SIM card question for those upgrading from a 1st gen iPhone or 3G to a 3G S

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by atomic3, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. atomic3 macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2007
    I am a 1st gen iPhone user and pre-ordered my 3G S last night :D

    If I want to give my 1st gen iPhone away, will the person I give it to need a new SIM card?

    I have found some mixed answers about this online, but most articles say that the person who receives a used iPhone will need a new SIM card to activate. FYI, the person I am giving this to is new to at&t, and will be activating legitimately, i.e. no plans to unlock.

    According to Apple however, the 3G shipped with its own SIM card and the user did not need to replace it with the SIM from the original iPhone. See: So if the new iPhone 3G S comes with its own SIM, can't the person receiving the used iPhone activate with the SIM card that's already in there?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    SIMs are free, just have the person go to an ATT store and they'll set it up.
  3. atomic3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2007
    Thanks for the info about SIM cards being free. I'm really just wondering if a new SIM is required for a new user, or if the existing one can be used. I would like to avoid an unnecessary trip to the at&t store if possible.
  4. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, they will need a new SIM.

    SIMs are tied to phone numbers, so if you leave your SIM in the phone it will operate on your number and your account until such time that you activate a new SIM on your number at which point the old SIM will be rendered useless.
  5. boeckelr macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    I am also upgrading from a 1st gen iPhone to an iPhone 3GS, which I ordered from Apple yesterday, and I have some questions.

    When does my old phone get turned off? When I ordered my 3GS, I selected "replace a phone on my account with an iPhone" does my old 1st gen iPhone get turned off when I activate my new 3GS? And can I do all of this from home, or will I need to goto an AT&T or Apple Store to get it set up?

    And this is kind of a newbie question: If I decide to sell my old I need to do whatever needs to be done to prepare it for the sale (i.e. possibly unlock it; get rid of personal info if possible etc) *before* it is turned off? In other words - once it is turned off, I really cant do anything with it, can I?

  6. ksmith80209 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Bump. I'd like to know this as well. Since I ordered a 3GS to replace the 3G, I really don't want to get an ugly AT&T bill with 2 voice plans, 2 data plans, etc. Does the old phone automatically get deactivated when I activate the new one?
  7. boeckelr macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2009
    ksmith80209 -

    When your new iPhone 3GS arrives, it will (obviously) have a new sim card in it. When you activate the new phone via iTunes, it deactivates the sim card in your original iPhone.

    Later, if you want to give your original iPhone to someone - like your girlfriend or wife - you can take the original phone to an AT&T store, and get a new sim card there.

    At least this is how it worked last summer when the iPhone 3G came out according to what I read on the Apple Support Forums.

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