iPhone - Pay as you go?
September 19, 2008 8:16 PM   Subscribe

iPhone - Pay as you go? I'm thinking about getting the iphone. Can I use a standard Pay as you go plan plus data on the iPhone? I use approx 250 minutes, 200-300 texts, no data/pix (virgin mobile). Approx $30 a month. I basically want pay as you go for minutes and text, then sign up for unlimited data? Possible?
posted by BoldStepDesign to Technology (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
No, not unless you buy a jailbroken or foreign one, and then switch it out to another provider.
posted by Joh at 8:29 PM on September 19, 2008


See also.
250 minutes/month + data may be above the cutoff point where pay-go rates make sense.
posted by acro at 8:30 PM on September 19, 2008


Oops, I assumed you were in the US. If you aren't then ignore my answer.
posted by Joh at 8:58 PM on September 19, 2008


Im in the US.
posted by BoldStepDesign at 9:00 PM on September 19, 2008


This probably doesn't help, but when they used to let you activate it yourself, if the user failed the credit check they were offered a pay-in-advance option. I'm pretty sure the 3G wouldn't accomodate this, maybe you could buy a 'refurbished' old-gen phone that would?

Note that this pay in advance option did include data, as all iPhones require data plans. as well they should.
posted by tremspeed at 12:29 AM on September 20, 2008


I have a 3G that will soon be on prepaid. It works without any issue, just swap the SIM out.

Yes, you can use a AT&T PAYG plan on the iPhone 3G. The main issue is getting one in the first place; AT&T/Apple won't let you out of the store without activating one on a postpaid contract. Then you will have to break contract (paying ETF) unless you want to pay for two accounts at one time. So your iPhone 3G has an additional $175 ETF + $75 month + $36 activation fee on it, and you can only use AT&T's prepaid and no one elses (assuming you don't get an unlocked foreign one).
posted by meowzilla at 3:03 AM on September 20, 2008


Count me in as another person who doesn't understand why you would buy an iPhone, whose main strengths are its browser and apps (most of which use data), and not have a data plan. PAYG makes perfect sense for the user who never makes phone calls but uses unlimited data (total cost = $20/month). The iPhone was built around unlimited data usage. It is merely an average phone.
posted by meowzilla at 3:08 AM on September 20, 2008


Just a fwiw: AT&T's text message plans include multimedia messages. You get up to 5MB/month of data transfer included as well. I'm a customer but not an iPhone owner. If you are going for the wifi functions, you could consider an iPod Touch and a regular cell phone.

Also, I've read that the main drawback of the iPod Touch/iPhone (if you're getting it to use it as your main music player) is that without a click wheel, you can't blindly reach into your pocket and change your music/volume. You have to actually pull it out and look at it.
posted by IndigoRain at 3:38 AM on September 20, 2008


Also, I've read that the main drawback of the iPod Touch/iPhone (if you're getting it to use it as your main music player) is that without a click wheel, you can't blindly reach into your pocket and change your music/volume. You have to actually pull it out and look at it

We're getting sidetracked, but - the volume rocker on the side is easily adjusted without looking at it, and the microphone piece of the iPhone headphones can be clicked once to pause music, twice to go to the next track, and as of 2.1, three times to go to the previous track.
posted by Remy at 5:18 AM on September 20, 2008


This site seems to confirm that the iPhone technically works with a pay-as-you-go plan out of the box -- but the trick is (as others have noted) buying the phone without signing a contract.
posted by rdn at 6:50 AM on September 20, 2008


You have to buy the phone and then break the contract. This will cost you $200 (and up) plus the $175 early termination fee. After that, the phone is yours free and clear and you can use it with PAYG. 1st gen requires jailbreaking to activate with PAYG, 3G phone does not.
posted by moof at 3:42 PM on September 20, 2008


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