Moving to London from the US

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by krogers34, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. krogers34 macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    I'm moving to London in two months from the US and was wondering if it was possible to use my iPhone 4S over there. I am currently on AT&T so I know the networks are compatible, but I think I have read somewhere that the lock my phone so I cannot use another companies sim card. What would I need to do to use my phone over there? It would be a lot easier if I did not have to buy a new phone. Any help is greatly appreciated.
  2. RocketRed macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2012
    Assuming you bought the iPhone from AT&T and not Apple Store unsubsidized, you'll need to get AT&T to unlock your iPhone for you. I don't know the exact procedure and regulations since I always go for factory unlocked iPhones.
  3. CallOfDuty macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2012
    Since you're moving to London from the US, I'm assuming that you're going to terminate your contract with AT&T since you no longer use their network once you're in the UK and not a US resident.
    In this case, you would have to terminate your contract and pay a early termination fee, which decreases by 10 dollars with every month of your contract fulfilled (I think) . After you got off the contract with AT&T, you can then request for AT&T to unlock your iPhone since they unlock phones if you are no longer required to fulfil the contract since you've paid them.

    After your iPhone is unlocked from AT&T, be sure to terminate your AT&T service with AT&T as a customer and you can then be assured and move to the UK. Note that although your contract with them on your 4S has been terminated, it doesn't stop you from paying the monthly bills every month. It only means you're free to move away from them or recontract or whatever.

    I heard that phones in the UK aren't locked to carriers, so you can simply sign up for a SIM-Only contract with the carriers and your device wouldn't be locked to the UK carriers.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I've heard.
  4. Pennine macrumors 6502

    Jan 17, 2008
    Glossop UK
    You can pay for a sim only monthly contract or go for a 12 month contract which is cheaper. All the Newtworks do this here in the UK. If your in London find out which network has the best coverage for you first.
  5. krogers34 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    Thanks guys! I looked up what my early termination fee would be and it is $325 minus $10 for each month since the contract started so you were correct. That will put be at around $225 or $215 by the time I have to leave, which will make it worth it to get my phone unlocked through AT&T and just use it on a new network once I move. It looks like I have to do this and then just ask them to unlock it and they will.
  6. Mac.World macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2011
    In front of uranus
    Having lived in both countries, here is all you need to do.

    Finalize contract with at&t, either via etf or finish your contract. You need to be in 'good standing' with at&t before doing the next step.

    Call at&t customer service at 611. You need to talk to a rep that helps in unlocking. Reason for your unlock is, you are no longer under contract with at&t and you are moving overseas. At&t will then put a request through to Apple to have your phone unlocked. Between 10min and a day later, connect your phone to itunes and get the 'congrats your phone is unlocked' screen.

    Now, any gsm sim card in england will work. I used O2 and had great service nearly everywhere in England. I travelled all over. And this was on an older 3GS too. Just walk intoany O2 store and tell them you have an unlocked iphone 4s and need a pay and go sim.

    *** Please read this: as a non-resident of the UK, and you plan to do a contract with O2 or Orange or Virgin, whichever, you will most likely need a local bank account. (i did.) Lloyd's is pretty good for this purpose. Take your passport and one other form of id and open an account and get a chip and pin card. (basically a debit card). You will not qualify for a UK credit card as a new resident. Just use chip and pin everywhere. Now that you have this, you can get a contract with a carrier there. (this was my experience, maybe it has changed)

    *** last, go on ebay and get a couple of UK style plugs for your mac, ipad or iphone. This is all you need and they are cheap. (you DO NOT need to buy a converter for your Apple products).

    Link on ebay:
  7. CallOfDuty macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2012
    I hope the OP sees this too. You need to get ur phone hooked up to iTunes before its unlocked. Your phone doesn't magically unlock itself :eek: Didn't manage to add that important step in! That's what happened to my nephew. Did everything right except he didn't hook up to iTunes. Disconnected for about a week before he settled down.
  8. serialtoon macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2009
    Long Beach
    Actually, since you are moving out of the country, by law AT&T has to allow you to cancel service with NO ETF. Its in the legal jargone you sign for when signing up. You should look into it. But before you do cancel service, have them unlock the phone and then cancel the service.
  9. krogers34 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2008
    I had been wondering about the adapter thing. Thanks for the info!
  10. daveathall macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2010
    North Yorkshire
    I live in the UK and this is perfect, excellent post.
  11. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    You lucky bastard. Enjoy your trip. Loved England. Make sure once you're settled you travel the country sides. Get out of the city often.
  12. Kevrani macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2007
    Another reason to go with O2 is that they're the only UK carrier that supports visual voicemail (but only with a contract), else you'll have to call a number to pick up your voicemail.
  13. windowstomac macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2011
    That's not actually the case.

    If you buy a phone on a contract or on Pay as you Go, phones ARE typically locked to a network. Networks will usually lock them after a contact has finished. However, if you already have an unlocked device (including a SIM-free iPhone purchased from an Apple store) the network won't lock it if you take out a SIM only contract.

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