Is there an unlock yet?

Nov 14, 2008
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Cairo, Egypt.
#1
Hey there,

I'm interested in buying an iPhone 4S from the States and I was wondering if there is an unlock for it yet? Perhaps using a sim adapter or something? I heard before that all GSM iPhones are going to be unlocked, whether or not they have a contract with a certain company like AT&T, for instance, but I don't think that's true, so can anyone confirm?

Also, how much does a factory unlocked one (16gb white) go for? Whether new or used? And where do you buy them in New York City?

Thanks
 

Europa

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Dec 12, 2008
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#2
The factory unlocked 4S 16 GB is $650. This is the same price as the AT&T model for those who are not eligible for subsidation or who pay actual value. I strongly recommend a factory unlocked model. There is no unlock for the AT&T 4S and I don't think you would be able to update the firmware or restore without an AT&T SIM unless there was a way to hacktivate. Much better to just get an unlocked phone and not have to worry about this. Plus, the resale value will be higher. Apple doesn't sell factory unlocked models in their stores here. They sell them thorough their online store. You could get one somewhere else in New York, but expect to pay around $650 if it's fairly new.
 
Nov 14, 2008
6,844
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#3
I thought $650 was for locked but contract-free ones. Since I don't have a credit card that will work there, is there some sort of a gift card I can buy and pay using? I'm either getting the 4S or a Xbox 360 + Kinect bundle so I'm still hesitant.
 

iP5

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Sep 7, 2010
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#4
Too bad the Canadian border is a bit far. Apple stores here only carry factory unlocked units.

Sent from my mobilephone using Tapatalk
 

Europa

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#5
I thought $650 was for locked but contract-free ones. Since I don't have a credit card that will work there, is there some sort of a gift card I can buy and pay using? I'm either getting the 4S or a Xbox 360 + Kinect bundle so I'm still hesitant.
16 GB model:
Factory unlocked/contract free = $650
Fully carrier-subsidized & locked = $200
Partially carrier-subsized & locked = $450
Unsubsized & locked = $650

I'm pretty sure you can use a VISA gift card at Apple's online store, but it's one to two weeks shipping on the factory unlocked phones. Mine arrived nine days after I ordered.
 
Nov 14, 2008
6,844
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Cairo, Egypt.
#6
Crap.. 9 days! I'm only staying there for 6 nights. Is there any alternative to this?
 

Europa

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#7
Crap.. 9 days! I'm only staying there for 6 nights. Is there any alternative to this?
Apple may not have shipped it non-permanent address anyway. Unforturnately, you can't buy a new factory unlocked 4S at an Apple Store in the US, so I'd say a used one on craigslist or driving up to Canada would be your best bet if you want to get one while you're here. If you can't get one that's locked to your carrier, why not just order a factory unlocked one online from Apple right now and have it shipped to your house? Are they not available in Egypt yet?
 
Nov 14, 2008
6,844
414
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Cairo, Egypt.
#8
Only the 32GB models are available in Egypt because the 16GB ones are out of stock, and they are locked to each service provider, but they cost a lot more than a factory unlocked one in the States.

Prices here (locked to network):

16GB - $860 USD and out of stock
32GB - $994
64GB - $1158

So as you can see, WAY overpriced.

Buying items on craiglist requires meeting the seller, right? I don't know if I'm very comfortable with that, especially since I'm not even from that country. lol
 

Europa

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Dec 12, 2008
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#9
Only the 32GB models are available in Egypt because the 16GB ones are out of stock, and they are locked to each service provider, but they cost a lot more than a factory unlocked one in the States.

Prices here (locked to network):

16GB - $860 USD and out of stock
32GB - $994
64GB - $1158

So as you can see, WAY overpriced.

Buying items on craiglist requires meeting the seller, right? I don't know if I'm very comfortable with that, especially since I'm not even from that country. lol
Yes, it does. And you may not even be able to find a factory unlocked model on craigslist that particular week.

Do you know anyone in New York who could order one on Apple.com for you right now so it's ready for you when you get here? That is the best option, IMO.
 
Nov 14, 2008
6,844
414
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Cairo, Egypt.
#10
Yes, it does. And you may not even be able to find a factory unlocked model on craigslist that particular week.

Do you know anyone in New York who could order one on Apple.com for you right now so it's ready for you when you get here? That is the best option, IMO.
Yeah, I guess I could try that. We have some friends there that I can ask, or I could just try using my father's credit card, hopefully it'll work.

By the way, are there still antenna problems with the iPhone? There is the option of adding a bumper for $29. Although the price seems a tad high for a bumper, is it really necessary?
 

Europa

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#11
Another option is to PayPal them the cash and then have them use their own card. But PayPal fees would be about $25, I think. If they trust you, they could use their card and wait for you to bring the cash. They really don't have anything to lose. Apple has a one-month return policy with free shipping back to Apple. So even if you decided you didn't want it, they could just return it and have their card refunded. I don't think they could use their name and your father's card because the addresses wouldn't match. It would look like a stolen card.

No, they fixed that by repositioning the antenna. No case is necessary.
 
Nov 14, 2008
6,844
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Cairo, Egypt.
#12
Thank you very much. PayPal doesn't work in Egypt, unfortunately. I'll just ask them to buy it for me till I get there, it's perfectly fine as they are more like relatives than friends to us, actually. Glad they fixed that issue, even though I never truly was affected by it on the iPhone 4 anyway, it was always really the WiFi's signal that dropped a bar or two when holding it in the tilt position.
 

Europa

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#13
Thank you very much. PayPal doesn't work in Egypt, unfortunately. I'll just ask them to buy it for me till I get there, it's perfectly fine as they are more like relatives than friends to us, actually. Glad they fixed that issue, even though I never truly was affected by it on the iPhone 4 anyway, it was always really the WiFi's signal that dropped a bar or two when holding it in the tilt position.
Awesome! Hopefully, they will do that for you. Having a 4S waiting for you will make the vacation to the US even sweeter. :)
 
Nov 14, 2008
6,844
414
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26
Cairo, Egypt.
#14
Haha.. I wanted to get it and utilize the Maps application or download the Google Maps one in order to search for POIs, get directions, etc.

It's always better to do it on a handy touch-screen device that is fast, responsive, and reliable.