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Renaming iPhone

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Q: How do I change owners on an iPhone? I recently upgraded from an iPhone 3G to a 3GS, and I want to give my 3G to my wife. When I changed her SIM card for my old one in the 3G, the 3G still thinks it is owned by me. I synced the 3G on my wife’s computer, and all the content changed to hers, but it still doesn’t change the name of the iPhone (Mike’s toy) nor does it change the iTunes account (she has her own). What can I do to change the name of the iPhone and change the iTunes account to hers?

- Michael

A: Actually, what you’re describing isn’t really an issue with the “owner” of the iPhone, but rather merely the name of the device itself and the account that the iTunes Store application is logged in with by default. Neither of these items will affect your wife’s ability to use the iPhone 3G, and as you’ve already observed, her content has already been loaded onto it.

The name of the iPhone is not really of any significance other than for your own reference, and you can easily rename it by connecting it to any computer running iTunes, selecting it from the Devices listing in iTunes, and then double-clicking on it to rename it. From there, simply type in a new name and press RETURN and that’s about it.

The second issue with the iTunes Store account shown in the iTunes Store application and App Store applications on the device is also easily fixed. Whichever iTunes Store account you’re logged into with iTunes itself when you sync your device becomes the default account in use on the iPhone as well, so simply making sure your wife is logged in to her iTunes Store account within the iTunes application and then syncing your iPhone should update the current account information.

Note as well, however, that as of iPhone OS 3.0 you can switch iTunes Store accounts right from within the iTunes Store or App Store applications on the device simply by scrolling down to the bottom of the screen and tapping on the account name shown there. Regardless, the account name in these applications has no direct correlation to the owner of the device nor what content can be loaded or played on the device; it is simply the account that you’re logged in to the iTunes Store as for that particular session.

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