iPhone in Beijing

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by harlonpepper, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. harlonpepper macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    #1
    I'm headed to Beijing tomorrow to watch some Olympics (WOOT!)

    Very late notice, but do I need to do anything to get my iPhone 3G working? Should I shift my AT&T plan to avoid huge charges? Different SIM?

    Any help would be amazing - thanks!
     
  2. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #2
    Data roaming is set to OFF by default so as long as you don't you the data or make calls you will be OK. If you make/receive calls or use data expect to pay thru the nose.
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    Don't bring you phone because trust me you don't want to pay $2/min for calls. And you can't use local SIMs as the iPhone is locked. Go buy a cheap phone and be happy. Who knows, you might find a better phone in China. ;)
     
  4. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #4
    Did I read somewhere that in 2.0 you can turn on airplane mode (so no phone calls) but the wifi would stay on (so he could still check email at a chinese cafe or Internet bar)
    :confused:
     
  5. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #5
    Well you will get big data roaming charges if you use data while there. If your phone is still locked which I'm 99.9999% certain it is you can't install a Chinese SIM (Don't think they would sell you one there anyways). Make sure that your switch the "Data Roaming" is set to off under the Network in the settings menu, if you don't want data roaming charges. Just use wifi if you can find it, its also cheaper to text than call.
     
  6. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

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    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #6
    Yes you just put it in airplane mode then turn the wifi on.
     
  7. archesdevil macrumors 6502

    archesdevil

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    Apr 2, 2008
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    What's the point of leaving Airplane mode on and not using the phone if the purpose of the device is to make calls?
     
  9. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #9
    Here's the rates from Rogers in Canada as they are the standard International rates I assume AT&T's will probably the same.



    China Mobile
    Freq US/Can IN LCL Int Txt Data Min Data
    900 $3.00 $3.00 $2.00 $4.00 60¢ 3 KB¢ per KB 20 KB 20 KB
    China Unicom GSM
    900 $3.00 $3.00 $2.00 $4.00 60¢ 3 KB¢ per KB 20 KB 20 KB
     
  10. rolex54 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #10
    just use it as an ipod in airplane mode, you don't want to be making calls or using data
     
  11. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    Yeah it's around $2/min. I know cause I had a make a few calls because of an emergency… :eek:

    Seriously buy a Motorola F3 for $30 and buy a local SIM.
     
  12. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #12
    When you are on an airplane that has wifi.

    Or to get your email and check your sites over safari when you are away from your office.
     
  13. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #13
    no because that defeats the purpose of airplane mode
     
  14. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #14
    Apparently you have not seen international roaming charges. I got charged $2.99 a minute while in Brazil a couple of years ago.

    ATT and other cell phone providers keep this secret:
    Even if you do not answer any incoming phone calls you essentially get double charged for each voicemail that is left while you are internationally roaming. Once for the voicemail sent to the international carrier and the other for the international carrier sending it back to ATT's server.

    So I was in Brazil, got 6 voicemails at $2.99 each (never answered the call, the fact that the phone was just on just to receive voicemails) and got charged $36 dollars in roaming charges for just leaving the phone on. Managed to get $18 credit but it's a lesson learned.

    Since the new iPhone 2.0 software allows you to keep the Wifi on along with airplane mode, that is what I suggest you do. Do not use the phone function with the ATT SIM in the iPhone.

    Just get a cheap unlocked phone and use a prepaid SIM while you are in China if you really wanted to make phone calls.
     
  15. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #15
    You are wrong cause you can because some plans now have wifi.
     
  16. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

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    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #16
    Its not really a secret its just that people are either too lazy, or too ignorant to find out. All the cell phone providers have it posted on their websites.

    Rogers International Roaming

    AT&T International Support
     
  17. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #17
    Actually I have and my point was that a phone is for calls and if you're just going to use WiFi on it, don't bring it.
     
  18. 61132 Guest

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    #18
    If someone wanted to be absolutely sure that they won't be charged, couldn't they just remove the sim card? The phone will still work as a wifi device, but cannot make or receive calls or data.
     
  19. archesdevil macrumors 6502

    archesdevil

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #19
    I know, what good is the an iPod, email, and safari in your pocket?...

    Would you take your touch?
     
  20. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #20
    I guess you've never made calls on the way to or from the airport while still in the US. I guess its of no use to listen to music, watch videos, play games on while flying for umpteen hours:confused:
     
  21. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #21
    I'd still recommend bringing the iphone to china. You can leave it in Airplane mode/Wifi mode and only use the phone features for emergency. There are tons of WiFi free spots in big cities. I was just in Europe with my iPhone (did not have a SIM in there to avoid the voice/data roaming charges).

    Carrying around a 4.7 oz Wifi/ipod device is easier than carrying around a 3-7 pound laptop if you wanted to access the internet.

    I see the international roaming disclaimer on the ATT website, however, I think they should be required to email you the direct link to the disclaimer or send you a letter clearly stating the roaming charges before they allow you to activate international roaming on your account.
     
  22. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    #22
    I went to China in May with my 1st gen iPhone. Worked okay.

    Call AT&T and make sure they activate international calling on it. It's expensive to use, so only use it if you have to.

    If you're going to use Edge/3G (not 100% sure they have 3G networks in China, but the edge works for sure), get one of the 25MB or 50MB data plans. It's a LOT cheaper.

    I had only gotten the 25MB plan before leaving, but due to a 'little' earthquake they had over there, I ended up using my iPhone to get info on the earthquake, email my family that I was alive, and figure out how the end of my trip might be affected. This caused me to use a lot more data than expected.

    Fortunately, AT&T let me switch to the 50MB plan after I returned.

    Unfortunately, all the activity in China on my account caused AT&T to suspend my account due to suspicious activity (this AFTER I had called and activated international calling and told them what country I was visiting). Took a couple long phone calls to get that fixed (one on a pay phone (yes, they still exist) because I couldn't even call 611 on my iPhone at the time).


    WI-FI hot spots were not in every hotel, but they might have some additional spots around during the games. Keep in mind, you won't be able to reach some internet sites due to China's great firewall.
     
  23. gerbort macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    #23
    Download an app called TruPhone. VoIP software for your iPhone. Way cheaper...like 6 cents a minute.
     
  24. willyummy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2008
    #24
    iPhone in Beijing

    Actually I saw some ads recently for like $300 unlocked 3G "iPhones" - i'd be careful in Beijing!

    I was using my aluminum back first gen iPhone in Beijing with the pwnage unlock, worked great and buying prepaid sim cards is easy from china mobile (they sell at airport. can be found cheaper elsewhere but hard to find, the calls are cheap anyways, domestic and international, using the local chinamobile sim). I couldn't get data to work though, i think you need to go postpaid.

    If you end up bringing the phone, you should check out the Beijing Taxi Guide on the iPhone App Store, it's like a directory of 1000+ Chinese addresses that you can search using english venue names, it's much easier than trying to tell your cabbie where to go in broken or nonexistent chinese... hoodhottravel.com, and no need for internet so no roaming even if you can't unlock the 3G.
     
  25. iSamurai macrumors 65816

    iSamurai

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    ɹǝpun uʍop 'ǝuɐqsı&#
    #25
    hey man, i've got a cookie for you and your iphone while in 北京
    http://flickr.com/photos/qugel/2775343665/

    besides the iPhone roaming, what are you watching? oh, and there should be free WIFI close to olympic venues :)
     

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