Moving to Europe, few questions.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TarHeelBlue, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. TarHeelBlue macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2012
    I live for the most part in Europe (Spain specifically) and I'm really wanting a 32 or 64 GB (rather have 64) Gold Iphone 5s. I know I have to buy it from T mobile (to be unlocked) and here is what I was thinking about doing, would love your opinions:

    I take the phone to Spain, give the SIM card to my mother (who lives in USA) who has an iphone 4 and does the AT&T Go phone thing. So I get her to switch and use my tmobile SIM card while I am in Spain (she honestly doesn't care about carriers and she wants to buy me the gold iphone because my birthday is coming up in October). This should work right?

    My second question is, Spain doesn't get the iphone 5s until December I believe. So if I buy an extra gold iphone 5s, should I be able to sell it in Spain? I don't want to extort people, but the euros are sooo much stronger than our dollars, so I think they would get a good deal and I would probably make between 300-500 dollars.

    Any opinions?

  2. rdy0329 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2012
    You can but you need to act fast.

    Get "device only" AT&T/Verizon iPhones or T-Mobile iPhones at APPLE STORES ONLY (Online and Retail). You need to scout for these things though since they are in demand. Online ordering is out of the question assuming you're leaving soon but if not, you can also buy there and have peace of mind while scouting for stocks at a brick and mortar Apple Store.

    I repeat, do not get from carrier stores since they are selling subsidized phones only (except t-mobile, but their full price phones are still locked).

    Oh, btw, ou can't get device only for ATT and Vzw in Apple Store Online but you can just pick the t-mobile one.
  3. TarHeelBlue thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2012
    Thanks so much for your reply, but why can't I just buy directly from tmobile since they come unlocked?

    I live about almost 3 hours from the closest apple store, and I called them today and they told me they did have a gold phone in, but they aren't allowed to hold them, first come, first serve. I can't afford to ride 3 hours one way for nothing.

    Any ideas or help would be appreciated.

    If I buy from apple over the phone, how do I tell them I want an unlocked phone? Wouldn't they then try to sell me a tmobile phone?

    Sorry, I'm just a bit confused.
  4. iPhonesandMacs macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2012
    The phones from a tmobile store do not come unlocked. I can confirm this. and Tmobile makes you use the phone for 40 days prior to unlocking it.
  5. kingramsu macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2013
    LTE Bands may differ slightly

    If I may weigh in, iPhones sold in Europe differ in the LTE bands from the USA counterparts. Most of Europe runs on LTE band 7 (2600 MHz), but they also have secondary bands (band 3 or band 4) in parallel to band 7. Ensure your carrier in Spain carries an LTE band that the US phone offers.

    When I go to Germany, I plan on using D-Telekom (T-Mobile of Germany), which mainly uses band 7 for LTE, but also uses band 4 in parallel.
  6. Akack, Sep 29, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013

    Akack macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2011
    Easiest way to buy a GSM unlocked iPhone would be to buy DIRECT from Apple.

    You can try Craigslist but you may not be able to find a truly unlocked one off ppl selling their subsidized iPhones claiming it's unlocked....

    If you buy it direct from a carrier store it will be LOCKED regardless if you paid full price. Why you ask......b/c the carriers can AND do lock it down to their network since they make the bulk of their money from monthly cell bills. Verizon is the exception to that rule (read the below link) but to make your life easier just buy direct from Apple.

    When you go to the Apple store do not tell them you want to buy an unlocked phone (they will claim they DON'T sell unlocked 5S yet), instead tell them you want to buy the 5S "device only at full price."

    You can purchase a device only from the following carriers direct from Apple (ATT,TMobile, Verizon....don't buy the Sprint one) and it will be unlocked for use on any GSM carrier.

    You may need to "settle" on another color besides gold if you really want to purchase the 5S before you go back to Europe.

    For reference:
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    The other thing to keep in mind is that the US iPhones don't support LTE band 7 (2600 MHz). A lot of LTE networks in Europe will use that band. That said, some use one of the bands that the US phones do support. 3G is not an issue! though.


    Phones bought from T-Mobile are initially locked. If you pay off the installment plan and have service for 40 days you can get it unlocked. Your best bet right now is a Verizon iPhone 5s or an AT&T phone bought device-only. Verizon phones are all unlocked. AT&T phones bought device-only from Apple are unlocked. Bought from AT&T they are locked but can be unlocked immediately (it takes a few days to process) with an online form.
  8. gCloud macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    United Federation of Planets
    People in spain who can afford to pay few hundred extra would just drive to france and get it, why would anyone buy it from you for $500 dollars more, when its a phone that might not support the local LTE networks and have questionable support route! Try it the and report back.
  9. karmatourer macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2011
    In my house
    Why,you ask?Because they can get it from him now,instead of December and if sales here are any indication,they may wait even later in December.

  10. JaySoul macrumors 68030


    Jan 30, 2008
    Europe is not a country.

    The various countries within Europe have wildly different rules.
  11. fairfax38 macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2013
    Buy a device only 5s phone (any carrier except Sprint from the Apple store) in US. Follow this link to review Spain's carriers and their bands.

    Select Spanish carrier

    Search Spanish internet for Specials & promos.

    Go to the store in Spain selling the prepaid service and make sure to have the store setup the APN settings and activate service before you leave.

    I will be in Spain in 3 weeks. I will be using movistar. Prepaid nano sim promo deal with them is 2gb LTE unlimited phone and message for 12 Euro; 30 day use; nano sim included. Go to their main store in Madrid to have someone that knows what they are doing configure your phone.

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