Can i buy an iPhone 4 without a contract in US?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DevilInDisguise, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. DevilInDisguise macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    #1
    Hi there,

    My friend is in US for a week on vacation and I wanted to know if she can buy an iPhone 4 for me without a contract. Like from Best Buy or so. Is it possible? Can she buy it as a tourist? or does she need to have a resident of US with her or something? Any such rules? Also which other stores can she buy it from without a contract and which is the cheapest?

    Thanx!!
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #2
    I believe you can buy one in an Apple store, but there is no point as it will still be locked to AT&T and there is currently no way to unlock it.
     
  3. DevilInDisguise thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    #3
    A tourist can buy an iphone 4 without a contract from the apple store too? u sure?

    no way to unlock it? I thought the iPhone dev team or some of the others have already unlocked it..
     
  4. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #4
    I'm an American so I haven't had a need to try, but I beleive a tourist can, but as I said before it will still be locked to AT&T.

    The iPhone 4 has been unlocked, but it requires upgrading while preserving the old baseband which a new phone won't have. So as of now any new iPhones are not unlockable.
     
  5. DevilInDisguise thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    #5
    theres no unlock for OS 4.1 but there will be one for 4.2 which is out anytime now.
     
  6. DevilInDisguise thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    #6
    can anyone confirm if a tourist can buy an iphone 4? also do u need to have a debit or a credit card to buy it or can u buy it with cash?
     
  7. samven582 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 2, 2009
    #7
    you have to be att customers in order to buy a iPhone from the apple store or the att store
     
  8. DevilInDisguise thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2008
  9. jamaggic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Location:
    SC, thank God
    #9
    there is no point in buying a new ip4 in the US to take overseas,,, it is locked to ATT and there is at present no way to unlock it,,, your bet bet is to buy on ebay a factory unlocked ip4 from a reputable dealer, may cost more but then you are done.
     
  10. DevilInDisguise thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 13, 2008
    #10
    Just to confirm, iPhone 4 - 4.0 is unlocked, 4.1 not unlocked & 4.2 will be unlocked. Am i right?
     
  11. coochiekuta macrumors 6502

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    Nov 6, 2010
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    here and there
    #11
    if you figure in the cost of a 2 year contact from at&t, you end up paying more in the long run for the phone than if you go ebay.

    also, if you do buy from at&t they will unlock the phone for you if you ask. they only do one phone a year or every 6 months i forget which.
     
  12. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040

    h1r0ll3r

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    Dec 28, 2009
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    Maryland
    #12
    I am unlocked on 4.1 but that's only because I preserved my baseband when updating from 4.0 to 4.1. Current 4.1 models don't have an unlock yet but I'm sure that whenever 4.2 comes out, an unlock for that should come around soon.

    Like others have said, your best bet is to hit eBay and get a factory unlocked iPhone 4. Most, if not all, other countries where the iPhone is, they sell them unlocked unlike here in the US. The factory unlocked will be more pricier than the normal ones (obviously) however you won't need to sign up with AT&T in order to get one.
     
  13. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #13
    Unless they changed something in the last month or two they will only unlock the phone if you ask and it's not an iPhone.
     
  14. bytethese macrumors 68030

    bytethese

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    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    #14
    Almost. There's no guarantee 4.2 will be unlocked, but we hope it will be. As for purchasing the phone, a friend of mine from Italy wanted to buy an iPhone 3GS last year when visiting. I needed to go with him as you are able to buy 1 non-contract iPhone per day (I was told this by a manager at the 5th Ave Apple Store at the time). The price at the time for a 32GB 3GS was $699 without a contract, $599 for the 16GB. Prices would be similar for the iPhone 4 but I'm not sure if the rules have changed since then however.
     
  15. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #15
    Sure buy a US AT&T locked iPhone so she cannot use it:)
    Better off getting an official unlocked iPhone from another country.

    That's false. AT&T or apple does not unlock any US iPhones.
    They're sold locked and stay locked.
     
  16. Doc750 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    #16
    The only way can purchase an Iphone from a best buy, ATT, or Apple retail store is if your an ATT customer.

    Once your an ATT customer, you can then opt to purchase the phone at full retail price without contract. Or purchase at discounted price with contract. But the phone will still be locked to ATT.

    Now unless you get some dumb wit on the phone at ATT customer service to do it for you, they're policy is to not unlock an Iphone for you.
     
  17. Stein357 macrumors 6502

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    Rip City
  18. deeesea macrumors 6502

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    Aug 14, 2010
    #18
    Or Canada :) Come visit the US neighbours :).

    We sell iphones factory unlocked ;)

    And yes i believe tourists can buy with credit or cash, I'm Canada, I flew to California and I bought my 2007 Macbook there. I wanted an authentic macbook from california ;). Jk jk, I was there on vacation, and picked one up as the Canadian dollar was higher/on par with the US at the time and there's less tax in california than Ontario. in fact, the student discount also works in America (at least at the time it did. not sure about now though.)
     
  19. Zachary C. macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #19
    Craigslist is also another good grey market idea. Hoever, make sure to always check if it was barred or not. :)
     
  20. coochiekuta macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Location:
    here and there
    #20
    when i left the country and called at&t and told them i wanted to still be able to use my phone(just not their service) they asked me for my imei and told me they can only unlock a single phone per contract or something like that. my company gives us phones to use and i took the sim out of theirs and used it in my personal phone just fine. 3gs.

    when i first got an iphone i think they said i HAD to have a data plan. i asked the rep if i truly owned the phone or not and the services i have should be up to me. she agreed and i went without a data plan. now im not here to speak on at&t or apples policies. i dont know them. i do know when you talk to people you can get things done.
     
  21. APtalent macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    #21
    I can confirm that a tourist can buy a retail iPhone 4 from the Apple Store WITH cash.

    A friend of mine from Switzerland arrived late-summer and bought one. She paid in cash as the creditcard requirements weren't fit for her.
     
  22. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #22

    Never in over 4 years neither Apple or AT&T unlocked a single USA iPhone. All US iPhones are locked to AT&T and up to now there is no official unlock. I don't know what you claim but it's incorrect or your confused.
     
  23. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816

    Goldinboy17

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Location:
    San Francisco, Ca
    #23
    I agree here. The iPhone and Palm Pre are exempt to that policy and have remained so after the class action lawsuit was filed. Both because of the fact AT&T has contracts with the makers of those phones stipulating that the phones remain locked. Or so an AT&T rep claimed.
     
  24. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #24
    TS, yes you can buy one w/out a contract, BUT it has to be someone that already has an AT&T account and even buying it full price, is still locked to AT&T and in the US no unlock is provided for the iPhone no matter what... Better if you go to Canada and buy it factory unlocked from there...
     
  25. egorka macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    #25
    best Buy

    Just order it online at best buy without a contract and select in store pickup.

    Of course they ASK online if you are an ATT customer, just click yes and pick it up at the unsubsidized price in store.

    Voilà.

    Just waiting for a 4.2.1 unlock and maybe I'll pick one up using this method!!
     

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