iPhone 4 unlock in Mexico.. / strategy

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ljova.com, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. ljova.com macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #1
    hi guys,
    can someone please clarify for me the iPhone unlocking / locking situation in the US?

    Here's what I plan to do:
    1) buy a iPhone 4 at the Apple Store for Full Price

    2) take it to another country (say, Canada or Mexico) and have it unlocked, use it for a few days on a local provider

    3) come back to the US and use it on AT&T - if I bought at full price, then there is no contract, right? Would it need to be re-locked to AT&T at this point?

    4) Eventually, re-sell it in a country where the iPhone 4 is not yet available, but would be supported.

    Anyone see a problem with this strategy?


    Thank you! :)
     
  2. IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #2
    If you take an AT&T locked phone to another country, it remains locked. No other provider will unlock it for you, as I understand it. And AT&T definitely won't, even if you're moving out of the country. All US phones are locked, even when bought at the unsubsidized price.

    Either buy a factory unlocked phone in Canada/Mexico, or JB and unlock your AT&T phone.
     
  3. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #3
    yeap the problem is that is BS and won't work at all... ALL of it won't work...

    The best bet you would have is go to a store in the country that has the iphone unlocked by factory and just buy it there and then resell it to X for Y amount.
     
  4. ljova.com thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #4
    Here's what I'm confused about - when I spoke with T-Mobile here in the US, they said that they'd unlock the phone for me and it'll work no problem.

    When a friend of mine took his iPhone 3GS to another country (Lithuania), they unlocked it for him no problem as well.

    According to http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1937, neither Canada nor Mexico do "carrier offers authorized unlocking". Does that mean one can't buy a factory unlocked phone there?

    Thanks!
     
  5. IrishVixen macrumors 68020

    IrishVixen

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #5
    Plenty of people have bought factory unlocked phones in Canada. You just have to get them from the Apple stores there. If you get one from say, Rogers, it will be locked to their network.

    Also, a quick search on Google will tell you that TMobile cannot unlock the iPhone for you. If they would, why on earth would you take it clear to another country to do the same thing?
     
  6. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario
    #6
    Our carriers in Canada do not sell unlocked iPhones, even at full price. I haven't heard of them unlocking iPhones even after the contract is done. However... I can and did buy a factory-unlocked iPhone in Canada--but not from a carrier. I bought it direct from Apple.
     
  7. ljova.com thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #7
    is that true in most countries, that only the Apple Store sells phones factory-unlocked?
     
  8. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #8
    T-mobile standard bs... and your friend also would have unlocked the phone by jailbreaking NOT by factory unlocked (which is way different) when he was over there. (check the web page you gave me they don't offer unlock phones in LITH for them to sell so not possible.

    That's correct only a few places in the world sell them unlocked, so your little enterprise is not as easy to get up as you though! Which is not illegal but frowned upon. But, if you are buying it w/ a contract and then running away like some english dudes did a couple of weeks back then JAIL time for U...

    Get your facts straight and read & research about the thing before asking questions with no base please...
     
  9. ljova.com thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #9
    i don't really see why you sound so annoyed, but yet you're answering my question. Since you know everything, why not just move on to a more entrancing thread? Maybe you could build a FAQ page for all these questions? Neither Apple employees in the US nor T-Mobile will give me any straight info.

    Straight question: If I went to an Apple Store in Mexico, could I buy a factory unlocked iPhone 4?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #10
    LMAO :D
    Thats pretty much right.

    You could if you find any of them in stock.
    I think Apple stores in Canada would have more stock.
     
  11. ljova.com thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #11
    How do you tell an unlocked phone from a locked phone? If I come back to the US with a factory unlocked phone, will it be relocked if I chose to get service through AT&T?
     
  12. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #12
    glad you enjoyed it! :D

    Read the page you posted! There is NO factory unlocked version of the iPhone in Canada, USA nor Mexico... You would have to go more down to the central america countries that sell it factory unlocked (probably cost even more than anywhere else), in the page you posted if it has a checkmark in the column of "locked to carrier" it means it's locked to that network of that country if not then is factory unlocked, the column to the right of that one means that you could buy the phone form that carrier and pay or wait the respective time to get them to talk to apple to unlock your iphone to factory unlocked. If wha tyou want is just sell, the cheapest way is just buy them in the US locked to AT&T but not in the subsidized price (you would pay the full price) then wait for a new JB to appear by the dev team or any other and jailbreak it and if possible unlock it my that method (which again is different than facotry unlocked since you would have to keep on your toes because every new update would break the jb and unlock, while the factory one no matter what you do or update the software it will still be unlocked) There?
    I understand your want to supply the demand in another country and get some extra cash for it, but rule number one of business is make sure you know & understand your product completely or else fail... Also even unlocked the phone will not work with just any carrier but the ones that have the freqs that the iphone 3G chip possess or their respective EDGE network freq worldwide...
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario
    #13
    ...sold by carriers. The linked page is incomplete. It needs an additional column stating whether the iPhone is sold unlocked by people other than the carriers. That column would say that it's sold unlocked direct from Apple in Canada.
     
  14. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #14
    you are correct! I was about to edit and say that only Canada of those three I mentioned that you can buy it direct from apple, (I believe is through the online store right? and you have to have a canadian address too if I'm not mistaken) I had forgotten that besides the UK and France, that Canada was doing it too since the Iphone 4....
    To the OP I'm not annoyed, just that maybe next time put that you want to resell it to another place after buying it in the subject or something similar... :rolleyes:
     
  15. ljova.com thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #15
    See, isn't that interesting -- buy how do you know this is correct? Where did you find the info? How can you tell a factory unlocked phone from a JBd one?

    Even if you do get a JBd phone, wouldn't relocking it back to AT&T be as easy as restoring it in iTunes?
     
  16. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario
    #16
    You can go to the Apple stores for the various countries and look at the iPhone page. :)
    Well, the jailbroken one might have Cydia on it... and there are the many appearance modifications you can do after jailbreaking. Are there ways of jailbreaking other than through the method that installs Cydia?

    It's a good question though. Given an iPhone that appears stock... how can you tell whether it's unlocked or jailbroken without having various SIMs or a computer with iTunes or a connection to Apple to test it with? Is there an indication in the settings?
     
  17. ljova.com thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #17
    how do you know? does the Apple Store carry locked phones at full price, and unlocked ones separately? do you have to ask for them in a special way? do they cost even more than the ones at full price?

    what's the incentive for Apple to sell locked phones at full price, anyway?
     
  18. JorgeLomeli macrumors regular

    JorgeLomeli

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Monterrey, MEXICO
  19. Komiksulo macrumors 6502

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario
    #19
    I don't know whether Apple would sell locked phones at full price--but I believe they will sell you a subsidized and locked phone and sign you up with a carrier and a plan, if you want. In this they would be acting as an agent of the carrier.

    Presumably you just have to ask for an unlocked one, or ask for a locked one and settle on a price, carrier and plan.
    I haven't done this in-store; I ordered mine online and it was shipped to me for use with an existing plan.

    There are threads around here that seem to indicate that the unlock status is decided at the time of sale: all phones are potentially lockable or unlockable before they are sold. But if it's sold as unlocked, Apple makes a note of it, and when you activate the phone, Apple confirms the serial number and makes it unlocked.
     
  20. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #20
    There is no incentive, it just depends on the contracts they made with the carriers or the laws that govern the country about selling locked or unlocked phones. In other words some places by law they have to sell them unlocked in others not. (I know it sucks...)


    Bueno, that page is a comparison between the 3GS and the 4 and they don't say nothing about phones being unlocked; I think you meant this page:
    http://store.apple.com/mx/browse/home/shop_iphone/family/iphone
    As I can see the only way to actually get an iphone that is unlocked in MX is by buying it directly from the apple online store (ver. MX) BUT as of right now they are only selling the 3GS version unlocked, the iPhone 4 (16GB & 32GB) will come soon (meaning there is no unlocked iPhone 4 ver. in MX as of right now) . You can buy the iPhone 4 in MX right now, but you must buy it from either movistar or telcel which I assume according to apple are locked phones since you will be paying less for them than the unlocked version due to the contract to the specific carrier and is not a direct buy from the apple store but the specific carriers... The only unlocked iphone in MX you can buy right now is the 8GB 3GS not the iphone 4 from what I understand... if it isn't like this please explain since the OP wants to buy an iPhone 4...
     
  21. ljova.com thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #21
    you guys are very helpful - thank you so much!
    I guess we'll await the news of the media event and see if it brings us a 3G-enabled iPod Touch..

    I wasn't trying to make money on this thing, by the way, just wanted to be able to take the phone out of the country for a few days and use a local SIM card to Skype home. Clearly this is far too complicated for the moment..

    :apple:
     
  22. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #22
    ok... do you have an iPhone right now? you can also go to AT&T and ask them for a change in plan for the month when you are going for a trip, maybe something like this that gives you extra roaming mins in the plan to/from mexico & US for like $10 more than normal US coverage and then when you come back just change it back to your normal plan: (you can turn off 3G data in the iphone settings when over there and just the wifi of where you are going to be staying if you need to use the internet on the phone so you don't have 3g data charges (which you could also extend but is crazy expensive)... GL!

    http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/international/viva-mexico.jsp
     
  23. ljova.com thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    #23
    Thank you so much for the consideration -- the whole point of this exercise *is* to have 3G access, so that I can use Skype to call colleagues via, and not to use the phone in Mexico as a phone.. and also to have email access, and web access. WIFI is nice, but it's not constant, and not always free, and costs a lot (in hotels, anyway).

    Compare this:
    For $24.99, AT&T will give me 20*mb* (that's MEGAbytes) of roaming data.

    Currently, via Mexico's Telcel, I can get 3GB of Data for $299 pesos, or about $22.99 US. See http://www.telcel.com/iphone/amigokit.html. That's a *prepay* rate valid for two weeks.

    My math is bad, but isn't that 1000 times cheaper?

    If one travels, an unlocked iPhone pays for itself pretty quickly.
     
  24. SkottDMD macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #24
    It is generally assumed that ALL iPhone's (at least in Canada) are technically unlocked. That is, until the point of sale and the Micro SIM (or SIM for the 3G/3GS) is scanned alongside the purchase of the device. For example, Rogers and Fido when sending to resellers do not separate the devices. Instead, when activated they are locked to whatever Micro SIM they were sold with. All iPhone's at the Apple Store are unlocked, until sold with a on-contract SIM. There have been incidents when employees have scanned the wrong Micro SIM's with the purchase and inadvertently locked the device. In Canada, regardless of being outside your contract, none of the carriers will unlock the device.
     
  25. Carlanga macrumors 604

    Carlanga

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #25
    If international 3G access was the primary point of the thread you should have told us that from the first post/title ;) I travel abroad a lot which is why mine is JB and unlocked since like I said international data charges from AT&T are "crazy expensive". For me I bought it in AT&T since w/ contract is only $300 since for me at least buying it unlocked was like $800 for the same phone and I preferred the jb and unlock way and save that money for my monthly at&t bill and for me I don't mind the waiting game for newer updates...

    I guess you would be traveling several times (you said a few days trip before) so maybe either buy it from AT&T and wait for a new jb & unlock (time frame who knows?) and save some $ or simply just wait a couple of weeks (or more?) for MX to start selling the iPhone 4 unlock and use it over there and bring it back and use it in the network you want (if they are the correct freqs.). If you are close to Canada you could buy it right now over there unlocked since you mentioned maybe going there for it... Just in case you didn't know Skype on the iPhone only does voice calls, no video chats.
     

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