Ideas for iphone plan...
August 20, 2012 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Another iPhone question. My iPhone 4S was included in the severance when I left my job a couple of months ago (that is, I was allowed to buy it for a reduced price). I was offered the option to "assume billing responsibility" but let the deadline pass - partly out of laziness and partly because I suspect the company hadn't paid the bill and wanted to pass it on to me. What's my best option for using my iphone at this point? It'd be nice to keep the number but not a huge cost if I don't. I'd be happy to go pre-paid rather than a contract. I use text and data a lot more than voice. I occasionally send and receive international texts. I also have a google voice number and would be happy to be able to link with that, or even use that number exclusively.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I know that as soon as I get out of contract with AT&T with my iPhone 4, I'm switching to Straight Talk. Several members of my family have it already and are very happy with it.
posted by gracedissolved at 7:21 AM on August 20, 2012

What carrier was your 4S on originally? If it was AT&T, then you can get a Straight Talk SIM card, prepaid for $45 per month. However, Straight Talk does not allow international texting on its BYOD plan. Also, if your original company plan has expired, you may no longer be able to port the number.
posted by Nothlit at 7:59 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

You don't own the number, your company does, so you may not be able to keep/transfer it.
posted by Gungho at 8:06 AM on August 20, 2012

I too would recommend StraightTalk if it is an AT&T iPhone. I'm using StraightTalk with my iPhone 4 and I love it so far. No problems at all, but you need to follow some guides to get 3G data and MMS working properly. Unlimited everything is what they advertise for $45/month. I think there is a 2GB soft "cap" in place, but I haven't hit it since I've been with them.

Also, check with AT&T to see if you can have them unlock you iPhone. It shouldn't be required for StraightTalk (at least that is what they advertise). But if the contract conditions have been satisfied for the hardware then they will submit an unlock code. This will give you even more flexibility with pay-as-you-go. For instance AT&T GoPhone has an ala carte' plan where you can pre-pay for $100 worth of minutes (I think that is 1000 domestic minutes) and keep them all year long. AT&T's GoPhone data packages are not as competitive as StraightTalk, but if you don't need GBs of data, AT&T GoPhone will come out cheaper/month than StraightTalk.
posted by nickerbocker at 9:18 AM on August 20, 2012

If you want to transfer your phone number to StraightTalk, you will need to know the last four digits of the SSN that the phone number was originally registered under. If you can't get that you might be SOL when it comes to transferring your number.
posted by nickerbocker at 9:20 AM on August 20, 2012

I know that when I gave my iPhone to someone, it was as simple as changing the sim card and it was online with the number on the card.

Nthing the Straight Talk, it's apparently AT&T service at a great price.
posted by dozo at 9:21 AM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

"I was offered the option to "assume billing responsibility" but let the deadline pass - partly out of laziness and partly because I suspect the company hadn't paid the bill and wanted to pass it on to me."

I would not be surprised if your company was still on contract for the iPhone, and now has to pay the fee for breaking contract. Also, if the phone is currently disconnected you probably won't ever get that phone number you had back.
posted by nickerbocker at 9:29 AM on August 20, 2012

I would call the carrier and find out first if the deadline actually *did* pass or if you can still do a transfer of liability. If your old employer hasn't already reassigned the number to a new employee, you might be in luck.
posted by radioamy at 12:01 PM on August 20, 2012

You'll have to find out of it is a GSM or a CDMA phone. (AT&T for example is GSM). If it is GSM, nthing StraightTalk. If it's CDMA, I think Virgin Mobile will be your best deal on the east coast. (just check the coverage map beforehand...if it's doable you can get a decent plan in the $20-30 range)
posted by samsara at 11:58 AM on August 22, 2012

Actually scratch checking for the phone type...looks like with the 4s the design was changed to include both GSM and CDMA antennas. So looks like you'll have a little more variety in carriers which is good news.
posted by samsara at 12:04 PM on August 22, 2012

Resolution: AT&T couldn't unlock the phone and couldn't save my number, but: new straighttalk sim + jailbreaking with this + unlocking with this = phone now works just fine.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 11:42 AM on August 31, 2012

Update: there's something screwy with Straight Talk's download speeds - the forums are filling up with complaints, which they answer by telling people that they've gone over their data limits.
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy at 1:57 PM on September 13, 2012

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