Downgrading on AT&T

Feb 7, 2011
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#1

Need to add a line for my kid. I've got an iPhone 3GS not being used (just upgraded to iPhone 4).

Is it possible to buy say an iPhone 4 32GB white refurb for the additional line, then switch the line to the 3GS and sell the the 32GB white iPhone 4 (They go for about $525+ on Ebay). I know the 4 takes a mini-SIM and the 3GS a standard SIM, so I can't just transfer the SIM. Could I not just tell AT&T we broke the iPhone 4 and need a SIM for a 3GS. I actually have a SIM from the old 3GS sitting around too. Could they not just switch the line to that SIM?

What I'm concerned about is I see on Ebay people advertising 'No Contract' I thought the contract didn't matter, it's the SIM that matters. Or will AT&T not activate a phone with an ESN that was previously tied to a line that is still under contract for another account?
 

Leo

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#2
The iPhone 4 will be locked to AT&T, that's what the people on Ebay are talking about when they say "No Contract", which means it's not locked. Locked phones won't work on other carriers, so they're not worth as much. My iPhone 4 is unlocked, so it'll work on any carrier that has Micro-SIMs (up here in Canada, all...8(?) carriers have it).

AT&T won't care if you "lose" your phone, and get your plan switched over to a NEW SIM card. You just need to buy a new SIM card and it'll work in your 3GS...but couldn't you just go to AT&T and ask for a monthly no-contract plan and get them to hook up the 3GS again?
 
Feb 7, 2011
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#3
It's all about the math. I don't mind being tied to AT&T for 2-years at a time for each of my phones. I get a 20% discount off their normal rates and the service works good in the areas I use the phone.

Refurb WHITE iPhone 4 32GB = $199. I'm a 7-year Powerseller on E-bay with 100% Positive feedback and could easily get $550 for the phone. So I net a $350 profit (less activation fees)

As a side note, one thing I'm pissed about is the new 4's are 4.3.5. Tethered jailbreak is lame. Luckily the upgrade was for my wife who doesn't need the jailbreak and my personal iPhone 4 is 4.3.3. Does the Gevey ultra sim work on 4.3.5? They seem to elude to it does. But I assume this still requires a tethered jailbreak which means any time the power is cycled on the phone you have to plug it into the computer. So no way to unlock and be untethered on 4.3.4 up?

http://Applenberry.com/store/gevey-sim/gevey-ultra.html

Wonder it maybe invested $28 will increase the Ebay price by at least $50 to make it worthwhile?

In my experience, yes an unlocked or jailbroken phone can fetch a little more money, but if you had experience selling lots of stuff on E-bay you'd find out it is better to sell a stock phone, leave a little money on the table, but not have to deal with post-sales support headaches for idiots that want these customizations but don't know what they're doing. Better to let the buyer do the mods. But that's just my experience being a very conservative PowerSeller trying to minimize the risk of any headaches.
 

Europa

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Dec 12, 2008
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#4
You could make a sim card adapter. It's really easy and there are YouTube tutorials available. You can sell it and switch to the 3GS, but the two year contract will stay in affect and you won't be elligible for upgrade for a while.

If you get the phone from Apple and it has 4.3.5, an untethered jailbreak will be impossible at this time. You can still unlock it, though. A GEVEY SIM will work on 4.3.5.

The iPhone 4 will be locked to AT&T, that's what the people on Ebay are talking about when they say "No Contract", which means it's not locked. Locked phones won't work on other carriers, so they're not worth as much. My iPhone 4 is unlocked, so it'll work on any carrier that has Micro-SIMs (up here in Canada, all...8(?) carriers have it).
I just wanted to clarify the two terms. Unlocked means the phone will work with any GSM carrier. Contract-free just means the phone wasn't subsidized by your carrier so you aren't extending your contract. A contract-free phone may very well be locked.
 

Leo

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#5
I just wanted to clarify the two terms. Unlocked means the phone will work with any GSM carrier. Contract-free just means the phone wasn't subsidized by your carrier so you aren't extending your contract. A contract-free phone may very well be locked.
Right, but why would anyone care, as TC said, if a phone is contract-free or not on ebay? I'd only care if it's locked or not, really. Unnecessary information I suppose?
 
Feb 7, 2011
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#6
Yes, that was the point of my original question. All phones being sold on E-bay that aren't subsidized are 'contract free' TC was just saying (I think) that 'contract free' is an easier label for some people to grasp than 'unlocked'

All the instructions I've seen regard the Gevey SIM is that you have to do the tethered jailbreak BEFORE you insert the SIM. I've never used a phone with a tethered jailbreak. But if it means to KEEP the phone unlocked it has to remain with a tethered jailbrake then I think I would pass unless the phone can still be powered cycled without being tethered and still work fine except for the jailbreak. But I think I read you can't power cycle a tethered jailbrake without being connected to the PC.

Maybe what I'm not understanding is that the unlock modifies a part of the phone that is not overwritten by the OS when you do a restore. So maybe you can jailbreak, unlock, then restore to stock OS and still remain unlocked? I doubt it because I believe the unlock relies on the software (via Cydia) to work in conjunction with the SIM to remain unlocked - my guess.