Iphone 3G S - best place to buy factory unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by soulmateme, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. soulmateme macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    Hi there, i'm a newbie so excuse me if my post has been done a million times before.

    Basically i applied for an iphone today via the apple store and was refused a contract, which is annoying, so basically i'm planning on saving up and buying an unlocked one from somewhere.

    I'm based in the UK and would be after a factory unlocked iphone 3gs, preferably white and 16gig.

    if anyone can advise me on places to buy from/people to buy from or countries which i could buy in then ship over here i'd be very grateful.

    i'm on a contract with Virgin at the moment which has unlimited internet and instead of taking on another contract i'd rather just buy an unlocked iphone and use the existing sim i have.

    oh and any advice on jailbreaking etc is welcome too, as i've heard that updating the phone once unlocked manually can cause problems and i ain't too good with code etc so wouldn't want to risk screwing it up...best for me to stick with an already unlocked one so i don't break it!

    cheers, craig.
  2. OriginalFormula macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2009
    The closest place to buy one unlocked would probably be France. The easiest however, I believe, would be Italy.
  3. Moi un Mouton macrumors 68000

    Mar 18, 2008
    Bracknell UK
    Well, part of the answer to this is a question: which countries do you have friends in? Another is which phone model do you want?

    There are some countries where Apple legally has to sell the phone unlocked - eg Belgium, Italy, Hong Kong, Australia (but NOT France!). If you have a friend in one of these countries the best thing to do is get them to buy you the phone. Ideally Hong Kong, it seems to be the cheapest.

    If you can't do that, your choices come down to this:

    - risk buying on eBay, there are lots advertised there. You'll probably pay about £600-700 for the 3GS, less for the 3G. Choose a trusted seller in the UK and make sure you have buyer protection.

    - buy with certainty from play.com, paying from £500 (3G) to £900 (3GS) depending on the model

    - risk getting scammed by the many websites (most very authentic looking) that offer "new unlocked iphone" for sale at too-good-to-miss prices, where you pay up-front by money transfer or such like (hint: it's easier just to set fire to your money, at least you don't have the wait then :mad:). Watch out for: no contact phone number, no address shown, site created very recently (you can check with a "whois" query on the site name). Google the site name to see what you find.
  4. soulmateme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2009
    thanks for your help, there's a few people i know in europe through other forums so i'll see if they have it in their country unlocked.

    obviously i'm wary of ebay/individual websites so i'll try this method first and see what the outcome is, thanks again!
  5. ck37 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2007
    Try Singapore. All phones here are unlocked. 3G S is a bit hard to come by but should be able to find some online retailers that have them.
  6. pmcgowan86 macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2009
    I have had very good experience with a company called de GSM Fan based in The Netherlands, which is not too far away for the UK, weekend breaks to The Netherlands are not so expensive... so you can have a holiday and an Factory unlock 3gs without the wait... Their website is www.degsmfan.nl and if you call/send an email, nearly everyone their speaks English, so its all good :)
  7. u49aa2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2008
    Between Heaven and Hell
    I own an unlocked iPhone 3GS (i bought one to my brother too). So if you don't like to gamble by ordering from outside the UK and you have the cash, you can try:

    1) handtec.co.uk; This is a legitimate website. I ordered my iPhones from them. They had increased their prices though (they used to sell the 32GB for £640).

    2) Expansys.co.uk; 100% legitimate, though too expensive.

    3) play.com. Again too expensive

    4) phonedevil.com. Seems like a legitimate website (Although i never ordered from it). It is also expensive.

    Hope this helps
  8. sahajesh macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2004

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