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Thread: Making the switch to Straight Talk with iPhone 4 on AT&T

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    Making the switch to Straight Talk with iPhone 4 on AT&T

    My (non-techie) wife will be traveling with her iPhone 4 for one month during which time our 2 year contract with AT&T expires. As soon as that happens I will ask AT&T to unlock our phone. I hear that they will agree provided you are paid up and not under contract? The reason for this is that we do travel to the Bahamas and would like the option of purchasing one of the BATELCO SIMs for use while there.

    Second, I hope to get a very simple recipe as to how to switch to Straight Talk after our AT&T contract expires. I will worry about MMS after she returns. Our iPhone 4 is running version 5.1. I will want to get everything else working (eg, talk, data, text, etc). Can someone provide a very simple step-by-step recipe that I can give her. We can purchase the SIM in advance so that's not a big issue. We will want to port our current number to Straight Talk so somehow that option should be part of the recipe. Thanks in advance.

    Update: when shopping for the ST SIM does it matter whether I select AT&T or unlocked GSM phone? I know it would be safe to select AT&T, but just wondering if both would work since my phone would be unlocked by then?

    Pete
    Last edited by paroots; 07-12-2012 at 06:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paroots View Post
    My (non-techie) wife will be traveling with her iPhone 4 for one month during which time our 2 year contract with AT&T expires. As soon as that happens I will ask AT&T to unlock our phone. I hear that they will agree provided you are paid up and not under contract? The reason for this is that we do travel to the Bahamas and would like the option of purchasing one of the BATELCO SIMs for use while there.

    Second, I hope to get a very simple recipe as to how to switch to Straight Talk after our AT&T contract expires. I will worry about MMS after she returns. Our iPhone 4 is running version 5.1. I will want to get everything else working (eg, talk, data, text, etc). Can someone provide a very simple step-by-step recipe that I can give her. We can purchase the SIM in advance so that's not a big issue. We will want to port our current number to Straight Talk so somehow that option should be part of the recipe. Thanks in advance.

    Update: when shopping for the ST SIM does it matter whether I select AT&T or unlocked GSM phone? I know it would be safe to select AT&T, but just wondering if both would work since my phone would be unlocked by then?

    Pete
    You need to read a thread called something like "thinking of switching to ST. Read this first". It will answer many of your questions. And the process for porting and setting up haven been covered hundreds of times, and I'm not typing all that again on my iPad this morning. I will, however, address a couple of your questions. AT&T should unlock your phone once your contract is per, but they may go ahead and unlock it now if you have a trip to the Bahamas planned before your contract is up. They will sometimes unlock for international travel, and your contract is almost up.
    As for the sim type, NEVER pick unlocked sim. This just lets ST choose which sim to send you. They may do so based on what's best in your area, but they also may do it based on which costs them less money. It may be cheaper to give you a tmobile sim because they are cheaper, when that would result in edge only data for your iPhone. There are only two actual sims. Choose the AT&T sim if Your phone was designed to run on AT&T.

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    Thanks for addressing those two issues. I'm still hoping for a step-by-step recipe so as not to forget any step. I have already been reading applicable threads and will continue to do so. I think you are referring to:
    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...-Straight-Talk
    but that isn't relevant to my issue. I will definitely select AT&T. I don't need to unlock phone prior to contract expiration since our next billing cycle is a few days after contract expiration and I want to synchronize ST start up with our AT&T billing cycle.
    Pete

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    Quote Originally Posted by paroots View Post
    Thanks for addressing those two issues. I'm still hoping for a step-by-step recipe so as not to forget any step. I have already been reading applicable threads and will continue to do so. I think you are referring to:
    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...-Straight-Talk
    but that isn't relevant to my issue. I will definitely select AT&T. I don't need to unlock phone prior to contract expiration since our next billing cycle is a few days after contract expiration and I want to synchronize ST start up with our AT&T billing cycle.
    Pete
    That's not the one I was referring to. Sorry, but I'm on my iPad at the moment using the HOFO app, and don't think i can find the thread and link it with the web address. Will try to remember to do that later.

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    I have created a draft recipe based on what I've learned so far. By the way, AT&T agreed to unlock my phone today ie, 17 days before my contract expires on the 29th of this month. I would appreciate hearing about any errors or omissions that you might discover. Note: some parts are incomplete, such as the procedure to modify APN. Thanks
    Pete

    Recipe to switch iPhone 4 from AT&T to Straight Talk
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------


    1. Purchase Straight Talk SIM card
    a. Go here: http://www.straighttalk.com/ShopSims
    b. Select AT&T compatible option
    c. select micro SIM option
    d. select ZIP code: xxxxx
    e. Add to cart: AT&T Compatible Micro SIM Card $14.99
    f. Select Proceed to Checkout
    g. Select Fedex 3 day Ground shipping. Note: not charged for it even though it says $4.95
    h. Provide Personal info, credit card info, billing address, shipping address, etc
    Notes:
    a. In order for data to work, you must update your APN data settings, also called the Access Point Name
    b. Receive activation guide with SIM card that gives instructions for changing APN data settings

    2. Call AT&T to unlock phone after contract expires
    a. Receive email from AT&T authorizing unlock procedure
    b. Connect iPhone to laptop and start iTunes
    c. Right click on iPhone and select Backup
    d. Right click on iPhone and select Restore
    e. Once restore complete, phone will be Unlocked
    Notes:
    a. AT&T agreed to authorize unlock 17 days before contract expiraton
    b. Be sure not to do Restore that also updates iPhone software
    c. Might have to wait up to 24 hours before restore works since process done by Apple

    3. Port number and Activate (takes 2 hrs - 2 days)
    a. Go here: https://www.straighttalk.com/Activate
    b. Select 'Activate my Straight Talk phone with a number transferred from another company'
    e. Enter enter Serial Number of SIM card (instruction say serial number of phone -> ignore!)
    f. Enter ZIP code: xxxxx
    g. Under service plan options, Select Credit card to pay for $45 service plan card
    Notes:
    a. can perform either via phone or online
    b. must provide info from AT&T billing statement
    - last 4 of SSN of account holder: xxxx
    - Account Number: xxxxxxxxxx
    - Password or PIN* (may or may not be required; depends on carrier)
    - Contact Information as it is registered with AT&T:
    c. Activation happens automatically once number porting complete
    d. Know port is complete when phone stops working on AT&T with AT&T SIM card installed
    e. Switch to ST SIM card when stops working on AT&T; should work immediately on ST
    f. ST creates an account for you as part of number porting
    g. Phone must be active to do port
    d. The clock doesn't start on $45 plan until SIM activated
    e. Must purchase first month manually ie, can't do auto refill for first month

    4. Cancel AT&T line
    a. Do it as soon as phone no longer works with AT&T SIM card installed

    5. Setup Data
    a. Modify ATN data settings per activation guide that comes with SIM card

    6. Prior to end of first Straight Talk billing cycle, setup auto refill
    a. Go here: https://www.straighttalk.com/AutoRefill
    b. Log into account (which was created during Porting/Activaton
    c. Sign up for auto refill

    Last edited by paroots; 07-12-2012 at 06:41 PM.

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    No need for the iPhone to be unlocked. I did this earlier this month following these instructions:

    wiki.howardforums.com/index.php/Straight_Talk_iPhone

    You can get everything working except visual voicemail (you'll have to dial in to hear vm's) without unlocking, jailbreaking, or even talking to At&t.

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    DO NOT cancel your AT&T account. Porting out cancels the account, and ST will take care of that during the port. If you cancel the account before ST has finished the port, there's no account to port and you'll lose the phone number forever!

    The rest of your plan looks good. (You need to unlock the phone to use it in the Bahamas with BATELCO. You don't need it unlocked to use it with a ST AT&T SIM, but it won't cause a problem if it's unlocked.)

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    Thanks for the link. As mentioned, I wish to unlock the phone in order to use a BATELCO SIM when traveling to the Bahamas. I've now discovered a issue with the AT&T recommended unlock procedure. They want me to do the type of restore that returns the iPhone to the factory reset condition. Unfortunately, this process updates the iPhone software which I'd prefer not to do in case I ever wish to jailbreak the phone. Any ideas?
    Pete

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    Thanks. I planned to drop my line with AT&T only after the port was successfully completed. I think I need to do that because I'm on a family plan with 4 others. The account won't be cancelled, only my line on the family plan will be removed.

    As mentioned, I've run into a problem with the unlock. Using the AT&T recommended procedure I would be automatically updating iPhone software which I prefer not to do.
    Pete

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    Well, now would be the time to do that as there is a jailbreak for the current version, unless a new version has come out in the last week that I didn't know about. I'm about to update mine as well so that I can re-jailbreak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maestroteague View Post
    Well, now would be the time to do that as there is a jailbreak for the current version, unless a new version has come out in the last week that I didn't know about. I'm about to update mine as well so that I can re-jailbreak.
    Great, thanks for the news!
    Pete

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    Quote Originally Posted by maestroteague View Post
    Well, now would be the time to do that as there is a jailbreak for the current version, unless a new version has come out in the last week that I didn't know about. I'm about to update mine as well so that I can re-jailbreak.
    Thanks again. Based upon your info, I'm proceeding with the factory/restore. Now my problem is how to restore the photos/videos to my iPhone. AT&T tells me that if I restore from backup following the factory restore, the phone will return to its locked state. Any ideas how to get my photos/videos from my backup without going back to the locked state?
    Pete

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    Copy them to your computer, update and copy them back. Copying files doesn't change the version of iOS that the phone is running.

    As far as unlocking without updating, there are hundreds of sites that will sell you the unlock code, if you want to go that route.

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    Update your iPhone to the latest iOS 5.1.1. The current version you're on doesn't have a jailbreak - 5.1.

    You need to worry about three things when you doing the complete restore - your backup files, your apps, and all your media.

    Right click the phone on the left side of iTunes and click "Backup" - that will backup all your settings, phonebook, camera roll, preferences inside apps, etc

    Then right click and hit transfer purchases (make sure sync it checked to ensure all apps come back in same order later) - it will ask you to authorize computer if you haven't done so in the past. Move over a copy of all your apps into iTunes.

    The last thing is to just make sure all media on the iPhone is in your computer as a backup. Like is the music in the iPhone also on your computer? Since you're not jailbroken I assume you don't have music inside a Pandora Downloader, iCab Mobile, or Av Player. So this isn't a problem for you. I have hundreds of songs I downloaded from Pandora which I move over from the Pandora downloads folder to Av Player using iFile and then move them over to my computer. Doing a complete restore would delete those music files off Pandora Downloader (just using this as an example).

    There's a website which you can check if your iPhone has been unlocked (I will not be providing it here). Once you know for sure that your iPhone has been unlocked then you would click Restore (not restore from backup).
    After that's done, you will get a message inside iTunes that your iPhone has been unlocked. You then do a restore from backup, then restore purchases and you're done. I do highly recommend to jailbreak your iPhone as soon as the initial restore is done.

    Porting your # away from a family line will cancel it out and if you're the primary line then u have to call AT&T to make sure the line you want as the primary is set.
    Talk & Text will work without any configuration on Straight Talk, but data and mms does require changing APN settings fields to att.mvno under two different areas - one is the main APN and the other is the MMS APN. Nothing else is needed to be changed (proxy, etc all remain the same).

    If you don't have much time to play with the APN and would be ok with only data at first then download the APN changer and follow the instructions to configure Straight Talk APN (note: if you chose any other AT&T MVNO in the installation setup it will still work the same as all AT&T MVNO's work on the same att.mvno APN for data.

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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by DannyNY View Post
    Update your iPhone to the latest iOS 5.1.1. The current version you're on doesn't have a jailbreak - 5.1.

    You need to worry about three things when you doing the complete restore - your backup files, your apps, and all your media.

    Right click the phone on the left side of iTunes and click "Backup" - that will backup all your settings, phonebook, camera roll, preferences inside apps, etc

    Then right click and hit transfer purchases (make sure sync it checked to ensure all apps come back in same order later) - it will ask you to authorize computer if you haven't done so in the past. Move over a copy of all your apps into iTunes.

    The last thing is to just make sure all media on the iPhone is in your computer as a backup. Like is the music in the iPhone also on your computer? Since you're not jailbroken I assume you don't have music inside a Pandora Downloader, iCab Mobile, or Av Player. So this isn't a problem for you. I have hundreds of songs I downloaded from Pandora which I move over from the Pandora downloads folder to Av Player using iFile and then move them over to my computer. Doing a complete restore would delete those music files off Pandora Downloader (just using this as an example).

    There's a website which you can check if your iPhone has been unlocked (I will not be providing it here). Once you know for sure that your iPhone has been unlocked then you would click Restore (not restore from backup).
    After that's done, you will get a message inside iTunes that your iPhone has been unlocked. You then do a restore from backup, then restore purchases and you're done. I do highly recommend to jailbreak your iPhone as soon as the initial restore is done.

    Porting your # away from a family line will cancel it out and if you're the primary line then u have to call AT&T to make sure the line you want as the primary is set.
    Talk & Text will work without any configuration on Straight Talk, but data and mms does require changing APN settings fields to att.mvno under two different areas - one is the main APN and the other is the MMS APN. Nothing else is needed to be changed (proxy, etc all remain the same).

    If you don't have much time to play with the APN and would be ok with only data at first then download the APN changer and follow the instructions to configure Straight Talk APN (note: if you chose any other AT&T MVNO in the installation setup it will still work the same as all AT&T MVNO's work on the same att.mvno APN for data.
    Thanks for all that; it'll take awhile to digest it all
    Pete

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