Confirmed: iPhone 3G hack – buy, cancel contract, keep phone – sort of works

Reader Mike writes:

I recently sent you guys an e-mail about how I was going to try to get the iPhone 3G and then cancel the AT&T service within the first 30 day to avoid an early termination fee. Well, the [charming folks] got me. I tried canceling it and it turns out if you cancel within the first 30 days Apple AND AT&T want you to return the iPhone wherever you bought it from, PLUS pay a 10% restocking fee. So, luckily I bought 2 of them for $660 with tax included. I am going to pay almost $400 in termination fees but one iPhone is on eBay right now and it is racked up to $600 so far (4 days left). Hopefully it will go higher so some of my money will get paid back to me and I’ll eventually just be paying the normal $300 for the first iPhone that I’m keeping. To wrap everything up you will ALWAYS have to pay an early termination fee or turn in your iPhone no matter what. Can’t they just give us a break?

I bought a SIM card called iSmart. sold it to me. My T-Mobile service shows up for a little bit then goes back to No Service. The SIM card goes right under my T-Mobile SIM and I insert them together.

So wait a second, Michael, you actually got what you wanted: you bought two iPhones, got out of the contract, and basically made back your entire investment in aftermarket sales. With a little elbow grease an know how you can easily get the 3G to run any GSM network. I’d say your experiment was a success. Anyone else try this?