how does unlocking an iPhone work

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by KrazyKuul, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. KrazyKuul macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    I dont know if this belongs in the help or hacks section, so since I need help, i put it here.

    I was planning on buying either an old iPhone with EDGE, or an iPhone 3g, and unlocking it to use with a att family plan. The thing is that I don't want to pay for the necessary data plan with the iPhone.

    So is it possible that when my family sets up a new family plan contract with att, that I get any free phone, and use that sim card on the iPhone.

    I was planning on buying an iPhone from, unlocking it with ziphone or something (if i have to), and using that with the activated sim card. If this is possible, then would it be necessary to swap it back to the free phone to renew the contract every month, or could the iPhone renew the contract without putting a $30 3g data plan onto the bill. I have no need for 3g, I have wi-fi at home, and can find a hotspot at almost any store nowdays.

    I have searched for this, but not found out any specific detail that I need before buying an iPhone. And also, are all ATT phones-sim swappable. I know to get a gsm phone (if that isn't all they carry), but is it necessary to unlock the phone before swapping sim cards from phones that are from ATT

    thanks for any help
  2. teaguecole macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    if you buy an iphone 3g and you have att there is no unlocking needed, just stick the sim card in and it activates itself... all you would need to do is go to from your iphone and install the APN disabler so you cant use the network to access the internet and can only use wifi

    where as if if you get an edge iphone you would have to activate it through pwnage tool or something like that... and then install an apn disabler... or jailbreak but it definitely is not necessary
  3. KrazyKuul thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    does that disable it for good?

    and is there any way that ATT could see that I swapped sim cards and start charging me for a data plan?
  4. jmann macrumors 604


    Dec 8, 2007
    bump on a log in a hole in the bottom of the sea
    Yes, and there really isn't a way around it. :(
  5. teaguecole macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    yeah if you try to access the internet without wifi on it and through edge or 3g it will tell you that it cannot access the network or something... the only way the profile (apn disabler) will go away is if you restore the phone but the process of putting it on is pretty simple you just click like 2 links....

    yes att can see that you have an iphone... however i have never been charged for it and i have had an iphone edge and an iphone 3g for over a year...
  6. KrazyKuul thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    well is there any way I could do what I want to do as I stated above without being charged for a data plan.

    I mean, how does Tmobile or any other carrier not see that you are using an unlocked iPhone, and end your contract?
  7. teaguecole macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    i think unless you started using the network and had an outrageous bill i dont think they are going to add a data plan to your other words dont give them a reason to look at your account ahah now its definitely possible for them to add it but ive been going data plan free for over a year and haven't had a change in my bill....
  8. KrazyKuul thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    thanks alot for your experience. I will probably try buying a cheap old edge iPhone and trying this out.

    does this mean that if you get an iPhone with a data plan, and don't use 3g or edge at all, then they won't charge you for the data plan?
  9. teaguecole macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    im pretty sure they do see you have an iphone its just a matter of them caring enough to do something about it.... all cell phones have a special code on them that tells the carrier exactly what phone it is... i believe its called the IMEI or something like that and i dont think there is a safe way to change it.
  10. teaguecole macrumors member

    Feb 13, 2009
    i mean i cant speak for att but they havent added a data plan to my account in my year of using an iphone both edge and 3g and i think that says something... i also have always had the apn disabled too... now i have gotten really really small charges like 2 or 3 dollars for accdinetly accessing the internet for like a second bc i forgot to install the apn disabler but nothing big.... i honestly wouldnt worry to much about it... just make sure when you first get the phone that you turn wifi on and accesss that website and disable the apn...

Share This Page