Upgrading from 3GS to iPhone 4 via eBay purchase?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by grapejoos, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. grapejoos macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #1
    I apologize for asking this question since I am sure it has come up, but I have not been able to locate the answer via Google or searching the forums here. So here goes.

    I have an iPhone 3GS with AT&T. I am eligible for an upgrade with AT&T but want to save my upgrade for the iPhone 5. However, I am getting impatient and would like to upgrade to an iPhone 4 in the interim without burning my upgrade or extending my contract (and then sell my 3GS on eBay to mitigate the cost). What I am trying to figure out is whether this is possible by buying a used iPhone 4 on eBay.

    Simply put, can I buy a used iPhone 4 on eBay, swap in my SIM card from my 3GS, and use it without burning my AT&T upgrade/extending my contract? If so, do I need to buy an unlocked iPhone, or can I buy one from someone who has switched to Verizon (and thus, they are still under contract with AT&T)? Let's assume scrupulous eBay sellers, etc. - I just don't understand the activation rules/SIM card issues for switching from a 3GS to a 4 and would appreciate any assistance. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Sunny Southern California
    #2
    Yes you can absolutely do this! AT&T has no control over you changing phones at your discretion. If you buy an iPhone 4 on eBay and put your sim in it, you will NOT use your upgrade and it will NOT affect you in the future.

    Buy away! :D
     
  3. Aloha-boy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #3
    You'll be fine. You can either cut down your current sim card or just go to AT&T and get the micro-sim card for free. Both ways will not burn up your upgrade.
     
  4. Crystal-RX macrumors 68030

    Crystal-RX

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    #4
    If I was you, here is what I do;

    1. Jailbreak & unlock the 3GS, put it on Craigslist and sell it. Since it is jailbreak & unlock, it has more value that the one that locks to AT&T.
    2. Again, buy a locked Iphone4 from craigslist and since you are with AT&T, it should work fine.

    During this transaction, depending on the capacity of your 3GS, you probably need to put in $100 or so cash and you will have a Iphone 4 with no contract attach to it.
     
  5. grapejoos thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #5
    Thanks so much for the reply. I'm seeing online that the 3GS SIM card won't fit because the iPhone 4 uses a MicroSIM, and suggestions to go to an AT&T store to get a new SIM for the iPhone 4 (which I may or may not be charged $25 for - don't care about that). If the phone I buy has a SIM card already, do I need to do this? And does this run the risk of my contract being re-upped if I require AT&T's intervention?

    I guess I'm just not clear on what I have to do once I get the used iPhone 4 to make it work with my number (and whether that will extend my contract/burn my upgrade). I do agree that I should be able to do this, since I'll be paying more than the new contract price to buy the used phone :)
     
  6. grapejoos thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #6
    Thanks so much for the reply. This is my logic, and then when the 5 comes out, I'll rinse and repeat by selling the iPhone 4.
     
  7. grapejoos thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #7
    Thanks, I think this answers my question. I appreciate all of the responses.
     
  8. Crystal-RX macrumors 68030

    Crystal-RX

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    #8
    You can just use your old sim card and cut it down to micro sim. If you are not comfortable to do that, there are people can do that for you with $5 to $10 charge.
     
  9. Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    Sunny Southern California
    #9
    Two things:

    1. Please multi-quote. It saves space :)

    and 2. As has been stated, there are several DIY manuals to cut down your sim card and if not, AT&T should exchange it for you.

    I +1 the jb'ing and unlocking and selling your 3GS. Will get more for it that way. Also, Craigslist is another market to sell on if you want to avoid paying eBay fees.
     
  10. Aloha-boy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    #10
    No problem... search on Google to see the DIY on how to cut down your current sim card down to fit the micro-sim card tray, if you don't want to go to AT&T.
     
  11. grapejoos thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    #11
    Great, thanks and sorry for the multi-quote fail. Unless anyone strenuously disagrees with the advice in this thread, I think I've gotten the clarity I need.
     
  12. sbddude macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2010
    Location:
    Nor Cal, USA
    #12
    One thing to note is that if your 3GS is certain basebands it can't be unlocked unless you use the iPad baseband which breaks GPS.
     

Share This Page