SIM Card Swap Possible between iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by G4R2, Jun 8, 2009.

  1. G4R2 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2006
    I'm trying to explore all viable options for getting the new iPhone at a reasonable price.

    My situation, and this may apply to others, is that my wife has refused to upgrade the original iPhone I forced upon her (bless her) to an iPhone 3G. I, however, was not so wise. I would like to use her ATT account to purchase a new iPhone 3GS and then swap the SIM card with my iPhone 3G.

    Taking advantage of her generosity and patience, would you think that if I used her account to purchase an iPhone 3GS using her first gen iPhone, which she doesn't want, and swapped it with the SIM card of my current iPhone 3G that the accounts would be switched?

    My thought is ATT wouldn't care since they are still selling the iPhone 3GS to a qualified customer- My wife. My wife will get an iPhone 3G (my old one) and I would get my geek thrill by acquiring her new iPhone 3GS. Everyone wins!

    Any thoughts, or denouncements of my husbandly failings, would be appreciated.

  2. GreggM3 macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2008
    This is my exact situation. My wife has my old 1rst gen iPhone which is dying and I have the 3G. I want to use her number to to get the upgrade price and then swap. It should not be a big a deal but who knows.
  3. michael.lauden macrumors 68020


    Dec 25, 2008
    AT&T makes everything a big deal. Your wife must've used the crap out of that iPhone, my battery still keeps me going for days (well... 2-3 days of heavy use w/no wifi)
  4. DarkJaye macrumors member

    May 11, 2009
    Pretty sure it doesn't matter, once you put your sim in a phone, it's yours and on your account. Furthermore, you'll be able to upgrade again for the low price next year, because you'll use up your remaining year in your contract.

    Your wife can use the 3g but keep in mind it is her contract that will be extended to a full 2 years again.
  5. Revelation78 macrumors 68000


    Dec 18, 2008
    North Carolina
    With having worked for AT&T sometime ago, they won't care. Walk right in, tell the CSR your wife's line is upgrade eligible and you want to use her upgrade for your line. You'll be in and out in no time with your new iPhone 3GS.
  6. G4R2 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2006
    Thanks for the replies- That's pretty much the situation I'm hoping for. Providing that there will be a worthy iPhone upgrade next year I would use my current account to get it at and be able to cycle through upgrades every year using my account and my very patient spouses.

    It may be worth all the complaints I will hear regarding having to put up with being upgraded to last years technology :)
  7. smoknyreyz macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    This is exactly what I am doing - I called ATT today and confirmed it wasn't an issue. Also - something to consider to soften the blow to giving your wife the "old" phone - I read on several forums about the hairline fractures on the case for the iPhone 3G. Checked my launch day 3G a few weeks ago and sure enough I had a very small crack near the dock connector and two more near the mute/silent switch. I made an appointment with a Genius at the local Apple Store a few weeks ago and sure enough they swapped it out on the spot under mfr warranty for a NEW 3G. I made a comment about the possibility of a new phone coming out and the Genius laughed and said that if it did he was sure my wife would get the replacement NEW phone. So long story short....My wife's hand me down this time around will only be a few weeks old.
  8. yunebug macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    Does that really work?

    My fear is that if I upgrade using her upgrade eligibility, her line will be obligated to pay the $30 a month iPhone data fee because we used HER upgrade eligibility. I plan on swapping the SIM cards and selling my current iPhone 3G, and don't want to end up with two lines paying $30 per line for iPhone data. My SIM would go into the new 3GS, the new SIM in the 3GS would go into her current phone, and her old SIM would be shredded. Does that make sense?
  9. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yes, this works, I have done it in the past.
  10. ryanmcv macrumors 6502a


    Aug 12, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm pretty sure you can simply call up AT&T and have them remove the iPhone data plan from the line. If you go into an AT&T store and do this in-person, everything will likely be taken care of before you walk out the door. If you order the phone online using your wife's number, I'm not sure how that would work. Your best bet is to go into a corporate AT&T store and tell a representative about your situation.
  11. Munitalp macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2007
    It works just fine, I've done it in the past as well.
  12. yunebug macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll be a walk-in customer on the 19th then! :0]
  13. iPhone 3G S Pro macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2009
    Good News!!!

    I Contacted my uncle in which he works for apple and he said "As long as their is no connection differences between the iphone 3g and the iphone 3g s (Which their is not)" So it is completely fine, but the warranty will be concidered invalid in till you upgrade with AT&T. Good Luck. P.S. I will be doing the same thing you are!:D:apple:
  14. SheepNutz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    I called Apple Store and asked about this, since I have one on reserve at my local store, and they told me that the phone had to leave the store activated on my wife's line (the one that's upgrade eligible). They told me that I wouldn't be able to swap sims, but said that AT&T might be able to switch them for me. I then called the AT&T kiosk that is in the same mall as my local Apple Store, and they told me that they would have to do it there (or any other AT&T store), and it wouldn't be a problem at all. So basically, the phones can be switched, but I don't think it's as easy as switching the sims.
  15. JosephBergdoll macrumors 6502

    May 7, 2009
    I am doing this, too, with the exception that neither me or my mom have iPhones. On our four line family plan (one for me, mom, dad, and extra business line), both my mom and dad qualified for full upgrades while I qualified for the slightly reduced price. My mom is perfectly fine with her Motorola RAZR, so she let me use her upgrade to purchase the iPhone. I have confirmed this numerous times with AT&T customer service both in person and by telephone. All you need to do, assuming your number already is using a 3G SIM, is swap the SIMs and call AT&T and have them switch the data plan from the upgrade line to your line.
  16. allymac macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2008
    Am I the only person reading endless threads like this thinking, you miserable bunch of sods giving your cast off phones to your wives/girlfriends/mothers etc :D Just saying cause my partner wouldn't get away with such nonsense with me. :p
  17. JReynolds macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2009
    Where the Air Force sends me
    ME TOO!

    I hope it all works because i already ordered and was counting on this!
  18. SheepNutz macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    lol, my wife is the one that actually came up with the idea.
  19. newyorksole macrumors 68040

    Apr 2, 2008
    New York.
    But isn't the info on the sim card? so taking out the sim card and switching would be all you have to do right?
  20. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    This is my understanding of how you do it.

    This is my exact situation too. From what I read, here is what you need to do:

    1) Order the 3Gs, and configure the rate plan as you would like it to be for your wife.

    2) Backup your 3G iPhone and your Wife's first gen iPhone.

    3) When it arrives, activate the 3Gs on your wife's account/phone number. Her first Gen iPhone has a different (2G) rate plan. Activating the 3Gs on your wife's account will ensure that her account is changed over to the newer 3G/3Gs rate plan. It is REALLY important to do it this way so you can swap SIM cards - because then both you and your wife will be on a 3G rate plan and this will make sure the data plan and billing are not messed up.

    4) Simply swap the SIM cards between the 3G and 3Gs iPhones.

    5) Do a restore on the 3Gs iPhone - use the backup you made from your old 3G phone.

    6) Do a restore on the 3G iPhone - use the backup you made from your wife's old first gen iphone.

    7) Call ATT and have them update the IMEI numbers on your account and your wife's account to reflect the new phones in use on those accounts. The IMEI can be found in Settings/General/About - tell them you swapped phones and moved the SIM card. While you're on the phone, have the rep make sure the rate plans on each account are true to what you would like them to be.

    I did this EXACT same thing today - a big crack near the dock connector. I left with a brand new 3G iPhone to hand off to my wife on Friday.
  21. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    I just called AT&T and confirmed that the above steps should work fine.
  22. Blargo macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2009
    I want to do the same thing, but slightly different situation.

    My roommate, who has his own AT&T account has the first gen iPhone and is eligible for an upgrade. I have the 3G but not eligible until next year. If he orders the 3GS, can we still swap phones across different AT&T accounts (meaning, we aren't on a family plan).

    He wants my 3G and I want the 3GS.

  23. Ntombi macrumors 68040


    Jul 1, 2008
    Bostonian exiled in SoCal
    +1 :D
  24. adamdodson macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2004

    Worked like a charm! Question, though... do I have to call AT&T and update the IMEI if my online account shows the correct phones for the correct lines?
  25. smoknyreyz macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    Nashville, TN

    Worked for me too! I'm pretty sure you don't have to call AT&T. When I swapped out the 3G with the cracks in the case at the Apple Store a few weeks ago the Genius just put my original sim into the replacement phone and plugged it into iTunes to activate it. From there he told me to take it home and restore from backup. I never called AT&T with the warranty replacement phone, so I don't see why there would be a need to call them in this situation either.

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