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Posted Feb 24, 2011
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Buying iPhone for someone else
Edited by roman64 on Feb 24, 2011 at 12:49:37 PM

Hello. I have a problem that I can't seem to find an answer to. Hopefully someone here can help me.

 

I have a relative living overseas who asked me to buy an iPhone 4 for him here in the US. I'm an AT&T customer, currently have an iPhone 3G, and my line is eligible for an upgrade. I thought I would be able to use my upgrade option to buy the iPhone 4, send it to the relative overseas, and continue to use my old 3G. Now, I wasn't sure if this was possible, so I called AT&T and asked. The AT&T rep I spoke to told me that it was possible, and that I should go to an AT&T store where they will sell me the iPhone and then somehow switch the phone number back to my current SIM card. So I went to the store, told them what I wanted to do, and they said this cannot be done. I then called customer service and asked about this again, and this time they too told me that it's impossible without me adding another line to my account (which I don't wanna do, as I wouldn't use it). So, does anyone here know if this is or is not possible? I'm guessing it's not, but I remain hopeful since the first rep I spoke to told me it was possible. Smiley Happy

 

By the way, I'm aware that the iPhone is locked to AT&T's network, and won't work overseas unless unlocked manually. The relative said he can get it unlocked over there, and I also told this to the three AT&T reps I spoke to.

Hello. I have a problem that I can't seem to find an answer to. Hopefully someone here can help me.

 

I have a relative living overseas who asked me to buy an iPhone 4 for him here in the US. I'm an AT&T customer, currently have an iPhone 3G, and my line is eligible for an upgrade. I thought I would be able to use my upgrade option to buy the iPhone 4, send it to the relative overseas, and continue to use my old 3G. Now, I wasn't sure if this was possible, so I called AT&T and asked. The AT&T rep I spoke to told me that it was possible, and that I should go to an AT&T store where they will sell me the iPhone and then somehow switch the phone number back to my current SIM card. So I went to the store, told them what I wanted to do, and they said this cannot be done. I then called customer service and asked about this again, and this time they too told me that it's impossible without me adding another line to my account (which I don't wanna do, as I wouldn't use it). So, does anyone here know if this is or is not possible? I'm guessing it's not, but I remain hopeful since the first rep I spoke to told me it was possible. Smiley Happy

 

By the way, I'm aware that the iPhone is locked to AT&T's network, and won't work overseas unless unlocked manually. The relative said he can get it unlocked over there, and I also told this to the three AT&T reps I spoke to.

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Buying iPhone for someone else

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Feb 24, 2011 12:50:56 PM
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A little advice in the future, don't talk to AT&T customer servicee or anyone at their retail stores. You'll get better info her than anywhere. To answer your question, yes you can upgrade your line with the iPhone 4, give it to your relative and keep your 3GS. All you do by upgrading it committing yourself to another 2 years with AT&T, so it's none of their business what you do with the phone. The only thing I'd consider is if you ever want to upgrade your phone, you're screwed until your line is eligible again.

A little advice in the future, don't talk to AT&T customer servicee or anyone at their retail stores. You'll get better info her than anywhere. To answer your question, yes you can upgrade your line with the iPhone 4, give it to your relative and keep your 3GS. All you do by upgrading it committing yourself to another 2 years with AT&T, so it's none of their business what you do with the phone. The only thing I'd consider is if you ever want to upgrade your phone, you're screwed until your line is eligible again.

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Feb 24, 2011 1:02:17 PM
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Edited by roman64 on Feb 24, 2011 at 1:06:09 PM

Thanks for the reply. I agree about AT&T's customer service. Different reps have different answers to the same question. The thing is, the relative asked me to make sure I get the iPhone activated when I buy it. He says he can't get it unlocked unless I first activate it for him here in the US. I don't understand exactly how it works, but when I was at the AT&T store, I think they were actually going to sell me the iPhone. However, when I brought up the activation, they said they can't do it. They said if they activate it, my number will be tied to the new iPhone 4, and they won't be able to transfer it back to my 3G. This is contradictory to what the first rep has told me, so I don't know who to believe.

Thanks for the reply. I agree about AT&T's customer service. Different reps have different answers to the same question. The thing is, the relative asked me to make sure I get the iPhone activated when I buy it. He says he can't get it unlocked unless I first activate it for him here in the US. I don't understand exactly how it works, but when I was at the AT&T store, I think they were actually going to sell me the iPhone. However, when I brought up the activation, they said they can't do it. They said if they activate it, my number will be tied to the new iPhone 4, and they won't be able to transfer it back to my 3G. This is contradictory to what the first rep has told me, so I don't know who to believe.

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Feb 24, 2011 1:13:36 PM
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Why can your relative not buy an iPhone in their country?

You do realize that warranty support is restricted to the country of origin, correct?

If they ever need to restore the phone, they will need a valid AT&T SIM in the device to activate it.

 

Many countries offer iPhones as legally unlocked, I wouldn't commit myself to a 2yr contract without the benefit of a new device for a relative, but that's just me. 

 

Just make sure you have all the facts and are completely comfortable with what you are doing before you sign the contract.

 

As others said, no reason to give AT&T the background, they frankly don't care.

All you want to do is upgrade to an iPhone4 at the discounted price then revert back to your current device.

Also, make sure that you have no desire to upgrade to the next itteration of the iPhone when it is released later this year, as you will be required to pay the full (no-commitment) price if you sign a 2yr contract now.

Why can your relative not buy an iPhone in their country?

You do realize that warranty support is restricted to the country of origin, correct?

If they ever need to restore the phone, they will need a valid AT&T SIM in the device to activate it.

 

Many countries offer iPhones as legally unlocked, I wouldn't commit myself to a 2yr contract without the benefit of a new device for a relative, but that's just me. 

 

Just make sure you have all the facts and are completely comfortable with what you are doing before you sign the contract.

 

As others said, no reason to give AT&T the background, they frankly don't care.

All you want to do is upgrade to an iPhone4 at the discounted price then revert back to your current device.

Also, make sure that you have no desire to upgrade to the next itteration of the iPhone when it is released later this year, as you will be required to pay the full (no-commitment) price if you sign a 2yr contract now.

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Feb 24, 2011 1:25:56 PM
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He can buy it in his country, but it's more than twice as expensive there than it is here.

 

The only problem seems to be the activation. If I understand it correctly, once they activate the iPhone 4 with my account, my phone number will switch to the SIM card in the iPhone 4, will it not? Then how do I switch back to my 3G? I can't just switch the SIM cards as the iPhone 4 uses the micro SIM.

He can buy it in his country, but it's more than twice as expensive there than it is here.

 

The only problem seems to be the activation. If I understand it correctly, once they activate the iPhone 4 with my account, my phone number will switch to the SIM card in the iPhone 4, will it not? Then how do I switch back to my 3G? I can't just switch the SIM cards as the iPhone 4 uses the micro SIM.

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Feb 24, 2011 2:40:14 PM
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You can get an adapter that allows the iPhone 4's micro-SIM to fit in the regular SIM slot in the 3G, or any other phone that uses a regular sized SIM.

You can get an adapter that allows the iPhone 4's micro-SIM to fit in the regular SIM slot in the 3G, or any other phone that uses a regular sized SIM.

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Feb 24, 2011 2:48:29 PM
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ACE - Professor

 


roman64 wrote:

By the way, I'm aware that the iPhone is locked to AT&T's network, and won't work overseas unless unlocked manually. The relative said he can get it unlocked over there, and I also told this to the three AT&T reps I spoke to.


 

There is no legal way to unlock a US GSM iPhone 4. No one will unlock a US GSM iPhone 4. Sure, its possible to do it, but its completely irrelevant to your question. Stop talking about that, there is no reason to do so.

 

Your question is "Can I upgrade my 3GS to an iPhone4" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

Your next question is "If I then lose the iPhone 4, by accidentially mailing it to someone overseas or leaving it on the subway or something, can I continue paying on my contract for 2 years but get a new SIM and us it in my old backup 3G that I had not got around to selling yet?" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

There should be no more questions after that.

 

 


roman64 wrote:

By the way, I'm aware that the iPhone is locked to AT&T's network, and won't work overseas unless unlocked manually. The relative said he can get it unlocked over there, and I also told this to the three AT&T reps I spoke to.


 

There is no legal way to unlock a US GSM iPhone 4. No one will unlock a US GSM iPhone 4. Sure, its possible to do it, but its completely irrelevant to your question. Stop talking about that, there is no reason to do so.

 

Your question is "Can I upgrade my 3GS to an iPhone4" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

Your next question is "If I then lose the iPhone 4, by accidentially mailing it to someone overseas or leaving it on the subway or something, can I continue paying on my contract for 2 years but get a new SIM and us it in my old backup 3G that I had not got around to selling yet?" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

There should be no more questions after that.

 

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

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Feb 24, 2011 3:38:03 PM
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johninsj wrote:

 

Your question is "Can I upgrade my 3GS to an iPhone4" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

Your next question is "If I then lose the iPhone 4, by accidentially mailing it to someone overseas or leaving it on the subway or something, can I continue paying on my contract for 2 years but get a new SIM and us it in my old backup 3G that I had not got around to selling yet?" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

There should be no more questions after that.

 


 

Or with a micro-SIM adapter, take the micro-SIM out of the iphone4 and put it in the 3GS. Then you can do whatever you want with the iphone4.

 

 


johninsj wrote:

 

Your question is "Can I upgrade my 3GS to an iPhone4" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

Your next question is "If I then lose the iPhone 4, by accidentially mailing it to someone overseas or leaving it on the subway or something, can I continue paying on my contract for 2 years but get a new SIM and us it in my old backup 3G that I had not got around to selling yet?" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

There should be no more questions after that.

 


 

Or with a micro-SIM adapter, take the micro-SIM out of the iphone4 and put it in the 3GS. Then you can do whatever you want with the iphone4.

 

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Feb 24, 2011 3:54:24 PM
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johninsj wrote:

 

Your next question is "If I then lose the iPhone 4, by accidentially mailing it to someone overseas or leaving it on the subway or something, can I continue paying on my contract for 2 years but get a new SIM and us it in my old backup 3G that I had not got around to selling yet?" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

There should be no more questions after that.


 


sandblaster wrote:
Or with a micro-SIM adapter, take the micro-SIM out of the iphone4 and put it in the 3GS. Then you can do whatever you want with the iphone4.

 

Smiley Happy Thanks. One of these should do it. I appreciate the help!

 


johninsj wrote:

 

Your next question is "If I then lose the iPhone 4, by accidentially mailing it to someone overseas or leaving it on the subway or something, can I continue paying on my contract for 2 years but get a new SIM and us it in my old backup 3G that I had not got around to selling yet?" - the answer to that is Yes.

 

There should be no more questions after that.


 


sandblaster wrote:
Or with a micro-SIM adapter, take the micro-SIM out of the iphone4 and put it in the 3GS. Then you can do whatever you want with the iphone4.

 

Smiley Happy Thanks. One of these should do it. I appreciate the help!

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