iPhone USA carrier alternatives?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Morod, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Morod macrumors 68000

    Morod

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    On The Nickel, over there....
    #1
    Okay, I'm a cell phone n00b. I'd like to get an iPhone, but I don't want to give money to ATT.
    Are there any carrier choices in the USA? Maybe in the near future?
    My ideal would be an iPhone where I purchase a card to add minutes to it instead of a fixed monthly contract. Anyone know if this can be done?
    Thanks for any info on this. Like I said, I'm a n00b at this stuff.
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Colorado
    #2
    The only other carrier in the US that the iPhone can work on is T-Mobile. There are ways to unlock your phone so you can use it on T-Mobile. However, I could be wrong about this, you will not get 3G speeds, you will only get EDGE which is slower.
     
  3. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

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    #3
  4. chstr macrumors 6502a

    chstr

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    Mar 25, 2009
    #4
    the best alternative is to unlock your iphone, and use a tmobile sim. for data use wifi and/or get a verizon mifi if you want 3g speeds
     
  5. Morod thread starter macrumors 68000

    Morod

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    #5
    Great! Thanks for all the info.
    Not sure I want to do the unlocked route though. Is that legal? Does it break the EULA?
    The Go Phone SIM card might be the way to go.
    Thanks again. :)
     
  6. dragonpnoy20 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    #6
    sorry for hijacking your thread Morod but does the GoPhone sim card cover data as well?

    Thanks!

    Edit* Just found my answer.
     
  7. outphase macrumors 65816

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    #7
    To get to an unlocked phone, you have to jail break. While legality has yet to be determined by a court, you will likely violate the EULA.
     
  8. aristotle macrumors 68000

    aristotle

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    #8
  9. aristotle macrumors 68000

    aristotle

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    #9
    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong Wrong. Wrong.
    Unlocked phones are available directly from Apple in Hong Kong. If you know someone there, you can get them to buy it for you and ship it to you. Apparently, you can buy it yourself and ship it to your friend within HK. They would then have to ship it to you.
     
  10. reoreilly macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    #10
    Unlocked iphones are also available directly from Apple in Australia. :)
    8GB 3G - $719
    16GB 3GS - $879
    32GB 3GS - $1040

    The prices are in Australian dollars. :)
    The Mactalk AU forums did have members who were willing to buy and ship overseas I believe, not sure if they still do it but worth a look perhaps. Hope this helps.
     
  11. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

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    #11
    They're available in Italy and Belgium too.
     
  12. thelatinist macrumors 603

    thelatinist

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    Connecticut, USA
    #12
    As I understand it, there is a specific exception made in federal law for modifications to phones for the purpose of network unlocking. Jailbreaking and unlocking your iPhone therefore should not be illegal.
     
  13. Morod thread starter macrumors 68000

    Morod

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  14. outphase macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I know about factory phones, but the OP was likely going the US-based phone route. Some European phones are also factory unlocked.

    How does it feel to write "Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong Wrong. Wrong." on a forum? Does it feel wonderful? :D
     
  15. aristotle macrumors 68000

    aristotle

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    Yes. I believe that there is also no such thing as a "factory unlocked phone". An iPhone becomes locked or unlocked when you activate it. It all depends on how the IMEI number is flagged in their activation server database. Some iPhone boxes are scanned into the system before leaving the factory as "locked" to a specific carrier while those headed to the HK, Singapore, Belgium, Australia or Italy are not.

    I have no absolute proof on this but it seems logical to me that they would have one production run for the entire world and lock phones to a carrier in their activation database when they ship them out the door. Otherwise, they would have to set up separate production runs for each carrier. This guess on my part is also consistent with how the official unlock process works.

    In countries that have carriers offering the service, the customer provides a fee to the carrier who in turn forwards the IMEI number of the iPhone to Apple using a special piece of software that only the store manager has access to. All the customer has to do is go home to sync their iPhone with iTunes and they will get a screen stating that their iPhone is unlocked just like "factory unlocked" phones have when you active for the first time or update the iPhone OS to a new release.

    I think all phones are by default set to "unlocked" and the locking happens when the shipment goes out.
     

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