Bringing an iPhone 3GS from Israel to USA

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by davids718, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. davids718 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #1
    Hi, this is my first time on this forum and I would really appreciate some help.

    I have been spending time in Israel and purchased an iPhone 3GS over there with cellcom carrier. I do not know if it is unlocked, can i find out before I arrive to the US? Also how would I go about using it in the US whether it is or isn't locked. Basically, what are my options? I will use ATT as a carrier in the US and hope I am not locked out of any services like 3G, or from being able to install new versions as they come out. Lastly does anyone know if Apple in the US will cover the warranty for the phone purchased in Israel?

    Thanks in advance!!
    :D
     
  2. Epic Orange macrumors member

    Epic Orange

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    Element X
    #2
    For unlocking, can you please give information about iOS version and baseband number. To find these, go to Settings > General > About

    Look for the Version Number and Modem Firmware.

    This is important in seeing if you can unlock to make this work in U.S.

    However, please be warned. You do not want to bring a 3GS being unlock to the Apple Store, because unlocking requires jailbreaking, which voids you warranty anyway [In the end, do not expect help]. However, if there is any hardware issues, I would suggest to restore and give it to Apple for help.
     
  3. hackthatphone macrumors 68000

    hackthatphone

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    #3
    If you expect to use data you'll be signing a contract with att. Otherwise if you don't care about data you can walk into an att store ask for a sim and they'll set you up as pre paid.
     
  4. ya1950 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #4
    Check with Cellcom. I believe they are required to unlock it for a fee if you ask. This might be the best solution for you.
     
  5. Epic Orange macrumors member

    Epic Orange

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    Element X
    #5
    They are not "required". They are usually options from carriers. In fact, carriers hate when people unlock, which is why you still need to pay a fee even after your contract finishes (ex. Rogers in Canada). Or, companies like Apple offer factory unlock straight up (659$/759$), which is QUITE expensive. In the end, he could pay Cellcom if they even offer unlocking. But if they do not offer it, then he must see his jailbreak and unlock options, which is what I offered first, also telling the risks. If he does not want to risk himself from unlocking and jailbreaking, he might as well sell his iPhone and buy one in U.S, or even get pre-paid, as others have mentioned.
     
  6. ya1950, Jun 23, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011

    ya1950 macrumors regular

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    Mar 29, 2009
    #6
    I believe that there is a new law in Israel that actually does require carriers to unlock phones if the customer requests this. It was passed so that people can switch carriers if they wish without losing their phone. I might be wrong and of course jailbreaking is definitely a option.
     
  7. Epic Orange macrumors member

    Epic Orange

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    Jun 7, 2011
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    Element X
    #7
    Wow, you are right.

    From Wikipedia: "According to the Arrangements Law passed on December 29, 2010, Israeli carriers are banned from locking handsets sold by them, and are obligated to unlock any handset previously sold at no charge."

    Then again, this was after after 2010, in which he probably got it before then, meaning that the iPhone is locked... I could be wrong...

    http://www.themarker.com/markets/1.584595 (In Hebrew)
     
  8. davids718 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #8
    Thanks, updates!

    Thanks so much to everyone taking the time to assist :)

    I bought my phone in May 2010 so hopefully it is unlocked, I will contact Cellcom (who are such a pain in the @$$) regarding whether it is unlocked or not. I rather not jailbreak if I can get around it... I do want data, 3G. Also I previously had a contract with ATT that was put on suspension/leave, I am planning to go back to them, although not sure if I still have my old sim.

    As for the technical info:

    Version 4.3.3 (8J2)
    Modem Firmware 05.16.02

    Is it possible to tell by the above if it is unlocked?

    Thanks again !!!
    David
     
  9. ya1950 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2009
    #9
    I'm almost sure the phone is locked ... but as I wrote above - you should be able to go into Cellcom with the phone and ask them to unlock it for a fee. According to the new law mentioned above, legally they are required to unlock it for you.
     
  10. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #10
    Check with your carrier first to see if they'll unlock it for you. If they won't, you can always use Redsn0w to jailbreak and install the iPad baseband. It's a "duct tape" solution but it will satisfy your needs.

    Another solution might be to sell your phone in Israel and then sign a contract with AT&T and get an iPhone for subsidized for 200-something; basically what you can sell the 3Gs for.
     
  11. davids718 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #11
    Resolved!


    ya1950 you were totally right!!! :D:D:D:D

    Actually the only difference other then them being required by Israeli law to unlock it, is that the unlocking service is for FREE!

    I called cellcom and they basically told me that all their phones as of Feb 1 2011 are unlocked by law. Additionally any phone purchased before that date can be unlocked for FREE at the request of the customer. The whole process took less than 2 minutes, I am not exactly sure what they did but they did not install a jailbreak software on it at all. I tested locally with a sim from another carrier and it worked without any issues.

    Anyone know how they did it? And possibly if this setting will stick if I do a soft or hard reset or a restore of any kind. They told me that I could do it myself via itunes now that they did the initial unlock but I don't know about to go about that. Thanks ya1950 and for everyone who wrote :D
     
  12. awadeee macrumors 68020

    awadeee

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    Location:
    Viper City
    #12
    They added your IMEI number to Apple's database of unlocked phones. It unlocks as soon as you connect to iTunes.
     

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