Upgrading to a New iPhone, Transferring your old Data and Number

When Apple announced the new 3G S iPhone, I jumped at the chance to upgrade my still-shiny 3G to something even shinier. Unfortunately, since I had bought my 3G last year at this time, I didn’t qualify for the “upgrade” price until December. My much-less-gadget-crazed wife Carolyn, however, had an aging Samsung phone which did qualify for an upgrade.  So, after chatting it over, we hit upon the idea of upgrading her phone instead, then somehow switching the numbers so that I’d get the new 3G S, she’d get my old 3G iPhone.

Jumping to the end, it all worked out fine. Here’s what was involved to make the switch happen:

Step 1:  Back up your old phone

Just sync it to iTunes and make sure it completely backs up. It’s a really good idea to check your iTunes preferences for the phone to make sure your apps are getting backed up as well (for some reason, I had that option unchecked on mine, which caused me to have to reinstall a few things later).

Step 2: Activate the new phone

Basically, when the new phone came in, you need to hook it up to a computer, let it be recognized by iTunes, at which time, it’ll get its Sim card recognized by the AT&T network. Do this before anything else.

Step 3:  Swap the Sim Cards

Grab a paperclip and poke it through the tiny hole at the top of the iPhone next to the headphone jack. The Sim carrier will pop out. Do the same thing on the other phone, swap the Sim cards, then plug them back in. Within a minute or so, each phone will be recognized on the AT&T network as the other.

Step 4:  Sync the new phone to iTunes and let it restore your old data

Plug it in, and you’ll be greeted by an advertisement for Apple’s Mobile Me service. once you click past that, you’ll be asked if you want to treat the phone as a new phone, or restore its contents from your old phone (which you backed up in Step 1). Do the latter. After several minutes of restoring, you’ll be good to go!

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