Is an unlocked iPhone worth it?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by jwade32, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. jwade32 macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2008
    I'm just looking for some opinions and advice. I am about to leave my current cell phone provider and want an iPhone. I'll probably either go with a Verizon iPhone or try to save money and go Tmobile and unlock either a 3G or 4G phone. I've had a jailbroken iPod for about 2 years now so I am aware of the pros and cons of a jailbreak but not so much of an unlock. I've read that you will only have EDGE on Tmobile and MMS sometimes doesn't work. Any one have experience and want to share? Or any advice?

    Thanks is advance!
  2. h1r0ll3r macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2009
    If you're looking to get an unlocked iPhone then it would make sense to get a GSM iPhone instead of a Verizon iPhone. If you want to use T-Mobile then you'll need to get an AT&T iPhone as both carriers use SIM cards. The AT&T iPhone won't be unlocked so you're only bet would be to use either a Gevey SIM or pay for an unlock at Negri Electronics or some other company that's currently selling iPhone unlocks. OR, you could scoure eBay/Craigslist for a factory unlocked iPhone.
  3. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I would pay a little more and go with an iPhone from AT&T or Verizon because you'll get 3G. Not to mention, buying an unlocked iPhone is more expensive. I'd go with AT&T just because its GSM, but check if it works good in your area.
  4. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    What about 3GS?

    What's worth it to you may not worth to me. Ask yourself some questions. Do you need your iPhone unlock? Will you travel abroad? If yes then you want a unlock iPhone. If you only stay in the states and never travel then there's no need an unlock iPhone.

    If you need an unlock iphone then there are several ways to do this.

    1)JB and unlock (unlikely because new iphone will have new BB)
    2)use evey SIM or alike
    3)pay more and get an official unlock
  5. jwade32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2008
    I won't be traveling abroad except for a cruise this summer. I currently live in the SF Bay area and most people I know with AT&T here complain nonstop about horrible service here so I'd like to stay away from AT&T. I keep reading rumors that the "new" iPhone 5 is just an updated iPhone 4 and that the next overhaul will be a 6G iPhone.

    I got to ask myself if want to wait that long with a unlocked phone on Tmobile or just get a 4G but be locked in a 2 yr deal.

    And who knows. It may only be a year until Tmobile is bought out by AT&T, that is if the deal is approved.
  6. wordoflife, Apr 22, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2011

    wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    There's always going to be something better around the corner so I would just buy it now if I were you ... on Verizon. I'm not really sure if you want to buy a the iPhone for a really high price to get an unlocked version and be stuck on edge. They are *really* expensive on Ebay for a unlocked one. And most of the time most people are just selling their JB'd one, not factory unlocked.
  7. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    No, it's not worth it. Soon T-Mobile USA will be owned by AT&T, and it will be no more. Unless you want to go to MetroPCS, then there's practically no reason to unlock domestically.
    International is another story. If you travel a lot, and can't afford an international calling plan, then a temporary prepaid SIM card could be used if your phone is unlocked.

    So, unless you travel a lot or want a crappier carrier, don't bother with unlocking.
  8. hackthatphone macrumors 68000


    Jul 28, 2010
    Every reply in this thread is just that person's opinion.

    Only YOU can answer this question. No one can answer it for you.
  9. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2008
    Yep, a personal decision. :D

    Frankly, if you never leave North America, it may not be worth it. If you are in USA particularly, as once AT&T absorbs T-Mo you won't have any other GSM choices anyway (a few small regional carriers aside.)

    Unlocked phones do have a higher resale value but I don't personally care about that.
  10. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Oct 9, 2010
    I travel abroad so having a factory unlocked iPhone is worth it for me. Instead of paying obscene AT&T international roaming charges you can buy a local prepaid SIM and use it while over seas.
  11. spaceballl macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2003
    San Francisco, CA
    I live in SF too - the reason why everyone complains about iPhone is because everyone has them here. EVERY phone sucks in SF. Get a 3G Microcell for your home - hope that ATT / VZW / other improve service in SF.
  12. jamaggic macrumors member

    Feb 12, 2009
    SC, thank God
    couple of things to consider;
    1. rates are cheaper on tmob,,, I have four iphones on tmob family plane for $180 unlimited data/text

    2. if you are not a heavy browser user edge is not a big deal

    3. my wife has verizon ip4 and problem with cdma is while using voice, data is unavailable.

    4. if facetime is not important to you, you could save quite a bit by buying a 3gs, which functionally is essentially the same as ip4

    5. lots of complaints about microcell with att, and even tho' you are using wifi to connect, att will charge you voice minutes.

    6. where I live tmob has better coverage
  13. applemagic123 macrumors regular


    Aug 19, 2009
    I have the iphone unlocked on tmobile. I've never had a dropped call. There are certain TINY areas that I don't get service, but all I have to do is walk outside or to a different area and I'm fine again.

    If you get an unlocked iphone, I suggest you buy a FACTORY unlocked iphone from ebay. That way, you won't need to jailbreak it and "void" a warranty.

    If you say people complain about ATT in your san fran bay area, then I would definitely go on tmobile.

    if I were you, I would get a factory unlocked 3gs. The only purpose the iphone 4 serves is that it has a faster processor and more memory, which is really only good for high graphic games. Side by side tests comparing 3gs with 4 shows they are about the same in speed.

    As with internet, edge speeds are not that slow. I mean, it's just a phone, how much internet browsing do you need to do on a phone? The bigger the web pages are and the more pictures a web page has, the slower it will load. It is not unbearable though.
  14. jwade32 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2008
    This is perhaps the biggest seller for me to even consider unlocking. I guess you could say I'm trying to save a buck or two. Tmobile definitely has the cheapest rates out there without doing Metro PCS or something like that, which I really don't want to do. Perhaps everyone's Tmob plan will get grandfathered into AT&T if the buyout happens!

    So a FACTORY unlocked phone can still get normal IOS updates unlike an "unlocked" phone??? Didn't know that. Just did a quick check and they're around $400 on ebay.
  15. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Love how you say Verizon iphones cant use voice and data but you're using an iphone on Tmobile that also cannot do voice and data cause its stuck on edge:D

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