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MissAnthrope's avatar

IPhone: What are my options if I don't want AT&T?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21467points) September 3rd, 2008

I like my current carrier and don’t really want to switch to AT&T..

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7 Answers

eambos's avatar

Buy an unlocked iPhone 2.5G and put your SIM into it.

iPhone 3g’s have not been unlocked yet, so that’s the best you can do.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks for your reply. I have done no research into iPhones.. they are out of my price range, so I never bothered. However, my mom is talking about getting me one for my birthday.. I’m wondering if you could elaborate a bit further?

The 2.5G (what is that, gig?) ones are older, I take it? They’re automatically unlocked? As for the 3G, if I wait, will those be unlocked as well?

blastfamy's avatar

2.5G refers to the data network that iPhone (the first one) works with. The new one works with both 2.5 and 3G.

The old one (with the metal back) is the one that @Eambos was referring to. There are plenty of unlock guides for these online.

Be sure that you go with a carrier that is GSM, as ATT is GSM. T-Moble, is another that is GSM. Verizon will not work with iPhone.

Go with caution, however. If your mom is the one buying, she would have to sign a contract for the phone. If she truly intends to buy the phone, she will be more-or-less forced to get on a contract at the time of purchase, in which case you would not need to unlock, because someone would be paying the bill on an ATT contract.

If it was me, knowing what I know as you said in the question, I would wait until after my birthday before actively pursuing an unlocked iPhone. You must also weigh the task of maintaining and researching the effects of software updates (that can (nearly permanently) render your phone useless) against the cost of having a phone that works well, albeit on a carrier that you don’t like.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Bah.. what a gigantic pain. I used to be a huge Apple fan, but after stuff like this, it so makes me like them less.

I guess I need to check whether my carrier is GSM first and figure out where she’s planning on buying the phone (she lives in Italy). Thank you so much for your help!

blastfamy's avatar

I assume you live in the states. What carrier are you on? I may be able to tell you if you are GSM…

If she does intend to buy the phone, you may be able to advise her on what to do: she needs to buy it in the states. I don’t think an Italian flavor of the firmware will work on the ATT activation. If she buys it online (at the apple store), then you could have her activate it, which would put the plan in her name/line of credit. Just let her into your iTs account (with the phone in her possession), or ask for her credit info (sent in an email: I would never give that kind of data up in an over-seas call!) and activate the phone yourself.

If she really wants to gift you the phone, you helping to hammer out the details shouldn’t be a problem! Of course, as long as it’s not supposed to be a surprise.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Haha, no surprise.. she told me that’s what she was thinking of giving me and asked if I wanted one. I am in the U.S. and currently use nTelos (most affordable plans ever!).

I guess I’ll have to look into it, it’s just such a pain. Why, Apple, WHY?

blastfamy's avatar

Just thank your lucky stars that Apple didn’t go with Verizon. They have the worst data services ever. They probably wouldn’t have let the device have Wifi. That would have been horrible.

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