Using an iPhone 3GS on ATT, but with no data plan?

DCBass

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 23, 2004
308
1
Washington, DC
Hello All,

My wife's old cell phone is on its last legs and would like a smartphone to replace that and her old iPod touch with one device, however, she has no need or desire for a data plan (nor do we have a desire to pay for another one anyway).*This*proves somewhat difficult since we cannot buy a smartphone without signing up for a data plan.

Here's my question:
I currently have an iPhone 3GS. Presuming that I will be eligible to buy an "iPhone 4G," would I then be able to give my wife my 3GS and not have her use a data plan at all (and therefore, not pay for one)? Would this be simple to do (perhaps via some setting to turn 3G data off), or would it require making a special arrangement with AT&T? Does anyone else have any experience/success doing this?


Thanks in advance,

DCBass
 

Geckotek

macrumors G3
Jul 22, 2008
8,543
78
NYC
Sorry, many ppl have reported that AT&T added the data plan when they detected the IMEI as belonging to an iPhone.
 

cantthinkofone

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2004
1,284
0
Missouri, USA
When i got my iphone last black friday i put my sim card in it and it worked. Wouldn't let me check email, or use safari. Said no data network available. I activated the new sim card for the phone a few hours later. Its worth a try, but I would watch my bill for a data plan being added onto it as Geckotek said.
 

Geckotek

macrumors G3
Jul 22, 2008
8,543
78
NYC
When i got my iphone last black friday i put my sim card in it and it worked. Wouldn't let me check email, or use safari. Said no data network available. I activated the new sim card for the phone a few hours later. Its worth a try, but I would watch my bill for a data plan being added onto it as Geckotek said.
Yeah, everytime I switch my DIM from my BB to my iPhone, the data doesn't work (because you have to actually have the iPhone data plan). Annoying and pisses me off. But that is true.

But if you seach I think you'll find the posts I'm talking about where AT&T added data to iPhone users w/ no data plan.
 

DCBass

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 23, 2004
308
1
Washington, DC
You may not be eligible for a new discounted price, so it may come out pricey. Unless, you already pay $100/month (or greater) you may get a smaller price, but nonetheless it will be high price for the new phone.

As per non data, yes, it would theoretically be possible.
I hope that I'm eligible, but we'll all find out soon enough I suppose. I'm not counting on it though. Besides, I would only get one if I could pass my 3GS to my wife.

Per the non data, I remember hearing about AT&T adding the data plans, but I wasn't sure if that is still their current practice.

What if I was simply buying someone's used 3G iPhone (or any other smartphone, really)? If I didn't want to use any data, why would they make me? I understand that it is because it would get them $$$, but the idea is still frustrating.
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,247
463
Yeah, everytime I switch my DIM from my BB to my iPhone, the data doesn't work (because you have to actually have the iPhone data plan). Annoying and pisses me off. But that is true.

But if you seach I think you'll find the posts I'm talking about where AT&T added data to iPhone users w/ no data plan.
The reason the iPhone (without the official iphone data plan doesn't work) is because of the APN.

Just google "unlock it iphone" on your iphone (on wifi). It will direct you to the website that can change the APN so you can use those "non iphone data plans" (say a blackberry data plan or a medianet plan). It works like a charm.

Getting back to the OP, you can put a data block on the iphone for your wife. But be warmed. ATT's computer IMEI sweeps are coming. They changed me from my $10 unlimited family data plan to the $30 iphone data plan a month a half ago.

You will get the dreaded text message warning than the email will come from ATT that they changed your iphone to the official $30 data plan. I purchased my iphone 3gs from a friend (thus no subsidy also). I rarely used my iphone 3gs since I switch to unbranded phone so much. It's amazing they autoswitched me when I had my other unbranded phone in my ATT SIM. It's like the computer systems were a few days behind.

It's kinda of bullcrap but it's their rules.

So many people are getting get with the sweep. If you don't get hit with the sweep, consider yourself lucky. You time will come. Just wait.
 

FSMBP

macrumors 68020
Jan 22, 2009
2,490
1,339
Well, she doesn't have any data on her line now anyway.

Thanks, though.
He means to disable the data on that line. You have to call ATT or go into the store and ask them to disable any data to the line. That means the phone works in terms of talk/text (I don't know about MMS), but it won't connect to the web.
 

grantsdale

macrumors 6502a
May 11, 2008
551
0
Well, she doesn't have any data on her line now anyway.

Thanks, though.
I'm telling you. Thats how you do it.

If you add the phone without having them actually turn the data off, they will eventually add the data plan automatically.

If you have them DISABLE data on the line, and then switch the SIM in and use it, they won't add data.
 

Geckotek

macrumors G3
Jul 22, 2008
8,543
78
NYC
I'm telling you. Thats how you do it.

If you add the phone without having them actually turn the data off, they will eventually add the data plan automatically.

If you have them DISABLE data on the line, and then switch the SIM in and use it, they won't add data.
So if you disable the data, AT&T skips your account during the IMEI sweep?
 

Geckotek

macrumors G3
Jul 22, 2008
8,543
78
NYC
They can't charge you for something you have asked them to disable.
This thought process never really works. They can and will do whatever they want.

So, do you have some proof to back this up? Not that I'm calling you out, but it would be good to make sure the OP is well informed and doesn't get caught by surprise.
 

SaintsMac

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2009
580
170
Michigan
This thought process never really works. They can and will do whatever they want.

So, do you have some proof to back this up? Not that I'm calling you out, but it would be good to make sure the OP is well informed and doesn't get caught by surprise.

I would be interested in this also. I am considering passing my 3GS onto another family member but do not care to use the data plan.
 

DCBass

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 23, 2004
308
1
Washington, DC
Well, it seems that so far there are no good solutions. At least, no good solutions that are easy, simple, and guaranteed/sanctifiedbyATT. I'm not willing to do this unless it meets the those criteria. In other words, I'm not going to jump through hoops for something that isn't that big of a deal.

On the other hand, would this work if she went over to t-mobile, or would they also do some kind of forced data plan?

Cheers,

DCBass
 

DCBass

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 23, 2004
308
1
Washington, DC
I should also add, thanks again everyone for all the replies. It's been very helpful. Also, thanks for the link Geckotek. Knowing that AT&T is forcing a data plan on someone just within the past few weeks is really all I needed to know.

DCBass
 

Geckotek

macrumors G3
Jul 22, 2008
8,543
78
NYC
I should have posted it, but in my research I located a statement from AT&T that you must have data services on an iPhone for life. They don't allow exceptions.

I've also read that T-Mobile does not require it. You will just need to unlock the iPhone. Make sure you don't upgrade it to v3.1.3.