General Question

fortris's avatar

Will this contract workaround get me an iPhone 3GS at discount price?

Asked by fortris (683points) June 12th, 2009

I have the current iPhone 3G and want to upgrade, but as you can imagine, I’m not willing to pay $599 or $699. So I have devised a plan. My friend wants a normal 3G 8 gig, and that’s exactly what I have. I recently exchanged it because the old one was broken. So this is my plan:

Have friend buy iPhone 3GS at discount price. Then give them the money for the iPhone 3GS and sell them current iPhone, then just swap out the SIM cards.

Will this work? Or do they use different types of SIM cards?

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10 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Interesting theory. If AT&T tracks your phone’s IMEI and cross references that with your SIM that may not work.

I would be surprised if AT&T has never experienced someone trying this tactic before.

ben's avatar

The iPhones do just have normal swappable SIM cards, so that should work, as long as your friend doesn’t mind having a new 2 year contract with AT&T and not having the 3GS.

kevbo's avatar

You can also get the discounted price by canceling your current contract and paying the ETF, which is less altogether.

richardhenry's avatar

As far as I know, that should work just fine. I’ve been told that you can use your iPhone SIM card in the 3G or the 3Gs, it doesn’t matter. Carriers won’t be issuing new SIM cards for the 3GS, just inserting your current SIM card.

@The_Compassionate_Heretic AT&T (or any other carrier) doesn’t care. Someone still signed up to the contract and paid them for the phone. There’s nothing in the contract that limits you to using a particular phone, and the issue for them would be them spending money on subsidizing your 3G -> 3GS upgrade. Provided an additional person is on a contract, they’re not losing any money and their happy. Swap phones all you want.

fortris's avatar

@kevbo No, this is less money (no $175 fee) and I’m selling it. I also get to keep my number.
@richardhenry Thanks. Thats exactly what I was thinking. The point of the discount is to lure new customers, and as long as they get one, why would they care?

gooch's avatar

It will surely work. My wife and I swap sim cards on our cheap phones when we go out and it’s as if we switched phones completly and we are on AT&T

richardhenry's avatar

*3GS, not 3Gs. =)

fortris's avatar

@richardhenry By Apple’s standards it’s the 3G[S]

richardhenry's avatar

@fortris I believe it’s actually 3G S. With the space. You can see it in the copy here.

maryw3184's avatar

This is actually considered fraud if you try to do it within the first 30 days after the phone is purchased… you will never get ATT to switch out the IMEI to another account until after the 30 day Buyers Remorse Period has passed.. believe me this is not a road you want to go down with ATT… After the 30 day period you can, but before then… you won’t be able to, and if you can convince someone to, then it has bad consequences. Go ahead and have him buy it and you buy it from him… but wait 30 days to try and have ATT switch out the equipment…

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