iPhone 4S - Worldwide Use - SIM Cards?

Discussion in 'iPhone 4S' started by iPhoneBurger, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. iPhoneBurger

    iPhoneBurger New Member

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    I do a lot of traveling to GSM and CDMA countries.

    Ideally I would like to land in that country, find the nearest quickie mart, and buy a local sim card for a local phone number there, which is prepaid. Pop it into my iPhone 4S and not have ANY INTERACTION with my Verizon account back home in the USA.

    1) Will this be possible with the iPhone 4s?
    2) Will the phone need to be "jailbroken" to accomplish this?

    Lastly (this is for those with higher IQ's to answer):

    3) Is it a correct statement to say that previous sim-based iPhones could also do this, but since they were only GSM, you could only swap out the sim and have it work in GSM countries? And those phones also needed to be jailbroken?

    Thank you.
     
  2. NewGuy

    NewGuy Member
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    1) it will be possible if the 4S u get is unlocked. this will b available in some countries but not the US. apparently it will be in canada though. In the US they should release an unlocked one a while later but will be sold at full retail. So the one you get now will only work with you network. Nothing internationally except roam on your network.
    2) too soon to tell if u will be able to unlock it with a jailbreak. will be a while before we find out, with the iPhone 4 it stopped being possible to unlock it after a few updates.
    3) GSM phones can work in any GSM country. The problem is that providers usually lock them so they can only be used on their network. This is not always the case but it is usually what happens. Jail breaking is only for iOS devices so only iPhones in this case. Other phones have their own hacks yes. Some of the phones can be unlocked with an operating system modification. This isn't the right forum to ask about that though.
    So the answer to all your questions is that you have to get the right phone. For what you want you might have to either wait for an unlocked version to be released or see if someone can figure out how to unlock it after its jailbroken. As for other phones, either get one on ebay that says its unlocked or go to a gas station cell phone store type place. From my experience those guys usually do stuff like unlock small old fashioned GSM phones. Good Luck
     
  3. iP5

    iP5 Evangelist
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    Don't really understand this last distinction. Only unlocked GSM phones allow you to hop onto compatible carriers, period.

    Technically CDMA could do this but such carriers don't have customer facing support to accept outside devices.

    Notice the "world phone" reference only applies if CDMA is your primary as it's always been possible for GSM.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
     
  4. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    1. Yes, but only if an unlock is made available for locked iPhones or if you buy a factory unlocked iPhone.
    2. Yes, if you buy an iPhone that is locked to a carrier. No, if you buy an unlocked iPhone.
    3a. That is correct, but the iPhone still had to be software unlocked or factory unlocked.
    3b. Yes, if they were locked to a carrier. No, if they were factory unlocked.

    I strongly recommend that you buy a factory unlocked iPhone. It will save you a lot of hassle. You'll be able to update the firmware as soon as it's made available and never have to worry about locking it. You can buy prepaid SIM cards in each country you visit and save a lot of money. Roaming on those networks on a locked phone is very expensive. Prepaid SIMs and minutes are very cheap in comparison.
     
  5. AeroCare

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    If you want something real cheap. just buy a local prepaid GSM phone. When I started traveling to those God forsaken countries I bought a prepaid GSM flip phone for the same price as it would have cost me to buy just a sim card and activate my phone. This gave me time to learn all about traveling with my iPhone.

    BTW, in some countries they won't sell you a sim card without giving them a copy of your passport so when you leave the country don't give away your sim card to help someone if you still have minutes on it. In most of those countries you'll find lots of poor people that need those minutes you're going to throw away. Resist the temptation! I did that to help a local poor person and thank God it didn't come back to bite me in the ass, but it could have. In subsequent travels I later learned that others will buy it from the poor people and give them more money for it for them to use it for illegal purposes. It's your passport so they can attach you to anything the bad guys do.
     
  6. AeroCare

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    So I could buy a Sprint iPhone 4S, factory unlocked, and put an AT&T or T-Mobile sim card in it and it would work?
     
  7. NewGuy

    NewGuy Member
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    The sprint phones are unlocked? Where'd you hear that? But if the sprint devices are factory unlocked then yes. any SIM card you want. You can put T-mobile for all the device cares.
     
  8. AeroCare

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    Best Buy has them advertise as without contract so I figured unlocked. We'll have to wait but if Apple is selling GSMs unlocked why not the Sprint phone?
     
  9. NewGuy

    NewGuy Member
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    No contract doesn't mean unlocked. Just means no contract. Will still be locked but you can cancel your plan at anytime. I would still wait and see but this is my understanding of the matter. The unlocked one's will only work on AT&T or T-mobile in the US since they are GSM only.
     
  10. AeroCare

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    I know it doesn't mean unlocked. I was just thinking there's no reason to not sell them unlocked at full price as they already do it for the GSM models.
     
  11. fury

    fury Evangelist
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    Looks like it'll be up to the jailbreakers to unlock the CDMA portion in unlocked/GSM-locked iPhones, or the GSM portion in CDMA-locked iPhones.
     
  12. NewGuy

    NewGuy Member
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    Oh yes I agree. But from what I heard their reasoning was that the wireless companies wanted to keep their customers so they offered the phones at contract price and locked them in for another 2 years. The bestbuy thing I do not know off. The other reason was to avoid resale of the phones.
     
  13. AeroCare

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    I don't know where you got that quote from but it must be old since we already know Sprint will have it.
     
  14. NewGuy

    NewGuy Member
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    No portion of the device will be locked. They all have all their parts working. The problem is that it will be locked to your provider. Verizon for example has SIM cards for people traveling abroad to a country that has only GSM networks. I assume Sprint is the same.
     
  15. AeroCare

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    I understand why they would sell them locked. What I'm saying is that if they've been selling unlocked GSM phones for a while now why wouldn't they sell the Sprint phone unlocked if you buy it at full price like the GSM ones?
     
  16. AeroCare

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    Then we'll just have to wait for the Devs to unlock them.
     
  17. NewGuy

    NewGuy Member
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    I see what your saying. Y don't they sell a CDMA version unlocked (Sprint or Verizon). Theory behind that is the CDMA companies don't like to add devices to their networks that aren't theirs. With GSM you pop in a sim card and your all set, you don't have to call them to activate it or anything if the sim card you put in is activated. CDMA works different. Just a theory
     
  18. iP5

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    I would think that the unlocked unit sold at the Apple store can go any GSM or CDMA carrier that's compatible.

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk
     
  19. NewGuy

    NewGuy Member
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    No, Apple states that unlocked versions r GSM only
     
  20. AeroCare

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    Where does Apple say that?
     

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