iPhone and Simcard

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DeadSirius, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. DeadSirius macrumors member

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    Sep 16, 2006
    #1
    There was explicitly shown a simcard slot at the top of the iPhone. Maybe I don't understand simcards all that well, but doesn't that mean that another carrier besides Cingular can work with the phone?
     
  2. SBik2 macrumors 6502a

    SBik2

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    #2
    well if they decide to sell an unlocked version along with a cingular version(or if you get lucky and find an unlocked one.. then yes. But Cingular has a six month exclusive contract for the iPhone..
     
  3. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #3
    It's been reported that Cingular's lock on the phone is actually longer, "multi-year" , i.e. until 2009.

    Each network has it's own ID and a locked GSM phone will essentially ignore any SIM card from a network that isn't it's native network.

    B
     
  4. feelthefire macrumors 6502a

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    #4

    Try two year exclusive contract...
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #5
    Since the phone is supposed to show up in Europe in in Q4, other carriers will have it by then, just not in the US.

    B
     
  6. Arcus macrumors 6502a

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    #6

    But since it is now legal in the US to unlock a phone, I wouldnt worry too much about it.
     
  7. brbubba macrumors 6502

    brbubba

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    #7
    Good point, but it would still involve breaking your contract and probably paying $150. Although Cingular's data plans are so damn expensive that you might just save that $150 by going to Tmobile with it, although you won't get some fancy features like the voicemail viewer thing.

    The one good thing about this is that it could potentially change how the manufacturers and the cell providers interact in this country. For once companies like Cingular are bending over backwards to accommodate the manufacturer, when in the past it has been the other way around.
     
  8. cazlar macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I'm not that familiar with the US phone system, but assuming you had an unlocked GSM phone (iPhone or another one), can you just buy a SIM easily there? I know in Australia you can get a Vodaphone SIM for $2 at the supermarket for example, then just add credit to it (ie prepaid).
     
  9. brbubba macrumors 6502

    brbubba

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    #9
    The US market sucks, be glad you don't live here. For starters every GSM carrier, which is just Tmobile and Cingular as far as I know, locks their phones. So that means when you leave one of them for the other you either pay them some exorbitant fee to have them unlock, you find out how to do it yourself, or you get a new phone. They do not sell SIM cards alone here. You either get a phone with contract or you get a cheap prepay phone. 99% of Americans on both of these carriers probably don't even know what a SIM card is. The market is based around the phone, not the SIM. Although, yes you can buy any unlocked compatible GSM phone and pop your own SIM card in there.

    The problem with that is that the US carriers use 850/1900 bands while Europe and most GSM phones use 900/1800 bands. So while triband phones will work, coverage can be spotty in certain areas. So that leaves us with quadband phones or unlocked localized US versions as our only real option and they are both pretty rare.
     
  10. cazlar macrumors 6502

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    #10
    That's partly why I'm asking, I'll be moving to LA in a few months for work. The iPhone won't be out until June though (assuming I get one, depends on the contract terms), so I still have a few months where I'll need a phone in between. I'm currently using an ancient but reliable SE T630 (tri-band I think), so from what you say it might be possible to get a prepay SIM for it that will work, but maybe not easily.

    Or else I could just get a cheap $10/$20 phone from Virgin Mobile USA to tide me over.
     
  11. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    Feb 9, 2005
    #11
    It seems to suck pretty bad, yeah. I get a third world vibe. A few months ago I was chatting with a friend in the U.S. and I said I just switched from 24 mbps DSL to 100 Mbit FibreLAN broadband for $30/month and she was like "100 Mbit?!? They're rolling out 2 Mbit in my town next month!". I mean here in Sweden anyone anywhere can get at least 24 Mbit DSL and at least 30-40% can get 100 Mbit.

    This whole "What's GSM, what's a SIM card?" debate over the iPhone is just jawdropping. I can't believe there are major carriers in the US that went with CDMA.

    Anyway, in Europe the locking is optional. For a substantial discount you can opt for a phone locked to your carrier for 12 or 24 months, but most people don't 'cause you get some ugly logo stamped on it. I don't think locking is mandatory with any carrier over here, none that I know of anyway. I usually just buy the phone, I have this old SIM card which has been in five or six phones now.
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #12
    Just FWIW, UMTS (a.k.a "3G" or 3GSM) is a form of wideband CDMA, as is HSDPA (which Cingular is planning to roll out).

    GSM's time is coming to an end. That doesn't mean it'll vanish overnight or that SIM cards will be gone, but the world is moving to CDMA as a whole.

    B
     
  13. Xeem macrumors 6502a

    Xeem

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    #13
    That's probably true, but if you're already paying $500-$600 for a phone, chances are another $150 won't break you :) .
     
  14. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    #14
    While all the US GSM carriers do only sell locked phones themselves, you can easily buy an unlocked phone elsewhere and pop in a SIM card. You don't have to buy a locked phone to get a SIM card, either.

    The question is how easy will it be to unlock the iPhone without Cingulars or Apples support.
     
  15. yagran macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    dont know about the US but here in the UK it has recently become ILLEGAL for the company to lock its phones...
     
  16. MLupi macrumors newbie

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    Jan 10, 2007
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    Pretoria, South Africa
    #16
    Cingular SIM card sales

    Actually, you CAN go to any Cingular or T-Mobile shop (and those carts that are positioned in mall corridors) and buy a 'Starter Pack' which includes just a SIM card and the number (of course). It's a heck of a process, which includes you signing a contract of all things (even for prepaid), but it is do-able, and it works. If I remember correctly, I paid $15 for a Cingular SIM card last year this time when I went back home for the holidays.

    Oh yeah, last time I was in Australia, you didn't get charged for receiving calls, or calling your voicemail. It's also like that here in South Africa. Not so with Cingular on prepaid.

    The whole mobile system in the States is quite interesting, to put it mildly. Honestly, I can't see how people would pay good money and still have the carrier's logo plastered all over the phone, and that phones don't come unlocked automatically.

    Hope Apple/Cingular doesn't go the cheap route and lock the iPhone; if they do, let them have the decency of not charging for unlocking (like in some parts of Europe, or even here).
     
  17. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #17
    I think it's illegal here for companies to charge you for unlocking your phone. They can still sell it locked but they can't charge you for unlocking it.
     
  18. oneof52 macrumors newbie

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #18
    Where do you buy the phone and where do you get the SIM card?
     
  19. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

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    Jul 26, 2005
    #19
    Or you could take whatever phone they have for free and use the sim card from that...
     
  20. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

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    #20
    Yeah it sucks the way it works in the US. But remember when cell phones first came out here, there were no SIM cards. Each phone was tied to the carriers network. We just got used to having to get our phones from the carrier. Also until about 2years ago, we couldn't even keep our phone number is we switched carriers.

    If Cingular requires me to buy one of their outrageous data plans to use the phone, I think I will pass.
     
  21. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #21
    The free phones usually come with a contract commitment.

    B
     
  22. mhuk01 macrumors 6502

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    South West England
    #22
    so all uk phones are unlocked?!
     
  23. Cybergypsy macrumors 68040

    Cybergypsy

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    #23
    I buy many phones from Hong Kong Unlocked....on eby you can buy a sim car with 300 minutes for under 15.00 and thats cheap
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #24
    I have Virgin Mobile Prepaid and it's great in Calif. Virgin uses the Sprint network so it's all about CDMA, not GSM. For $40 you can get a phone with $25 of airtime which is a pretty good deal.
     
  25. cazlar macrumors 6502

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    Sydney, Australia
    #25
    Hang on, I'm just getting over the fact that in the US you get charged for receiving an SMS (instead of just sending them), and now you're telling me you get charged if someone calls you too?

    What kind of weird system is that??? It makes no sense... Do you get charged long distance rates if someone calls you from overseas on a landline too? I assume (and hope) not, so why would anyone accept that on a mobile?
     

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