Sunday, June 20, 2010

Major iOS4 feature: You can turn off all data services on the phone

You can't unlock an AT&T iPhone, but after your contract contract is done you can give it to another person who has an AT&T account. If they insert a GSM card [1] they can use the phone. I've gotten contradictory reports from AT&T, but it appears that under current policy if that GSM card does not have a data plan then the iPhone can be used without a data plan.

Of course that iPhone will then run up a large bill -- since it will inevitably do some network data transactions and they will be billed at very high rates. The current workaround is to pay $5/month for an AT&T plan that less you monitor a phone, limit data use, etc.

As of iOS4 though you can just turn off the data service on the phone ...
iOS 4 walkthrough | TiPb 
... You can now choose to not only turn off 3G data or roaming data, but all cellular data...
I think you can use the Parental Controls to lock settings so the user will not be able to turn cellular data back on. So I can give my old 3G to my son and he can use it as a phone and for texting, but will only have data services when he's on a WiFi. I won't have to pay $180/year for minimal 3G data services. Over two years that pays for my new phone.

[1] iPhone 4 uses a micro-SIM that is not compatible with SIMS from older phones. This does work for a 3G or 3GS.

1 comment:

Martin said...

Micro-SIM cards are actually compatible to 'standard' SIM cards, there is just less plastic around the chip. 'Standard' SIM cards can get converted into micro-SIM cards by cutting away most of the plastic around the chip, templates are available online.