Transfer Contacts from one Cell Phone to another
Did you just buy a new mobile phone? The first thing that you’ll probably is copy all the phone numbers and other contact information from the old phone to your new cell.
The process may vary depending upon the phone support cloud but broadly, there are three options. I will discuss the most popular mobile platforms like BlackBerry, iPhone, HTC, Nokia, Windows Phone, Samsung and Android.
If the address book of your old phone is relatively small and you only want to copy the phone numbers to your new cell phone, simply use the SIM card.
Just copy the phone numbers from the old phone’s memory to your SIM card, insert this SIM card into your new phone and then copy the phone numbers in your new phone’s memory. Here’s a detailed guide on how to transfer contacts from the Nokia to an iPhone using the SIM.
The SIM card based approach is good only for transferring basic phone numbers but if your phone’s address book includes long names, email addresses, and other details of your contacts, you need some sort of software to help you with the transfer process.
For instance, if you have a Nokia phone but are shifting to a BlackBerry or an iPhone, you may use Nokia’s Ovi Suite application to copy your phone’s address book to Microsoft Outlook on your desktop computer. You can then use BlackBerry’s Desktop Manager software, or iTunes in the case of iPhone, or Kies for Samsung Galaxy, to transfer contacts from the PC (Outlook) to your new phone’s address book.
Windows Mobile users, like Samsung Omnia or HTC HD2, may again use Microsoft’s Device Center (or ActiveSync for XP) to copy their phone address book to the desktop via Outlook. If you are simply switching from one Windows Phone to another, you can transfer contacts via the cloud itself using Microsoft’s My Phone service.
If you have an old CDMA based mobile phone from, say Samsung or LG, you can use the free BitPim utility to copy the phone book to your computer. BitPim is available for Windows, Mac and Linux machines and it can export address books in standard vCard format (.vcf) that you can easily import into Outlook and other contact managers.
If you have an Internet enabled phone, you can easily copy contacts from your old phone to the new phone over-the-air without even requiring a computer.
An online service called Mobical is free and it works with most mobile phones from Nokia, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and so on. You first need to setup Mobical on the old phone and it will create a backup of your phone contacts in the cloud. Now setup Mobical on the new phone using the same credentials and it will automatically download all the contacts from the cloud to your new phone.
Then there’s Google Sync, a cloud based service that works with BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia and most other mobile phones that are SyncML capable. Google Sync keeps your phone’s address book in sync with your Google Contacts. Therefore, if you now install Google Sync on both your old and new phone, they’ll have the same phone book entries automatically.
Android based phones can sync with Google Contacts out of the box - you can then export Google Contacts out as a CSV file and copy it to any other phone manually via the desktop tools. HTC even offers a desktop utility called HTC Sync that you may use to synchronize Outlook contacts with your Android phone. This will be handy when you want to copy your HTC’s phone book to another phone that is not web-enabled.
PS: Previously mentioned Zyb is now part of Vodafone and is no longer accepting new users.
Google Developer Expert, Google Cloud Champion
Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in Google Workspace and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India.