How To Setup Your iPhone or iPad on Consumer Cellular

A few years ago I wrote a post on using the iPhone with Consumer Cellular. A lot of people commented on it so in this post, I’ll sum it up for people looking to use this excellent priced voice and data service on the excellent iPhone or iPad!

1. Is this Right For Me?

If you expect technical support from your cell phone provider for your phone (the actual device), this is probably not a good idea for you. The moment you tell Consumer Cellular that you are using an iPhone or an iPad, they will likely tell you that they cannot provide support. If you are ok with this, I lower my staff of warning and allow you to pass into a world of greater freedom. After over 2 years of using an iPhone with Consumer Cellular, I’ve never had to call them for support on anything except to enable my data plan (see step 4).

You must have a GSM (the AT&T version) iPhone or iPad for this to work. How do you check? Look for the sim card tray on the top or on the side of the device. It will have a small pin hole used to eject the tray.

2. The Sim Card

If you are planning to use the iPad, or the iPhone 4 or newer, you’ll need to cut your sim card down to the size of a micro sim card. There are plenty of articles on the web about how to do that. I won’t cover it here because it’s quite easy to do.

3. Voice and Text

The good news is that you don’t need to jailbreak or unlock your iPhone or iPad to use it on Consumer Cellular! Their service rides on AT&T’s network.Β  so devices automatically activate when the sim card is inserted.Β  You may need to connect to iTunes the first time you activate your device.Β  But after that, Voice and Text (SMS) just work. If you desire to get data working you’ll need to take a few more steps. If you don’t care about data, you’re done!

4. Enable Data with Consumer Cellular

If you purchased a Consumer Cellular phone that supports data, you can skip this step. If not, your sim card needs to be provisioned for data. Basically, Consumer Cellular needs to flip a switch on their end to activate data for you. Login to the Consumer Cellular website to see if this is already done for you.

After you login, click the Change Services link on the right side of the page.

Scroll down a bit to the “Messaging and Data” section. If data is enabled for your sim card the Data (Web) checkbox will be checked.

If you previously used a Consumer Cellular phone that didn’t support data or it does not appear to be activated on their website, you can call customer service (1-888-345-5509) and let them know that you’ve purchased a used AT&T phone which supports data and ask them to enable data for your sim card. If you tell them it is an iPhone/iPad you will likely be denied.Β Since the original writing of this article, Consumer Cellular has begun reselling the iPhone 3G so there should be no issues here but it may take a day or so for the provisioning to go into effect.

5. Enable Data on Your iDevice

The easiest way to enable data is to visit from Safari on your iPad or iPhone. Note that the site looks very different on a desktop so you have to visit it from your iDevice. When you browse to the site, you’ll find that it’s a simple step-by-step wizard. We’re going to change your APN or Access Point Name to the correct address for Consumer Cellular.

Open the site on your iDevice and select Custom APN to change the address of your data network.

Select Consumer Cellular as the carrier and then tap Email Profile.

Enter your iPhone or iPad email address and tap Email the Profile. This email must be opened on your iDevice to continue.

Open the email that was sent to you and tap the settings.mobileconfig attachment.

Tap Install to install this profile and update your APN.

After the profile is successfully installed, you may need to toggle airplane mode on and then back off again. Do this from from the Settings app (Settings > Airplane Mode). In some instances you will need to power down your iDevice completely and then power it back up.

Should you ever need to uninstall the profile, you can find it in the Settings app (Settings > General > Profile).

Ensure that you’ve enabled data in the Settings app (Settings > General > Network). Turn on Enable 3G and Cellular Data. If you are in an area where the 3G network is not good, you should still be able to use the old Edge network by disabling 3G. It is much slower but also consumes less power.

You can test your cellular data by disabling Wi-Fi (Settings > Wi-Fi > Wi-Fi).

6. MMS

At this point, everything should be working except for MMS (Picture and Video messaging). Unfortunately this is where things get more complicated. If you wish to enable MMS, your iDevice must be jailbroken and you will need to install the appropriate version of the CommCenter Patch. Then you will need to manually update the remainder of the data network profile settings in your Carrier.plist file. You can find more information on this topic at my previous post.

7. Consider a donation

I hope this post saves you a lot of money on your cell phone service! Leave a comment and let us know about your experience with Consumer Cellular on your iDevice!

If this saves you money, please consider donating. This will allow us to continue to provide quality content.

183 Replies to “How To Setup Your iPhone or iPad on Consumer Cellular”

  1. When I installed my consumer cellular SIM in an un-jailbroken iPhone 3GS, I was still only able to make emergency calls. Anything else special I need to do?

  2. This means your phone is not activating properly. Are you sure the sim card is activated via CC? Can you test it on another phone?

  3. The SIM works fine in my current phone which I have a data plan for (and also an old HTC G1 that I unlocked). I did completely reset the iPhone so it erased all the original settings. I wonder if I just find someone who has an iPhone if I can activate the phone with their SIM card and then use my CC SIM. Would that mess up their SIM? Do I need to jailbreak this 3GS in order to activate it?

  4. I think you might want to try someone else’s AT&T or CC sim card in your phone. You’ve eliminated the sim card as the source of the problem but you have you eliminated the phone itself? You should not have to jailbreak for activation to work.

    This reminds me of an interesting situation I came across. When I jailbroke my phone the first time, I told it to activate in the process. Interestingly, it would not accept my CC sim card. After re-jailbreaking without activating, it accepted the sim card just fine.

    As I understand it, activation takes place on the phone itself for each sim card inserted, so you won’t mess anything up by using different sim cards or by using your sim in a different phone.

    I would make sure the phone isn’t the source of the problem before jailbreaking.

  5. I got it to work. Turns out I only needed to connect it to iTunes with the Consumer Cellular SIM card installed. It synched up with iTunes, updated the OS and works great. The APN process worked great as well. Thanks!

  6. Dude! Worked like a charm! Thanks so much. At it only took literally a minute.
    @everyone… Make sure you have a SIM for a SmartPhone. If your current SIM is from a phone that is not SmartPhone (that is a phone that cannot access the web) then call Consumer Cellular and tell them you now have a Motorola Bravo (or whatever top of the line smart phone they sell on their site) that you got as a hand-me-down/gift and that you need a proper SIM card. They sent me mine for free.
    @Consumer Cellular: realize that in order to retain users (business) you should help us to do this… over time, most people would probably choose an official iphone carrier over Cons.C IMHO… (and I realize there may be legal issues working here). (And, it needs to be said: I really LIKE Cons. Cell.)

  7. MMS success! Credit goes to unlockit site and this site!
    Unlocked iPhone4, not jailbroken.
    Step 6)
    – Buy a T-Mobile “activation” SIM card (BestBuy has them for $20, you DO NOT have to activate a T-Mobile account)
    – With your phone on, remove the CC SIM
    – Insert the T-Mobile SIM
    – Wait for T-mobile to show up as carrier in status area (next to signal bars)
    – Go to Settings>General>Network>Cellular Data Network (ATT does not allow you to get to this screen, T-Mobile does)
    – With the Cellular Data Network screen open, remove the T-Mobile SIM and insert your CC SIM
    – Wait for My Network to show up as carrier in status area (next to signal bars) (it will take a minute or two show up)
    – Enter in the below settings (again, credit to unlockit site):
    o Under Cellular Data Option
    APN: att.mvno
    o Under MMS Option
    APN: att.mvno
    MMS Proxy:
    MMS Max Message Size: 1048576
    MMS UA Prof URL:
    – Click Network at top of screen to save the settings
    – Test by sending yourself a picture. For me, the first attempt after configuring always fails, then works after re-trying, and then all after that work no failures.
    – Thanks Mark for helping us stay with Consumer Cellular!!!

  8. MMS without jailbreaking! Following directions from unlockit site, I was able to use a T-Mobile SIM card to get to the Cellular Data Network screen up, then edit the MMS settings, and now I have MMS working. Bought the T-Mobile SIM at BestBuy for $20, and did not need to activate a T-Mobile account. Thanks Mark and unlockit for keeping me on Consumer Cellular!

  9. Worked well with a sim I had in an old razor that did not support data. Haven’t tried doing the mms yet but that’s next perhaps. Thanks for the great tech help.

  10. I, like Paul, was very happy to get the change done in less than one minute. It took me as long to figure out it was done as it did to happen! Apparently has changed their program so you don’t have to enter your email or open one, as the install page/tab popped up immediately. It was easy… was a no-brainer. Thanks, Mark.

  11. I’m really curious about whether those who are using 4 and 4s units are happy with the speed of CC’s data network. I’m just about to get an older 3g iPhone up and runnning on CC, but am holding off on doing anything with my 4s until I know I can make this work and am happy with performance. I’d dearly love to go back to CC with my 4s if that is truly feasible. My experience with ATT has been nothing short of a nightmare.

  12. I have successfully used my Consumer Cellular sim in an iPhone 3G. I had the card cut down with a sim card cutter and installed it in an iPhone 4. The No Sim message goes away and I get a No Service message. The iPhone 4 will not even work as an emergency phone. I put the sim back in my 3G and it still works, so that rules out damaging the sim when cutting. Any ideas on what the No Service message could mean?

  13. Just got An Iphone 4 and tried these same steps and……Nothing!!!!
    Calling works fine but there is no Data!!! Can anyone confirm what Paul said (above) about needing a different SIM card for data through consumer cellular ?????

  14. The phone was jailbroken, or is. I tried to un jailbreak it and not sure if I was successful. I have tried getting it back to out of the box ATT. My best guess is I did activate while jailbroken. Any help un-jailbreaking would be helpful.

  15. I found information on how to force a restore on the phone. I am now able to use the iPhone 4 on Consumer Cellular.

  16. That’s good to hear Kent! Thanks for reporting back. It sounds like your iPhone was probably activated. In order for it to work with CC you should not activate during jailbreak..

  17. I have now set up two iPhones to work on Consumer Cellular. A 3G and a 4. Interesting thing on the 4. When I select my voice mail it seems to be calling some strange # and says called failed. Then for a short time the phone loses service. If I dial the voicemail # manually all works as expected. The 3G works fine using the built in VM feature. I have compared the settings under AT&T Services and the two phones and they are identical with the exception of the 4 having a View My Data and Msg setting which the 3G does not. Thoughts?

  18. You can get the T-Mobile SIM for $2 from their own site. It’ll take a few days to receive it, but if you aren’t in a hurry, you can save yourself a few dollars. Pity that the trick doesn’t work on a 3G, but I’ve decided I can live without MMS on that unit. Otherwise, it was a piece of cake. Hardest part was getting to the right person at CC to have them change their records to enable data on my account. You definitely need to get to TECHNICAL support, not just Customer support.

  19. Thank you so much! I saw the post from a few years ago after I got my iphone 3gs last week and wasn’t really interested in jailbreaking, yet, but then I came back today after convincing myself that I needed to jailbreak if I wanted to get data working. I saw your link to an updated post and here I am. The website is awesome. Thank you for finding it and for letting us know about it. It did the trick. I do wish I had mms but with data I can still send mms using my email.

  20. Does anyone know whether the t-Mobile SIM trick is a one-shot deal? Even though you don’t actually activate and account, it seems you can’t use it in a second phone to change settings. Has anyone else had this experience?

  21. I have not actually used T-Mobile on an iPhone for a few years but based on my passed experience, you would have to activate during jailbreak and then use a software unlock like ultrasn0w to get it working.

  22. Kent, with regard to your voicemail issue, the carrier.plist contains dialing numbers for services specific to your carrier. The default AT&T carrier profile (including the plist file) have been updated a few times over the last few years with releases of iOS. For more information on the plist file, have a look at my previous post mentioned at the beginning of this post.

  23. I completed configuring an iPhone 4 (iOS 5.1) for CC and did some side-by-side speed comparisons with my 4S (also iOS 5.1) on ATT (multiple, alternating rounds of, using the same host server). Turns out there is almost NO difference in performance, so there’s really no need to be paying the higher prices for ATT.

  24. Has anyone been successful using the t-Mobile activation SIM trick on a 5.1 iPhone 4 or 4S? I bought brand new SIMs directly from T-Mobile to make sure I had legit product, but using the steps outlined by pdx-jc, I can’t get the phone to connect to T-Mobile to give me access to the cell data network settings. I’ve tried the process with and without having the Consumer Cellular APN file installed first and get the same behavior in each case.

  25. I’ve just answered my own question regarding getting MMS working using the T-Mobile SIM swap trick. It works on a 5.1 4S, but my phone is _factory_ unlocked, so I’m wondering whether that’s what makes the difference. It doesn’t work on a locked ATT iP4, so I’ll have to jailbreak and get it done that way.

  26. So has anybody gotten CC to work on an iPhone 4S for voice, data, and MMS? What did you do (simple steps, please)?

  27. Is ther a way to utilize my IPhone 4 used with Verizon? Is there a way I can convert it to work with Cnsumer Cellular?

  28. Hey Yvonne. I don’t think there is a way. Consumer Cellular uses a sim card that you can insert into your phone. Verizon doesn’t. πŸ™

  29. Phil, yes I have all services working on a 4S. If your phone was working on ATT, then voice is automatic on ConsumerCelluler (after you cut down the SIM they send you to fit the phone – see my comment about the Noosy SIM cutter below).

    Data is accomplished using the APN changer from (use your phone to go to the website and the rest is pretty much self explanatory).

    MMS is a little trickier. Buy an activation SIM from the T-Mobile website ($1.99 plus tax). You’ll need to cut it down to micro-sim size (buy a Noosy SIM cutter on Amazon for less than $10 – you’ll need it to cut down the CC SIM as well). Refer to the post by pdx-jc on February 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm above for instructions to acess and edit the cellular network settings screen. It sounds scarier than it is. Just go slowly and make sure everything you enter is correct and be sure to swap the CC and T-Mobile SIMs per those instructions.

    My phone was purchased directly from Apple as an unlocked phone – no jailbreaking or other unlocking required. If you purchased yours from ATT and it is carrier-locked, I don’t know if the T-Mobile trick is going to work. If not, you have to decide is MMS is that valuable to you. iMessage with photos attached does still work even is MMS over the cellular network doesn’t.

  30. Yvonne: no, Verizon and Sprint uses a different network type (CDMA) than ATT (GSM). ConsumerCellular just rides on top of ATT’s network, so your phone has to be a GSM-type phone.

  31. I just installed the unlockit app on mky 4s iphone and it seems to allow me to use the data plan from CC. But it seems to be VERY VERY SLOW. Is this normal?

  32. Mark, data can be really slow if you are using the old Edge data network. You’ll see a little E in the title bar instead of a 3G. If you live in an area where there isn’t good 3G coverage you may be stuck with the slow data connection. Make sure that you’ve got 3G enabled though. Settings > General > Network > Enable 3G. You can also try turning on “Data Roaming” to see if it makes a difference. I always leave that on and have never paid extra for it. I don’t go outside my coverage area often either though.

  33. Mark, Thank you for the info. I checked my Settings > General > Network > but there was no enable 3G.

  34. Apologies in advance for what I’m sure is a remedial question. I currently have AT&T but my 2 year contract has at last, blessedly, expired. I have a Samsung smart phone. I want to buy an unlocked iPhone (probably a 3GS — it will be my first iPhone) and use it with Consumer Cellular. Can I take the SIM from the AT&T Samsung, cut it down, put it in the iPhone, and then switch over to for Consumer Cellular? Do any of you see a way I might trip myself up going that route? Thanks!

  35. Hey Jan. If you get a 3GS you won’t need to cut down the card. When you sign up for CC they’ll send you a new sim card.

  36. All systems are go on my iPhone 3GS. Bought it new off eBay (locked to AT&T) for $233. Signed up with Consumer Cellular and was sent a mini-SIM card (no cutting required). Did the unlockit thing and got data working immediately. Just jailbroke it tonite using redsn0w, purchased Tetherme from Cydia and made the necessary changes to get MMS working. I anticipate my cell phone bill each month will be $30 – $35 vs. $80 – $90 w/AT&T plus a 2-year contract. Thanks to all here for the help. πŸ™‚

  37. Mini-update to my post from yesterday. I’m a newbie at all this, in case it wasn’t obvious. This morning when I took my 3gs off the charger, I first noticed it showed no email, and I soon discovered I couldn’t launch Safari or Cydia. So after another couple hours of Googling, I learned the difference between untethered, semi-tethered and tethered jailbreaks. Apparently there is no untethered jailbreak for iOS 5.1, which is my firmware, so my jailbreak is “semi-tethered,” meaning I have to hook the iPhone up to my laptop and run redsn0w after a reboot to return use of Safari and Cydia. Probably a small price to pay to be “jailbroke” … but we shall see!

  38. Had a friend give me her iphone 3gs, AT&T. I went through all the steps using my sim card from CC (that is data enabled), and it still says no service. I tried powering down and then up, tried toggling airplane mode to no avail. I did hook it up to itunes at the beginning. It does show my phone number. When I looked under settings, phone, at the bottom it shows AT&T services – not sure if it should say that or not. Btw, my sim card came from a nokia from cc, not a smartphone, but I could access data. Could this make a difference? Any ideas on what I can do to get it working?

  39. Hey Ann. It sounds to me like it’s not activated. You need to plug it in to iTunes and make sure it’s been activated with the sim card in. Are you sure there’s nothing wrong with the iPhone?

  40. Hi Mark. Thanks for getting back with me. There are no problems with the iphone as far as I know, she just upgraded to 4G and didn’t need this one anymore. I plug into itunes and it does show the iphone and even upgraded to the newest version. So, does that mean it’s activated? If not, how do I make sure it is? Oh- and I do have the sim card in it.

  41. I think that I went through part of the setup process without the sim card in – not sure if I did or not. Would that make a difference?

  42. If the phone is on and you can get to the apps, you are probably ok. Usually you just put the sim card in and it finds the provider. It’s been a while since I did this but my first thought would be to put in the sim card, plug in to the USB and open iTunes. Click on your iPhone in iTunes and make sure you can manage the syncing etc in there. Usually when you put the sim card in, it just works.

  43. Just put in my husband’s sim card – motorola bravo from cc and it worked! So, it looks like I need to get a new sim card from CC. I know that mine is old, so maybe that was the problem. We’ll see how it goes when I get the new sim card. Thanks for your help! πŸ™‚

  44. Thank you!!!… worked like a charm on my unlocked iPhone3g. I very much appreciate you sharing in such an easy-to-follow format. It would have taken me hours to figure this one out on my own. πŸ™‚

  45. Update of T-Mobile SIM swap to enable MMS:
    1) SIM swap still works even after upgrading IOS to 5.1.1.
    2) I have found that if I leave out the website for the MMS UA Prof URL (leave it blank), I get more consistent results with MMS. Don’t know why.
    Again, the T-Mobile SIM swap requires an unlocked iPhone to enable the Cellular Data Network Settings menu.

  46. I purchased the TMobile sim card and tried the instructions that were listed on
    pdx-jc on February 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm. I also used the unlockit site app. That part worked fine but the tmobile sim didn’t. I swapped the sim cards but the tmobile would not show up as carrier. Not sure what to do now. I really want this iphone to send and recieve pics and video. Any Ideas? I really don’t want to switch carriers.

  47. From the Unlockit site…
    “If you want MMS to work as well and not jailbreak the iPhone then you can use the ‘SIM’ Swap method but this only seems to work on the iPhone 4S. People with 3GS/3G/4 have reported it doesn’t work at all.”

    I’m very surprised this would work for anyone. Sounds like a carrier profile exploit on the 4S to me. Nice!

    If you want the iPhone 3G, 3GS, or 4 to recognize the T-Mobile network, your best bet is to jailbreak and soft-unlock via ultrasn0w at which point you wouldn’t need the T-Mobile card anyway.

  48. hi Mark, I went to the jailbreak site 2.0 when I tried to slide the bar to start the jailbreak program I get the following.Version too new you need to downgread to 4.0 or earlier.before you can use this site.
    This phone was given to me so I am assuming it has been upgraded to the 5.0 version. How do you downgrade. I am not a computer expert, any advice.

    Thanks for all your help

  49. Hi Mark, I finally ran the jailbreak for my iphone3gs. Now I need to know how to get me mms picture and video to work on my phone.

    Thanks so much

  50. Thanks, Mark. I’ll check into Google Voice.

    And thanks for hosting this thread. It’s really informative.

  51. Hello, I have two questions – if I change my iPhone service from AT&T to CC, will I still be able to use all of the apps on my phone? Also, as far as I can tell, no one here has mentioned using a wifi connection – will that still be supported by CC? Thank you! This is a wonderfully informative site, and I hope I will be able to use all the info here.


  52. Hey Mary, your apps will continue to work. Wifi will continue to work. Neither one of these are tied to AT&T.

  53. Thank you, Mark! I am very technically challenged – I appreciate all the info you and others have shared! πŸ™‚


  54. #1 Thinking of buying my 1st iphone4 ($99 8GB) from Apple (not the 4s). I have read thru most the string of comments. Seems easy to connect to CC. Anything I might want to consider before or have to do once I get my AT&T iphone4?

    #2 my husband got talked into upgarding his flip phone to iphone with a new contract.:( I’m thinking of just saying he lost it. try to get out of the contract and connect it to CC too. Figure in the end we’ll still come out ahead. Thoughts on best ways to free his phone up to move to CC.

  55. Main thing is that you want to make sure it’s an AT&T iPhone, not the Verizon version. If you do a lot of picture or video messaging (MMS), this may not be the best option for you.

    With regard to your husband, I can’t in good conscience recommend anything other than to keep the contract. I understand where you are coming from. I’ve been there more than once. If you consider all the ways in which breaking a contract will affect you, I think you’ll find it’s not worth it. The effect is so much more than just financial.

  56. I bought a locked to AT&T iPhone off of eBay and went with consumer cellular. I cut the sim card myself, used this site’s info and everything works great (well haven’t tried to set up pic or vid messages, but otherwise great).

  57. When I selected “Install” I got the message: “Profile failed to install. The UUID for the Profile ‘APN Carrier Settings” is not unique.” I have an iPhone 3GS. Any suggestions as to what I need to do?

  58. You need to uninstall the existing profile first. There are instructions for how to do this earlier in the post.

  59. I currently have an htc desire from us cellular. Can I use this sim card in an iPhone and then get consumer cellular?

  60. Hey Amy, I can’t say for sure if US Cellular will work on your iPhone. I haven’t tested it personally. Try it out and let us know what happens!

  61. I was a having a little trouble getting the config file from, and then realized it might be going to spam. Sure enough…so, you may want to point that out to people.

  62. ok so if you can get it to work on a i phone what about a blackberry 8310 curve whats the trick for that one Anyone??

  63. I have an unlocked iPhone 3Gs that is jail broken. I purchased it off of ebay(an att version) then provisioned it as an iPod Touch via iTunes. I JB’d it so that I could run Backgrounder on it. I have Consumer Cellular (CC) voice service on my little Motorola flip phone but no data plan as of yet. I want the iPhone now to receive the CC service so I proceeded with these steps:
    >>Called CC and was sent the larger SIM card which I placed into the iPhone.
    >>Went to ‘’ and followed the instructions. Was sent the ‘settings.mobileconfig file and installed it via email on the iPhone.
    >>Turned Airplane mode on and off a few times. Rebooted the iPhone.

    So far, there is no cell service on the iPhone. What am I doing wrong?

  64. Can anyone help me get voicemail working? Use Google Voice (begrudgingly; all GV apps are terrible). But, my wife doesn’t want to use GV. Anyone know CC’s voicemail number? And, does the phone app update to show when new voicemails come in? I assume visual voicemail is impossible, but would live to be wrong. I should also note I am not willing to jailbreak.

    Thanks for all the great info letting me keep my iPhone when switching to CC.

  65. 1. Remove all existing provisioning profiles and then re-add the CC profile.
    2. Try a clean jailbroken iPhone (no provisioning profiles installed). Test your sim card in a different phone. If both the sim card and the iPhone appear to be activated and configured correctly, you may have a hardware issue on your iPhone. That’s not terribly likely but it is possible.

    Just be sure to test each device/component separately until you can narrow it down to the source of the issue.

  66. Thanks Mark. Sorry for being a pain in the butt. Though I did get the problem fixed. Turns out Consumer Cellular never switched over service from my old phone. Now they did and now it’s working! Cellular and data service for <$25 on an iPhone. Zoweee!

  67. Thanks so much for putting this website together and making it so easy to set up our 3gs phones to access data from Consumer Cellular. We have both a 3gs that was used on AT&T’s network and a new no contract 3gs that we purchased directly from Hong Kong. Your program worked on both of them so they both now can access our data plan from Consumer Cellular. I did have to turn both phones off and back on after installing the software before the update worked but you made it so easy to install from your website. Thank you. When we update to the Iphone 4, we will get used AT&T phones to put on Consumer Cellular’s system because you don’t need to purchase the more expensive contract free phone. Thanks again.

  68. Mark, were you recommending that to me? I can’t jailbreak this phone. How do I remove the provisioning profiles? Am I best off wiping it and starting over?

    Anyone have visual voicemail working?

  69. Yes Dan it was to you, but you can ignore the “jailbroken” part. You don’t need to jailbreak to add/remove profiles. Read the post a bit closer. It tells how to remove them as well as add them.

  70. Mark, I can call and text but I have no data. I purchase the data plan with CC, and still nothing. My phone is jailbroken (something that I wouldn’t like to lose), I followed your steps but still nothing. Any tips/advice? thanks

  71. So I got an email of the monthly CC newsletter stating that Iphone 3GS (Refurbed) are now available through CC for $200. I have a Iphone 3GS for approx a year now and very happy with it but my question is will CC now provide tech support if I had an issue with mine? I would assume they would. Not sure if they would say “Well you didnt purchase the phone through CC so no go”.

  72. That’s great news! Sounds like the community has shown CC that there is a demand for iPhone on their service. Great job to everyone here who has participated!

    I’m not sure how CC would treat support in this case. I would think that they wouldn’t be able to support MMS but everything else can be provisioned over the air. Even then, I’m not sure if they have the appropriate staff to support it. We’ll have to ask. πŸ™‚

  73. O.k. this may be a “stupid” question but I’m going to ask anyway….This summer I bought an unlocked (not jailbroken) Iphone 3gs from EBay. I’ve been using it, thanks to this post, with my CC service and love it! I’ve read all over that if you upgrade the ios then your lose your “unlocked” status. However, now that CC is selling iphone 3gs, is it that important that my phone remain “unlocked”? If I upgrade to the new ios will my phone still work with CC and what will happen to all of my apps and data? I should say that all I care about is being able to have talk, text, and web. Picture messaging is not important to me. I have been, and can, live without it. I hope this post made sense. I want to upgrade ios but can’t afford for my phone to quit working! Help please!

  74. Hey Christie,

    The only stupid question is the one that never gets asked.

    If you are factory unlocked (officially done by Apple) then upgrading iOS will not affect the unlock.

    There are two other types of unlock, both of which will be affected by an iOS upgrade. There’s a software unlock which requires that you be jailbroken and a physical sim card overlay chip. You would likely know it if you were using either one of these unlock methods. πŸ™‚

    You are most likely safe to upgrade. Even if you did lose your unlock, as stated in this post, you don’t need the unlock or jailbreak for CC to work on your iPhone.

    None of your apps will be lost. If they are, you can simply go to the AppStore and redownload them. Before you upgrade you should sync your iPhone to iTunes. This will sync all the data from your individual apps. You can read more about the upgrade process and saving your data on Apple’s website.

  75. Thanks! That’s what I was thinking but I just wanted to be certain! Thanks again for doing this article/post!

  76. Do I have to have a previous at&t account for this to work? I was thinking of just getting an at&t iphone on ebay. Could I still use consumer cellular for it?

  77. I tried this procedure for an iPhone 3gs, but the site sent the file to dropbox by default; I didn’t see an option to have it emailed. The file is now in my dropbox but I can’t open it and am not sure how to complete step 5. I also saw that the unlockit site showed how to change the APN settings manually by going to Settings –> General –> Network –> Cellular Data Network, but there’s no option for Cellular Data Network on the phone. Any insight? Thanks!

  78. Eli, no, you just need an AT&T iPhone.

    Doug, just use your computer to email the file in dropbox to your iPhone email account.

  79. Thank you. Emailing the file to myself was a good idea; I should have thought of that myself. But the file that put in my dropbox was actually called ConfigurationProfile; it’s not settings.mobileconfig. When I tried to open it on the iPhone, nothing happened. It just went to a blank screen, and there was no option to install anything. So let me back up and say that I went to the site on the iPhone, clicked Create APN, chose Consumer Cellular, and clicked Create APN. That’s when it gave me the Configuration Profile to open in Dropbox. Am I going wrong somewhere on the unlockit site? I appreciate your time and help!

  80. Doug, you probably have mobileconfig files associated with dropbox on your iPhone. Try uninstalling DropBox, then install the config from unlockit, then reinstall DropBox.

  81. I have patiently waited out my obnoxious contract with Verizon and am free and clear to go with CC. I would LOVE to purchase an iphone 4 on my own and use CC as my provider, but was told by CC Customer service that the iphone 4 will not work on their network. Obviously, from this thread that is not true. I just want to make sure I get the right iphone 4 for CC. I’m thinking of buying a used one from a private party. Will you please tell EXACTLY what the iphone 4 needs to have/needs to not have in order to work with CC? Obviously, I have no idea about these things! Thank you so much.

  82. Okay..I’ve seen that the iphone 4 does NOT need to be jail broken or unlocked to use with Consumer Cellular…just needs to be the AT&T version as you mentioned. I’ve called and talked to their customer service reps twice and both times been told that the iphone 4 absolutely will NOT work with CC. Why is this? Thanks again for all your help. I really want the iphone 4 with consumer cellular, just want to make sure it will work for sure before I buy the phone.

  83. I have an unlocked iPhone 3GS that I currently use with AT&T. I want to give this phone to my father, who is a current Consumer Cellular customer.

    Question: Is there any way to set up Visual Voicemail to work with Consumer Cellular? Is this possible using the native iOS software. Can a third party app like Youmail make it work?

    Thanks for the post.

  84. I recently purchased an unlocked phone on ebay. Motorola support indicated it has a code of HK, which I presume is Hong Kong. Consumer Cellular says they can’t identify it, so no web. They also said APN settings don’t matter if they can’t identify the phone first (model, etc.). I’ve tried different APNs, nothing works. I know data is enabled since it was working on the phone I got from CC. This is a phone that came out of the box and has ATT settings, which I deleted according to one set of instructions. Can this work or should I send it back?

  85. There may be a way to get it working but I wouldn’t know how without more knowledge of how CC limits phones from that region. Opinion: send it back and buy one from the USA.

  86. I got your process to work and its great, Thanks! My only problem is that my service has been pretty awful. I know At&t service isn’t fantastic but consumer cellular says that they have free roaming for phones. Is the roaming just for data or can I call and text with it too? How can I enable it? Could it be a problem with my Sim card?

  87. Since the Iphone IOS6 update went out, has anyone tried to change the APN for a AT&T (non consumer) Cellular phone? I have Consumer Cellular and recently replaced my Iphone4 w/ a new one. So I went ahead and got my phone all hooked and, calling, email etc and let the phone update and then went to program the APN… but the new software update changed the Settings tabs and I dont seem to see a way to make the needed changes for the APN. Wish I had done the APN before the update. I t did the Unlockit software from Sarari but I cant see that it worked so I have uninstalled it. Tips? Help?
    Love the site

    I assume if the APN instructions have not been updated for this last Apple update, I can reset my phone the past version & then change my APN?

    I aslo saw some new tips for getting the MMS to work for a iphone4 w/ Consumer Cellular but w/the new IOS6 not sure it would work?

  88. I just bought a AT&T iPhone 4 off eBay put in the trimmed cc sim and got voice to work. Then went to the cc site and enabled data. Then went to unlockit and ran the config program. All works. phone is not unlocked or jailbroken Just follow the instructions

  89. I’m unable to get the MMS T-Mobile SIM trick to work with iOS 6 on a 3GS. It appears the settings clear after I back out of the Cellular Data Network screen. Also, should I blank out the tethering items? “phone” appears in the APN field.

  90. I bought an att iphone 3gs running 5.1.1 on ebay. All I did was put my consumer cellular sim card in it. I could talk and text. Then I set up the wifi and went to and did create APN and installed the app. There wasn’t an email like in the instructions above. I turned wifi off and tested data and it worked. I tried texting a picture and it worked and I could receive pictures in a text as well. I didn’t jailbreak or use itunes or reboot it. Everything is working and I’m very pleased with a $100 iphone and $28/month service, although I might be increasing my data from 50mb/month. Thanks for all of the great information, it could not have been easier.

  91. I was mistaken on the text with a picture, it is successful with someone else who has an iphone(sprint), but it fails to people without an iphone.

  92. I appears that whether your phone is locked or unlocked is more of a factor in whether the T-Mobile SIM swap will work or not. I acquired an iP4 which had been unlocked by ATT and am able to perform this little trick. I also have a locked iP4, which will not give me the magic cell data menu item, so I can’t use outbound MMS on that unit. I have everything working on the unlocked phone running 5.1.1. I am about to update it to iOS 6x and will report on whether the changes persist through the update and whether the APN file works properly.

  93. OK, I can’t quite confirm that I have everything working under IOS6 yet, but I can say that the menus work a bit differently. Now, once you get to the magic menu, if you swap out the T-Mobile SIM, it “pages” back to the preceding menu page automatically. If you are quick about getting your CC SIM installed again, you can still get back to the cell data settings menu. Once you put in the values, WAIT until you see that “My Network” is back at the top of the screen, so that when you “save”, it gets associated with your cell number at CC. I think most failures are because people are nervous about the process and don’t wait long enough for the phone to be correctly synced back with CC before saving and getting out of that menu. I know I had to do it several times before I figured this out.

    Still doing testing to see that SMS and MMS are working correctly, but have another slight unrelated problem that is preventing me from finishing quickly. Once I get it sorted, I’ll finish and report back.

  94. I have a AT&T iPhone 4 purchased on e-bay. I believe it is a locked phone. I am running iOS6.0.1. I tried creating a new APN for Consumer Cellular using the app above. I still am not able to get cellular data service. Is there a problem with the iOS6.0.1 upgrade or am I doing or not doing something wrong. WIll the app need to be upgraded for the 6.0.1 update. Also, I am using the Consumer Cellular SIM, which I cut with a SIM cutter, my data plan is turned on. PLEASE HELP!

  95. Hey! Thought i would let some people know i was not able to get data working with these steps, however without jailbreaking the phone calls and texts worked instantly after cutting the card and i just realized that i can send picture messages over wifi and maybe over cell service too havent tried it yet. When someone sends you a picture you need to bein wifi to look at it from another source (it gives you a hyperlink instead of a picture but you can still look at it!)
    Just an update, i think it might have to do with iOs6 and the new text/wifi feature =)

  96. I have an iphone 3gs running 5.1.1 and have had voice, text and data and have been trying to get MMS working for the last month. I couldn’t use ultrasn0w because my phone has the wrong baseband and I don’t want to try to change it. Today I saw Mark’s comment on using tetherme, I got it and configured it with the field values specified by the site. I am now able to recieve picture texts, send picture texts, receive group MMS and send group MMS to people without iphones. Thanks so much for all of the information on this site, please donate to the site if you find it valuable.

  97. Folks,
    You might be pleased to know that if you have the iPhone Configuration Utility you can make your own profile and install it yourself with the phone port connected to the computer usb. Only need to set
    APN: att.mvno
    The mms issue is still there but the other methods already posted could be used for that.

  98. Poushag, I don’t believe you are quite correct in what you are saying.

    Please provide full details.

    The MMS settings cant be changed without the Tmobile card and even with that, it wont work on the 3GS.

  99. I have an iphone 4 locked to AT&T, not jail broken…everything works with my cut down cc sim. I send picture messages with iMessage no problem. I upgraded to iOS 6.01 and everything still works great! I am now ready to buy an iphone 5 off Craigslist, anyone have any success with it? I realize I will have to cut down from micro to nano size now.

  100. Thanks for your help. I have an ATT iphone4 that the contract has expired on and I’m now month to month. CC sent a newer type sim that you can use as either a sim or as a micro sim. The customer service person said these are brand new and didn’t even know if I would get one or not, but I lucked out. He was VERY helpful. Didn’t need to use the sim cutter I ordered to cut it down, it just separates into a micro if you want. I asked for a new number to test with and so far everything works. I got the CC data plan and had to go to the site and check the data box as you said to do. I also found that MMS with a photo attached did initially not work correctly, but after turning the phone off and on a few times and turning airplane mode off and on a few times, things started working properly. The unlockit site made setting up the VPN for CC so easy, I thought I had missed something. Make sure you access their site on your iphone via wifi (I got there by goggling in Safari). It makes the process a no brainer.
    Thanks again for your site. I wanted to make sure my phone worked without any problems before I converted my wife’s iphone4. After we are both on CC we will be saving about half over ATT’s service, about $90 a month. Definitely worth the time and effort spent on learning how to make the change.

  101. I am unable to connect with the cell phone network using an unlocked iPhone 4 running 6.0.1. I have 3 bars on AT&T, but I get “No Service” when I insert the Consumer Cellular SIM. I have tried powering off & on (connected to iTunes or not) and toggling Airplane Mode. I was forced to upgrade to 6.0.1 when I unlocked the phone to try T Mobile (no reception at my home-so I cancelled it) and apparently there is no official way to downgrade iOS. Has anyone succeeded in connecting an iPhone 4, 4S, or 5 running 6.0.1 that was not connected to Consumer Cellular before upgrading? John, was your success with 6.0.1?

  102. Hey Tom, so you are officially unlocked through Apple right? If you are jailbroken, you’ll want to make sure that the “Activate” phone option is NOT selected while jailbreaking. This has prevented me from connecting in the past. I’m on a 3GS with iOS 5.1.1.

  103. Good news! Consumer Cellular now gives tech support for iPhone 4 (running 6.0.1), at least for activation and setting the APN. I needed to call Consumer Cellular’s Customer Service team at 888-533-6942 to get my SIM card activated–the activation code on the website did not work–and after getting connected to the network I was instructed to go to to set the APN.
    Does anyone know if it is possible to set up a local hotspot using an iPhone on CC?

  104. Tom, It sounds as if you have your situation resolved with iOS 6.0.1. I am still running 5 – didn’t want to give up google maps.

  105. It’s really easy to set up a hotspot using the jailbreak tweak TetherMe. It enables the official Apple tethering feature.

  106. Just a follow up on converting mine and my wife’s iPhone4 from ATT to CC. The unlock instructions from ATT worked fine on both phones. One phone I followed the instructions to the letter and on the other I thought I had made a mistake, but I guess there’s no way to really screw it up because both phones are working fine. I had changed the APN setting using the method on my phone before unlocking and porting over of my phone number from ATT. On my wife’s phone I had not gone through the APN setting process before unlocking and porting over her phone number from ATT to CC and was initially not able to access the web using 3G. I could only access using wifi. So I went through the unlockit process on her phone by accessing (through google) the unlockit site using Safari on her phone and now the 3G access works great. So I guess it doesn’t make any difference when in the process you set the correct APN for CC, but it must be done at some time, apparently. I didn’t use the that Tom (12-20-2012) suggested because I tried the unlockit method first and it worked.
    Thanks again for your help in getting us through this process. I looked in a lot of places for help in going from ATT to CC with an iPhone4 and everyone should be aware that this site is really all you need. Great job.

  107. Bought a at&t iphone 3gs off ebay. Have sim card from consumer cellular with “no service”. Have tried lots of different fixes and current version is 4.1 with modem firmware of 5.13.04. Just want to get the phone functioning as a phone with consumer cellular at this point. Any help would be appreciated or just put me out of my misery and say it can’t be done!

  108. Chris, here are some things to try…
    – If you jailbroke the iPhone, make sure you didn’t choose to “activate” or “hacktivate”. If you did choose this option, you may consider re-jailbreaking.
    – Test the sim card in another phone. That will tell you the card is good.
    – If you can, test the phone with a different sim card. That will tell you the iPhone is good.

    If none of these things work, you probably have a broken iPhone. When you insert a CC sim card, typically the phone signal just works (unless you hacktivated it).

    It’s also possible that the device was jostled in shipping and that the sim tray isn’t pressing the activation switch inside the iPhone. See this post for more details.

  109. I purchased an unlocked iPhone 5, cut down my SIM to nano size, but it will not work on Consumer Cell. Just says cannot activate. Any ideas? Do I need to go buy a T Mobile SIM and try that first? I am new to all this, so not sure where to start. Help πŸ˜‰

  110. Mark, Thanks so much for your reply. I downgraded the phone to the current version and have done lots of different things to try to get it working. I may have activated or hactivated at some point. Just tried to jailbreak agaiine with redsn0w win9.6rc19 and chose to install cyndia only. Didn’t see an option to jailbreak without activating. Can you help me with that?????

  111. By the way, when I re-jailbreak the phone shows searching, then “waiting for activation this may take some time” appears. Immediate when the waiting/dismiss message appears it changes to no service. Don’t know if that means anything.

  112. Chris, you can “de-activate” your iphone in redsn0w. It is one of the checkbox options when you click the Jailbreak button.

    Kim, if your iPhone is officially unlocked it should work with any carrier. Technically, it doesn’t even need to be unlocked to work on Consumer Cellular.

  113. Okay, deactivated in redsn0w. Now only emergency calling available and wanting me to connect to itunes. Still says no service. Do I need to connect to itunes? If so, what version. Thanks so very much for help

  114. Itunes has detected this phone is in recovery mode, you must restore. Do you want to restore and go back to factory settings for this phone?

  115. iPhone 5 success: I have an AT&T iPhone 5 (not unlocked) that works fine on CC with a cut-down SIM card. Phone service, data, and text work but MMS does not. I have not tried the T-Mobile SIM-card trick so I cannot report on whether that works or not. Here is a hint for people with a new CC SIM card who get “No Service”: I needed to call CC customer support to have service for my new SIM cards turned on; web activation did not work for me. The good news is that they are now fine with iPhones, even the iPhone 5.

  116. Glad I found your site. I have an iPhone 3G (AT&T) now on Consumer Cellular. Downloaded the unlockit APN onto phone. Couldn’t get internet. After three calls to Consumer Cellular and finally leaving a message for tech support, I found your site and all I needed to do was to power down the device and power back up. Working fine thanks to your website.

  117. I get confusing answers when I try to find if IPad service is available from Consumer Cellular. Their representatives say no but I read on various sites that it is available through some means through their service. Can you tell me if this is possible, and if so, how to do this.

  118. Has anyone found any way to get Visual Voice Mail to work with CC? Jim on June 6, and Dan on Aug 23 asked about this and VVM seems to not be doable as of then. I was told by CC today that it is still not available but wanted to see if anyone has figured this one out. Everything else on my iphone4 works great thanks to your help and guidance.
    Also, using Apple maps instead of Google maps has really reduced my data usage with CC. Data wasn’t an issue with my old ATT unlimited (the original plan as first offered by them) data usage plan but can be a problem with CC. Now use Google maps on wifi and Apple maps otherwise. Thanks again to everyone.

  119. I got a 3GS from CC last month. It worked for text and data right off. They told me it would not picture text to non-iphones. I still don’t know if that is a carrier thing or Apple thing. Seems odd pix text would be selective. Anyway, it seemed I couldnt receive non-iphone mms either.
    So, I tried some of the tricks I’ve discovered here and elsewhere on line short of jailbreaking. I did the T-mobile sim card swap that opens the Cellular Network Settings and used the settings for Comsumer Cellular. Still cant send pics except to daughters iphone, but I can receive them now. Am I seriously going to have to jailbreak/plist edit to get send capability? Everything works but that. Norm

  120. I am old and technologically challenged. Can I just send you my phone and have you make it work for me? I have an iphone 5 and just signed up for Consumer Cellular. πŸ™‚

  121. New unlocked IPhone 4S with IOS 6. Used info on this site including reference to unlockit website to successfully enable data. Prior attempt to enable data by using instructions from CC failed because instructions were inapplicable to my 4S with IOS 6. On the other hand, the unlockit website is now better than ever, and just visiting the site and following the instructions now works WITHOUT the necessity of utilizing the email delivery as outlined above. Just download right from the sight onto the IPhone and turn the IPHone off and on several times. Very grateful to the info and comments on this website.

  122. The websites have changed a little in the last year, but your guidance got my 4S working on Consumer Cellular. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

  123. I purchased an unlocked iPhone 5 from the Apple store. With the sim from Consumer Cellular (CC), I could call and text (only to one person at a time). The Data was not initially set up. CC customer service directed me to their website, via the iphone 5, to install their APN settings. Now, Data is fixed, but I still cannot Group Text or send pictures via text. Does anyone have a fix for allowing Group Text and pictures to be sent over CC’s service on the ip5?

  124. I continue to have issues — cannot get my Consumer Cellular web service to work on my iPhone 3G. My talk and text works fine….also if I’m at home, WiFi access works using my home internet connection. I just want to be able to access web when I’m out around town and traveling. Help?

  125. Grrr The customer service at CC is horrible. They keep telling me my ipad would use too much bandwidth. Duh, I don’t plan to watch youtube on it, I want to 1 check email and 2 use navigation. I don’t think either of those would be a big deal. Also the CC staff says incompatable and their user interface would not let me enable data for the phone. (keeps unchecking the plan checkbox.

  126. Thanks so much. Consumer Cellular online faq somewhere told me to browse to with safari to get my iphone 3g to work with web. Didn’t work. They didn’t mention turning data on at the Consumer Cellular site either. Following your instructions got me connected. Thanks so much.

  127. Thank you! was all I needed to get data going on my iPhone 3G. Praise the Lord! Woot!

  128. I have to manually dial my number to get my voicemail. AT&T voicemail button is not consumer cellular’s. otherwise everything is ok with my iPhone 4. Don’t know about pictures and video without jail breaking.

  129. Tested on iPhone 5 with iOS 6.1.4. Not jail broken. As expected, everything works except MMS. I’m blown away that Apple still hasn’t made a way to provision MMS over the air.

  130. I purchased a used AT&T iPhone 4. I got the cc sim card and installed the APN app. The phone was unlocked before I purchased it.I verified with customer service that I had the data plan. The message I get is that I’m not connected to cellular service. Any thoughts? I ran through a lot of the above but couldn’t figure out anything that applied to this situation.Thanks.

  131. Consumer Cellular called and had me remove the APN installed by and install their APN. The data now works. Thanks for all the information provided.

  132. Is there any way to use these methods on another type of phone (that has a sim card slot)? I have already setup three iphones using this but I am wondering on if you can use like a samsung galaxy s3 or something else like it.

  133. Hi Eli,

    I use a galaxy s3 and my consumer celluar simm card that I cut down with a simm cutter. Everthing works fine.
    I would like to try an Iphone 5 but I don’t want to give up the ability to send\receive mms.

  134. Hi Mark,
    Your website helped me get my first iPhone (3GS) working with consumer cellular about 2 years ago. (Thanks again!) I am now up to an iPhone 5, factory unlock, not jail broken, and I had a couple of questions. My phone does not pick up LTE (while my iPad with AT&T does in the same area). Also it goes from 4G to Edge but never 3G. I am wondering if the phone is defective or if it has something to do with CC’s service. Any thoughts? Does anyone else here have an iPhone 5?

  135. Hey Claudia, I have an iPhone 5. I don’t get LTE with it on Consumer Cellular. I do get 4G. Not sure about 3G. I expect this has something to do with the CC’s arrangement with AT&T but I don’t know for sure.

  136. Thank-you, Mark. Sounds like it has more to do with CC than a phone issue. Oh, and FYI, I tried the T-mobile sim card trick with iphone 5 to enable MMS (several times) and could not get it to work. πŸ™

  137. Has anyone been able to get mms using their iphone 5 and cc? That is, besides sending/receiving from non-iphone user’s.

  138. Hi

    I have been using consumer cellular for the last 2 years and I totally love it. It so fits my liftstyle. I been using it for the last year with my AT&T galaxy s 3. I going to be switching phones to an AT&T iPhone 4S. I was wondering, because I have a very small data plan 50 mg, is it pretty easy to to turn data on and off ? It’s fairly easy on my galaxy .

  139. With iOS 6 it’s like this…
    Settings > General > Cellular > Cellular Data (toggle)

    …unless you are jailbroken, in which case you can swipe down sbsettings and toggle it in a single press.

    iOS 7 adds a new feature called “Control Center” for common toggles but it doesn’t look like it will include data.

  140. I’m finally getting my first iphone. Won the bid on ebay at&t, 4s,32gb, it’s in the mail and on its way and I’m so excited! He’s what I’m not excited about. I’ve always loved the look of the icons and how they open and close (icons all meet in the middle). I know it’s silly but I like it. I so dislike the look of ios7 and I see they got rid of how the icons open and close. It looks like android! My question is do I have to update to 7? Is there any consequence to not updating?


  141. Congrats Laura. No, you don’t have to upgrade, but most apps will eventually migrate to iOS 7 and you won’t be able to download the updates if you stay on 6. That doesn’t stop you from using the apps you’ve already downloaded.

  142. Can anyone give me any inisight as to why my wife 3GS suddenly wont pickup WIFI anywhere? We both have plenty of other stuff connecting to WIFI at home including my 3GS. Wifi is enable, it tries to connect but the clock intermittenly spins. Reset Newtork settings didnt work either. Thinking its the wifi antenna but not certain. Any thoughts? I know it could be a number of things but i think I tried everything accept replace the antenna.

  143. Paul: I know some 3G’s have a soldering problem with their WiFi; not sure if this is true for 3GS. There are some solutions on YouTube, one as simple as putting the phone in the sun for a while. These did not work for me; I can only get WiFi reception by leaving my phone in the freezer, and then it only lasts momentarily.

  144. Hi,

    Unlocked my AT&T iphone using Everything worked on my 4s except mms (unless using mms to other iphone) I tried the t-mobile trick and was able to access the “data network screen” and put in all the parameters per pdx-jc above but there is no way to save this info on my phone. Pdx-jc says to save by clicking on my network above. The only place it say “my network” is next to the time and that doesn’t save anything.
    I’m wondering when he says unlocked phone he means AT&T unlocked and that’s why I can’t save the information? If I need it unlocked does the prior owner have to get in touch with AT&T as I bought it off eBay.


  145. To unlock through Apple, you need your original receipt. Or you can jailbreak and possibly do it with ultrasn0w.

  146. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for all the advice. I am afraid of jailbreaking. I bought this phone on eBay so don’t have a receipt from apple. I have been doing a lot of reading, trying to educate myself about jailbreaking, and unlocking. I went to apple store online and read that if you wanted to unlock your phone you have to go carrier the phone is locked too. Than I found sites ( that for a fee will unlock your AT&T iphone) . Mark sorry to ask another question but I’m so confused. In fact, I thought that using was unlocking my phone now I realized it just changes apn. So question for you is: is apple unlock and at&t unlock accomplishing the same thing? Thanks

  147. Very interesting website, very useful information. I am planning on purchasing an iPhone 5. Siri will work thru CC correct? But I will find it difficult to send pictures with or without data? Or better question may be what are the limitations with ios7 on iphone 5?

  148. Siri requires a data connection. Yes, it will work through CC as long as you’ve properly configured data. I’m using it on the iPhone 5 now. I can’t get LTE but 4G works fine.

    You’ll need MMS working to send pictures unless you just email them.


    I am in the process of switching my family from Verizon ~$300/mo to Consumer Cellular (CC) ~$100/mo which uses the AT&T network as an MVNO reseller. $30 for minutes and 1 phone + $10 each phone x 3 + 2GB Data $30 (each additional GB $15)

    I know another family that made the switch to iphone 3GS with CC…I used them as a referral and we both got a $10 credit.

    They give 5% off for AARP members $16/year or their under 50 “affiliates” $12/year….Spend $12 or 16 to save $50- Yes

    Consumer Cellular does not offer MMS through the iPhone…So that means you may email video and photos and cannot send those as text-messages.

    I now have 4s, 5 & 5s AT&T iphones… CC reports if the phone works with AT&T it will work through them

    Consumer cellular has yet to offer nano-sim cards and there are plenty of templates and videos about cutting down sim cards with sharp scissors to the right dimensions and you can thin the card a bit with an emory board or some sand paper… Can be done in a couple of minutes per card after you watch the video an print a micro-sim template.

    I am still testing the waters from least crucial user (younger daughter) to most crucial (mom)…first iphone 4s for daughter. Then iphone 5 and 5s

    The 4s works with the micro-sim card provided by Consumer Cellular

    Exported contacts from Verizon as vCard-3.

    Imported to icloud

    Rep advised me to call in to port my numbers from Verizon then call in again after number activate Data
    moved over

    They needed Verizon acct #

    Phone number ported over in a couple of minutes on 1st phone and they report it may take up to 24 hours for Verizon to work their magic

    After first phone was ported I logged into CC website to enable data on all 4 lines

    Then called into CC again so they could text me the link for needed APN-updater and get me to read them the iphones IMEI # to complete the data activation on the phone.

    I restarted the phone and I had the web without Wi-Fi = Cellular Wireless Data plan working

    Phone indicates 4G in some locations- 4G LTE may come at a later date for the 5 and 5s -service/105179#sthash.WLG2mi4V.dpuf

    Set up voicemail and my daughter’s phone seems good so far

    I just ported my AT&T iPhone 5 to Consumer Cellular… imessage and facetime and visual voicemail all work for me : )

    As far as I know NO multimedia messaging service (MMS) means I can NOT send (or receive) audio files, ringtones, photos, and videos to any other phone via text message…A small price to pay, me thinks, to save $200/month for my family of 4 iPhone users.

    I asked the Consumer Cellular Rep this morning about why not promoting sim card cutting for the iPhone 5, 5c & 5s… and she said that if the card were to get damaged and they let customers know about the ability to cut SIM cards that they would need to eat the cost….Seems like an untapped buisiness opportunity to me.

    I would make one tweak and that is to use the consumer cellular iphone apn updater rather than the apn updater described on the site above…

    See: How do I set up Data for my iPhone?

  150. Hi Mark,
    I’m posting because since downloading ios7 I have a problem with the personal hotspot setting continually searching. This is draining my battery too fast and I was wondering if anyone else has this problem and if there is a solution.

    Obviously with consumer cellular I don’t have the option of a personal hotspot. If I turn off data and then restart my phone it will stop but start up again later.

    Claudia (iphone 5, factory unlocked, ios7)

  151. Hi Claudia. Thanks for bringing the question forward! I don’t have this feature enabled so I’m unable to do any testing. If anyone else has any insight, please share!

  152. I have now upgraded to an iphone 4S with ios7 and am very happy. I bought it unlocked from Apple as soon as it dropped $100 after the new 5C came out. I was going to buy the 5C with the rumored “cheap iphone”. Ha! Thanks to Mark and this site I was upgrading from the 3G that took me several days to get it to work with CC to the 4S that other people have got to work. I wouldn’t have spent that much money on the phone if other people hadn’t posted that it worked. I can’t believe how easy it was. I didn’t even have to do the TMoble sim switch thing, which I was prepared to do. All I had to do was go to CC on Safari and download the APN from them.
    I do have the same problem that Claudia has though, that hot spot setting keeps searching on my phone too.

  153. Consumer Cellular really needs to provide nano sim cards for iPhone 5’s. Otherwise, you will miss a huge part of the market of ATT customers that want to switch as most iPhones sold since mid 2012 are iphone 5 models including the newer iPhone 5c and 5s. Having to cut down a sim card should not be an option

  154. Iphone MMS on Consumer Cellular no jailbreak- I use an app called Messageme to send mms (photos) to my friends. The downfall is that you have to talk everyone into downloading the app on there phone. There is also an online version of Messageme. I love it no jailbreak needed.

  155. I bought a new unlocked apple iPhone 5s and when I installed the CC profile I still could not get internet over the cell network only wifi. After many days of trying many things and re installing and reading web posts I finally just turned off the LTE that no wonder ever suggested and bingo, it flies now! CC techs are so ignorant they never even suggested that

  156. Yah, that makes perfect sense. I think CC doesn’t pay for the LTE band. That’s one reason they are so much less expensive. Good info! Thanks Dan!

  157. Just an FYI. Now that CC is offering the iphone 5, LTE is available if you have one. You just need to contact them with the info that you have an iphone 5 and you want to get LTE. I did that and they said they would need to send out a new sim card to activate the LTE. (I purchased an iphone 5 earlier this year, before CC began offering them and have been on 4G)

    (They said that right now LTE is available only to iphone 5 users. It is not yet available for Androids with LTE capability.)

    I’m hoping this will also take care of the hotspot searching issue – I’ll let you know if it does!

    Thanks Mark for a great site to share info.

  158. UPDATE:
    So after 3 tries to get the right SIM, (first was not nano, second had a new nummber assigned) I first deleted unlockit’s settings and installed from CC’s website (just in case). Also, the last time I talked to CC I told them I wanted to use the hotspot feature. (The person said that it was not available but I had seen on CC’s Facebook page that it was, so I told her that – she checked with supervisor and she said that it was true) The correct SIM came today and after activation and turning it on and off, voila! LTE and a working hotspot! I don’t plan on using the hotspot much but at least I can turn it off now and won’t have it constantly spinning.

  159. One more thing I just found out. I went to use my LTE and data wouldn’t work. If I toggle LTE off then it shows 3G and data works. I called CC and they said that they use Clearsky for data and even though it says 3G it is running on LTE (in LTE areas of course). (Iphone 5, not jailbroken, unlocked)

  160. Claudia, that’s awesome! Thanks for reporting back! Sounds like I’m going to have to order a few new sim cards from CC. The hotspot is a nice surprise too!

  161. Hi – I’ve had an Iphone with CC for years. They now carry them and support them so the special provisioning *much easier to do with the Iphone configuration utility) are not needed, they provide a micro SIM and the only (gak) kicker is you need to upgrade to IOS 7. Not a good idea for iPhone 4 folks. I have heard ist slows the phone way down,

  162. I am using CC for voice and data service on my iPhone5 with no problem. However, I have not had any success with my iPad Air. I have swapped Nano SIM Cards between the two devices. Both SIM cards work flawlessly with the iPhone, but neither work in the iPad. CC has not been able to help, and the Apple rep simply referred me to this website.

    I have followed the guidance for changing APN, but no joy.

    Is anybody out there using CC data service with their iPad?

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