iPhone switcheroo guidance, please
August 22, 2017 8:41 AM   Subscribe

I currently have a working iPhone 5c, which I would like to transfer to Mr Jane, as he has decided to finally ditch his old flip phone. My plan is to buy a used iPhone SE, from Swappa or Gazelle, for myself, based on this previous ask. We have a shared plan with both phones on AT&T. Is it just a matter of taking the phones to the ATT store and having them reprogram the numbers/switch the SIM cards or whatever voodoo magic they perform? Please explain it to me like I am 5 years old.
posted by sarajane to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Take SIM out of iPhone 5c, place in iPhone SE. Take his SIM out, if it's not a nano SIM then go to AT&T and ask for a replacement nano SIM for his number. Done.
posted by Talez at 9:10 AM on August 22, 2017

Does he have a data plan on his flip phone? AT&T will require a data plan if you use a smartphone. The store will be able to do it all, but I suggest you make sure to go to a corporate store and not a franchise, especially if you will need to upgrade his plan.
posted by soelo at 9:16 AM on August 22, 2017

Setting up your new phone will be a few more steps after the sim is installed. You will want to back up your old phone to either iCloud or your own computer. Then sign into iCloud on the new phone or plug it in to your computer and follow the steps to restore your old profile.
posted by soelo at 9:22 AM on August 22, 2017

This could fall anywhere on the easy-disastrous continuum. If you want nothing off your old 5c (pictures, apps, contacts, ...) then yes just swap SIMs. If you want to transfer anything from your 5c to the SE be prepared for an ordeal, depending on how you and your phone(s) get along with iTunes.

If transferring any data: make sure your 5c has the latest iOS, then using iTunes, back it up both locally and to the cloud. If you're password-protecting your backups make sure you know the password. Go the ATT store for the SIM swapping, then "restore" the new SE from one of your 5c backups. Your phone's settings may have it backing itself up to the cloud transparently without you even knowing. If that's the case and you don't have a backup password or you have it (it may be different from your AppleID password), then when you start the SE, log in with your Apple ID, and "restore from backup" it could go totally smooth.

I did a similar move recently and had problems with the backups "not being compatible with this device", corrupt backups, incorrect passwords, and assorted other headaches. Good Luck!
posted by achrise at 10:14 AM on August 22, 2017

Take to AT&T Store - they will get you set up. That part is easy. Bring ID.

Then, prepare yourself for billing errors. Check the bill carefully, block off some time, and use the Support Chat on the website to get them to fix it. First line support can fix small errors like phantom fees. If it's more than say $150, ask to speak to the Retention Department. Their billing systems are incredibly error-prone. They won't actually admit it, but they will make corrections if you point them out.
posted by metaseeker at 1:21 PM on August 22, 2017

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