Can I use my Blackberry Bold AT&T SIM Card in an iPhone?
June 22, 2009 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Can I use my Blackberry Bold AT&T SIM Card in an iPhone? My internet research has left me with the following impression: If the SIM card is linked to a blackberry data plan, when I put it in the iPhone I will not have data, only voice.

I have a Blackberry Bold with AT&T in the United States and I am curious if I can remove my Bold's SIM card on the weekends and use it in an iPhone. I'll have to buy an iPhone used / refurbished, but I'm willing to do that as long as my AT&T plan doesn't automatically have iPhone charges added.

The reason I want to do this? I have a Bold and an iPod touch (and love the touch) but I hate carrying both with me (I am required to have the blackberry for work, but hate the email after hours, and I'm an iPod touch fiend!). If this is possible, I'll leave my blackberry at work and put the SIM card in the Bold from 9AM-5PM.

On the nights and weekends, I'll put the SIM card and put it in my iPhone (I normally leave my iPod touch in the car when I go to work anyway and use my laptop for iTunes/music).

I've searched AskMeFi but haven't found an answer.

The internet has lots of answers, most of which are not for AT&T / United States plans (lots of European solutions but these won't help as it appears the answer depends on AT&T's servers realizing that my SIM is now in an iPhone).

Thus far, my internet research has left me with the following impression:

If my Bold's SIM card is linked to a blackberry data plan, when I put it in the iPhone I will not have data, only voice.

- - -

Will an iPhone data plan *automatically* be added to my AT&T bill (this would cause me not to execute my plan). Can I turn off the AT&T network data and only use AT&T's network for voice and the iPhone's WiFi for data (this would be ok with me on the nights and weekends since I get enough email from 9-5 on my blackberry that I don't want to see any email it after work).

Will I get charged any extra by AT&T once they realize my SIM is in an iPhone and not a Blackberry (aside from the data plan, any strange charges)?

Can anyone elaborate, share their own stories, have any of you done this? (AT&T employees, can you tell me what the policy on your end is? Will a black suburban show up outside my house in the middle of the night!?).

I'm looking to you, hive mind! Pour forth your knowledge!

Thanks in advance,

posted by thankyoumuchly to Technology (7 answers total)
Background: a relative works at AT&T, and got me some refurbished iPhones on the cheap . I already had a cell (to be specific, a samsung slider) with a minimal plan, and didn't want to pay extra for the iPhone plan. I ended up jailbreaking/unlocking a bunch, while keeping one for myself. I was illegitimate with my plan for a long time and I only recently signed up for a genuine plan with AT&T.

Apple's deal with AT&T specified that use of the iPhone on AT&T would require a two-year phone contract. If you wanted to simply put your blackberry SIM in your iPhone and not create a new contract, you would need to unlock and jailbreak the phone. In this case, your plan would not change, you would keep your number, and AT&T wouldn't be able to tell the difference. This method is rather complicated and would require a little extra work. However, I had an illegitimate iphone for around 9 months and nothing happened (no plan changes, no black suburbans).
I don't see why you wouldn't have data. If your blackberry uses 3G/Edge, you should be able to make use of it on the iPhone.
If not, then there's an app that will allow you to shut off AT&T data (BossPrefs) so that you won't get charged for using data when you have no data plan.
posted by pyrom at 12:36 PM on June 22, 2009

I have a somewhat similar situation that may help you:

I had a 1st gen iPhone, with the first gen data plan. I inherited a iPhone 3G and just plugged in my SIM card and started using it. Even though I don't have the official 3G data plan, 3G works just fine for me and I have not been automatically upgraded to the 3G data plan, at least not according to the billing website. I did not register the new phone through iTunes, because it looked like that might have required signing up for a new plan. When I log into my account, it does recognize that I'm using an iPhone 3G, but my old data plan does still work. Since it is an iPhone data plan, it may not work for you, but at least it's one data point for you.
posted by hatsforbats at 12:43 PM on June 22, 2009

I'll quote what I said last time this subject came up (what AT&T can tell about where you're using your SIM card).

My husband was given a 3G by his job when they first came out. He didn't upgrade the data plan immediately and he received this text (and other related messages) from AT&T until he upgraded:

"AT&T Free Msg: Your data plan is ineligible for iPhone 3G. To prevent excess charges and enable Visual Voicemail, contact your telecom manager or AT&T"

So they can tell if you change SIMs around and you will need to talk to them if you change SIMs between phones with different data plans.

The wifi company that my husband was working for has been bought by AT&T since the 3G came out. The day he gave me that information to post to AskMe, he discussed overage charges and the message he'd gotten with a colleague. The colleague told him he was lucky and that AT&T could have just started charging him overage.
posted by immlass at 12:54 PM on June 22, 2009

got a friend with an iphone? There's no harm in trying, right?

(be sure to switch the SIM cards back, though.)
posted by cmchap at 3:04 PM on June 22, 2009

I have a Bold and an iPhone (locked to AT&T). You can SIM swap and it should work (it does for me), but:
* You wont' get visual voicemail (and in the reverse situation, if you are registered to AT&T with an iPhone, it screws up regular voicemail if you were to use the the SIM in another phone . . . same with MMS).
* AT&T claims that if they detect (some undefined amount of) iPhone usage on a SIM not registered to an iPhone then they will transfer you over to the (more expensive) iPhone data plan. It's not at all clear how much data or what length of usage would trigger this, which is the point--they very much want to discourage it.
posted by donovan at 5:04 PM on June 22, 2009

I like the responses all, I think I'm going to try it! It may take a week or two as I now have been star struck by the iPhone 3G S (I don't know what it is about that damn compass but something inside of me is urning for it ;).

A few questions:

1.) Does "BossPrefs" work on the 3G S? I definitely want to be able to turn off the AT&T Data if I find out I'm being charged for it.

2.) Can I "Clone" my blackberry bold SIM and put the dupe in the iPhone? If so, how, where and how much? (I'm somewhat tech savvy so I can probably do this myself :)!

3.) Can I buy an iPhone 3G S without an AT&T plan for $500 or whatever the rediculous "out of contract" price is? If not, is there anywhere you can suggest I might look to find someone selling a non-contract iPhone 3G S that won't screw me over (or am I in the netherworld now?).

This has been great, please post anything else you might find helpful! You guys rock :)
posted by thankyoumuchly at 7:55 PM on June 22, 2009

How do I clone my AT&T Blackberry Bold SIM Card?
posted by WhereAmI at 1:53 PM on June 25, 2009

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