Dear Aunt TUAW: Exploring Affordable iPhone Data Plans

Dear Aunt TUAW,

I’ve heard you mention a budget-friendly AT&T SIM option for iPhones several times. Could you share more details about it?

Best wishes,

Mister Humann

Dear Humann,

Auntie often opts for AT&T’s PAYG plans, particularly the US$100 cards which are valid for a year. This balance can also be used to purchase data, which is quite a sweet deal.

You might want to start with a $25 card first to ensure everything works smoothly on your iPhone.

This setup is currently in use on Auntie’s iPhone 3GS, which is important to note as older models require jailbreaking.

However, the 3GS works without needing such modifications.

How to Set Up a PAYG iPhone Account

Purchase your SIM by visiting an AT&T store or calling them directly at 1-800-331-0500. Unlike the Best Buy $10 no-data SIMs, PAYG SIMs require registration with your home address, a credit card, and a non-iPhone AT&T phone’s IMEI and SIM number.

Once registered, you can start with a prepaid balance of $25 or $100. When your balance runs out, the account closes unless you choose to add more funds.

If your main use is data, opt for the per-minute plan rather than the per-day plan.

After topping up your account and receiving a new phone number, insert the SIM into your iPhone.

It should work immediately for calls.

How to Add Data

Begin with a $15 data package for 100 MB of data. Call 611 from your iPhone, say “Buy features,” then “Data Packages,” and follow the prompts to add your chosen data plan.

Configuring Your iPhone for 3G Data

Update your iPhone settings for prepaid data using the guide on amirnaor.com. Download and install Apple’s iPhone Configuration Utility, create a new configuration profile, and adjust the APN settings as specified.

Annual Data Planning

For a year’s worth of data, consider starting with a $25 purchase for 500 MB, then adding $5 every month for 10 MB.

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Justin is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the Apple news community. With a keen eye for detail, Justin covers everything from the latest iPhone releases to in-depth reviews of the MacBook Pro and Apple Watch. His insightful articles help readers stay informed about the ever-evolving world of Apple products. Justin’s expertise and approachable writing style make him a trusted voice for Apple enthusiasts everywhere.