Shocking inability of the iPhone (can't restore new Verizon iPhone from AT&T backup)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by cameronjpu, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. cameronjpu macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    Sorry for the eye-catching title ;) I figured this would get lots of views and hopefully solve my problem.

    Is everyone aware that you cannot restore a new Verizon iPhone from the backup of an ATT iPhone? My client's ATT iPhone was destroyed, so she bought a new Verizon model and tried to restore her stuff to it, because she did not have anything synced (stupid). But iTunes, and now Apple tech support, tells her that a Verizon phone cannot be restored using an ATT iPhone's backup!?! Is this possible? And if so, how is that justifiable?
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Yes, most people on here are aware of this. Its caused by iTunes not allowing a 4.3.X firmware backup onto an older 4.2.X firmware. Its been like this for years.
  3. Kyotoma macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2010
    Carnegie and Ontario
    Uhh. This was covered when the Verizon iPhone first came out, and it's governed by the two different version numbers. This will be fixed when iOS 5 comes out, of course, but for the moment, they're not. It's justifiable because they tell you when you're switching from AT&T to Verizon's iPhone.
  4. ProwlingTiger macrumors 65816


    Jan 15, 2008
    I was fortunate to still be running 4.0.? when I bought my Verizon iPhone. In fact, I had no idea this was even a potential problem until a week or so later when I was talking with a friend about it.
  5. Surrix macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    Get ahold of the iOS 5 beta, put it on the new VZ phone, and give it a go.
  6. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    Very bad idea for a phone you plan to use everyday.
  7. Surrix macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    Better than not having all your data....
  8. spidey3 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2010
    I hate to pour salt in the wound, but what's really "shocking" is that someone would keep vital information on their phone [or any other device] without a regular backup!

  9. awadeee macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2011
    Viper City
    Very true. Beta are just unstable and it's recommended that you don't use one on a primary.
  10. Surrix macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    Not unstable. But yes, they are recommended that you don't use it on your primary device. This person doesn't really have much of a choice, though, given Apple's perplexing versioning differences between VZ and ATT on iOS 4.

    Beta 4 is great. She could install Beta 4 and just not upgrade to any future betas until the final release.
  11. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    You'll be shocked to hear that the Verizon rep was certain that it would be no problem, right?
  12. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    Would a 5.0 phone be able to import data from OS4 ATT? The old phone is destroyed.
  13. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    If you find it shocking, you must not deal with non-nerds often.

    Disappointing, very. Shocking? No. Mildly surprising? No hardly. The vast majority of clients that I work with, who call me for computer help of all kinds, have never synced their phones.
  14. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Sep 27, 2010
    Nor Cal, USA
    you could restore the backup to an ipod touch or 3gs

    what data do you need back? maybe apple will let you do it in store and get the data off of it.
  15. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    That was one possibility that I read about, that's definitely a possibility.

    That's what I ended up suggesting that she do. In my experience Apple is pretty good about that sort of thing in the store, just letting her use one of the iPhones from the back for an hour while she does it (or while I do it, I should say).

    It just doesn't make any sense to me that, regardless of differences in iPhone OS versions, iTunes should be able to take your data and apps from an ATT iPhone and convert them somehow to Verizon. It's mind-blowing that this can't be done!
  16. ~Ks383~ macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    It is not an issue of conversion. Apple does not intend, and in fact prohibits, you from downgrading your firmware version by not allowing restores of any type from a higher iOS version to a lower one. Although Verizon 4.2.10 is for all practical purposes the same as AT&T 4.3.5, iTunes sees it as a lower version number so it will not let you restore the data.
  17. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    It is clearly an issue of conversion, because I have a huge cache of data in one format, ATT iPhone format, and I'd like to put it on a Verizon iPhone but can't. iTunes should convert the data that I want for my new phone.

    I don't care about the firmware version, I want contacts, calendar, texts, and settings. Apple made two "identical" phones that can't exchange that data. Pretty un-apple like. This is the same Apple that will migrate your old computer to your new, apps and all, even if the old one had Leopard and the new one has Lion.

    Not very Apple-rific.
  18. Surrix macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2009
    I can't guarantee this would work, but my wild guess would be that it would work, since you'd be restoring the 4.X backup to the 5.0 iOS.

    Again, however, I can't guarantee this will work.
  19. ~Ks383~ macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    No, the backups are in the same format. I don't think you understood what I was trying to say. Since Apple does not want you to restore to an older firmware version it will not let you restore anything, including data, to what iTunes considers an older firmware version. Since AT&T iPhones are on 4.3.x and Verizon iPhones are on 4.2.x, iTunes thinks that it is on an older firmware version and will not let you restore the data. Should Apple have thought of this? Yes they should have. They did not though, and that is why you are having the problem, not because of a conversion issue.
  20. WordMasterRice macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Are you even reading the replies you are getting? It would be exactly the same if you got an AT&T iPhone with 4.2.1 on it. There is NOTHING to convert. You can't restore newer backups with older firmware period. I wouldn't doubt that the majority of this is so that your backups aren't using things that didn't exist yet. Regardless, the only option is to tough it out until iOS5 or crack open the back up and see if you can gather what you need.
  21. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    Yeah, I understand what you're saying, I just don't understand why you're saying it. Clearly you agree that Apple could CONVERT the data that's stored in the ATT backup to install it onto the VZ phone, right?

    I do understand why iTunes refuses to make it easy for users to switch from ATT to Verizon. I DONT understand why Apple refuses to make it easy by not creating a conversion function. Pretty dumb.
  22. cameronjpu thread starter macrumors 65816

    Aug 24, 2007
    I'm reading the replies, and I understand the firmware issue. But there's no reason Apple couldn't program a function into iTunes to handle this case. Surely they expect some people to switch from ATT to Verizon, right? There's just no excuse for them not to have done that.
  23. edk99 macrumors 6502a

    May 27, 2009
    Return the Verizon iPhone and get an ATT one. Problem solved
  24. EddyP macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2010
    Not to get all tinfoil hat on people but it may be ATT's request for it to be like that. Anything to make it harder to switch.
  25. ~Ks383~, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2011

    ~Ks383~ macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    If you understand what I am saying then why do you insist that the data must be converted. It is in the same format. The only difference is that iTunes reads the Verizon backup as coming from an older firmware version. If by convert you mean read that a backup is from a Verizon iphone on the same build (for all intensive purposes) and allow a restore of the backup, then yes it should, but that would not be converting anything. We do seem to agree however that Apple should have thought of that issue before releasing the Verizon iPhone on a different version numbering scheme. But then again, this issue probably does not come up often.

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