How to Use Your iPhone with AT&T's Prepaid Gophone Service and Cut Your Bill in Half
When the iPhone was introduced in 2007 it changed the mobile phone market forever. It was so much more that just a phone. The iPhone was a phone, of course, but also an iPod, a web browser, a decent digital camera; it was, basically, a mini computer which could run 1000s of apps you could download from iTunes. In fact, the iPhone was more of a computer than a phone.
One other thing the introduction of the iPhone changed for owners of Apple’s newest toy was the amount of the monthly phone bill. When iPhone first came out, you had to sign-up with AT&T for your service and the plans started around $80 a month and went up from there. If you wanted an iPhone, you had to commit to a two-year contract with AT&T.
Of course, you can still sign-up for a two-year contract with AT&T or another service provider (it’s not just AT&T offering service plans for the iPhone) and pay $80 or more a month or you can use a prepaid service for your iPhone and cut your bill to as little as $25 a month if you choose AT&T’s GoPhone prepaid service.
Now, AT&T doesn't really advertise that the iPhone will work with their GoPhone service. And why would they? They make much more money off of you by getting you to sign-up with a two-year contract.
To use your iPhone with the GoPhone service you’ll need to things; an unlocked or off-contract iPhone and a GoPhone SIM card. If you have an old iPhone laying around the house, you can use that. Or buy one off of Ebay. It doesn’t matter what model the phone is, or what service provider the phone was previously with; it just needs to be unlocked.
As for as the GoPhone SIM card, you get one when you buy a GoPhone cell phone. Go to your local Target or Best Buy and look for the cheapest GoPhone phone. You can often find them on sale for $10 or less. You only want the SIM card, so it doesn't matter what phone you buy; you’re not going to use the phone.
Now that you have your iPhone and SIM card, you’re ready to set-up your service. Take the SIM card out of the GoPhone package but do not yet put it in your iPhone. On your computer, go to the GoPhone activation site at https://www.wireless.att.com/GoPhoneWeb/goPhoneLanding.do?method=activatePayGo. There you’ll be asked to enter the SIM card number and the IMEI number (you’ll find the IMEI number on the GoPhone package you bought.
Now that you've activated your SIM card, you’ll select a GoPhone plan and get your new phone number. The plans range from $2 per day to $60 a month. All plans include unlimited texts:
- $25 monthly includes 250 minutes and data at $5 per 50MB
- $40 monthly includes 300 minutes and 500MB of data (additional data at $5 per 100MB)
- $60 monthly includes unlimited minutes and 2.5GB of data (additional data at $10 per 1GB)
Don’t worry if you’re unsure of what package you should select. You can can always change your plan at anytime.
With you plan selected, your SIM card is now active. Turn off your iPhone, insert the SIM card and turn the phone back on. You’ll see “AT&T” in the phone’s status bar. And that’s it; you’re now paying a lot less for your monthly phone service and have the freedom to change your plan or even drop your service without any penalty!