All iPads Buying cellular model in US, import to UK - will it work?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by andy9l, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. andy9l macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Location:
    England, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    So, Christmas is coming up and we're fortunate enough to have some friends from America coming over to the UK.

    I'm thinking about asking them to pick up a cellular iPad Mini Retina, and bringing it over.

    1. Can you buy unlocked cellular models in the US yet?
    2. How do you buy one in the US without a contract?
    3. Will the iPad work in the UK with our cellular tech?

    Excuse my naivety, I just hear so many horror stories about cellular contracts and locked devices in the US. Rather you than us!

    I'd appreciate any advice - genuinely.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #2
    The horror stories you hear are about iPhones. All iPads are sold unlocked and without contract. Just make sure to buy from Apple, not from a carrier store. Carriers are supposed to sell them to you without contract, but there have been cases where they try to hoodwink you into a contract.

    As for working in the UK, as I understand it, all cellular rMini models should work in the UK, no problem.
     
  3. andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 31, 2009
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    England, UK
    #3
    Everything I wanted to hear! Thanks!
     
  4. GoingDark macrumors 6502

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    Nov 2, 2013
    #4
    As mentioned above, all iPads are sold unlocked.

    Additionally, with the new retina Mini and the iPad Air, Apple has cut down to only one cellular model for the whole world (A1475 for the Air, A1490 for the retina Mini) so it will work just fine in the UK.

    The only thing you need to be aware of is that it will come with a US power adapter, so you will need to either get a UK converter or buy a UK power adapter.
     
  5. andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 31, 2009
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    #5
    Ah good point about the power adapter! We've got a few (real) lightning cables from iPhone 5 and 5s devices, and a few iPad 2 socket plugs – are these different do you know?

    Thanks for the info :)
     
  6. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    #6
    Why don't you save yourself a £100 or $100 and buy a wifi only iPad. If your iPhone plan has personal hotspot, use that instead.
     
  7. andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

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    England, UK
    #7
    The iPad is for my father who is using an iPhone 5 on a corporate contract that, rather strangely, does not allow for tethering. I would otherwise!

    Plus, I don't mind paying extra for features, I just don't like having to pay 25% extra purely because I happen to live in the UK.
     
  8. GoingDark macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2013
    #8
    Lightning cables are the same the world over, so you should have no problems there. An iPad 2 wall plug should also work just fine, since the one that comes with the retina Mini is 10W just like the one that came with the iPad 2.

    The only wall plugs you should avoid using are the ones that come with either the iPhone or the original mini - they were both 5W and would take twice as long to charge your iPad.
     
  9. andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 31, 2009
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    England, UK
    #9
    Got it, thanks again buddy - appreciate it.
     
  10. andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 31, 2009
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    England, UK
    #10
    Sorry to revive this thread…

    Friend in the US has bought a rMini for me, which is excellent news, but the receipt she forwarded me says exactly the following:

    The "for AT&T" worries me. She was absolutely assured it would be unlocked, but will this work in the UK? I don't care about 4G/LTE compatibility if that helps – just 3G!
     
  11. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #11
    All iPad models are associated with a carrier. If it didn't say for AT&T, it'd say for Verizon, T-mobile, or Sprint. This just means it comes with a SIM for the named carrier. Just pop out the SIM, and pop in one for your UK carrier.
     
  12. andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

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    England, UK
    #12
    Thanks for the quick response, really appreciate it.

    So just to confirm – she's not going to have to pay any kind of AT&T carrier/unlock/contract fees? It's just a 'useless' SIM card that she can throw away? All we want is the iPad device!

    Sorry for the detailed questions. Just want this to go smoothly, and this subject just doesn't seem to be clear on the web.
     
  13. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #13
    No fees. Just pay for the iPad and walk out. And sure, she can throw out the SIM. Or she can just bring it to you as is and you can throw it out -- makes no difference. No need to overthink it, with iPads, it really is no contract, no strings attached to any carrier.
     
  14. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68000

    PBG4 Dude

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    Jul 6, 2007
    #14
    She won't. I have a "Verizon" iPad Air running on T-Mobile. Just had to swap the SIM and reboot.
     
  15. andy9l thread starter macrumors 68000

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    England, UK
    #15
    Thanks for the help mate, really appreciate it. That sounds ideal.

    ----------

    Amazing! Thanks for the reply!
     

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