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I'm about to buy the iPhone. A few questions.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm waiting until September 25th, and then most likely purchasing an iPhone.

My questions:

1. How does international roaming work? I live near the border of Canada, and I don't want to accidentaly pick up a canadian signal and be charged an arm and a leg. Is international roaming something that is automatically turned on along with the activation, or can it just be disabled so it won't even search for foreign signals? A friend of mine was over here a couple days ago with a blackberry that had a roaming plan, and he was picking up Rogers wireless from canada, when he was at my house. I DON'T want that happening with my iPhone.

2. AT&T coverage is sketchy at my house, at best. I don't mind because i'll never really need to use my iPhone for connectivity stuff in the house. However, do I need to be in a spot of good reception to activate the iPhone, or does it do it over the internet?

3. If they come out with a new iPhone months after I buy mine, and I want to upgrade, how easy is it to keep the plan and replace the device with the new one?

4. Likewise, if they come out with a new plan, or a more affordable canadian roaming plan, how easy is it to upgrade to that?

I would greatly appreciate it if these simple four questions could be clearly answered, so that I can put my mind at ease, and look forward to September 25th, and my iPhone purchase.

Thanks!
post #2 of 19
1. - call AT&T ... even if they lie to you, you can come back and say "but hey!... you told me I wouldn't get charged like that!..."

2. - You'll activate it over the internet on iTunes. But the phone will have to get into reception range at some point before it actually gets "activated" by AT&T... this could be several hours later if that's how it works out. (Does that make sense?)

3. - Moving the number from one phone to another is easy (done on iTunes when you activate it.) ... But... the iPhone requires a 2 year contract... so... within that time, there may be more to it. Again, call AT&T and see what they say.

4. - Your "plan" is a CONTRACT. changing it within the initial 2 year period would be at AT&T's discretion. Again, call AT&T and see what they say.


I know calling AT&T is not real high on your list of "fun things to do"... but it's really the only way to get even close to an accurate answer regarding contract changes and roaming charges.
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehellgate911 View Post

I'm waiting until September 25th, and then most likely purchasing an iPhone.

My questions:

3. If they come out with a new iPhone months after I buy mine, and I want to upgrade, how easy is it to keep the plan and replace the device with the new one?

4. Likewise, if they come out with a new plan, or a more affordable canadian roaming plan, how easy is it to upgrade to that?

Thanks!

Not 100% sure about swapping phones, but you are on contract with ATT for the phone number not the phone. With other GSM phones, you can simply buy a new phone and swap SIM cards. Not sure how that would work on the iPhone since it activates through iTunes rather than just a simple SIM card activation.

Plans are upgradable at any time you like. Again, youre on contract for the number and not the plan. The caveat is that changing rate plans will always reset the clock on your contract. For example, if youre 23 months into your contract and decide that you need a plan with fewer/more minutes you will be stuck with another 2 year contract beginning the day you change plans.
post #4 of 19
Swapping phones has been a very cool experience for me. I swapped two 4GB for two 8GB this week. As long as you have synced your old phone everything copies over - even things such as: the ring tone selections for each user, weather preferences, pop email settings, etc.

The transfer of the phone number was just as simple as the first setup and just as quick - I was up and running with 2 new phones in about 5 minutes.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the answers.

Before I call AT&T, maybe someone with more hands on experience could answer my first question about the roaming.

Someone at the Apple support forums said that when you activate the phone, all you select is the nation wide plan for $59.99, $79.99 or $99.99, and that if you want roaming, you have to go to AT&T's website and enable it, or call them up to enable it. That way, the phone doesn't automatically pick up foreign signals.

But i've heard different things from different people.. so i'm not sure about that.

But that sounds like it'll be alot of fun! I can activate my iPhone on the internet, and then go into town for the sole purpose of awaiting my iPhone activation. I'll go to a starbucks or something, and i'll be like "Hey everyone, i'm here to get my iPhone activated".

Then at my house, when there's no reception, I still have all the bundles of features that the iPod touch doesn't have.

edit: Does the iPhone tell you what carrier is getting you online, the way the blackberry does?
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehellgate911 View Post

edit: Does the iPhone tell you what carrier is getting you online, the way the blackberry does?

Yes...
Domestically, if it's with a different carrier, but one that has a "deal" with AT&T, it'll still say AT&T. (for example, in ND, AT&T doesn't actually have thier "own" service and hence they don't even sell iPhones up there... but they have a "deal" with the local cell carrier to provide non-roaming coverage, and it says AT&T on the screen.)
In Amsterdam, though, the phone gave me the name of the local carrier. (but it worked just fine... at something like 70 cents a minute )
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Yes...
Domestically, if it's with a different carrier, but one that has a "deal" with AT&T, it'll still say AT&T. (for example, in ND, AT&T doesn't actually have thier "own" service and hence they don't even sell iPhones up there... but they have a "deal" with the local cell carrier to provide non-roaming coverage, and it says AT&T on the screen.)
In Amsterdam, though, the phone gave me the name of the local carrier. (but it worked just fine... at something like 70 cents a minute )

Ah, so the phone WILL say "Rogers" at the top if i'm connecting to the canadian network. So if I just make sure to not use Data at my house, then i'll be fine.

But does anyone know if Roaming is automatically enabled or not? It would be simpler if it could just be disabled.
post #8 of 19
I just ordered my iPhone last night! I'm super pumped! It should be here Monday or Tuesday!

I've been on AT&T already for about a year and a half and have enjoyed them, I'm not a hardcore cell phone user, but it's worked pretty well (even moving from Michigan to Arizona last summer it's been totally fine).

I'm going from a 60GB iPod to the 8GB iPhone- any recommendations in managing my media?
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehellgate911 View Post

Ah, so the phone WILL say "Rogers" at the top if i'm connecting to the canadian network. So if I just make sure to not use Data at my house, then i'll be fine.

But does anyone know if Roaming is automatically enabled or not? It would be simpler if it could just be disabled.

I can't GUARANTEE that, as I've never taken mine to (or near) Canada. ... but that HAS been my experience in Europe.
I had been using my Cingular account overseas long before the iPhone, so I don't recall if I had to call them to enable international roaming, or if worked "out of the box".
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

I can't GUARANTEE that, as I've never taken mine to (or near) Canada. ... but that HAS been my experience in Europe.
I had been using my Cingular account overseas long before the iPhone, so I don't recall if I had to call them to enable international roaming, or if worked "out of the box".

Well, I don't want international roaming to be automatically enabled. I'd prefer it if I had to call AT&T to have them activate it before I go to canada. And then i'd only use it in canada as a phone. I'd never use Data.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehellgate911 View Post

Well, I don't want international roaming to be automatically enabled. I'd prefer it if I had to call AT&T to have them activate it before I go to canada. And then i'd only use it in canada as a phone. I'd never use Data.

People seem to be giving you a lot of wrong advice here. Since AT&T does not provide service in Canada, you need a US address to activate the phone. AT&T will terminate your service if you do not meet the minimum threshold time in one of its coverage areas. Oh, and that business about never using data? Well, that is not the way the iPhone works. AT&T sends out short text messages. The iPhone also downloads usage data and charges.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

People seem to be giving you a lot of wrong advice here. Since AT&T does not provide service in Canada, you need a US address to activate the phone. AT&T will terminate your service if you do not meet the minimum threshold time in one of its coverage areas. Oh, and that business about never using data? Well, that is not the way the iPhone works. AT&T sends out short text messages. The iPhone also downloads usage data and charges.

I have a US address...

"Minimum threshold time"?? what the hell is that?
post #13 of 19
I would advise you to call AT&T to clarify your roaming questions. I wouldn't assume a thing here about accidental roaming "over the border". i don't know of any features on the iPhone that would limit its ability to roam.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scolbert View Post

I would advise you to call AT&T to clarify your roaming questions. I wouldn't assume a thing here about accidental roaming "over the border". i don't know of any features on the iPhone that would limit its ability to roam.

I tried to call AT&T, but to get through to a representative I have to have a 10 digit phone number that i'm calling about. I don't have one. I'm currently not subscribed to any cell service of any kind. What do I do?
post #15 of 19
just got my iPhone! Posting from it now!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacojohn View Post

just got my iPhone! Posting from it now!

Good for you. Does anyone know how to call AT&T without being required to have a phone number with them already?
post #17 of 19
just keep hitting "zero" when it asks you to enter a phone number ... eventually it gives up and sends you to a person.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

just keep hitting "zero" when it asks you to enter a phone number ... eventually it gives up and sends you to a person.

Hmm.. I thought of doing that, but it seemed pretty persistent. Thanks!
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
The guy at AT&T said that their phones come "locked" meaning they don't get online via international carriers, unless I call them and enable international roaming.

So i'm good. Now I just wait for the 16GB iPhone. I've got 5GB of music and 6GB of movies that I wanna put on that thing.
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