A pay as you go iPhone is one where there is no contract; no 2 year lock in period. Apple iPhone 4 is very expensive with monthly bills shooting up to $100. Thus, to acquire the iPhone minus these monthly bills there is need to either buy a pre-paid SIM card along with the phone or purchase a prepaid iPhone directly.

Setting up an iPhone as a Prepaid Phone

Any iPhone can be used as a pay as you go phone through the AT&T GoPhone program despite the fact that this program is not officially supported for use in iPhones. The process is very easy:

i) Get a prepaid GoPhone SIM card. Done by buying a cheap GoPhone (usually refurbished older Nokia or Samsung phones) and yanking out the SIM card.

ii) Replace the iPhone SIM card with the prepaid SIM card and you are ready to make calls using the pay as you go model. This method however provides no data unless the iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi.

To get the wireless data as well:

  • Be in a location where you can access the Wi-Fi to enable the connection to the web on your iPhone
  • Using Safari on the newly set up prepaid iPhone, go to and then tap on “Continue”
  • On the appearing screen, tap on “Custom APN”
  • Select the carrier e.g. “US – AT&T”
  • Tap on “Create Profile” button to create and download the custom APN profile.
  • A screen appears with the alert that a new profile is about to be installed. Click on “Install” and then “Replace”. A Profile Installed screen appears showing the new APN profile that has been installed.
  • To test whether this prepaid data plan is working, disable the Wi-Fi on the iPhone and check the upper left carrier signal. The presence of Edge or a 3G data text appearing confirms that the data plan is working. In case it does not appear to work, restart your iPhone.

    Why take up a pre-paid iPhone 4 plan

    The initial cost of the iPhone under the pay as you go plan is definitely higher compared to that under a contract. This may astound many on why then the prepaid option is to be preferred. The following reasons help explain why.

    i) Lower lifetime costs

    In as much as the two year contract has a smaller initial cost, there are additional charges that come about such as activation fees, monthly fees and data fees. Under the pay-as-you-go plan the fees are not present saving about $600-$1000 of your money

    ii) Pay for what you use

    Calls are not made 24/7 neither are texts sent all day long. With the prepaid option, such services can be serviced when needed unlike under the contract where their costs are fixed to a minimum.

    iii) Easy Upgrades

    Changing the iPhone model without too much hassle becomes possible. Carriers can be easily switched and one can even come back to the contract option in the event that the prepaid plan does not seem to work for you.