1. Massie's Avatar
    This is an idea I've been tossing around lately...I use almost no minutes of talk each month, and am around wifi for much of the day. So if I ditched my AT&T plan and kept my phone to use strictly as a wifi device and camera--without getting a second cell phone--what are the pluses and minuses of such an idea?

    Obviously the big plus is savings; my cell bill is the cheapest plan available but still runs about $1000/yr.

    Just as clear are the big minuses: no cell service means no calls, emails,notifications, or texts when I'm away from wifi. I do have a Google Voice number and a VOIP app (and Skype) I could use for calling when around wifi. I'd miss the SMS on the go ability more though. Emails and notifications can wait for me to be around a signal.

    Other minuses:
    No Pandora on the go.
    GPS? I'm still not clear on this: will the GPS receiver work without a data plan, assuming I'm using offline maps?
    I'm sure I'm missing a lot; please chime in here!

    Anyway, I haven't convinced myself either way yet, but wanted to see if anyone out there was using their own iPhone this way? If so, do you have any advice? Regrets? Tell me what you expected, and how well (or how badly) things have turned out.
    10-10-2011 05:32 PM
  2. SeanHRCC's Avatar
    If this is a legitimate plan you'd like to investigate...why not just buy an iPod Touch, jailbreak it and do all of the above?
    10-10-2011 06:56 PM
  3. Massie's Avatar
    A couple of reasons: I already have an ip4. And more importantly, I'd like to use the better camera.

    But yeah, that's the basic idea: iPod as sole communications device.
    10-10-2011 07:29 PM
  4. Eileen89's Avatar
    GPS apps like Navagon will not work without a data plan, however, you can use offline maps like you said for directions. you said you like texting, have you considered using your iP4 with AT&T's Prepaid plan? My daughter is using my old 3GS. Texts more than she calls with it, so basically I only pay about $100/year for her to use it. WiFi will work fine for using the web, and emails. Also, if you did want to go somewhere and really needed 3G data just for a short period of time, all you would need to do is change the APN settings to AT&Ts prepaid data settings and you could purchase a temp. Data plan for one month. Then let the data plan expire when you don't need it any more. Either way, your iP4 will function fine if you just want to use it as an iPod touch.
    10-10-2011 07:44 PM
  5. Massie's Avatar
    So you haven't gotten the "we know you're using an iPhone and you have to add a data plan" notice?
    10-10-2011 08:52 PM
  6. Eileen89's Avatar
    So you haven't gotten the "we know you're using an iPhone and you have to add a data plan" notice?
    Not at all. The only text messages that she receives are from her friends, except for the reminder text that AT&T's prepaid Dept. Sends out at the end of the year to add more money to the account before the expiration date, so she can keep her remaining balance that is in the prepaid account. I guarantee as long as you aren't using your iPhone 4 on a post paid account you will never receive a text from them about adding a data plan.
    10-10-2011 09:16 PM
  7. Massie's Avatar
    Interesting, all I've ever seen reported is that as soon as a device is identified as an iPhone on the network, a data plan is a must. Can you tell me how you set yours up? I've never done prepaid.
    10-10-2011 10:16 PM
  8. davjaxn's Avatar
    For me, not having a data plan (even the cheapest $15 a month one like I have) hobbles the iPhone experience. Much of what the iPhone does relies on a data connection- be it cellular or wifi. If I am a home I can use my computer. But if I am out and about being able to use my iPhone to check news, maps, play with apps that require data, even buy a song from iTunes when it strikes me, I think I would just not get the most out of such an amazing device without a data connection.

    If it saves you enough money that you find it worth it, then that's all the convincing you need!
    10-10-2011 11:13 PM
  9. Massie's Avatar
    I totally hear you, and if I could get a data-only plan, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But paying $40/month for voice I almost never use is just starting to seem like a huge waste. I know I'd miss my mobile data, but I'm wondering if I could get used to it.

    Thanks for the input!
    10-10-2011 11:36 PM
  10. Totalimmortal363's Avatar
    He's not notified about the data plan because he's using it on prepaid, such a notification does not exist.
    10-10-2011 11:56 PM
  11. Massie's Avatar
    He's not notified about the data plan because he's using it on prepaid, such a notification does not exist.
    Sorry, I guess I don't understand what you mean--why couldn't AT&T notify me of that? If I'm using their network for voice/SMS, surely they can detect my device as an iPhone and alert me that I need to sign up for a data plan?

    Articles like this one make me wary of trying it: Can AT&T really add a pricey data plan onto your wireless bill? | ZDNet Here's an excerpt:

    Earlier this year, I got the same message from AT&T saying that it added a data plan to my bill. I canceled the data but was dismayed that AT&T added the data plan back on the following day. AT&T told me that there is no way I would be able to get away with using a smartphone without a data plan since it uses IMEI to track my smartphone usage.


    And this is from AT&T's site:
    Smartphone Data Plan Requirement: Smartphones require a DataPlus, DataPro, or DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering plan. If you exceed your initial data allowance, you will automatically be charged an additional $10 for each additional 1 GB provided on a DataPro plan or an additional $15 for each additional 200 MB provided on the DataPlus plan. All data allowances, including overages, must be used in the billing period in which the allowance is provided or they will be forfeited. Access to corporate email, company intranet sites and/or business applications requires an Enterprise DataPro plan.

    Do they not track IMEIs when you're using a prepaid plan? And if I went that route, would I just turn off Cellular Data in the settings pane? I'm actually getting kind of excited to try this...
    10-11-2011 12:32 AM
  12. alpinestars1z's Avatar
    Sorry, I guess I don't understand what you mean--why couldn't AT&T notify me of that? If I'm using their network for voice/SMS, surely they can detect my device as an iPhone and alert me that I need to sign up for a data plan?

    Articles like this one make me wary of trying it: Can AT&T really add a pricey data plan onto your wireless bill? | ZDNet Here's an excerpt:

    Earlier this year, I got the same message from AT&T saying that it added a data plan to my bill. I canceled the data but was dismayed that AT&T added the data plan back on the following day. AT&T told me that there is no way I would be able to get away with using a smartphone without a data plan since it uses IMEI to track my smartphone usage.


    And this is from AT&T's site:
    Smartphone Data Plan Requirement: Smartphones require a DataPlus, DataPro, or DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering plan. If you exceed your initial data allowance, you will automatically be charged an additional $10 for each additional 1 GB provided on a DataPro plan or an additional $15 for each additional 200 MB provided on the DataPlus plan. All data allowances, including overages, must be used in the billing period in which the allowance is provided or they will be forfeited. Access to corporate email, company intranet sites and/or business applications requires an Enterprise DataPro plan.

    Do they not track IMEIs when you're using a prepaid plan? And if I went that route, would I just turn off Cellular Data in the settings pane? I'm actually getting kind of excited to try this...
    Well actually, I think AT&T doesn't want you to use data on an iPhone with prepaid. I've actually heard of people putting an iPhone on prepaid, then buying the 100MB or whatever data pack and then later having it removed because they have an iPhone. I guess it's just AT&T's way of forcing people with iPhones to stay on postpaid plans since many iPhone users can't live without their data, and postpaid is where they make lots of money. Of course, this sucks for overseas visitors to the U.S. who want to use their iPhone here but are stuck with AT&T (who honestly doesn't want iPhones on prepaid) and T-Mobile (2G data only).

    But I guess if you're just using an iPhone on prepaid for texting/calling AT&T doesn't care.
    10-11-2011 05:00 AM
  13. Eileen89's Avatar
    Well actually, I think AT&T doesn't want you to use data on an iPhone with prepaid. I've actually heard of people putting an iPhone on prepaid, then buying the 100MB or whatever data pack and then later having it removed because they have an iPhone. I guess it's just AT&T's way of forcing people with iPhones to stay on postpaid plans since many iPhone users can't live without their data, and postpaid is where they make lots of money. Of course, this sucks for overseas visitors to the U.S. who want to use their iPhone here but are stuck with AT&T (who honestly doesn't want iPhones on prepaid) and T-Mobile (2G data only).

    But I guess if you're just using an iPhone on prepaid for texting/calling AT&T doesn't care.
    I've never heard of this happening, nor has it happened to me. I know AT&T employees tell customers this as a scare tactic but it's never happened. One the data plan is added on it stays on, doesn't matter if you're using a smartphone or not. While it is true, AT&T doesn't want the iPhone on their prepaid service, they do not cut your sim off or stop you from using data on it. When the APN settings are changed to prepaid anyone can add a prepaid data plan. The only negative that I have heard and actually seen myself with using the iPhone on prepaid is that AT&T does throttle data.
    10-11-2011 05:08 AM
  14. Eileen89's Avatar
    Sorry, I guess I don't understand what you mean--why couldn't AT&T notify me of that? If I'm using their network for voice/SMS, surely they can detect my device as an iPhone and alert me that I need to sign up for a data plan?
    plan back on the following day. AT&T told me that there is no way I would be able to get away with using a smartphone without a data plan since it uses IMEI to track my smartphone usage.[/I]
    ]

    Do they not track IMEIs when you're using a prepaid plan? And if I went that route, would I just turn off Cellular Data in the settings pane? I'm actually getting kind of excited to try this...
    Personally, I wouldn't worry so much about it or give it a second thought. I've had smartphones on their prepaid system for a number of years with no issues. Always purchased a data plan. Only negative as I said above is that you may experience data throttling, but mostly during peak times. You will have no issues with it. My 3GS is still on their prepaid service with no texts at all from AT&T about not using. I highly doubt you'd either.
    10-11-2011 05:21 AM
  15. MustangLife's Avatar
    This is an idea I've been tossing around lately...I use almost no minutes of talk each month, and am around wifi for much of the day. So if I ditched my AT&T plan and kept my phone to use strictly as a wifi device and camera--without getting a second cell phone--what are the pluses and minuses of such an idea?

    Obviously the big plus is savings; my cell bill is the cheapest plan available but still runs about $1000/yr.

    Just as clear are the big minuses: no cell service means no calls, emails,notifications, or texts when I'm away from wifi. I do have a Google Voice number and a VOIP app (and Skype) I could use for calling when around wifi. I'd miss the SMS on the go ability more though. Emails and notifications can wait for me to be around a signal.

    Other minuses:
    No Pandora on the go.
    GPS? I'm still not clear on this: will the GPS receiver work without a data plan, assuming I'm using offline maps?
    I'm sure I'm missing a lot; please chime in here!

    Anyway, I haven't convinced myself either way yet, but wanted to see if anyone out there was using their own iPhone this way? If so, do you have any advice? Regrets? Tell me what you expected, and how well (or how badly) things have turned out.
    Yes its possible. I've done it before a year back with at&t issues. As long as you have wifi you are fine. What phone do you use for phone calls though? I would get a WiFi for your car. I don't have much info about in car wifi but that would be your best bet. WIFI in the house and car. 3G or any kind of service is not really needed.

    Josh
    10-12-2011 05:22 AM
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