iPhone relocation warning - it can't be done

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by whitehexagon, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. whitehexagon macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    I bought a 'contract-less' iPhone 3G 16GB at launch. My reasoning being that my job forces me to move around Europe every couple of years. Now it's time to move and I've discovered that my Pay-As-You-Go iPhone is also Carrier-Locked-Everywhere-I-Go!! The phone was bought in Switzerland with local provider Swisscom.

    I contacted Apple directly and they informed me that Swisscom should unlock the phone when I move. I contacted Swisscom and they told me no way! That went back and forth a few times until some internal meeting between Apple and Swisscom. After that it seems to be that I have to wait two years to have the phone carrier lock removed!!

    So with the international roaming charges and expensive Pre-Pay data rates my iPhone is pretty much useless to me now. 900CHF down the drain :(

    What's funny is that both Apple and Swisscom recommended me to hack the phone! which was fine until I pointed out that I wanted to use the phone for development and also not break any dcma type laws.

    So just be warned about so called 'contract-less' offers.
  2. 4np macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Hmm.... I know several people over here (The Netherlands) have bought pre-paid iPhones in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland and they are using them over here. Switzerland is selling a pre-paid iPhone for the lowest price in the world, that's why Switzerland's pre-paid iPhones are quite poplar.

    I think it's even possible to use a Belgian iPhone with a Dutch simcard without jailbreaking. Not sure about the Swiss iPhone though? Have you tried it with a foreign simcard yet? It mights be carrier depandant as well?
  3. whitehexagon thread starter macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    Yes, that's why I contacted them to find out what was going on. But it turned out it's carrier locked for 2 years. There's a place here I can get it unlocked, but then I won't be able to use it for development.

    I've heard that the Italian phones are carrier free but still country locked, the same as France. Apple also suggested some sim boost options but as far as I can tell they are no longer a working option.

    Well I'm still waiting for a consumer protection group to contact me here, so maybe I can put some presure on them. Under Swiss law they normally terminate all contracts when you leave the country, but in this case it seems they have a way around that because I don't have a contract. I'll post back if I make progress, but I wanted to warn people about this contractless trap. It's the only phone I've ever bought without contract that is still somehow locked :(
  4. imfrog2002 macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2007
    Okay, unlocking would fix this, and you CAN still use an unlocked phone for development. I'd unlock it, especially if it's supposed to be unlocked anyway. If you don't want Cydia or Uninstaller, just use pwnage on 2.2.0, then do an official upgrade to 2.2.1. It'll keep the unlock and remove the JB. Hope this helps!
  5. whitehexagon thread starter macrumors regular


    May 12, 2007
    I'm already on 2.2.1, is it still going to be possible? But good to hear that it can be used for development, I wasn't aware of that.

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