How do I bring my iPhone back online any time soon?
September 22, 2009 3:26 PM   Subscribe

iPhone/AT&T conundrum: will this idea work? (kinda long, sorry)

So, my iPhone has been disabled since my AT&T account went into collections. Long story short: I'm going through an ugly divorce, the contract's in my name, she ran up a $2000+ phone bill one month and refuses to pay it, and due to other shenanigans on her part, I'm not in a position any time soon to start chiseling away at it. With any luck, the final divorce settlement is probably a month or two down the road, and her being required to give me the money (which my lawyer has assured me she will be) to pay the collectors would be another month or so after that, I'm guessing.

In the meantime I was trying to live with the iPhone as basically an iPod Touch and using a pay-as-you-go Verizon cheapo phone, but I'm absolutely hating not having the phone and EDGE/3G aspects of the iPhone. Also, a friend and I have been talking about becoming iPhone developers sooner rather than later, so I've started wondering what options I might have.

Would this be a fix for my situation: my friend starts a contract in his name with a new iPhone of his own and adds my iPhone as a second phone on his plan? (I'd pay for the primary line.) The gotcha I'm worried about is whether my current iPhone, which no longer shows AT&T as the provider (just "No Service") might be flagged in such a way that it would not be allowed to be activated even under someone else's contract. Has anybody here had to deal with this situation before?

Also, assuming this does work, if I back up the iPhone before bringing it up under the new contract (I'm expecting a new phone number and SIM card will be required), will restoring from the backup my contacts, applications, settings, etc., work? (This isn't essential, but I'm curious about what I might lose.)

Feel free to contact me via should you not want to comment in public. Thanks in advance for any help!
posted by anonymous to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just jailbreak and unlock the iPhone and use a Edge/3G pay as you go sim.
posted by Elmore at 3:36 PM on September 22, 2009

Check the iclarified site.
posted by Elmore at 3:36 PM on September 22, 2009

The iPhone's address book, stored apps, etc are all maintained in the iPhone's own memory, not the SIM card itself. I just jailbroke mine for a trip to Europe, swapped cards, swapped back when I returned, and there was no effect on my address book/etc.

Visual Voicemail will be impossible without AT&T though, at least if I remember correctly. You'll need to call your voicemail number the old fashioned way.
posted by verb at 3:51 PM on September 22, 2009

If AT&T is blocking your IMEI- that idea won't work. You'd probably have to unlock and go with T-mobile. But if it's just the SIM card thats disabled, you should be use it with another AT&T iPhone SIM.

Do you have a friend with an iPhone that you could swap SIM cards with to test?
posted by wongcorgi at 5:59 PM on September 22, 2009

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