Buy in US, use in UK on differnet network?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by TWHH, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. TWHH macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #1
    Hi there,

    I work for a company that insists we have phones from a certain carrier and of a certain operating system. I don't have, or want, a separate 'personal' phone.

    The work phone OS is dreadful, and the carrier is not O2 (UK iPhone exclusive carrier).

    So I'm wondering if I can do the following:

    1. Buy an iPhone in the US (cheaper even at current exchange rates) for cash
    2. Bring back to UK unopened/not activated
    3. Jailbreak and unlock it
    4. Use my work SIM card

    Number 1 priority is to get an iPhone to work with my work SIM card. I know this can be done with a simple jailbreak & unlock tool
    However, I'd ideally not like to be paying O2 £35/month for a 'contract' that I don't need, and if I get it for a bit cheaper in the US all the better.

    Thoughts? Can it be done (aside from the current absence of a Jailbreak/unlock tool for the 3GS)?

    Thanks
     
  2. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #2
    Won't you have to sign up for a 2 year contract with AT&T if you buy one in the USA?
     
  3. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #3
    As I understand it, not if I buy from an Apple Store. What one is supposed to do is take it home from the Apple Store, plug it in to iTunes and put in all your credit card/banking details... voila you are hooked up with a 2 year contract with AT&T.

    So I'm wondering what happends if you jailbreak it back in the UK before going through any iTunes based activation process.

    Will there be any issue with it being a 'US model' or any other hidden 'protection'
     
  4. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #4
    That was certainly the case with the original 2G iPhone.

    They put a stop to that loophole when the subsidised 3G iPhone came out.
     
  5. Moi un Mouton macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    Bracknell UK
    #5
    If you're going to do this, don't buy the new iPhone 3GS, as that cannot currently be unlocked. You would have to buy the original iPhone 3G.

    You may find eBay a better place to buy that.

    Or you can get it on pay-as-you-go from O2 for a new one, £342.
     
  6. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #6
    I'm off to the US in 3 weeks, so I'm assuming/hoping an unlocking tool will be available by then... it's only a matter of time.

    Question was more around avoiding the activation process altogther, and doing so with a phone that you've not bought in your own country.

    Assuming I get a phone (3GS or 3G, but almost certainly the former) when I sync my music on will iTunes check the IMEI number and say:

    "hold on, this phone isn't activated and it's a US phone syncing with a UK computer"?
     
  7. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Location:
    The Black Country, England
    #7
    You still have to sign up for the contract before leaving the store, it's a subsidised phone now.
     
  8. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #8
    Wow, at £274 for the phone, and 18x £35, that's over £900.

    I know many will know this equation off by heart. A Pay as You Go phone (jailbreaked when possible) seems cheap at £538!

    Will I ever get to own one without feeling like I've ben 'done' :confused:
     
  9. Moi un Mouton macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    Bracknell UK
    #9
    It does not sound like it :p

    Thought: when you see that the basic parts alone costs Apple $172, and that they have invested in the R&D, the marketing, the distribution channels, the Apple stores, the support service, etc, etc, and that the resellers also have a profit to make, then what would you expect to pay?
     
  10. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #10
    I know, I get all that, and as an owner of 4 iPods, 2 iMacs, an iBook, Mac Mini, Airport Express and Time Capsule I'm more than bought in to the whole premium pricing that Apple adopts - I actually agree with the notion that you do get what you pay for. I happily pay more for my computers to be Macs and not those other nasty things. If I was buying my own phone I'd happily pay £274 instead of getting some shockingly naff Motorola for free with a new contract.

    It all comes down to me having a dire work phone and me not wanting to have to pay for calls/a tariff I don't need. I know... I'm moaning because my company provide me with a 'free mobile'. Which would be good if it was any good, but it's awful.

    The phone? Guess... you goddit, a WinDoze Mobile hunk of junk. And guess which company I work for which dictates that we have only these phones..?
     
  11. rhowarth macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #11
    If you want an iPhone 3GS to use in the UK I don't think you have much option but to buy one yourself on O2 at the moment. Complaining about the 18x£35 cost to get the phone misses the point that you're getting mobile service with inclusive calls and unlimited data for that - you'd need to pay something broadly similar whichever provider you went with.

    If your employer provides a phone and SIM card and you don't like the phone, why not just buy a cheap PAYG phone that works on the same network and put your SIM in that instead?
     
  12. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #12
    I'm not complaining - I get it, just want to avoid it. If I needed the calls and SMSs I'd have no problem with it, the package itself is OK in terms of what you get for £35

    Cos I want an iPhone and my work account is Orange.

    I know what I'm wanting to do is a 'work around' (hence my post). If it can't be done it can't be done; and if the only way out is a PAYG iPhone from O2 then that'll be the choice I'm left with (even if the £500+ price tag isn't that far off a Macbook). Shame I'd have to jailbreak it to get it to work on Orange... but then I do keep hearing these rumours about O2's exclusivity ending in October... Perhaps worth waiting
     
  13. Osarkon macrumors 68020

    Osarkon

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wales
    #13
    You can buy the previous 3g iPhone sim free in the UK. It doesn't need jailbreaking, it'll just work on Orange without any unlock needed.

    No hassle, it'll update fine as well.

    The 8gb black one costs £530 ish at the moment.
     

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