Quick Hypothetical (re: buying unlocked)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by avantgardener, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. avantgardener macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2007
    Just a quick hypothetical:

    So there's a lot of talk about using the 3G iPhone in a voice-only manner (wi-fi for any data). If you were to obtain an unlocked phone and have a current AT&T voice-only plan, what will happen when you pop your SIM card in?

    Will it function for calls and could you access the Internet only when in wi-fi range?
    (apologies if this topic has been beaten to death before!)

  2. techlover828 macrumors 68020


    Jun 28, 2007
    well it would still have to be unlocked and we have to wait for hackers to do that. :)
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    This is what the 2G iPhone does. When it's unlocked, and you put any valid GSM SIM in it, from any service provider, it connects to the GSM (voice) network and starts working like any other phone. The only thing that does not work is visual voicemail. Instead of visual voicemail, you get a red indicator on the screen showing you have voicemail. On some carriers, a slight nuisance is that whenever the phone or the GSM radio is power cycled (i.e. if you turn the phone off/on, but not if you just walk out of a service area and back in), it thinks it has new voicemail until you check voicemail, even if no one has left you any.

    The WiFi works irrespective of whether you have ever used cellular data services. While you're on wifi, essentially everything that uses data services, except for visual voicemail, works fine, without any noticeable impact really that you do not have data services.

    The cell data service works only if enabled by the provider, and possibly with typing the APN in (not necessary for AT&T, I think, FWIW). If you try and do something requiring data services when you have no wifi and no data services, you just get an error message, but nothing catastrophic happens.

    So, assuming someone unlocks the iPhone 3G, the same things are expected. Does that help?
  4. avantgardener thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2007
    Thanks, that was a big help!

    I'm currently going month-to-month and figure I should take advantage of getting a highly subsidized phone (from AMZN or somewhere). Unload that new phone and use the proceeds to help pay for the surely more-costly unlocked iPhone.

    My priorities with the phone would be:
    1)voice with current plan (corporate discount)
    3)living with Internet access only in Wi-Fi areas (at $30 less/month)

    Now, would it make sense to maybe look into an unlocked 1st gen iPhone instead, rather than waiting for the 3G one? (ie cost)


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