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Reusing an old iPhone 3G or 3GSGuide Started By b.n. on April 2013 Last Updated on February 2015 | 5 Contributions | Comments
Do you or a friend have an Apple iPhone 3 kicking about in a drawer doing nothing? With a third party wireless plan these old phones can be brought back to life, with a low cost data plan:
- Keep your old account & phone active until you can transfer your number.
- Select a SIM card and plan from an AT&T reseller (thus bypassing the "lock" Apple placed on each iPhone). Resellers are not allowed to identify themselves as reselling AT&T, but I've listed them here.
- Call the reseller and 'port' your old phone number to the new plan. Ask about fees (either the new or old company can charge you one).
- Insert the SIM card in the iPhone 3.
- Connect via WiFi, then visit http://www.unlockit.co.nz to configure data access under your new phone.
That's it, pretty easy.
Watch Out For
Be sure to understand each reseller's rollover policy. These are all prepaid plans and the money or minutes expire in often unexpected and complciated ways. You'll want to set up refill on a credit card to avoid any hassles.
Terms you should know (but won't need)
- Sofware Unlocking: if you want to change networks (such as to move to T-Mobile or Rodgers in Canada) you'll need to get your handset "unlocked".
- Hardware Unlocking: As above, except the unlocking will survive an iTunes software upgrade.
- Jailbreaking: a jailbroken iPhone 3 can be used with software not approved by Apple. You do not need to do this.
Apple does a great job of keeping older devices updated with software, just connec the phone with iTunes to start the process. The iPhone 3G will run up to version 4.2.1, iPhone 3GS can run the current version as of this writing. In both case most applications will work, as long as they don't require too much memory or processor speed (remember that iPhone 3 was collecting dust for a resason).