How to Buy an iPhone as a Christmas Gift

by Michael on December 16, 2011 · 0 comments

My wife has recently been hinting that she’d like an iPhone to replace her current dumbphone. Given that she’s eligible for an upgrade and Christmas is coming up, I figured the timing was perfect. But how to buy it without her knowing?

My primary concern had to do with activating the phone… If I don’t activate it, can I get the upgrade pricing? And if I do activate, will it knock her old phone out of service? I don’t want to give away the surprise.

I came up with one possible scenario on my own — activating the new iPhone and then rushing home to swap the SIM card into her old phone until Christmas, but that would be risky and kind of a pain.

Edit to add: Actually, I’m not sure this would work, as the iPhone uses a “micro” SIM, which is much smaller than a standard SIM card.

So instead, I did the obvious. I called the local AT&T store to ask. And guess what? They said that they can sell me a phone with the SIM — presumably extending the contract at the same time — and then we could call 611 on Christmas after I give it to her to actually activate it.

So if you’d like to give someone an iPhone as a Christmas present without them knowing about it, and without having to resort to an iPhone gift card (which is kind of anti-climactic) it can be done.

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