) free or using iTunes. Both options work.

Dave
 

DreamscapeRuins

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 6, 2011
67
0
Inside your mind
Thanks Dave! You were right :)

I went ahead and activated it using the number it had set, which then deactivated the SIM card in my grandparents phone. AFter that, replacing that sim card with mine worked. Now I'll just have to call ATT at some point this week and get them a new card for their phone. Not as painful as I thought it would be.
 

Dwalls90

macrumors 601
Feb 5, 2009
4,811
1,267
Thanks Dave! You were right :)

I went ahead and activated it using the number it had set, which then deactivated the SIM card in my grandparents phone. AFter that, replacing that sim card with mine worked. Now I'll just have to call ATT at some point this week and get them a new card for their phone. Not as painful as I thought it would be.
Save yourself the hassle and take the card in the iPhone you activated (it's your grandparents SIM) and put it in their phone. It will work.
 

GaiaAero

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2010
120
0
If there's an ATT store nearby, I'd go there. I had to do this when I recently purchased my 4S and they made the process quite simple and easy.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.