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  1. #1
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    iPhone for wifi only

    So I've been avoiding getting an iphone forever because I don't want to get hit by AT&T for the more expensive smartphone data plan, which currently has data limit to boot. However, I plan on traveling later this year and I thought of how convenient it would be to have an iphone if for just tapping into wifi spots and surfing net/checking email. So I'm interested in buying an unlocked/unbranded, used iphone (3G or newer), and using it simply for wifi access, and not having it subscribed to any carrier. I do, however, have an international sim chip that I use for traveling (OneSim) and might be able to stick that into said iphone when I travel.

    I wanted to see if anyone has had experiences with unlocked/unbranded iphones for such purposes (either purchased from a carrier and later unlocked/unbranded, or purchased used that way).

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Try an iPod instead.

    If you use an iPhone on At&t or Verizon (with or without a contract), you are required to have a data plan active whether or not you need or want it.
    If I'm annoyed and you're annoyed, does that make us a paranoid ??

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  3. #3
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    If the op gets a pay as you go sim, no data contract is required.
    With an unlocked phone that you purchase used or from apple, you can use any gsm country's service by inserting a pre paid sim. Make sure your used unlocked phone is factory or carrier unlocked. Avoid software or gevey unlocks.
    When you're in the USA, use an AT&T pre paid sim. No data required and you'll be able to make emergency calls as needed.
    I'm on an AT&T contract. Because I have an unlockable baseband, I can unlock my phone with ultrasnow before I travel to another country. When I travel, I buy a pre paid sim and talk and surf as usual.

  4. #4
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    I agree with veriztd, if the OP is just getting an iphone for it's wifi access, they might as well get an ipod. There's really no advantage to having the iphone if you're only going to use it for wifi. Presumably they already have a phone. And if they're going to buy an unlocked iphone, they can certainly afford a new ipod touch.

  5. #5
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    He said he wanted to use prepaid international SIM cards when traveling, so that precludes using an iPod touch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gpatrick900
    I am a little confused. My Verizon phone was able to roam on GSM because they used TDMA. Tell it was shutdown. The phone recognizes it as Analog. If PCS has TDMA, It could be technically be used on GSM.
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    Y'know, I'm used to hysterical 14-year-old ******** on the internet, but this is exceptional. Never before in human history have so many nerds hyperventilated so publicly over so little.

  6. #6
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    Why not get an iPod and a cheap GSM phone when traveling? The whole point is that the iPhone cannot be activated w/ At&t without a data plan. Even if he did manage to activate without an iPhone data feature, the billing system can and will add the missing feature. Hence my earlier suggestion.

  7. #7
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    He never said anything about activating with AT&T. He said he only wanted to use an unlocked iPhone for use with international prepaid SIM cards (and possibly using it domestically on Wi-Fi only).

  8. #8
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    XFF, maybe you missed this part from the original post:
    So I've been avoiding getting an iphone forever because I don't want to get hit by AT&T for the more expensive smartphone data plan, which currently has data limit to boot.

  9. #9
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    Exactly. That to me indicates that he's not interesting in activating with AT&T, which is what I've been saying.

  10. #10
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    OK, I promise no further argument.

  11. #11
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    The iPhone can be activated with a pay as you go sim. Data plan not necessary.
    Since it's being used overseas, a factory unlock will work best.
    Quote Originally Posted by veriztd View Post
    Why not get an iPod and a cheap GSM phone when traveling? The whole point is that the iPhone cannot be activated w/ At&t without a data plan. Even if he did manage to activate without an iPhone data feature, the billing system can and will add the missing feature. Hence my earlier suggestion.

  12. #12
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    I would also like to point out that the $15. plan is plenty if one uses wifi mostly. Having to have the $30. unlimited plan was a pain if you did not use much cellular data. When I am out and about, I use maps and some Googling, but never stream media. It is after all, an ipod so music and podcasts can be downloaded at home for dataless use away. Checking email & a little web surfing is not going to use much data. It's easy to stay within the limits. WiFi is everywhere.

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for the helpful responses!

    As suggested above I did consider the "cheap GSM phone + Ipod Touch" option. I already use a cheap Nokia GSM phone already and have used it overseas without probs. I'm an avid user of my really old 2006 30GB Ipod for listening to music and watching movies. And so the GSM Phone + Ipod Touch option appealed because it comes in a much higher capacity option (I think 60+ GB?) over the Iphone and I could in one move also get rid of my old Ipod since the Ipod Touch will do everything the old Ipod does and more, with greater capacity

    The unlocked Iphone, on the other hand, would be able to make calls while I'm overseas, so in that regard, I'd be able to cut back one more tech gadget on my travels:

    Exist Option: GSM Phone + BIG BULKY LAPTOP
    Option 1: GSM Phone + Ipod Touch
    Option 2: unlocked Iphone

    I just found out from AT&T that I'm eligble for equipment upgrade and they offer a refurbished Iphone 4 for $200. I would of course need to get it unlocked somewhere (suggestions?) and unbranded (I hate AT&T branded phones with all the space wasting menus and programs and screens). My only question is, would AT&T automatically change my current $15 unlimited data plan (grandfathered) to the $30 limited data plan, simply for "ordering" the upgrade? Or would I need to physically activate the phone after receiving it? Becuase my plan was to order the upgrade and then when it arrives, I don't activate it. Instead, I get it unlocked and only use it for wifi here in the states, and when I'm overseas, plug in an int'l SIM card.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by redleader View Post
    I just found out from AT&T that I'm eligble for equipment upgrade and they offer a refurbished Iphone 4 for $200. I would of course need to get it unlocked somewhere (suggestions?) and unbranded (I hate AT&T branded phones with all the space wasting menus and programs and screens). My only question is, would AT&T automatically change my current $15 unlimited data plan (grandfathered) to the $30 limited data plan, simply for "ordering" the upgrade? Or would I need to physically activate the phone after receiving it? Becuase my plan was to order the upgrade and then when it arrives, I don't activate it. Instead, I get it unlocked and only use it for wifi here in the states, and when I'm overseas, plug in an int'l SIM card.
    There is no branding on an iPhone so that itself is not an issue. You won't get your data changed just for ordering but you will have to activate it and use it in order to get at&t to unlock it for you, that will trigger a data plan change. At this time that is the only option for an unlock as the current iPhone 4's are not software unlockable.
    Sit vis vobiscum.

  15. #15
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    ILuvMyMac, thanks for the info.

    That's what I was afraid of. It's not so much the $15 to $30 data plan change, its going from the grandfathered in unlimited plan to the newer limited data ones, as I was planning on using it to tether on my laptop (I haven't looked into tethering iphones, but I do it regularly on my Nokia using the $15 unlimited plan).

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