iPhone 3GS in Korea?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dvdvd, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. dvdvd macrumors newbie

    dvdvd

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #1
    Hello, I was wondering if you could buy a factory unlocked iPhone 3GS and use it in Korea. According to what I hear, Korea uses CDMA, WCDMA, and HSDPA so I was wondering if I could just slip in a Korean SIM card in the iPhone and use it here. I also read that Korea scrapped its WIPI requirement, which allows foreign cellphones to come into the country.
     
  2. syclick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    #2
    Yes, as far as I know, WIPI was scrapped on April 1st of this year. I would assume that you'd simply be able to insert a new Korean SIM and be ready to go, but you never know.

    As far as GSM coverage, both KTF and SK Telecom provide coverage.
     
  3. retroneo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #3
    Yes, make sure you get it from one of these carriers that do not lock the phone:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1937

    You will also need to manually enter the APN and MMS settings in:

    Settings > General > Network > Cellular Data Network
     
  4. syclick macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    #4
    What I'm really wondering is whether or not I'll be able to pop in a prepaid sim when I go to visit.
     
  5. coolwater macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #5
    No more WIPI requirement in Korea indeed, but I still doubt using unlocked iPhone in Korea is possible legally.
     
  6. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #6
    Koreans don't generally like non-Koreans so if you are Korean then you should be able to purchase a sim card in Korea. All non-Korean visitors and tourists are not allowed to buy sim cards in Korea because they are not Korean.

    In most other tourist friendly countries through out Asia such as Singapore, Thailand,China, Hong-Kong,Taiwan,etc.. one can purchase a sim card upon arrival and just stick into their Iphone.
     
  7. coolwater macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #7
    Huh?? So, you are saying Koreans refuse to sell sim cards to foreigners??

    Are you talking about underground business?
     
  8. puercaeli macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 10, 2008
    #8
    Whilst I agree there are many regulatory inconveniences for country which trying to be 'tourist friendly', It is certainly NOT TRUE that Koreans don't like non-Koreans.

    Koreans are extremely friendly as a person!
     
  9. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #9
    Do they sell sim cards tourists or not? And all cabs stop for caucasians??
     
  10. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #10
    What I am saying is that you can' t walk into a convenient store or into a local telecom company and pick up a GSM SIM card for a cell phone if you are not Korean;)
     
  11. Mr.Shin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #11
    Definetly not

    Korean carriers(SKT, KTF, LGT) have some stupid system..

    You definitely CANNOT use Iphone in Korea...
     
  12. stylinexpat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    #12

    If you have a GSM SIM card that can roam you can use it in Seoul but they charge you full roaming charges which are an arm and a leg. This exactly is my point, they do have the service and are capable of providing this service but refuse to do so:rolleyes:

    People there are too patriotic is most likely the reason:rolleyes:
     
  13. dvdvd thread starter macrumors newbie

    dvdvd

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #13
    Alright. Seriously. Grow Up. All I asked was if you could use an iPhone in Korea, but you reply by flaming an entire country in this and other threads just because you can't get a simple SIM in Korea because, as you claim, you're caucasian. Obviously, you do not understand the regulatory system in Korea.

    Many of my friends, which include Vietnamese, Pakistanese, Indian, and Caucasian (Canada, USA, Australia) are able to use Korean phones here with Korean SIMs. First, this shows your lack of effort to even try obtaining a SIM without some research. The reason why these foreigners are allowed to have Korean phones on the Korean telecom system is because they have records stored in the Korean government's database. Unlike websites in the US, Korean websites require a unique Social Security or Foreigner's Identification Number (they work here, so they were issued identification numbers) in order to register. The same applies to handsets. I do not know exactly why they have this regulation, but according to a friend who works in the government, the Korean government uses this information for tracing purposes. Obviously, they want to make sure they know who exactly is using a phone in their own country, so it's not prejudice, but more of xenophobia.

    Secondly, how the hell do you buy a GSM SIM card in a country that predominantly uses CDMA/WCDMA. If you conducted even the slightest research, you would have known GSM is not a natively supported cellular network in Korea.

    Thirdly, unlike the US, we don't have a frigging prepaid SIM card service. SIM Cards in Korea are predominantly used to: 1) Activate phone 2) Identify the User (using the unique social security number tied to the SIM) 3) Track usage. What I suggest you do is, if you are visiting the country just once for a set period of time, buy one of those cheap, disposable cellphones, obviously those that do not use SIM cards, sold on several cellphone outlets and ask for cellular service where you postpay and use minutes charged to that particular cellphone/cell number. I know this works because my collegue visited Korea for a month, so he just needed cellphone service for one month. If memory serves, he used KTF.

    Seriously, stop your whining of how you feel discriminated against because you're caucasian. You aren't. In fact, Koreans welcome foreigners, often because they envy the fact that you can speak English fluently and well and will often try to engage in a coversation with you if you look and sound friendly enough, which through your posts, you obviously don't. This isn't the Korea portrayed by several foreign media outlets decades ago. The discimination you may have experienced may have been conducted by an older generation of Koreans, who are still suspicious of strangers - a generation torn by the Korean War. Korea has changed much in the past several years.

    Now onto my question. I am aware that the iPhone supports UMTS/HSPDA (Japan), and I've read that UMTS is the same cellular structure as WCDMA, which Korea supports, so I was wondering if it is possible to use a Korean SIM in the iPhone and call, after changing APN (what's this?) and MMS settings as retroneo suggested.
     
  14. dvdvd thread starter macrumors newbie

    dvdvd

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #14
    Agreed, according to some news networks, it appears the iPhone will not be officially supported in Korea (maybe hacking will solve the issue?) because the three dominant cellular phone networks try to keep competition tight within the country. I also hear that KTF wished to support the iPhone and asked Apple to strip WiFi off the iPhone (huge amounts of revenue are generated by accessing the Internet via the cell network, so WiFi would work against their profit advantage), but Apple, stubborn as it is, wouldn't obviously comply and thus, have no interest in releasing the phone here.
     

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