How to use prepaid service with the iPhone: Getting functionality without a contract

How to use prepaid service with the iPhone: Getting functionality without a contract

TUAW has instructions for using prepaid service with the iPhone. Essentially, connect a just-purchased iPhone (or one with an inactivated SIM card) to your computer and begin the iTunes activation process, then enter 99-99-9999 as your social security number. Your credit will (obviously) be denied, and you will be presented with options to go to an AT&T store and put down a deposit, or choose an AT&T prepaid plan, allowing you to "auto pay in advance each month for service using a credit or debit card."

The prepaid plans appear to be unique to the iPhone, not allowing you to buy a certain number of minutes that can be used over the course of a year. Instead, you pay up-front for the coming month only. However, minute rollover is included with each plan. Prices are as follows:

  • $50 for 200 anytime minutes, unlimited data and no night/weekend minutes
  • $60 for 300 anytime minutes, unlimited data and 1000 night/weekend minutes
  • $70 for 400 anytime minutes, unlimited data and unlimited night/weekend minutes
  • $90 for 650 anytime minutes, unlimited data and unlimited night/weekend minutes and unlmited mobile to mobile minutes

Choosing this option also allows you to unlock the iPod and Wi-Fi browsing capabilities of the iPhone without a 2-year contract. There could be a mechanism that disables this functionality if no active service is present, but we haven't heard supporting reports.

Feedback? info@iphoneatlas.com.

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