Use 3GS iphone but without iPhone plan

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iaddict, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. iaddict macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #1
    I have elderly parents that need a new phone. We currently have ATT. I have an old 3GS that is not being used. Can I switch their sim card to the 3GS and have them use that without having to pay for an iPhone plan? They won't use any data, etc - just need to use it as a phone.
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    No, AT&T will add a data plan when they detect an iPhone.
     
  3. Sunsean, Mar 29, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012

    Sunsean macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    #3
    Your best option may be to do what I just did - get a Go Phone prepaid micro sim card from ATT. It comes out to 10 cents/minute for voice calls, but it's an easy way to get no contract service on your iphone. If you make a lot of phone calls, a traditional plan would probably be cheaper. But if you make relatively few calls, as I do (say 30-60 minutes/week) then this plan would be in the $12-24/month range for voice (for 30-60 min/week of calling). Plus they have roll over minutes as long as you renew before the current cycle expires. For example, I started mine with $25, that gives me 250 minutes that last 3 months. If after 2 months, I only use half that, I can renew a new cycle and have those 125 unused minutes carry over. Plus, not locked in to a contract.

    I will say, the only reason I decided to go this route is because I'm having my regular/old phone # ported to Google Voice, and I'm planning on using GV over wifi on the iphone for the majority of my calling/texting (going to use a Clear mobile hotspot for on the go data). The prepaid SIM minutes are really a backup for when I don't have any data connection. I'm not sure if I would do this prepaid SIM if it was my only sort of coverage...really depends on how much time you spend on the phone.

    Oh, they also now 'officially' offer data for iphone use on prepaid plans - again, it depends on your use. If you only use it sparingly to check email, weather, maps, etc, it's doable. But if you're streaming Youtube vids all day and downloading a ton of apps, mailing large attachments, etc, it's probably not a smart route to take. The prepaid data options are $5 for 10MB, $15 for 100MB, and $25 for 500MB. Because of my hotspot I don't plan on using the data options, but the great thing is - if I'm going on a road trip or camping or somewhere where I think I won't get signal on my hotspot, I can add 100 or 500MB at my leisure, so I'll be covered either way. Seems like a lot of hoops to jump through, but at the end of the day, I have a fully functioning iphone with unlimited everything for about $43, which takes into account the hotspot monthly fee and the SIM minutes. If I need to add some data to that, it would go up to $68/month (for the full $25 data option). If I just wanted to add a little data as a safety net I'd probably go with the $15 100MB option, which would make my bill that month $58. I doubt I'd go for the 10MB $5 option, because 10MB is a joke. Anyway, at most I'll be paying $68/month for unlimited everything, which is still cheaper than your basic restricted iphone plan.

    ----------

    Just re-read your question and realized you weren't asking "how can we get this iphone to work" but rather "how can I get my parents' current SIM/plan on the iphone without data". Sorry...yeah, don't think you can, as was already said.
     
  4. Sedrick macrumors 68030

    Sedrick

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    #4
    I gave my 3Gs to my son. I shut off all data connections (he just uses it for a phone, wifi and a few games). He's had it for several months. I just went to the ATT sight to check billing details and they show he's using a 3Gs. But no data charge yet.

    Maybe they wait for you to actually attempt a data connection?
     
  5. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #5
    Maybe, but it is in the contract that they will and they periodically can IMEIs.
     
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #6
    It's been asked a million times.
    AT&T mandates an iPhone data plan to post paid accounts that use an iPhone.
    Their system does scans and when they detect an iPhone without the proper data plan they add one automaticly.
    Only way to avoid it is go prepaid.
     
  7. braddick macrumors 68040

    braddick

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    Location:
    Encinitas, CA
    #7
    AT&T simply doesn't always care. My wife never uses data and her iPhone 3GS is on our family plan at $9.95 + $5.00 for 200 texts. We've gone into AT&T together and they've pulled up our accounts, see it is an iPhone and have no issues with it.
    Before this 3GS was the iPhone 3G. Same status through two upgrade cycles.
     
  8. iaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #8
    Thanks, braddick. That's what I'm asking. Since they would NEVER use data, don't even text(don't know how) why in the world would ATT care? They are never going to cost ATT money since the phone will only be used for voice calls.
     
  9. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    Don't gloss over everything else and pick out the post you want to hear, chances are good that they WILL get a data plan added. Try it if you want, but don't complain when they do.
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #10
    You might get lucky but they eventually catch on.
    For Some takes months or even a year others within weeks.
    You never know, just letting you know their rules that's all.
     
  11. iaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #11
    I'm not picking and choosing - I'm just saying what in the world is ATT losing when all they use is the phone? It is senseless to charge someone for something they don't ever use.
     
  12. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #12
    I hear you, it sucks that you cant choose the services that you want or dont want.
    But like with most carriers now you cant have a smartphone without a data plan. Unless you use a prepaid service.
     
  13. iaddict thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #13
    Yes, that just ticks me off. Now I have to go out and buy another stinking phone when I have one that would work just fine. Just burns me up!
     
  14. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #14
    ATT, Sprint, Verizon have all required data plans on their smartphones for 2-3 plus years.

    At first AT&T required all smartphones users starting in September 2009 to have the $30 data plan. At first they tried to reason people need the data plans to avoid unnecessary charges. Cough cough. So they forced unlimited data $30 plan down people throat.

    Fast forward 2 years and AT&T says they really don't want those forced users into a $30 unlimited data plan because it's contesting their network.

    Bottom line. AT&T is a corporation that wants to maximize profits. Data is by far the biggest source of revenue growth among cell phone companies. That's why they are basically giving voice minutes away for free (free any mobile with unlimited texts).

    So the only real reason they require a data plan is to generate more revenue even though the phone was brought off contract or someone finished their contract.

    Tmobile USA has the fairest policy. Buy subsidized handset. Tmobile will require a 2 year data plan. Buy off contract phone tmobile doesn't require data.
     

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