Carrier SIM and Data Plan Question when it comes to iPhones

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Yebubbleman, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Here's what I want to do: I want to be able to buy an iPhone at full contract price, and only have it active with a data plan. Specifically, I have a Verizon Share Everything data plan that currently is hosting four iPads (no phones) and I want to pop an iPhone on there in the exact same fashion and have it use data from the pool.

    I don't want a voice plan, I don't want a texting plan. I don't want it to do any sort of voice calling or SMS/MMS messaging beyond iMessage (and any third-party messaging apps). I literally want this to function like an iPod touch with cellular (if such a mythical device were to ever exist) or like a really small iPad mini with cellular.

    That said, I know that Verizon (and I'm sure the other three major US carriers as well) will not let me outright do this as they'll require a voice and messaging plan for such a device to be activated on their network.

    That being said, could I:

    - Get either a Verizon iPad mini (either of the first two generations), Verizon iPad Air, or any cellular iPad Air 2/mini 3 with an accompanying Verizon SIM card

    - Activate said iPad on the plan (so that it activates the SIM card on the plan with just data)

    - Then pop out that SIM card (and presumably turn off data on the iPad) and pop it into any otherwise compatible Verizon iPhone 5/5c/5s/6/6 Plus

    …and have it continue to be using just the data plan that I activated the iPad to have joined? Does this work?

    It's more roundabout than is optimal, but if this is the way to get what I want (which, again, is an iPhone running on Verizon's network as part of my pre-existing share plan with data only), then I'm totally down to do it.
  2. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    It doesn't work. The Sim Cards for the iPad are provisioned to be used for mobile broadband devices and not phones. If you put it into an iPhone it might work for a little while but Verizon would quickly identify that it's being used on a smartphone and turn it off.
  3. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012
  4. Chatter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2013
    Uphill from Downtown
    1. iPhone "on contract" won't be data only so you cannot price subsidize it.
    2. The popping of sim from iPad to iPhone won't work as all carriers block mobile phones from the data only plan.

    But, if you can get either of these options to work somehow, kudos to you!
  5. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    If you can convince Verizon that the phone will be for a user who is deaf (they request "appropriate documentation"), you can get a Messaging/Data only plan.

    The same is true on AT&T, with their "iPhone Text Accessibility Plans."

    That said, the pricing doesn't seem that much less from a standard voice/data plan, maybe around $10-$15 less per month. You could probably save more on T-Mobile if they cover you, or by going to Straight Talk or Cricket, which would give you a similarly priced plan as an MVNO on Verizon or AT&T, without having to lose voice calling.
  6. rigormortis, Jan 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015

    rigormortis macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2009
    if you activate a sim card in a cellular iPad and then insert that sim into an iPhone it will work fine without voice services

    you won't be able to use the iPhone to turn off autopay on the sim card

    like others say, the walmart 5 gb plan for $30 is actually $10 cheaper then a 5 gig t-mobile iPad plan and $20 cheaper then an AT&T iPad plan , so the whole iPad data only sim in an iPhone is kind of moot

    there was nothing stopping me from inserting my t-mobile iPad sim in my iPhone
    however putting the iPhone sim in my iPad did not work at all. no data at all

    my iPhone sim is a walmart sim, i don't know if that matters

    the walmart t-mo sim gives you music streaming
  7. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Yep, this should work.

    Actually, thanks to the agreement with the FCC for the 700MHz spectrum license, Verizon can't shut you down if you do this. We have Google to thank for that.

    No such restriction for AT&T or any other carrier, though so they can and most likely will.
  8. Yebubbleman thread starter macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    So, given this, it should work, given that I'm on Verizon, but it would not work if I was on a different carrier such as AT&T or Sprint?

    Secondly, given this, I have a third generation iPad and a Galaxy S5. I'm probably going to switch to the iPhone 6S Plus (or whatever it'll be called) and I'll probably continue to use my S5 to be an iPod touch (especially given that the odds of there being a future iPod touch are slim). Going back to the third generation iPad for a second; I have it on a shared data plan and I will probably look to remove it in the not too distant future. Instead of doing so, can I pop out the microSIM from the third gen, pop it into the S5 and have the same effect (where the S5 gets the data-only line from the third generation iPad and Verizon does nothing to stop me or force me to add a text/voice package?
  9. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    With Sprint, I believe the SIM card wouldn't even work on another device. With AT&T, you'll probably receive an alert after a while telling you that they're moving you to a different plan that's compatible with your device.

    Yep, should work fine, I would think.

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