79 Responses to “Prepaid iPhone 3g In 4 Easy Steps”


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  1. Joe

    I am just a little bit unclear, can I get wireless web access with the $ 60 Unlimited Talk & Text plan?

    If that is the case, I am out the door to get the SIM chip and an IPhone.



    • Hey Joe,

      You cannot get web access with the $60 Unlimited Talk & Text plan. You do have access to the internet via wifi. You can purchase data on the prepaid plan as well… I haven't done it yet but will test soon and post the results. Let me know if you have any more questions.


  2. Does anybody know if it is possible to buy a prepaid iPhone in Switzerland at the moment?

    • I'm not sure how it would work in Switzerland… it looks like Swisscom is the service provider for the iPhone. Check to see if Swisscom has prepaid service… buy a Swisscom iPhone that is out of contract and plug in the Swisscom prepaid sim card. Let me know how it works.


  3. phlp

    Can I setup a prepaid plan on a new iPhone 4 following the same steps as described in this blog?

  4. brian

    A friend is giving me his 3g and I have a gophone plan already. I've had it for a couple of years. I'd like to know in your experience, how will mms texts be received? Do they count as data or still under the unlimited text plan? And I think he told me that the 3g can be set to use wifi instead of data which works well for me. Does EVERYTHING default to wifi? Or will I have to be careful which apps and services I use? Thanks for any help.

    • With the unlimited talk & text I receive text under the unlimited text plan. It doesn't use any data to send or receive text messages. As to the wifi you will have to approve or find the network… once you've approved a network once it will autofind that every time there after. You don't have to worry about Data usages if you don't have data activated on your gophone plan. You can't access data if you haven't paid for it… there isn't a pay later feature with data. Hope that helps… let me know if you have any other questions.


  5. Dylan

    Does this also work with the iPhone 3GS & iPhone 4 ?

  6. John

    Will this work with the Go-Phone plan I have now which is just .25 per call (not the unlimited data)?

  7. John

    Also, what happens in iTunes if you attach the phone as a GoPhone to your computer? Any weird reactions or messages?

    • I haven't had any weird messages or reactions when attached to iTunes… occasionally I'll get a "Not connected to data network" message on my phone… but I just hit the okay button.

  8. John

    Sorry, one more question. Does any AT&T 3G sim card work or does it need to be one that specifically says it's for Go Phones. I see both available. Thanks a lot!

  9. Ruth

    I have a sim card from my prepaid AT&T samsung A177 phone which I have been using for about 6 months. I put it into an unlocked Iphoe 3gs with upgraded IOS4 software but it keeps saying No Service? Why is that? Please help?!

    • It could be that your sim card is still locked to your A177. AT&T will deny it but when you buy a prepaid phone and the sim card has bonus money available they lock the sim card to the prepaid phone for 6 months. I've not tested the prepaid in a 3GS, but I will be testing it this week and posting the results.


  10. John

    I got a 3G iPhone and my current GoPhone account! Thanks for the tips and answers. I ended up using my current card which is a few years old. On my menu bar I have Cingular listed, but nothing about 3G. My old card does not say 3G on it. Is the GoPhone system 3G and if so would I need to have a 3G card have 3G on the phone? Thanks again!

    • Yes the GoPhone sim cards are 3G. I'm not sure if you're getting 3G or not with your old Cingular sim… a quick phone call to an AT&T store should be able to solve whether you're receiving a 3G signal on that sim. But if you aren't receiving a 3G signal you can just go into a corporate AT&T store and ask for a new sim card and they should give you one for free. I don't know if they will transfer your number or not to the new 3G sim… but I don't see why they wouldn't. If you do go in a get a 3G sim let us know if they transfer the number for you and what the process for that was. Glad it's working for you.


  11. Giabar

    I’ll be in NYC next month and I would like to use my iPhone (factory unlocked) with AT&T. As I don’t need a phone, can I buy just the SIM card? Is it free? Do I need to top up in order to get it? Does AT&T ask for a credit card and/or ID? Can I get even if I’m not an US citizen nor resident?

    • Yes, you can buy just a sim card… I'm not sure what AT&T requires for non US Citizens. At AT&T corporate stores the sim cards are free… but at AT&T distributor stores they typically charge at least $25 for the sim card. But you should be able to purchase one on ebay for as little as $5 and then you can fill it up when you get here… and you can do that either through a credit/debit card or you can just purchase an AT&T refill card. Hope that helps.


      • Giabar

        Thnx. I bought a SIM card on eBay.

        What about the IMEI, can I use any phone IMEI or they only accept AT&T IMEI?

        Can I use data? Do they offer prepaid data packages?

        Sorry for all these questions but here, in Italy, it’s completely different: you always have to give your ID and social security number to get a SIM, the provider remotely detect the phone and the IMEI you are using each time you power on your phone, SIM cards are not free but always come with prepaid credit and they can be used with any phone.

        • I have a different AT&T prepaid phone and I used that IMEI to activate my SIM card… I imagine that you will need an AT&T IMEI. There is a prepaid data package here… it is $19.99 for 100 MB. I have not tested it out on my iPhone as I'm around wifi most of the time. If you can't find an AT&T IMEI let me know and I'll see what I can do to help you out.


  12. John

    Here's an interesting find. I wanted to see if I could have the option of using data if I was in a crunch and wifi was not available. I found some tips on using the Apple Config utility and created a new APN profile that I could upload to the phone. And it worked! I turned off wifi and was able to check my email. I logged on to the GoPhone site and sure enough .19 had been deducted from my account. This might come in handy in a crunch.

  13. Giabar

    Has anyone tried the MEdiaâ„¢ Net unlimited data package?


  14. jsjdjn

    Can't you just buy a GoPhone at a store for $20 and use the IMEI and sim. Still better off then a contract.

  15. jsjdjn

    Is there ways to make sure the used iPhone is off contract?

    • That's a good question… I'm not sure that it matters as the contract is attached to the sim card not the phone. I will check for you. I will be testing this with an iPhone 4 that is under contract. So I'll update the site as soon as that test is finished.


  16. Giabar

    I’ve received the SIM card in 3 days (NY – ITALY). I can’t use it because I’m still in Italy however I’ve already activated it through the AT&T website. The weird thing is that AT&T didn’t accepted my italian, factory unlocked, iPhone IMEI. I’ve ended up using a Blackberry IMEI.

    BTW, no ID or personal information asked, just an email. As an italian this is so strange; in Italy, for national security reasons, online activations are prohibited and they always ask for your ID and social security number (codice fiscale).

  17. Jenn

    I purchased an iphone on ebay, and now I am looking for a sim card. Can I purchase any sim card off of ebay or does it need to be a specific one? Also, can I use the IMEI# of my husbands go phone that currently has run out of time, but he is planning on reconnecting?

    • Any AT&T 3G sim card should work for you… don't pay more than a couple of bucks. And yes your IMEI# off your husbands go phone will work. I used the IMEI# off an old gophone.


  18. Katharina

    ok so my situation is as follows I completely understand your post and know what procedure I have to follow now because of what you wrote, my question is however is as follows, I have an iphone 3gs and since the ‘s’ just stands for speed do you believe that this process will still work well for me on this phone I don’t need all these little extras just talk and text. The reason I got an iphone 3gs was because my original iphone broke and I went on ebay to find out how much an iphone would cost and some costs were ridiculous and then my friend she told me he bf got the iphone 4 and no longer needs his 3gs and she was going to sell it to me for $150 which is cheaper than the people on ebay selling the 1st iphone for cheapest was $200-USED so I went for the better deal. I have tmobile prepaid but I don’t want to damage the new iphone i just got by unlocking and stuff because it is BRAND NEW her bf just got it but then upgraded to iphone 4 so I got a great deal on it but I will switch to a prepaid a t & t as you suggest and follow these steps.

    BTW can I use the ime# off of an already existing phone because my sister is on a prepaid a t &t phone and it is still in service (she uses it).



    • Hey Kat,

      I haven't tested it out myself yet… I'm hoping to this week but from what I've been told you should be able to follow the same steps for the 3G and use the a GoPhone account with your 3GS. Let me know how it works for you.


  19. EDGAR

    How can you get web?

  20. André

    Hello, I'm from Brazil and in at 05 august I'll go to San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California. I have a unlock 3G Iphone. I'd like use it during the 22 days that I'll be in California. Can I use it with a prepaid? Can I use prepaid data functions? Please Help me.What I have to do?

    • Yes you should be able to use your phone on prepaid when you're here. You will need to get an AT&T Sim card and activate it on the gophone account. Follow the instructions in the post and you'll be able to set it up. Currently we are working on getting something put together to get a post on how to get data. Stay tuned for that information.


  21. Jenn

    I purchased the iphone and got it hooked up as a prepaid phone. I can use the phone to text and call…no problems. I bought the $20 data plan and it's telling me that I did not subscribe to data service whenever I try to use the app store or browse the internet. Also, I have wifi at home, and when the phone tries to connect it says it is password protected, as do the other networks nearby (even Mcdonalds!)
    Please help or point me in the right direction….thanks!

    • I have not tried out the $20 data plan… so I'm not sure where to point you with that. As to the wifi use… is your home network password protected? If so you'll need to enter the password. Once you do the phone will remember the network and password.

      Sorry I can't help you more with the data plan. I will try to find some information and get it posted.


  22. mahoffman

    I knoow how to get the $20.00 data feature to work!

  23. tstylez

    when i go into the att store do i say i need a prepaid sim or just any sim?? and after that where or who do i call to hook up the sim under a prepaid account??

  24. Tom

    I have a blackberry that is using the 3g sim card for 60 dollar month plan pay as you go. I have a Iphone gen 1, coming in the mail that has no contract. When I get the iphone, do I just pull out my sim and put it in the iphone, or will I need to hook up the iphone to the computer or what?

    • You should be able to put the sim card in and it should be ready to go. You can connect to iTunes without any issues as well before or after. It doesn't matter… now with your iPhone 2G you may have to unlock it to get it to work with gophone. I haven't tested it and that is what I read when I was researching setting up my iPhone 3G. Let us know how it works for you.


  25. jsjdjn

    with gophone data it costs $10.24 per MB. I dont think it is worth it…..

  26. Tom

    ok just bought a Iphone 3g and I have a prepaid 60 dollar a month thing going on with at&t. When I open the box and pull out the phone do I just plug up the chip in it and boom I have service or do I need to unlock it or update it to something. is there any dos and don't when updating or anything?

    • pneuenswander


      You should be good to go. Just insert the activated sim into your iPhone and you should be up and running. You can do updates or restore the software without it affecting your service. Just as if it was a normal AT&T sim. I'm running OS 4.0.1 on my phone right now and not having any problems. I have noticed that the signal doesn't appear to be as strong as it showed previously, but no problems with my phone.


  27. Ryan Glunksman

    I have purchased a iphone 3g from a private seller on ebay with the sim card still inside but the phone say no service at the top. I want to turn the iphone 3g into a pay-as-you-go phone so I brought a brand new AT&T 3g sim card from ebay but tried to activate the sim card by calling At&t customer support but they asked me so many questions like where is the phone, how you was able to purchase sim card online, etc. Anyways, can I still activate this sim card which came with no IMEI#? What should I do to connect the iphone 3g into a pay-as-you-go phone? Please help.

    • pneuenswander

      I would activate the sim card online. You can do that here… https://www.wireless.att.com/activations/. As to the IMEI#… I used an IMEI# off an AT&T Prepaid Phone that I had purchased and my wife was using. I'm not sure what will happen if you use the IMEI# from the iPhone to try and activate the sim. Try and activate the sim card that came with the iPhone using the IMEI# from the iPhone. That may work… if it doesn't let me know and I'll see what I can do to help you with a different IMEI# for your sim.


  28. jcs3020

    On the prepaid 3g iphone, can you still use all the apps. or do have data to do that?

    • pneuenswander

      Yes you can still use all the apps. The apps that require internet access though will only work when you have wifi access.

  29. tony

    is t-mobile any good?

    • pneuenswander

      T-Mobile will work with your iPhone, as to the quality of the service… that is going to depend on the area you are in. I heard it wasn't good in my area so I that's why I stuck with AT&T.

  30. Kevin Smith

    Hey, I have an iPhone 3GS that I bought a year ago but I decided to go with a Straight Talk phone to save money. The ST phone is only $45/mo for unlimited everything but I’m tired of carrying around 2 phones bc I still use my iPhone for Internet, GPS, apps, games, etc. I think an extra $15/mo is worth paying to use my iPhone only. However, this brings me to my main question…

    Can I transfer my existing phone number to the GoPhone account? I’ve had this number for a while now and really don’t want to lose it.

    • pneuenswander

      I'm not sure how to go about transferring numbers with AT&T GoPhone. I would just give AT&T a call and ask… let us know what they say.

  31. Hello,

    I just moved from 12 years with Verizon with the Droid as my last phone (under contract). My business partner has been trying to get me to try his iPhone; over the last week I have been testing his and this morning I added the iPhone4 on the Gophone Network with AT&T. I wanted to share with you my experience. I called AT&T and told them I needed another SIM for my phone; I then visited the store and got my SIM Card. When I came home and read this thread, I missed the part about not using the IMEI from the iPhone. After a few errors I decided I would call AT&T and see if they could help me.

    I told them that my wife (instead of the dog) dropped our daughters SIM card for her new phone down the kitchen sink and I need to activate it. I was at the office and she was at home. I told her I tried to activate the phone online; however, I did not have the IMEI but wanted to give it to my daughter when I got home. She placed me on hold and when she returned, she advised me to use the following for the IMEI (111111111111111), that is 15 number one's.

    I did it while she was on the phone and vola it accepted it! I know have $60 unlimited/month voice and text; I also got the 100mb data plan (although I'll only use that when I don't have wireless). Another bit of information she gave me; AT&T is going to adjust the data plan sizes and prices due to an overwhelming request by customers.

    First we got u-verse (best entertainment money we spent) and now iPhone. What's next?

    Thanks for all of the information and help.



    • pneuenswander

      Hey Keith,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with AT&T… So you got a micro sim from AT&T that fits in the iPhone 4?

  32. Angel

    i have a iphone 3g and it is unlocked and jailbroken and i also had a prepaid phone before i had the iphone so the sim was already activated. When i insert my sim it says NO SERVICE how do i fix that. also i an on 4.0.1 FIRMWARE. help plz.

    • pneuenswander

      Your sim may still be locked to your prepaid phone. You can try to get a new sim card activated with your current number and try that… if that doesn't work you may have to get a new sim and go with a new phone number. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.

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