Japanese Iphone to the U.S

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by odonnellj, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. odonnellj macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    #1
    I am military stationed in Japan with an Iphone 3G which I will own soon. I will transfer to the U.S. in June I would like to continue with the Iphone in the U.S. but I am unsure if I will have to Jailbreak it or what.
    I had a similar problem coming to Japan with the Edge Iphone but I understood why it wouldn't work here but I've seen them put a sim card in the Japanese Iphone 3G. So it seems like it should be as simple as swapping Sims right?

    SO will I have a $600 Ipod Touch when I return?
    Could I send it back to Apple to have them swap out the software if it's a software issue?
    Is Jailbreaking my only avenue I really enjoy keeping it not jailbroken.

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Jim
     
  2. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #2
    First off thanks for serving our country man.

    Second it should work fine. In fact since it's made in japan you should be able to get it to work on any GSM carrier so AT&T or T-Mobile. No software issues apple is good like that. People will pay 1000 USD+ for unlocked phones like yours.
     
  3. aphexacid macrumors 6502a

    aphexacid

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #3
    I'm pretty sure that the Japanese iphones are locked to softbank
     
  4. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #4
    Negative. By law phones cannot be locked to a carrier in japan, a law the FCC should look into more quickly. Go to apples honk kong website if you don't believe me it's written right there under your choices.
     
  5. odonnellj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    #5
    Nothing solid

    Two things, maybe I'm showing my lack of understanding but when exactly do you consider a phone unlocked. I had to pay for the "full price" of the phone when I set it up here. When I leave they are not going to get it back from me that's for sure.

    But I worry the phone operates similar to the TVs here, Yeah they are both NTSC but what registers on my American consumer tv as Channel 4 is actually Japanese broadcast channel 6. They operate their radios on different freqs as well so I worry yeah they are both GSM but maybe a different frequency band then America's GSM.

    I've checked out a number of forums trying to find a definitive answer but still nothing.

    Thanks for the help though.
    Jim
     
  6. aphexacid macrumors 6502a

    aphexacid

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #6

    I dunno man, this is what it says on apples website....

    [​IMG]
     
  7. aphexacid macrumors 6502a

    aphexacid

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7

    It doesnt really matter if you paid full price for the phone. If you bought it from the carrier, it should be locked, only able to be used with their sim card on their network. You only get a discount on the phone if you sign up for their service, which you didnt.

    It will work "technically", the hardware is the same. The thing that im questioning is whether the iphone is locked to the carrier or not. apples site says it is, the guy above says no.

    If it is locked, you need to unlock it which is fairly simple. If its unlocked, then you just put your sim in and your good to go, it will work with any carrier that takes sim cards (gsm).
     
  8. vlinkz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #8
    Sounds like a sweet job. If I had to be stationed anywhere, Japan would be one of the top choices.

    Apple's website says it's locked to the Japanese carrier so maybe you could get a cheap ticket to Taiwan or Hong Kong before you leave and buy one of their unlocked versions?
    I can't imagine why the Japanese one is locked though, as the iPhone isn't exactly advanced technology in Japan. You would think it would just hurt their sales...

    You will have to jailbreak it and unlock if not.
     
  9. odonnellj thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    #9
    funny, Hong Kong and then Omaha

    Funny you should mention the Hong Kong trip. I may find myself in Hong Kong in the near near future. Maybe I'll look into picking an unlocked one up. But then I'll still be looking at 2 over "paid for" ipod touches once I get back to the states but at least I won't be locked into the god awful AT&T.

    I was looking at AT&T's awful coverage of my next duty station (Omaha Nebraska) and I can't imagine it could be worse especially after I found a couple of forums bemoaning how bad AT&T's service is in the OMAHA area. Any Omaha residents out there to attest to this fact or fiction?
     
  10. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Northern District NY
    #10
    My advice; talk to softbank and see if you cabbage them unlck your phone, allot of carriers will but if not then sell it and buy an unlocked one in Hong Kong.
     
  11. eeach macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #11
    Japanese wireless networks are CDMA

    I am considering purchasing an iPhone in Japan as well. Before I joined the military I was a call center rep for T-mobile and know for a fact that GSM phones don't work in Japan as all Japanese wireless networks are some form of CDMA.

    I found this page: http://euc.jp/misc/cellphones.en.html from 2007 that says most Softbank phones are dual GSM/CDMA for the purpose of international roaming.

    This blog: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Alt/alt.cellular.verizon/2009-01/msg00017.html from January of last year claims he was able to roam on Japanese networks using a Verizon phone. If he could do that, then Japanese CDMA phones could possibly work on Verizon's US network (I don't like AT&T anyway).

    So I have hope that this will work and will probably soon make my purchase. When I spoke with the Softbank reps at our BX they said that the phone was locked to Softbank and they would not provide an unlock code. That is not unusual as it is the gaining carrier that usually requests that information (much like doing a number transfer). Or I could always use that nifty jailbreak utility everyone loves to talk about.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. Toscof macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    #12
    I'm looking for a definitive answer to the original poster's question.

    I bought my iPhone in Japan (where I currently live), but went to the States for Christmas last year. As soon as I got off the plane, my iPhone picked up the signal from AT&T. Yes, I was actually roaming through Softbank (which limited my phone use... didn't want to run up an outlandish bill).

    I stopped by an AT&T store and asked an employee there about using my iPhone in the States after I return. The AT&T guy told me that I would just need to sign a contract with AT&T and replace my current sim card with a new one from AT&T.

    Was the AT&T guy just blowing smoke or is he correct?
     
  13. mavis macrumors 68040

    mavis

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    #13
    Unless your phone is jailbroken and unlocked, he was wrong.
     
  14. mclainster macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2013

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