Complete Guide to Buying, Using iPhone in Iraq

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by tracer333, May 23, 2008.

  1. tracer333 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Location:
    Baghdad
    #1
    I've been deployed to Iraq for a year and have 11 months left here. I want to get one of the new iPhones when they come out in June. I'm posting to ask for the complete rundown on all the issues I'll need to know about in order to successfully order, set up, use in Iraq and then use once I get back to the States.

    I know next to nothing about GSM phones, world phones, SIM cards, etc. I've only used one cell phone and provider from the States (Verizon) and am not sure how the networks and/or billing will work out here.

    So, if anyone knows all the ins out outs of using an iPhone in Iraq from step one out here to the last step to make it work once I return to the States, please post.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Mainland Europe
    #2
    Have someone send you an iPhone. Or get it off e-bay.
    In order to unlock it and use it with any sim card without having to worry about contracts and whathaveyou... you need to jailbreak it. I recommend ZiPhone, it's the easiest way to do it, I think. It'll unlock the iphone automatically so if you have an unlocked sim (a.k.a. pay as you go) you can just pop it in wherever you are.

    hope this helped a bit.
     
  3. Spud1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    #3
    Like Fourty05 said the easiest way would be to get someone in the states to buy one for you and ship it over.

    Then when its arrived, you can unlock it, put in a local sim-card (I don't know what cellular networks are available in Iraq) and you will be sorted. Pay as you go would probably be best, so that when you get back to the states you can just drop in an AT&T sim or whatever.

    Also, for unlocking - really stay away from Ziphone, its risky and is one of the easiest ways to brick your iPhone if you are not careful...Pwnage tool is much better - safer, faster and more flexible :)
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    Look for a GSM carrier, looks like there are a few
    http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/cou_iq.shtml

    I doubt they would have any cheap data plan though. Currently if you need to access data on unofficial networks, you might need APN information and sometimes proxy information
     
  5. phinnaeus macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    #5
    That all applies for the current iPhone, but if you are only going to get one of the new ones, then you should wait until they come out. No one has any solid information on how they will work worldwide.
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    Out of curiosity, how else would one go about getting one besides waiting until they come out?

    Anyway, you might as well check into this issue now: find out through the grapevine or however which among the GSM providers there offer EDGE services, and shop for rates. EDGE is the data system that the current iPhone uses. You can also look for HSPA, if you like, which is the 3G technology that the next iPhone will use. A quick search on the net didn't find much about either service's availability in Iraq, but they're both fairly readily available (HSPA in cities only) in the Middle East, so they may just be out of date. If you're paying for the service yourself, you might also look into costs if you have multiple options.

    If you don't have EDGE, you'll be able to use most of the iPhone's features when you have a WiFi connection, but most of the things other than the phone, the iPod, and the calendar won't do too much when you're not in a Wifi area.
     
  7. phinnaeus macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    #7
    Building a time machine, going into the future and getting one?

    But seriously, I was talking about him wanting this information. Obviously he isn't going to get one until it comes out, but as far as how to get one in Iraq? Who knows, Apple might open an Apple store in Baghdad. No way of knowing. (I know it is almost infinitely improbable.)
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
  9. phinnaeus macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina, USA
    #9
    Ugh, tell me about it. But if there was never a war in Iraq, we would theoretically not have this thread, right?

    PS: awesome video.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Sorry, I don't mean to get political. The OP has been sent over there, and that's kind of just that.

    You're right, FWIW, his/her best bet is to have one sent or carried over from the US. It needs to be unlocked, and if public internet access is not plentifully available wherever the OP is stationed, then probably getting someone to use the Pwnage or ZiPhone tools on the phone while it's over here is probably the best bet. Once you have unlocked and activated it in this manner, it will accept any GSM SIM card, and the OP should be able to readily get either a prepaid or postpaid one from an Iraqi cellular provider. If the provider can provide EDGE (or HSPA if it's a 3G iPhone, once they come out), then the OP can also use all the cellular data services of the phone; otherwise it will only do those things while on WiFi.

    One more piece of advice; if you have someone in the US that is not super busy and can help you with this whole chore, try and get a refurbished iPhone; they're quite a bit cheaper, and that way you don't really have to worry about whether it was "dumb" to get one before the 3G iPhone comes out. Although, for what that's worth, I suspect that you will be able to find someone else stationed over there who will gladly pay you every penny you paid for it, even after the 3G comes out.... so I don't think it matters fiscally either way.
     

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