"Month-to-month" iphone5 = "Unlocked"?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Kyoko, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    South California
    #1
    Hello everyone!

    I posted the following message on some other thread but please allow me to post it again because no attention has been paid so far and I really need to know the answer.

    I live in Tokyo and I'm planning on visiting the USA to buy an unlocked iphone 5 because "docomo", a Japanese carrier I subscribe to, has no contract with APPLE to sell carrier-locked iphone 5 here in Japan. I want a 1429A(CDMA) model because, with AT&T model (1428A MSG), we can not use LTE here in Japan.

    Now, Verizon has begun to sell "month-to-month" iphone 5 at full price, but I'm not very sure what "month-to-month" means since we are not very familiar with that kind of subscription style here. My question is:

    Can a verizon month-to-month iphone be used as a universally-usable unlocked one? If the answer is yes, will they unlock it at a verizon store on the same day of purchase? If the answers are all YES, I will pack my case and reserve air ticket right away!

    Thank you always for your help!
     
  2. Chupa Chupa, Sep 18, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012

    macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #2
    Month-to-Month is just another word for "no contract." But "no contract" isn't necessarily unlocked. However, Apple said it's not going to sell unlocked phones in the U.S. for a few weeks.
     
  3. Gabichon, Sep 18, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    You mean they sell unlocked ones on launch day in Canada?

    http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/iphone...ill-not-sell-unlocked-iphone-5-on-launch-day/
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #4
    Hello Kyoko, you have to purchase both the A1429 phone and subscribe to a service from verizon, I believe. You can't just purchase the phone from them outright (if i remember correctly)
    In addition to that, you will have to keep the service for 60 days before you can call them and ask to unlock the phone so you can use overseas carrier with LTE Band 1,3, and 5

    Now, from my wikipedia research :p , NTT DoCoMo is using LTE Band 1, 19, and 21. If this is the case, then theoretically, you only need the LTE Band 1 because that's the only one compatible with your network.

    If that's the case, it is most probably easier and cheaper for you to travel to say Hong Kong or Singapore and purchase the A1429 GSM model there. These A1429 GSM phone supports LTE Band 1,3, and 5 but does not support LTE Band 13 and 25 which Verizon/Sprint uses. They are already unlocked in HK and Singapore and i'm sure the ticket from Tokyo to HK or Singapore is a lot cheaper vs to the USA.

    Here's Apple's link to explain the 3 models:
    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

    Let me know if you have any other question.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    #5
    Canada will not be selling the unlocked IPhones at the retail level on launch day there is no announcement when they will start. You have to order online at Apple.ca
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #6
    The OP stated that they do not want the A1428 model. The ones selling in Apple Canada is A1428 model.

    He/She needs the A1429 CDMA/GSM model to work with LTE Band 1 that NTT Docomo uses in Japan.

    But your statement is correct, Apple is not selling the unlocked phones at their store even in Canada... online only :(
     
  7. macrumors G4

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #7
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #8
    Looks like as of this morning they may have reversed their decision to reverse their decision to not sell unlocked phones in Canada. See update 3:

    http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/iphone...ill-not-sell-unlocked-iphone-5-on-launch-day/
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    South California
    #9
    Thank you guys very much for your helpful answers!
    I would really appreciate it if you would give me advice when I post another question again!
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    South California
    #10
    no-contract verizon iphone 5 IS unlocked

    I found the following thread and that tells me it has been confirmed that the no-contract verizon iphone 5 REALLY IS unlocked.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1449522&highlight=iphone+5+unlocked+verizon

    I asked a question there, but as always, no attention has been paid and so here I would like you guys to help me get final answers to the following questions.

    1) Can the no-contract verizon iphone 5 function correctly in Japan like it does on At&t network?

    2) Can the no-contract verizon iphone 5 allow us to use LTE on docomo wireless network (Both can use LTE channel 1)?

    3) Can I buy one at any verizon store without an online reservation?

    I have decided to fly from Tokyo to LA on Oct 2 and stay there for a couple of weeks. I am in a hurry and I would really appreciate it if you could answer to my questions.

    Thanks a ton!!
     
  11. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    You should be able to buy a Verizon iPhone 5 at the no commitment price. (Full price.) The GSM card slot is unlocked. The Verizon iPhone 5 works with UK/Asia LTE.

    The AT&T iPhone 5 only works with USA & Canada LTE so you should buy the Verizon version to use in Asia.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    South California
    #12
    Thank you very much for answering to my questions. Your words are so encouraging to me!

    There is one thing I would like you to clarify. When you say "You should be able to buy a verizon iphone 5 at the no commitment price", does that mean I should be able to buy one at any Verizon retail store?

    Thank you always!
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #13
    Yes, at any Verizon or Apple Retail store. Just say you would like to purchase the device only. No commitment or contract.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #14
    smart in contract ebay sellers will be selling 1429 unlocked.
    The international department at sprint says they will have the same policy as 4s, which tehy will is unlock if the customer has 60 days of service. that isnt 60 days with that iphone, but 60 days as a customer. As a long time customer, if the info is right Spriint will unlock for me within hours. I am going to give it a shot on Monday or tuesday,so it isnt certain as to how fast apple will provide unlock to sprint for each individual phone, so don't take that as 100%.

    of course if apple and providers like vz are sellign unlocked at retail then that is cool too. Frankly I doubt vz will have stock in the next month of unlocked. they might make some moeny on sale but nowhere near their interest in applying inventory to contracts which is where they really make money. especially if phone is in short supply.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Location:
    South California
    #15
    Thank you Coleman2010! all the way from Tokyo! Hopefully, I can buy 5 or 6 iphone 5s while in LA as I have already been asked by my friends to buy for them:p Please take good care of two Japanese Yankees, Ichiro and Kuroda:)
     
  16. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #16
    Hi!

    interesting thread...but i do have a question!
    if you buy a no commitment or contract free phone, how would you activate it?

    with any previous generation you had to have service from the carrier you buy the phone from to be able to activate it.

    correct me if i'm wrong
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #17
    As I have not done this yet, I believe you just connect it to iTunes. Then iTunes gives you the congratulations you are unlocked message then you can insert any SIM.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #18
    thx!

    i still have some doubts, with ATT usually you have some steps where you need to select a plan or log in with your existing account...would be interesting to find out, otherwise he will buy 5 "locked" phones!
     
  19. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #19
    Success?

    Kyoko-san:
    I wonder if you are able to use the LTE frequency DoCoMo uses in Japan with your Verizon iPhone 5?

    Best,
     

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