iPhone / Cheap GoPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by bigdweeb, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. bigdweeb macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    Boston, MA
    So I've ordered a 3Gs and it's my first iPhone. It's my first GSM based phone for that matter... I've been a VZW customer for over 10 years at this point. Not being on a CDMA phone brings the ability to move your SIM around as I understand it, which will be a nice change for me.

    Here's what I'd like to do. I want to pick up a cheap GoPhone like the Nokia 2610 for when I do things like ride my bike to work. I ride through the city and I've been knocked off my bike by being cut off in the past. The glass in my Motorola Razr Ve is cracked because of this, so the last thing I want is for it to happen to my new iPhone.

    I've searched around some and I've seen people say you can swap the SIM into other phones, but is there anything special about those AT&T GoPhones? Should it just work in one of those? What functionality will move with the SIM card? I assume I'll be able to make calls and send texts and have those calls and texts deduct properly from my plan, right? I don't need the data part to work even if the phone was capable of supporting that. My contacts won't transfer, right?
  2. Caris macrumors 6502a


    Sep 25, 2006
    Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
  3. Maclver macrumors 68020


    Nov 23, 2008
    36°07′53″N 95°56′14″W
    not that i know of... but it wouldn't hurt to call ATT and ask

    there is not insurance for the iPhone
  4. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    there is if you get it from a third party company

    ATT and Apple don't offer insurance
  5. miffed macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2007
    Now, a lot of other iPhone owners will disagree with me here (I know a few that have had cracked screens ) but I have to say , the iPhone 2G was probably the toughest phone I have ever owned , and I have had many, many more than most
    The 3G is not quite as robust IMO , but it is still pretty tough , I've found that back picks up micro-scratches quite easily , and when you get a load of them in one place it looks like a scuff , but this is really nothing , OK so it takes the "mint" look away - but you would still be hard pressed to describe mine as anything other than excellent condition
    OF COURSE , insurance and case can be a good idea and I am not suggesting otherwise , but I often hear people talking as if the iPhone is made of china , when in reality it is probably one of the toughest phones on the market !!
  6. bigdweeb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I didn't mean to touch off a philosophical discussion on how tough the device is, if it makes the device less cool if it looks like you actually use it, etc.

    I know there is insurance through 3rd party companies that I am considering. I am also considering a decent silocone case like the Speck Toughskin or CandyShell to protect it a bit more. I have 4 and 2 year old boys and things tend to get moved/dropped unexpectedly in my house.

    I just know that there are situations where I would rather not have to bring my iPhone along. If I'm riding through the city and I feel there's a risk of a nice device getting damaged, if I'm snowboarding, if I'm hiking etc. I just need basic phone functionality in some situations and I think it's a plus that being on a GSM network provides. This is the first "smart phone" type device I have ever had so I won't be jonesing for something I'm already not used to having.
  7. kinkster macrumors 6502a

    Sep 15, 2008
    It should work just fine. They won't mind if you use your iPhone plan with a cheapo phone, it's just more money for them. They only care if you use a normal plan with the iphone(they will let you use prepaid on the iphone though, just not non-iphone contract plans.)

    A ATT "go phone" will probably work with non-go phone sims, but if it doesn't you could pick up a really cheap nokia phone on ebay anyways.
  8. bigdweeb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    Boston, MA
    OK, so last night I tried to IM with AT&T sales through their site about this. The representative I was talking with said she was pretty sure the iPhone and GoPhone SIM cards are not compatible and I could damage something. She suggested I talk to someone at an AT&T company retail store.

    I was skeptical of this answer since it didn't jive with my basic understanding of SIM technology. I did some searching on howardforums.com and came across these two threads:
    Using 3g iPhone sim card in a gophone
    Move iPhone 3G's SIM To (Answer Goes Here) To Go Skiing

    Both of those confirmed what I thought was possible, and one brought up an interesting device to try this with, the Motofone F3. It's super cheap, super thin and has a really interesting display. Texting looks like it would be a pain on the phone though.

    I also stopped by an AT&T store this afternoon and had a representative there confirm that there should be no problem moving the SIM to any other device and retain my calling and txting features. While I was out I also walked down the street to the Apple Store and picked up a Speck CandyShell case to try out on the new device
  9. matt550 macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2008
    I bought a gophone the other day. Samsung A169 I think. I sold my iPhone 3G and waiting for the 3GS. GoPhone seems to work perfect, I cant get data but I dont care. I plan on using the GoPhone when I camping and to the Bahamas next month.
  10. tylertech macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2008
    The sim card in the iPhone and GoPhones are compatible. Texting and calling works. Data and MMS actually works too, however it takes a few hours for it to switch over.
  11. Lord Sandwich macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2005
    I was under the impression that you needed a baseband unlock to make a GoPhone SIM work in an iPhone, but regardless of that be aware that AT&T's prepaid service sends full-screen balance alerts via USSD for every SMS you send or receive. The alerts stay on until you dismiss them and can drain your battery by keeping the screen alive even when the phone is fully locked.

    I'm a heavy texter and AT&T almost never disables USSD--a CSR lied to me the other day and said she disabled the alerts, but they kept coming anyway. So now I'm on T-Mobile.
  12. bigdweeb thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Hmm, I'm not sure what most of that means, I'm completely new to GSM.

    I have also been looking at the possibility of picking up an unlocked GSM phone online and using that. Would that get around the issue you are talking about?
  13. Luigi239 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2007
    Yes, it will work just fine.

    I took the sim out of my 2g phone and put it in a $15 GoPhone from BestBuy. Everything works perfect :)

    EDIT: And I have not encountered the issue mentioned above me.
  14. Lord Sandwich macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2005
    @Luigi239, you don't get a message from AT&T that says "The last transaction cost X.XX USD. Your account balance is X.XX USD" etc. every time you send or receive a text message? It's a pretty common complaint amongst GoPhone users and affects all compatible phones, not just the iPhone.

    @bigdweeb The issue isn't really related to the phone itself, rather the way AT&T handles its network. Google "gophone ussd" and you'll see BlackBerry/WinMo/Nokia users complaining about the same thing. I'm pretty sure it's been discussed on these forums before but I can't seem to find the thread.
  15. tjespo22 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2007
    Staten Island NY

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