will unlocked iPhone (from Apple) work with any carrier?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by malch, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #1
    Hi there,
    A bit frustrating. I've had a long-time account with a carrier here in Canada (Fido); $25/m. for no data, but that's o.k. I just can't bring myself to pay for a data plan. I have to watch my dollars.
    Which is why I'm thinking of getting an unlocked iPhone 4S or 5 from the apple.ca store.
    It's a ton of money, but if I keep the phone for years, as I intend to, it'll be much cheaper than locking into a data plan.
    But when I phoned Fido to see if I could get a new SIM card from them, and put it in an officially unlocked iPhone from Apple, the guy said yes I could... the only thing is, Fido can't guarantee that the phone will work properly.
    He said that if I were to get an iPhone from Fido then the iPhone is 'fine-tuned' to work on the Fido network. An unlocked iPhone from Apple will work, but might not work as well. No guarantees.
    Is this just the party line at Fido, so people will get their phones from Fido?
    Thanks for any help,
    malch
     
  2. macrumors G3

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the lens, UK
    #2
    Well My iPhone 5 I purchased from the apple store unlocked works on a couple of carriers. Funny thing was I bought my iPhone 4 the same way but when I went to sell it the guy in the shop tried an alternative carrier and it didn't work. I was not happy. Was going to go home and complain to apple, but on the way saw another shop advertising £30 more. Took it in there and he didn't even test it!
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    SilvorX

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    'Toba, Canada
    #3
    I sell cellphones for Fido and other brands, as long as you get a micro/nano sim from Fido (depending on which iPhone you get), it will work on that network. Apple may still be giving away sim cards from all the major carriers. Since the phone works on 850/1900mhz bands on both 2G and 3G, it will work.

    Also, it will also work on Rogers, Telus, Koodo, Bell, Virgin, MTS, SaskTel, TBayTel if you switch carriers in Canada, and of course AT&T/T-Mobile if you're travelling in USA. It's fairly seamless.

    Re: "Getting an iPhone from Fido will be fine tuned" - most likely means that the carrier settings are automatically imputed, but since you're not planning on getting a data plan in first place, you don't need to worry.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2012
    #4
    From the Apple US site, it ways specifically their unlocked phones will only work for GSM networks. Dunno if they say that on the Canadian site. Other than that if it doesn't work u can always return it for refund, so OK you lost 1 month usage fee, no biggie right. But I feel good, Fido is just probly giving u the corporate "we are no liable for anything" speech.
     
  5. macrumors 68000

    SilvorX

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    'Toba, Canada
    #5
    CDMA is gradually being phased out in Canada. The two largest CDMA providers Bell and Telus moved to HSPA back in 2010 and no longer sell "new" CDMA devices, so if someone wanted to put an iPhone on CDMA because coverage is slightly better than HSPA, they wouldn't have any way to do so.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #6
    Hi all,

    SilvorX—can you tell me if the iPhone 4S uses the micro/nano SIM card you're referring to?

    I thought I'd get the 4S and not the 5 because it's a hundred dollars cheaper.

    Any thoughts on that?

    Thanks very much everyone, for your help with this.
    malch
     
  7. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #7
    It's typical for most carriers to say that. Unlocked is unlocked. You may need to adjust some settings for your carrier but "finely tuned" is a bunch of FUD. Make sure that the band you need are supported and you're set.

    Google can tell you:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=iph...hrome.0.57j62l3.3014&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    Is price all that matters? If you want feedback you need to clearly outline your needs/wants. It's a highly subjective matter.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    SilvorX

    Joined:
    May 24, 2002
    Location:
    'Toba, Canada
    #8
    You said you were thinking about an iPhone 4S or 5, 4S takes a micro sim, while 5 takes a nano sim. Since it looks like you're going ahead with the 4S, when you buy it at the Apple retail store, ask for a Fido micro sim, they should have some in stock, or else just go down to a Fido store and buy one.

    I've signed up unlocked iPhones on prepaid and month-to-month plans, it's seamless (unless if you bought a phone directly from the carrier, then so much for it being unlocked!)
     

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