No data with my iPhone

This is NOT cool.

I just realized today that upgrading to firmware 3.0 with my iPhone 1st Gen, it killed my data connection with AT&T. I am on a PayAsYouGo plan since I use my phone very rarely. I don’t need to be paying a full contract when I do 1-2 calls per month (sometimes not even that). What I do a lot though, is use WiFi for my various data needs.

Not that I was using their EDGE connection much, which costs $10 per 1 MB (I am not that rich to throw away money at that pricing rate), but it was nice to know that it was there if I needed it. My iPhone was originally an unlocked device, but since AT&T doesn’t require activation anymore for its PayAsYouGo customers, I don’t bother unlocking it or otherwise hack it. I just use it, locked to AT&T’s service.

But this is not enough for AT&T it seems. They now disable the GPRS service altogether to those who don’t have an iPhone-specific account. They try to do what they do with Blackberry: if you don’t have a Blackberry-specific account, you can’t use their data service (and T-Mobile does the same shit as well btw), not even if you do want to pay them the crazy $10 per 1 MB rate.

The iPhone is a fully capable phone and this restriction is simply artificial and unnecessary. I find all this very disturbing, and I can’t wait for a time when people will be able to buy unlocked phones by default, like in many European countries.

There is a workaround to re-enable EDGE, but I don’t want to have anything to do with their stinky service anymore, so I won’t even bother. I will just use my phone even less now.

9 Comments »

Ivan wrote on June 24th, 2009 at 11:54 PM PST:

In Belgium, AT&T would be sued and heaviy fined for ‘bundled sales’ like this one. Here, the iPhone is solled unlocked, but this has also disadvantages: its price is much higher, and (for now) all iPhone models are unavailable. Apple.be advertises the iPhones, but there are no prices listed, and no way to order. It has been like this since the launch of the latest iPhone a couple of weeks ago.


l3v1 wrote on June 25th, 2009 at 12:42 AM PST:

That’s not a “workaround”, it’s just changing the apn settings, or creating it as I always had to do when I bought unlocked phones. Once I even had a provider-locked one on which the provider messed up their own settings which needed to be corrected.


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Eugenia wrote on June 25th, 2009 at 12:48 AM PST:

It is a workaround, since the iPhone doesn’t give you APN settings with AT&T. They have that dialog hidden! You have to enable it, that’s the actual workaround. When you enable the secret ability, then normal APN settings are applied. Having APN settings is nothing weird, but having a phone that doesn’t let you enter them in the first place, is what requires the workaround.


Ivan wrote on June 25th, 2009 at 5:45 AM PST:

iPhones will be available in Belgium from tomorrow (Friday 25th of June 2009)onwards. The prices will be like this:
Iphone 3GS 16 GB for 575 euro and 32 GB for 675 euro. The 8 GB Iphone 3G is 475 euro.
All models UNLOCKED. That’s the price of FREEDOM!


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Eugenia wrote on June 25th, 2009 at 10:42 AM PST:

It’s the same price in the US too. You can find the iPhone unlocked, just not legally unlocked. And now, then the carriers restrict its usage too.


blover wrote on June 25th, 2009 at 12:03 PM PST:

I also have 1st generation.. I pay $20/month, or $240/year for data. Considering that I only desperately need it when I’m on my yearly US vacation, $240 seems expensive considering that wifi is everywhere.

BTW, surely there is a wifi you can access every block in the bay area?


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Eugenia wrote on June 25th, 2009 at 12:07 PM PST:

I don’t access illegally wifi spots. It’s not how I do things.


Ivan wrote on June 25th, 2009 at 12:48 PM PST:

I thought the price was $99 and $199.


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Eugenia wrote on June 25th, 2009 at 12:53 PM PST:

That’s with a full 2-year contract that’s very expensive per month!!! In the US all the “free” or “cheap” phones are locked to a specific carrier, and are only available with full contracts! If you want to buy unlocked phones with PayAsYouGo ala carte, you pay the full price, as in Europe. My iPhone was full price.


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