mrmeister

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 26, 2010
139
1
Hi,

Over Christmas, I have the chance for someone to buy an iPhone 5S in the USA, and bring it back to the UK. I'm wanting to get an unlocked model, so that I can just put my SIM (EE network) in and have it work as normal.

Is the option that I would ask them to buy the T-Mobile contract free one? Or is the iPhone 5S currently not unlocked from the Apple website in the USA?


Thanks
 

mrmeister

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 26, 2010
139
1
So far so good :)

Did you have any problems with getting it into the country? You hear of all these horror stories where airport open up gifts in bags etc... I'd rather that didn't happen, I don't want to pay any more than the cost of the phone if i can help it!
 

Manatlt

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2013
900
298
London, UK
So far so good :)

Did you have any problems with getting it into the country? You hear of all these horror stories where airport open up gifts in bags etc... I'd rather that didn't happen, I don't want to pay any more than the cost of the phone if i can help it!

Yeah I heard about the horror stories too when people open up packages and steal the phone...

But I took the risk and successfully got the iPhone 5s. The horror stories happens to a few people though who are just unlucky.

I did not get any import fees with this phone though I could have been lucky.
 

mrmeister

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 26, 2010
139
1
Thanks for your help so far.

Do you know if the iPhone was put inside hand luggage, or checked luggage? And do you know if any effort to wrap it up was made, so as not to seem like an iPhone box?
 

Twimfy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2011
885
236
UK
Why not just get the person bringing it over to open it and have it on their person as if it's their own phone?

Ok so you miss out on the fun of opening it from new but at least you'll know that it gets here.
 

mrmeister

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 26, 2010
139
1
Why not just get the person bringing it over to open it and have it on their person as if it's their own phone?

Ok so you miss out on the fun of opening it from new but at least you'll know that it gets here.

That's all well and good, but wouldn't it be a bit strange bringing 2 phones through customs? I also think that at that point she'll have an iPhone 5S too, so they'd both be exactly the same...


Do you think wrapping it up as a present and putting it in hand luggage would be a problem? I know they'd still be able to see it through the scanner, but is the problem about "things going missing" more to do with TSA officers stealing things, or is it to do with confiscating items that you're not supposed to be bringing abroad? (Weapons and drugs aside)
 

joeshmo2010

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2009
563
6
Seattle, WA
That's all well and good, but wouldn't it be a bit strange bringing 2 phones through customs? I also think that at that point she'll have an iPhone 5S too, so they'd both be exactly the same...


Do you think wrapping it up as a present and putting it in hand luggage would be a problem? I know they'd still be able to see it through the scanner, but is the problem about "things going missing" more to do with TSA officers stealing things, or is it to do with confiscating items that you're not supposed to be bringing abroad? (Weapons and drugs aside)

It's the norm for people to have more than one phone on them. On personal, one work.
 

mrmeister

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 26, 2010
139
1
It's the norm for people to have more than one phone on them. On personal, one work.

Hm, i guess i didn't think of that! Beginning to feel a little bit happier now! It would be nice to have the box though... Although, i can have her bring the box, and if that gets taken then so be it...

----------

Also, is the iPhone guaranteed to work over here? I did a little reading today and found that it uses slightly different bands over here, so on some networks it can't be used.

I think that EE uses all 3 bands (is it 800, 1800 and 2600? something like that), so i'm assuming that EE will be able to work ok on the US iphone?

I'm also concerned at the fact that the iPhone 5S doesn't actually say "unlocked" - like the 5C does... It's only "contract free" and comes with a T-Mobile SIM... Any other help here, other than Manatlt who posted earlier (he uses 02)?
 

fedecape

macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2011
414
32
Miami, FL
Hm, i guess i didn't think of that! Beginning to feel a little bit happier now! It would be nice to have the box though... Although, i can have her bring the box, and if that gets taken then so be it...

----------

Also, is the iPhone guaranteed to work over here? I did a little reading today and found that it uses slightly different bands over here, so on some networks it can't be used.

I think that EE uses all 3 bands (is it 800, 1800 and 2600? something like that), so i'm assuming that EE will be able to work ok on the US iphone?

I'm also concerned at the fact that the iPhone 5S doesn't actually say "unlocked" - like the 5C does... It's only "contract free" and comes with a T-Mobile SIM... Any other help here, other than Manatlt who posted earlier (he uses 02)?

I come from a third world country where the customs inspect every single bag looking for tech to charge you import fees, but I've never seen an inmigration officer inspecting pockets. It doesn't even sound right.

About the frequencies, I believe it works.

http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/

The US model has the same frequencies (and a few more) than the UK/European model (and EE is listed as compatible)
 

Manatlt

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2013
900
298
London, UK
EE as well as O2, Vodafone and 3 are compatible with the US model. The US model supports the same bands these networks use. :)

Also T-Mobile version from store.apple.com is fully unlocked (I bet you knew this but just to make sure) however you will be supplied with a T-Mobile SIM which is inside the phone.
 

mrmeister

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 26, 2010
139
1
Ok, that's good to know about the phone. And about immigration officers not inspecting pockets.

I read somewhere, that people like to ship the box through a standard mail (nothing fancy, like UPS or FedEx) with a couple of other minor goods, and to just list it as a box or something like that.

----------

EE as well as O2, Vodafone and 3 are compatible with the US model. The US model supports the same bands these networks use. :)

Also T-Mobile version from store.apple.com is fully unlocked (I bet you knew this but just to make sure)

I assumed, but i wasn't completely sure. It is nice to see a proper confirmation though, thanks!
 

abz1981

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2011
1,013
4
You may want to check Apple's website for warranty support for your iPhone outside the USA. My understanding is that your warranty is only valid in the region that you bought the iPhone from. So buying a USA iPhone may only be covered for warranty under the North American region.
 

mrmeister

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 26, 2010
139
1
You may want to check Apple's website for warranty support for your iPhone outside the USA. My understanding is that your warranty is only valid in the region that you bought the iPhone from. So buying a USA iPhone may only be covered for warranty under the North American region.

I have seen that, do i just hope that i don't run into any issues? I should hopefully be going there over summer, so if any problems do arise (and are only minor) then i should be able to get them sorted then...
 
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