Move to the wrong state and your iPhone turns into a paperweight

Move to the wrong state and your iPhone turns into a paperweight


monkeywrench76 writes:

I found out a few days ago that I am being re-located to Vermont. I am here now, and I have 5 bars of service. But I now find out that AT&T is going to cancel my service anywhere between 3 and 10 months from now (when they get around to it) because I am roaming too much. See, they don’t have service in Vermont, so I am using one of their partner providers (Unicel). Although the service I am getting is good, I am not profitable enough for them to keep me as a customer, so they will get rid of me. I will, of course, be stuck with a non-working iPhone.

I called apple and spoke to Meghan, who was very wonderful and was surprised by the situation. She offered to connect me with AT&T so she could be on the line (so apple!). So, she did. We spoke to an AT&T rep, then her manager. They could not have been more clear… no exceptions. I live in Vermont, they cancel me. Meghan seemed as bummed as I was.

I realize there are reasons behind this (AT&T doesn’t want to keep customers that they lose money on), but the real problem is the way AT&T and Apple have set things up. Despite the fact that phone unlocking is legal in the US, AT&T and Apple have created an arrangement where the iPhone is useless without AT&T service. Fortunately, some smart people are working hard to fix this bug.


  • Cell phone unlocking legal (for three years) – Link
  • iPhone bootloader accessed via serial port – Link
  • OpenMoko: $300 Linux-powered mobile phone – Link

Update: Apparently, this is a major annoyance in Vermont. morgant posts on digg:

I live in Vermont and work for an Apple Specialist, so I’ve been covering this aspect of the whole iPhone & AT&T thing recently. See:

It’s definitely very disappointing.

2 thoughts on “Move to the wrong state and your iPhone turns into a paperweight

  1. morganaldridge says:

    I think this is going to get even worse for those in Vermont and possibly other states in New England since Verizon Wireless is buying RCC (i.e. Unicel) which is the only GSM provider in Vermont. Ouch!

    See my post here:

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

I'm a tinkerer and finally reached the point where I fix more things than I break. When I'm not tinkering, I'm probably editing a book for Maker Media.

View more articles by Brian Jepson
Maker Faire Bay Area 2023 - Mare Island, CA

Escape to an island of imagination + innovation as Maker Faire Bay Area returns for its 15th iteration!

Buy Tickets today! SAVE 15% and lock-in your preferred date(s).