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.

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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.

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