AT&T iPhone 4S - Will it work if I use other country SIM cards when I travel?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by funus, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. funus macrumors newbie

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    Oct 7, 2011
    #1
    I just pre-ordered a iPhone 4S 16G with AT&T, I was under the impression that I will be able to use other country's SIM card when I travel abroad. Now i'm reading about a unlocked version in November? Does this mean the AT&T is locked when I travel abroad!?!?!?!
     
  2. iVoid macrumors 65816

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    Jan 9, 2007
    #2
    Yes, if you want to use other carrier's sims, you have to get the unlocked version in NOV.
     
  3. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #3
    US phones are usually locked to the carrier, unless you buy the "unlocked" version.
     
  4. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4
    Yes, it is locked. International travelers should be getting the unlocked version for $649 if you want a seamless experience using your phone anywhere in the world.

    Otherwise you are going to be at the mercy of the jailbreak community to provide a jailbreak and unlock for your phone. I believe a jailbreak for iOS 5 is already out, but I am not sure about unlock.

    However, as with any jailbreak as updates come out to weed out bugs and add features to iOS 5 you are going to have to be paranoid and spend a lot of time making sure an update won't re-lock your phone.

    My recommendation is to pay the extra money to get the $649 unlocked edition which will let you use it on any carrier anywhere forever right out of the box.
     
  5. hexproject macrumors member

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    Jan 18, 2007
    #5
    yes, AT&T will not unlock for you, period.

    yes, AT&T will not unlock for you, period.

    you must get a unlocked phone if you want to use it with other carrier's sim card when travelling.

    Unless you want to go with the jailbreak route...
     
  6. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #6
    I'm about as free-market as they come economically, but they should be required to unlock it for you after the completion of your two year contract.
     
  7. Gregintosh macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I agree. Once the fulfillment of the contract is complete, there is no reason to keep the phone locked.

    Locking a phone is supposed to just be security for the carrier that the handset will be used on their carrier so that they earn the money back from subsidizing it. That's it!

    I think they should also unlock your phone if you pay the early termination fee to leave, since that is you reimbursing them for the subsidy.
     
  8. sdlevi27 macrumors regular

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    Oct 22, 2008
    #8
  9. butterfly0fdoom, Oct 7, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011

    butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    There was a class-action suit about this a while back and the result was AT&T had to unlock phones after 90 days (assuming the customer paid their bills on time, etc.) that were exclusive for less than 10 months. The settlement technically only applies to customers with phones from before 4/2/2010, but you could try to use it as an argument against AT&T if you want to get your 4S unlocked in 97 days. You could try citing that settlement in the case of the iPhone 4, as well, actually.
     
  10. wratran macrumors regular

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  11. hexproject macrumors member

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    Jan 18, 2007
    #11
    or wait until 2012

    with Sprint and Verizon, AT&T no longer has exclusivity.
    So does that mean under the condition with the settlement, the iphone will no longer apply after 2012?
    So that means, AT&T are required to unlock the phone say sometime after 2013??
     
  12. E3BK macrumors 68020

    E3BK

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    Mar 15, 2008
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    NYC
    #12
    Have tried this, doesn't work. AT&T won't budge. I'm not exactly sure how/why the iPhone gets around this legislation. It's the only phone AT&T WON'T unlock. It makes even less sense now that Apple sells an unlocked phone that people can use w/o contract or on the T-mo service.

    I'd be happy on AT&T if they would just unlock my iPhone so I can travel with ease.
     
  13. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    #13
    AT&T got an exemption when it comes to unlocking the iphone. They don't have to unlock it.
     
  14. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040

    GfPQqmcRKUvP

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    #14
    Any source for this? Would be interesting/angering to read.
     
  15. chrisk1 macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #15
    Last year as I traveled through Europe, I found service with my ATT iphone 4 in every country (Greece, Spain, Germany, Croatia, France, Monoco). They even had an AT&T micro cell site on our Cruise Ship.

    However, I made 90% of my calls with skype or Google voice using WiFi. :D
     
  16. protobiont macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Doesn't ATT charge an arm and a leg when you use the service overseas?
     
  17. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #17
    Yep, a friend used his AT&T i4 in Portugal for a week and came home to a $600 phone bill.
    Sucks.
     
  18. iPhoneBurger macrumors newbie

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    Oct 6, 2011
    #18
    For the record you absolutely will NOT be able to make use of the unlocked phone if you are a verizon customer.

    The unlocked phone is a GSM-only phone. It is not like the other 4s which is CDMA+GSM (and locked. surprise!).

    Apple had to throw a wrench in there somehow, and this is it. Only AT&T customers will be able to use the unlocked phone in the USA.

    I am dying to know why it's only GSM. Technological restrictions or something related to a deal with AT&T? Maybe this is why they didnt announce it at the meeting. People would start to ask why only AT&T customers get it .... !

    If youre a verizon customer, and want the unlocked phone, consider it a second phone that will collect dust until you go overseas.
     
  19. JudgeKenny macrumors member

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    Oct 7, 2011
    #19
    You cannot make Google Voice calls over WiFi. Those calls require cellular service.
     
  20. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Didn't the exemption only apply when it was exclusive to AT&T? It's not exclusive anymore. (I can't test it out myself, I don't have one and I don't really plan on buying one either).
     
  21. tivoboy macrumors 68030

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    May 15, 2005
    #21
    Hah

    600$ HAH thats childs milk money. I had a friend who went to moscow and in a week his bill was 8000$. Granted, upon return AT&T dropped it and made him pay 400$, but DATA ROAMING IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES MIGHT AS WELL BE CALLED RUSSIAN ROULETTE OR PONZI OR YOUR LIFE!
     
  22. Lugn macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2011
    #22
    The most seamless experience is undeniably roaming. I have unlimited global roaming on my blackberry - works great!

    Unfortunately, I guess AT&T doesn't offer a similar plan for the iPhone... :mad:
     
  23. iVoid macrumors 65816

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    Jan 9, 2007
    #23
    Just got back from the Apple store. No iPhone 4S' there, of course. :)

    But I did get one question answered:

    I asked if I got the Verizon or Sprint 4S, would the GSM side be locked?

    She went back and talked with someone and the response was:

    It will be locked in the US, but anywhere else it will accept any local micro-SIM and work with GSM.

    Now this is just one answer form a blue shirt, but at least she didn't say yes off the top of her head.

    It's worth checking into this deeper, because this would be a BIG plus for me. I travel and would love to use a local SIM instead of deal with high roaming and figuring out the international data packages the carriers offer.

    The way she described it, it's also possible that it's only locked to AT&T in the US, not internationally. So in the US, it's locked to one of the three carriers. But outside the US, it's unlocked.

    Thoughts? I'd love to get some additional confirmation on this.
     
  24. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #24
    Damn it's crazy:)
    But he should have known better I told him.
     
  25. SirStrumalot macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    #25
    Hmm.. I have a hard time imagining how exactly this would work. The unlock is controlled by Apple, so how would your phone automatically switch between locked and unlocked based on geography? Sounds implausible.
     

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