American iphone on UK's O2

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ictiosapiens, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. ictiosapiens macrumors regular

    May 9, 2006
    I have to go to america next week, and was wondering if an american iphone could be activated in the UK on an O2 contract. Nothing dodgey, I'm happy to go on an iphone contract and all the rest of the rip off.

    I searched the forums, as surely someone else have posted about this, but couldn't find anything...

    Now with the 16 gb out in the US, it makes sense in saving a few £sss, and as far as I can tell I'm not doing anything wrong, paying for my product, and hopefully enrolling on the apropriate contract...


    Many thanks...
  2. AlecEdworthy macrumors 6502


    May 1, 2007
    Leicestershire, UK
    At the very least you'll need to pop to O2 and buy a new SIM card for £4.99. I think you'd kind of fit into the category of someone who has bought an iPhone from someone else and wants to activate it on an O2 iPhone contract as mentioned at the bottom of,

  3. ictiosapiens thread starter macrumors regular

    May 9, 2006
    Many thanks for your reply. It sounds sensible, I hope its the case.

    I'm quite surprised that there aren't many people that bought an american iphone and activated it here, as it's so much cheaper down there...
  4. ne0star macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2007
    I would try and find out if the US iPhones are locked to AT&T sims only first. If thats the case then even buying a proper iPhone sim from O2 won't help you.

    I should imagine O2 and Apple have thought about this.
  5. lackofcolour macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2008
    hi ictiosapiens, can you please let us know how you get on with this?

    i am considering buying an iphone in the USA and using it on the UK o2 iphone contract. i'd rather activate it than go the unlocking route if possible!

  6. joolli macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2008
    Answer to your question

    I have an American iPhone and I didn't want to jailbreak it so I went to an O2 store to get a SIMcard but they wouldn't sell it to me. According to them their SIMcard won't work in American iPhones. This whole regional stuff is just ridiculus.
  7. JBaker122586 macrumors 65816

    Jun 21, 2007
    I don't believe that's true.
    I'm nearly positive they're the exact same hardware other than the included SIM card.
  8. joolli macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2008
    It's the same hardware, as you say, but the IMEI number is registered either with AT&T or O2 or some other phone-company. If you have an O2 SIMcard and try to activate an American iPhone the IMEI number won't be in their database. You see what I'm saying?
  9. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Either iTunes reads the IMEI number and certain IMEI numbers are registered to particular carriers, that is what iTunes uses for activation or it does activation based on the Store that iTunes is connected to. To get a definate answer, you should ask Apple.

  10. joolli macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2008
    When I went to the O2 store the other day. A clerk opened up a O2 web page and looked up the IMEI numer on my phone in their own database. So im rather guessing that iTunes connects to a central server that queries databases at AT&T, O2 and the others in Europe.

    I don't know what you mean when you say: "it does activation based on the Store that iTunes is connected to." I don't believe that iTunes connects to a certain store.
  11. Rigsby macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2007
    I've just come back from NYC and had much the same idea (I have an 8gb on o2 and was looking to upgrade to a 16gb).

    I asked in the SoHo store where I was given a straight no, it's locked to AT&T. Feeling I was just being given the corporate line I tried asking again in the Fifth Avenue store. The response I got there was a lot more detailed. In short, although the hardware is identical the serial and IMEI numbers are tied to a particular country and activation in a different country would fail.

    I didn't risk it, so can't say with certainty, but he seemed to know what he was talking about rather than fobbing me off.

    He also reassured me that I could purchase a US Time Capsule for use in the UK (which I did) so I don't think he was just trying to protect Apple UK's or o2's revenue.
  12. mpb macrumors newbie

    Mar 19, 2008
    SIM question

    I live in az. AT&T has lousy service here. Verizon is great. Could my brother in England get a sim card for me that would work here with Verizon. I'ma bit confused about this issue. Here, the iphone is only supposed to work with AT&T but I read that we can break that connnection and use the iPhone with Verizon. Thanks for any input..I'm not very good at this.
  13. joolli macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2008
    This is abit off topic... But yes, you can. You can use software (ZIPhone is a popular one) to unlock your IPhone. I'm not sure what az stands for. I assume it's Arizona so if that is the case, I would suggest that you buy an IPhone in the US just in case it breaks. Apple's warranty only Applies in the same country it was bought in.

    My IPhone was bought in the US and I currently live in the UK. Apple won't do anything for me here.

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