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iPhone upgraders encounter SIM problems

updated 10:05 am EST, Wed February 6, 2008

16GB iPhone SIM problems

Some shoppers who have decided to upgrade from their current 4 or 8GB iPhones to the 16GB model are experiencing problems, anecdotes indicate. Although users should be able to insert their old SIM card into the new phone, and resume calling after identifying themselves as an existing AT&T customer, confusion reigns over whether or not the new phone automatically adds another two years to a person's AT&T contract. While some people have claimed no extension whatsoever, others have been angered to discover an extra obligation.

Part of the confusion may be attributable to the employees of Apple Stores and AT&T, some of whom are delivering contradictory messages on whether a contract extension is required; it may in a few instances be possible to negotiate no added contract length. A few users, though, are reporting trouble using their old SIM cards at all, in which case Apple is asking people to simply use the new card, and once again identify themselves as an existing customer.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Extended contract? No.

    I have added new phones to my Sprint account and never had to extend my contract. I did have to reset the 2 year timer for a free phone IF I started a new contract (but I ignore that anyway).

    If Apple/ATT are forcing folks to start a new contract just because they updated their phone...folks need to vote with their wallet and take their business elsewhere.

    The iPhone isn't that nice.

  1. Eldernorm

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hmmmm -- Wrong company?

    I need to point out that its AT&T that runs the network not Apple.

    I wonder if people b**** about the maker of the subway cars in New York City, when the subways run late??? :-)

  1. boulder1259

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    extended contract? yes!

    Why wouldn't the contract be extended? The whole idea behind U.S. phone sales is that you don't pay the actual costs up front -- instead, you essentially "finance" your phone over the length of your contract. The idea is to get people in for a low (lower?) price up front, and then lock them into monthly payments. It's just like the cars sales business.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Depends

    If these people are buying a new iPhone and moving the SIM card over, the fate of their contract should depend on the fate of their old iPhone. If they are swapping phones (Apple takes the old one back, gives some kind of credit, moves SIM from one to the other), it is obvious that this is just an 'in-place' upgrade of the device, without any effect on the contract.

    If, on the other hand, you upgrade by getting a new iPhone and KEEPING the old phone, then you're resetting your contract. You now have two iPhones, one of which will never complete its two-year kickbacks to Apple.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: extended contract

    The iPhone isn't that nice.

    Technically, it should be "the new iPhone isn't anything better then the old one".

  1. britpod

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Wow...

    Re: extended contract? Yes!

    Erm, except unlike every other phone contract/finance model, you pay FULL PRICE for the iPhone AND are forced to get a contract.

    I can go into any store and buy any phone without a contract if I want to pay full price.

    re: hmmmmm, wrong company

    Nope. Not the wrong company. If this is indeed a case of having to re-commit to AT&T for another 2 years if you upgrade iPhone there is zero chance that Apple has not gone along/agreed to it.

    Your old iPhone doesn't become magically unlocked allowing you to sell it on to recoup some of your losses.

    This is an incredible show of arrogance from Apple & AT&T, great way to mistreat your customers! No wonder they're having such a hard time to even come close to their 10 million iPhone targets with this attitude.

    (an Unlocked iPhone Owner)

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    extension?

    BTW, are they just talking about extending the contract to a full two years (or, basically, adding 6 months to it) or extending it by adding two more years (so you're stuck for 3.5 years on that thing)?

  1. dmsimmer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    It's not an additional..

    ..iphone. I was told many things when trying to activate the 16GB. 1. The old SIM card doesn't work in the new iPhone. (negates its usefullness, eh?) 2. I must go into the Apple Store, and the counter will transfer all the information. (huh?) 3. I 'simply' need to start a new account. My old phone number, however, will not be released.

    Eventually, they transferred me to Apple, and then Apple transferred me back to ATT.

    I did have to register as a new customer, but they gave me my old phone number about an hour later.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    to BritPod

    There continues to be this misconception that iPhone is somehow different from other phones in that you are paying a full price when you buy it. This is not true.

    IPhone's full price (without a contract) is about 750 EUR (around US$ 1,100). If we were to adjust this price according to the difference between EU and US subsidised prices (350 EUR vs. US$ 400), it would imply that an unlocked version in the US, if offered, would be priced at around US$850. When you pay $400, you get a very big discount.

    When you buy a new iPhone without completing your full term on the previous one, someone has to pay Apple for the revenue never received for the device (for the remainder of that term). You DID pay discount when you bought it, didn't you? Obviously, extending your contract is a logical thing to do, which is done by virtually every other carrier and with every other phone.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    at&t sucks

    I still have a few months left on my TMO contract, and have no plans to switch carriers. But, I am considering getting an iPhone, unlocking it, and using my TMO SIM.

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