Can iPhone 4S bought in HK be used in Japan?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by hajime, May 9, 2012.

  1. hajime macrumors 68040

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #1
    Hello, I am considering to buy an unlocked iPhone 4S in Hong Kong and use it in Japan. Will there be a problem? Has anybody tried? Thanks.
     
  2. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

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    #2
    i have a factory unlocked one bought in Europe and was on holiday beginning of year in both hong kong and Japan. The phone worked without issue, but I didn't change sim just used whatever network it found when roaming. Didn't have any problems other than an expensive phone bill that month.
     
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Thanks for the experience. Roaming could be expensive. Anybody tried to use a Japanese prepaid sim card?
     
  4. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #4
    You probably won't be able to buy a pre-paid sim. To stop illegal activity Japan stopped selling pre-paid sims to non-residents a long time ago. If you have friends that are residents there, they may be willing to help you out. Unless things have changed there, not sure.
     
  5. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #5
    Thanks. What if I return to Japan and live there? Will the iPhone 4S bought in HK be compatible with the sim cards sold over there?
     
  6. Shadowbech macrumors 68040

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    Oct 18, 2011
    #6
    I don't know much about Japan but where I'm from (South Korea), you need a Korean ID or a immigration ID to have service in Korea. If you have friends or relatives in Japan, ask them about it and ask them if they purchased an unlocked iphone and if it works there.
     
  7. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #7
    I spent almost 2 years living in Korea, and have been back on vacation. Getting a cellphone in Korea is easy, and there are even shops that don't even check your ID.

    Japan is a completely different story. My wife is Japanese and it's the only way for me to get a SIM is to have her or her family purchase it for me.

    If you are a legal resident in Japan, including students or business visa you can get a SIM or phone.
     
  8. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

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    #8
    All unlock iPhone will work on Japan's GSM network (softbank). Try to avoid buying iPhone from Softbank because they are locked and won't do an unlock. Get one in HK. I would suggest you order it through Apple's website and mail it to your hotel. Local shops sell iphone at a higher price.
     
  9. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #9

    Exactly. Unless he plans on staying in Japan for the length of a contract I wouldn't buy a softbank one. Even if he does, after the contract he's going to have a locked phone. Unlocked is the way to go for a world traveler.
     
  10. Shadowbech macrumors 68040

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    Oct 18, 2011
    #10
    Yea and recently South Korea changed their policy on phones. And, Yes I am aware that some places don't require an ID. The reason why I know is because if you go to www.naver.com and search any phone model, there are some online shop that waivers the Korean ID as well as activation fee.

    http://news.mk.co.kr/english/newsRead.php?rss=Y&sc=30800011&year=2012&no=262271

    I lived in Korea for like 6-8 years and visiting during breaks. Yes as I said, I am aware that some places don't require an ID, and I believe they changed it, back like 6-8 years ago they used to require an ID. With the link I posted, Korea now does the blacklist policy and no longer whitelist. This means that people can just buy the phone itself without any service and use a different service they choose to at a later point in time. This also works with foreign unlocked iphone or any unlocked phone, as long as they meet the frequency requirements (3G, 2100).

    My mom's cousin works for Olleh (KTF), and if I go to a store to buy a phone, they always ask for ID, which I don't have. Back then I did have a Korean ID but I had to give it up before I turned 18 because of the military system (I am a U.S born, U.S citizen). Anyways because my mom's cousin works for Olleh, I have ways to bypass the requirement because I opened a line before I gave up my Korean ID and after that they don't really need it as long as I have the line active and as long as long as I request my mom's cousin for a phone, he will set everything up for me and bypass the system.

    Anyways, I do have an unlocked iPhone purchased from Apple store. After reading this article, I was kind of excited. I have asked my mom to ask her cousin if he knows about this new policy change and if so I can use this iphone in Korea. I have a dumb featured phone in Korea and I hate to carry both back and forth to U.S and Korea. So hopefully I can just request a micro-sim card and a service plan.
     
  11. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #11
    The point of my post wasn't to say how easy it is to get pre-paid in Korea, it was to point out that Japan is probably the hardest country in the world to get a pre-paid phone/SIM while just traveling there.

    Regardless if Korea has recently changed their policy recently. Your statement on what you need to do to get a phone in Korea doesn't help a person who wants on in Japan. Even if they are very close to each other.



     
  12. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #12
    I don't want to buy a phone in Japan because of the sim lock issue. I bought one from Docomo with my resident card two years ago. When I moved to another country, I found that the phone can only be used via roaming. Similarly, the phone I bought with my resident card in Korea cannot be used outside the country. It is a waste of money. Now, I want to buy a phone that can be used in all countries. Can the iPhone 4S do that?
     
  13. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #13
    I know you don't want to buy a phone in Japan. That's why I write phone/sim because the rules are the same for a contract phone or sim and a pre-paid phone or sim. You have to be a legal resident.

    As stated, if you have an UNLOCKED 4S you can use it anywhere in the world. What I was pointing out is it's hard to get a SIM in Japan, unless you are a legal resident. That sounds like it shouldn't be a problem for you.

    Is your 4S unlocked?



     
  14. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Jul 23, 2007
    #14
    Actually, I have not bought it yet. I am still trying to decide between the 4S, Galaxy Note and a Windows Phone 7.5 (for temporarily use before the iPhone 5 comes out). Yesterday and the day before, I wanted to buy the WP badly. Today, I want to buy the iPhone 4S... Whichever phone I buy, I am going to get an unlocked one.

    Somebody working in the Samsung showroom told me that the Galaxy Note can be used in major countries except Japan. I shall ask him to clarify the reason.
     
  15. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

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    #15
    The Note uses the following frequencies. UMTS: 850, 900, 1900, and 2100 MHz

    Japans network is UMTS 1700/2100 I believe....so you should be good. Maybe there is a reason they don't allow it on the network.


    Whatever phone you get, make sure it uses the same frequency type (CDMA, GSM/UMTS, LTE) and the same frequency and that the phone is not locked to a network.
     
  16. tuantrinhpa macrumors newbie

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    Oct 4, 2012
    #16
    I'm gonna moving to japan for 2 years and I have an iphone 4s world (global). I dont want to waste money for a new iphone with 2 years contract anymore. Is there anyway for me to buy a simcard and use my iphone to call/sms and mobile internet in japan ? If possible, can you guys show me where to buy it or the payment/month ? Is anyone know ?

    Thanks you all.
     
  17. benguild macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 29, 2003
    #17
    FYI you can get a prepaid data only SIM card in Japan now... but it cannot make or receive calls. And it expires after a certain number of days.

    http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/english/index.html

    It also has to be shipped to a Japanese address.
     

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