Use An iPhone With No Data Charges

So you’re thinking of buying a used iPhone but don’t really want to pony up $15 or $25 or more to AT&T for monthly data charges?

I can’t speak for crossing platforms, but if you’re an AT&T standard phone user, I can tell you how.

Let’s say you already have a phone like my old Nokia 6682 that’s seen better days. And you just bought a shiny new (used) iPhone from someone who took very good care of it. (Like I did my old one.)

Phones Ready for SIM Swap

The iPhone pictured below is in the condition it should be in if you were to purchase it used. It has been set to a factory restore.

Now for the hard part:

Step 1

Unfold the the paper clip. Those are tricky little buggers.

At the top of the iPhone, you’ll see a little hole. Stick the paper clip into the hole. The SIM card tray will pop out like magic.

SIM Card Tray

Swap SIM Cards

Pull the SIM card tray out and swap it with your working SIM card from your other phone.

Take the SIM out of the Tray

Make sure you place the new SIM card back into the tray the same way the old one was laying and put the tray back into the phone with the hole to the side away from the power button.

Connect the iPhone to iTunes

If you haven’t downloaded iTunes yet, you’ll need to do that. If you don’t have an internet connection, what do you want with an iPhone anyway?

Connect the iPhone to iTunes

You do have to connect the iPhone to iTunes to activate the phone.

You can then add music, apps and more to your phone. I highly recommend the free app “App Miner” to help you find great free and on sale apps. I also recommend having a teenager in the house to purchase music so you don’t have to. 😉

How to Avoid Data Charges

This is the important part. If you were to buy a new phone from Apple, AT&T or any retailer, you would either pay “full price” or pay a contract rate and be locked into a 2-year contract with AT&T. Now, since AT&T is the only iPhone service provider out there right now anyway, you don’t really have a choice, but that’s a whole other discussion. If you buy a new phone through these outlets, you HAVE to get a data plan. If you have a phone plan for another phone (like my handy-dandy little Nokia), there’s no data plan required for that phone. As far as AT&T is concerned, you are using a regular phone that happens to be an iPod Touch.

Using your iPod Touch

There’s tons and tons of info out there on using an iPod Touch. The core of the matter is that you need a Wifi connection to use anything that requires the internet.


  • Safari – the web browser
  • App Store – you need to be online to buy apps on your phone
  • YouTube
  • Stocks
  • Maps
  • Weather
  • iTunes
  • Mail

However, I do have a Wifi set up at home and tons of restaurants and businesses have open or free Wifi spots that you can join while you are waiting.

Also, there are tons of offline games that you can download to play.

Text Messaging – Sticking it to the Man!

While we’re on the subject of not paying AT&T so much money, I ran across an New York Times Article about a free Texting App Called Text Free Plus by Gogii. Just do an App Store search for Gogii and you can find it.

Here’s the article link.

Author: Steph

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