Buying an iPhone 3G in Italy this weekend. Need tips!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by deftangel, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. deftangel macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #1
    Hello all

    I'm off to Rome and Pisa for a few days tomorrow and planning on picking up an iPhone 3G there. I'm aware I can now get it on PAYG in the UK from o2 but my current deal/3G network performance on T-mobile is too good to give up (I'm getting it half price). So a legit unlocked 3G is the only way to go :)

    I'm aware the Italian phones are unlocked and can be purchased from Vodafone or TIM for EU569. I also know that in theory I need a Codice Fiscal (CF) to pick up a phone whilst I'm out there. What I'm after is any practical tips on actually doing this whilst I'm over there! Unfortunately I speak practically zero Itallian so I'm a bit nervous in sorting out the CF and doing the transaction in the shop.

    Has anyone from here actually picked up a phone in Italy? Are there any foreigner friendly shops in Rome, Pisa or their associated airports?

    Thanks to any replies in this thread. Hopefully soon I can ditch my iTouch 8GB and have some fun with the real deal :D
     
  2. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    i(am in the)cloud
    #2
    I wouldn't

    Why do you want to pay so much extra for the phone. It's cheaper in the UK and eventually I am sure that you can get them unlocked.
     
  3. deftangel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #3
    Sigh...I would have thought the OP was explicit enough. 569EU is only £50 more expensive than the UK PAYG phone and for that I get a legit unlocked phone that I can update through iTunes and use on my T-mobile contract which I get half-price. On an 18 month o2 contract, the net cost is £699. In the long run, I'm much better off. Moreover, nobody knows when an unlock will be available.

    I'm after some practical advice on how to go about it rather than a debate. I'm sure some people may well be better off picking it up for o2 but that's not going to work for me so my mind's made up.
     
  4. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    i(am in the)cloud
    #4
    You should think before replying

    You need to consider what people say a little more. If you noticed I live in Italy (Rome- the place where you want to buy) and I suggested a re-think.

    I am Italian, I clearly speak English, but your mind's made up.

    Good luck with that one.
     
  5. deftangel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #5
    I can see you are Italian and your English is excellent, far better than my Italiano will ever be :) I was merely pointing out that for my circumstances it works out better for me to pick up an unlocked Italian iPhone. It's likely that they are specific to me so filling up the thread with a discussion about why it's cheaper to do it this way for me isn't likely to help anyone else out.

    If I came across as blunt when answering your suggestion, I apologise. I just wanted to keep the thread on track.
     
  6. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #6
    Congrats on the choice,I hope you enjoy your trip over here,I think it shouldn't be hard to convince an italian person to come with you to the store with his CF..
    anyway,I don't know now but back in July it was easier to get a 16GB without a contract through Vodafone than with Tim,it could be the same now,so I'd recommend looking for a Vodafone One store right away,as soon as you get there,you never know,it could take them still a week to order one if they don't have one in stock,quite possible
    another thing would be the activation..luckily,in Italy you get a NIB iPhone,you get to peal off the plastic when you're home,so,I'd recommend getting yourself an italian itunes store account(going to a free app on the italian app store,trying to download one,and choosing to make yourself a new account with no payment,therefore not worrying about the credit card),in Italy(because I don't know if the activation of your iPhone depends on the IP address you get through your internet connection),if you have a laptop and bring it with you to Italy,it shouldn't be a problem,and using the SIM they will be giving you with your iPhone,don't worry,this is just for the sake of safety,it won't lock your iPhone
     
  7. deftangel thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #7
    Cool thanks for the tip. I'd heard stock might be difficult to find but never read anything on the activation so that's useful info to bear in mind. Sadly, I'm only there for 5 days. I've been to Roma before, but never Pisa :)

    I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to manage my laptop thanks to Ryanair :/ but if that's an issue I'll just do some fancy networking to make it appear as if I'm in Italy once I'm back over here :D
     
  8. TreRep macrumors regular

    TreRep

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    Location:
    Venice, ITALY
    #8
    if you are foreign you can buy it without Codice fiscale...
    i live in venice...
    if you want i can say you in which store you have to go in rome..

    the shop will activate it for you if you want

    NO FEAR !! contact me for all infos
     
  9. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #9
    I was just saying,the ip is probably not a problem,but caution is never too much,here,in Ancona they wouldn't activate it for me but it's good to know they can in Rome,where you also have an apple store,btw your warranty will last two years,so keep the receipt,the first year is provided by apple so you just have to call apple care hoping if they have to change it they give you an unlocked one back and the second year by the store.
     
  10. deftangel thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 4, 2008
    #10
    Hmmm that would be a lot easier I imagine but as I'm reading the Apple site via Babelfish, I'm not sure they sell it there. Might be good for activation though so cheers! :)
     
  11. svndmvn Guest

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Italy
    #11
    no,the apple store doesn't sell it yet,but they might help you with the activation process or even exchange it for you if you're having problems
     
  12. omni-impotent macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2008
    #12
    I bought one from Rome when I was on holiday there about 3 weeks ago. The store I went to in central Roma was:
    Vodafone Gestioni Spa‎, Via Del Corso, 417, 00186 Roma (RM), Italy - 06 6833664‎

    It's very close to the Spanish Steps. I don't speak Italian but got it fine (they all speak English since central Rome is quite touristic). I didn't have to show them any ID cards or nothing.
     
  13. Slaz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Guildford, England
    #13
    This is really interesting to read.

    I'm in a very similar position to Deftangel, as I want to use an iPhone in the UK on my existing T-mobile contract. I just happen to have booked a long weekend in Venice for me and my girlfriend (Jan 2009) and am now really interested in purchasing a pay as you go iPhone when I'm there (assuming it is not locked to TIM or Vodafone).

    Deftangel - if you read this, how did you get on with buying and activating the phone? Was it a smooth process and does it work okay for you now you are back in the UK?

    TreRep - as a Venice resident, can you tell me the best store to buy an iPhone 3G from? I've found there is a TIM store at 1412 Cannaregio (post code 30121). My GF apeaks a bit of Italian, so hopefully she can talk to the shop assistant about how to get it activated?

    Any advice is really appreciated - thanks!
     
  14. punderwood75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #14
    Hi

    I am in the same position and based in the UK, I was thinking about importing from Singapore / HK - but a weekend trip to Italy sounds good idea!

    My understanding is these phones have the IMEI number logged with Apple, so they can work anywhere on any network.

    However I have also read that although the are unlocked for operators in a country and its not always the case outside of the country. So they only work inside a country. Not sure how that works with roaming. Also the question is can you buy it there, bring it back to UK and activate on a UK iTunes? if you activate in Italy are you then locked on a Italian iTunes and then need a Italian credit card?

    My company uses Vodafone and I get free calls, and so why i want to unlock. I am not keen on the TurboSim method, its a hassle if you want to update software etc. Also O2 is rubbish where I live, Vodafone is perfect!

    Please let me know how you get on.

    Thanks
     
  15. MBAir macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    #15
    AFAIK, you must hold an Italian nationality to buy an iPhone 3G from Vodafone. However, TIM sells to foreign people with no problems what so ever.

    I bought mine from Italy over *cough* ebay *cough*, so I know! :p
     
  16. Enrico macrumors 6502

    Enrico

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Milano / Roma
    #16
    if you're gonna be in Roma for a few days i'm pretty sure you'll come up to a dealer willing to sell you the unlocked iPhone without activating the bundled SIM card.

    There are plenty of dealers in the capital, I guess your best bet would be hanging to a flagship TIM store like the ones in downtown Rome...

    Funny to note, I'm an italian living in California and had to order an iPhone online to be shipped to my family in IT and brought to me here all the way from Roma!:eek:
     
  17. wimbledonpaul macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #17
    I got 3 x 16GB in Pisa 3 weeks ago

    Well i got myself 3 16GB iPhones in a Vodafone One store in Pisa 3 weeks ago..
    They were out of stock of the 8GB everywhere, and not everyone had the 16GB models, but I found a store with them, I went in and bought one each night I was there, not because there was a limit, but because I didnt want to be walking around with so many phones on my person at a time.

    The guy in the store spoke great english (the older lady didnt, but it was no issue) and he was happy to sell me an iPhone there and then, no questions, no SIMs to activate (in fact they didnt even give me a SIM) Just a sealed 16GB unit which is unlocked already. Didnt need ID, didnt need to complete any forms, I did use my driving license to prove my ID for the credit card transaction but other than that it was easier that I had imagined.

    When I got home I connected them to my iTunes in London and they activated right away, any sim I put in works right away (Voda, Orange, TMobile) and once you get the right APN settings to enter the 3G data works great too.
    I also did the update to firmware 2.1 without any problems, all apps I buy from App store work as expected, its what it says on the tin, and unlocked iPhone.

    I have my VodafoneUK SIM in mine, with the £7,50 month data tarif and it works great.

    Now all my mates are asking me when Im going back to Italy, I feel like an iPhone mule!
     
  18. Slaz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Location:
    Guildford, England
    #18
    Thanks for the advice and letting me get the benefit of your experiences guys. It sounds really foolproof!

    I'll get along to the TIM store in Venice when I'm there in January and pick up my iphone then. That is assuming Apple haven't just launched a new iphone then and the shops don't have any stock!
     

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