iPhone 4 - buy unlocked in Canada or go to California and buy on contract?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by ericmjl, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. ericmjl macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Hey everybody,

    I was hoping to crowdsource people's opinion on this... Should I get an iPhone 4 unlocked in Canada (where I am right now), or should I get one down in San Francisco with AT&T?

    Also, if I go with the former route, which carrier should I go with?

  2. lucifiel macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2009
    In your basement
    Do you want AT&T's deals? If not, then buy unlocked in Canada.
  3. ericmjl thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Hmm... I'm not sure, you see, because I'm still kinda new to the American market. I have a feeling it'll be cheaper than what Rogers is doing up here in Canada, but I've also heard about the bad side of AT&T... What have your experiences been with AT&T?
  4. screensaver400 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2005
    Sorry, maybe I just missed it, but where do you plan on using the device?

    A few general points:
    -An unlocked iPhone from Canada may not accept an American SIM. I seem to remember hearing that unlocked iPhones are actually "country-locked," but I'm not sure. You should confirm that it will work in the US if that's what you decide to do.
    -If you simply want to avoid a contract with AT&T... Think long and hard. You're still paying the phone subsidy in your monthly service plan, only you paid full price for the phone. That doesn't make much sense to me. Plus, an unlocked iPhone is, what, $400 more? The ETF for AT&T is $325 or something like that now, isn't it? Even if you break the contract and get charged ETF, you're still coming out ahead (or, at least, in the ballpark, depending on the actual numbers).
  5. ignus graius macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2005
    I'd definitely think about where you're going to be using the iPhone the most, and let that be the determining factor. If you travel a lot and plan on using multiple SIM cards from different countries, then go unlocked. If you spend most of your time in the States, then go with AT&T (or wait a few months for Verizon).
  6. Rajani Isa macrumors 65816

    Rajani Isa

    Jun 8, 2010
    Rogue Valley, Oregon
    Especially since the only real options other than AT&T in the US are T-Mobile and a few Pay-as-you-go (maybe) operations, and other than AT&T, none will fully support the phone's capabilities (Visual Voicemail, which I find GREAT!; full 3G service, etc).
  7. ericmjl thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Thanks for the advice, everybody. I think you all really helped by pointing out where I'd be using the phone mostly. I definitely hope to travel with it, so I think I'd be going unlocked. That's because I have European countries as well as Singapore and South Korea on my list of destinations. I know a Canadian unlocked phone will definitely work internationally - it's stated so on the Apple website - so I won't be worried about that.

    Thanks again!
  8. pravin2k macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2011
    Did you buy the unlocked phone from Canada? Did you have any issue in using it with AT&T in US? Appreciate your reply.

  9. noshjewman macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    I use my unlocked iPhone 4 in the US with an AT&T sim. It works fnd - except that because it's a Go phone sim I had to cut it to size and then find the APN settings to access 3G (oh, and they charge an absolute fortune for 3G!) if you're using a normal ATT plan there will be no problem.

  10. ericmjl thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2006
    No problem whatsoever, Pravin. I did what someone else did - put an iPad MicroSIM card inside the iPhone 4 - and managed to use Line2 as my phone line, so my total monthly bill comes up to about $32, no taxes needed either.
  11. ssdeg7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2010
    Buy it in Canada, and if you want AT&T than you can, and if you don't like it than just change to Verizon.
  12. Thebestdoctor macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
    Unlocked phone 4 from Canada for India

    I have two phones one iphone4 from ATT and got another iPhone 4 from Canada today. Can I sync the new unlocked phone to get all the contacts from I tunes in computer in the USA.
    I intend to use the new unlocked phone from Canada in India
    Any help info much appreciated.

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