Is it possible to use an iPhone with a non-iPhone UK T-Mobile monthly contract SIM card?
January 4, 2011 8:37 AM   Subscribe

I want to buy a second-hand iphone and use it with my existing T-Mobile contract SIM card. Will it work? What issues might I face? Should I go for iphone4 or iphone 3GS?

My monthly contract has an unlimited data plan.
I'm in the UK
posted by mairuzu to Technology (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The iphone 4 takes a micro SIM card and your existing one might be too big. No problem if you buy one of these cutters in my experience - you use the cutter to remove the unwanted part around the large card leaving just the bit that will fit into the iphone. The cutters also come with adapters so you can use your cut down SIM in your old phone.

I think lots of people are surprised that, other than the size issue - an ordinary SIM and ordinary - cheap - contract will work just fine with an iphone. You might need to contact T-Mobile to get some of the 3g configuration settings if you want services like MMS to work. For me I was interested in the iphone for using with a wifi connection, as a telephone, as a texting device and as an occasional mobile data device for stuff like email.
posted by rongorongo at 9:01 AM on January 4, 2011

I had the 3G, and the 4 is a big jump up, principally in terms of the resolution on the screen. Go into a phone shop and ask to see both side by side. It really is something else. Additionally, the 3G and 3GS have had some issues with iOS after version 4, as I get the feeling Apple are writing it purely for the 4 hardware. I have an old 3G on the 4.2.1 software which is ok, but I don't imagine it'll be fit for much more of an upgrade.
posted by dougrayrankin at 9:50 AM on January 4, 2011

Yes it'll work just fine provided the iPhone is unlocked. If you go for iPhone 4 then you'll need to use a SIM cutter. I've used one recently on an Orange Pay and Go SIM and it worked just fine.

IPhone 4 is better than the 3GS. I'd get the latest one purely because the screen resolution is better and you'll get more software updates than you will the 3GS. Plus you may lose out on some future functionality because you don't have a high resolution screen.

Having said that, you may wish to get the 3GS, use it for 5 months and then sell it for an iPhone 5 which is due in June.

Unless you get a specific iPhone tariff then you won't get visual voicemail. The phone will work quite happily without it as the icon will just dial your voicemail number instead.
posted by mr_silver at 10:40 AM on January 4, 2011

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