Moving to the US; advice on unlocking iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by willed, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. willed macrumors newbie

    Jan 4, 2007
    Hi all,

    I'm moving to the US later this month, from France.

    I currently have a 64GB 4S and would rather wait until the iPhone 6 comes out (or at least the 5S) before upgrading.

    I'll be able to break my contract with Orange France, and keep the handset, since I'm moving abroad for work... but does anyone know if/how I'll be able to use my phone in the US? Could it still be locked by Orange, even if it's inactive? Would carriers give me a contract for a foreign, possibly locked phone? And isn't unlocking illegal now anyway?

    It would be a shame to see my 4S become a very expensive paperweight after just 1 year of use.

    Thanks for any help,

  2. imlovinit macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2012
    I'm sure others would have a better answer but I'd asked my current carrier to be sure. Unlocking isnt' illegal, people do it all the time, carriers are even willing to unlock them once contracts are done. Hope you the best of luck on the move over.
  3. Baggio macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    AppleNBerry can unlock you French iPhone for $35 USD.

    Once unlocked, you can use the phone with AT&T or T-Mobile. There are also prepaid plans that piggyback on either AT&T or T-Mobile. Straight Talk, Net 10, etc... I would pick AT&T or one that piggybacks AT&T as you will get better coverage across the US. Some areas of T-Mobile will only get your Edge speeds.
  4. abz1981 macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2011
    The best thing for you to do is call Orange and ask then if your iphone is locked to Orange. If they say yes. Then ask them you want it unlocked. If they say no it's not unlocked then you can use it in USA but test this by using another carriers SIM card in your iphone before you leave France.
  5. Giuly macrumors 68040


    It's illegal in the US. If a Frenchman in France unlocks his phone, how exactly would that be punishable under the US jurisdiction?

    Anyhow, you might want to give Orange a call and see what they can do about your Apple first. Tell them that you're moving overseas. If that doesn't work, either unlock it or sell it in France, take the money and buy another one off Craigslist. I don't know the exact price in France, but you might be able to sell it and buy an iPhone 5 in the US for the same money due to Apples $1=1€ policy (where it's actually $1.30=1€).
  6. imlovinit macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2012
    Is it really illegal if you can get your phones unlocked by the carrier themselves once you end a contract? Also never said anything about what would happen to him if he did. I know its a shady area right now (in the US, at least) but it seems like from what i read that the whole making unlocking illegal will more than likely be revised. Anywho.
  7. xraydoc macrumors 604


    Oct 9, 2005
    It is only illegal in the US if your phone was purchased in the US under contract since (I think) Feb. 1, 2013, is still under contract and you use a third-party (as in not the carrier) to unlock your phone.

    If your phone is unlocked by the carrier when your contact is up, it is not illegal.

    This of course only applies to new phones purchased in the U.S. and has no impact on phone purchased overseas.
  8. imlovinit macrumors 6502a


    Feb 8, 2012
    that's what i thought. So if he is able to unlock his phone back home before the move he'd be fine.

    thanks for the info.
  9. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    After the tire companies US-French blou-haha, anything is possible!

    Seriously, get it unlock with your current carrier is the standard thing to do and I would imagine doesn't cost u anything.
  10. Baggio macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    Even such, I doubt there will be any serious effort to enforce it. It wasn't passed as a law. The library of congress made a statement that it was illegal. Because, unlocks are still happening online. So, who really knows what will happen with this.
  11. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    It's not being enforced and its totally ridiculous. It will probably be repealed soon.
  12. quietstormSD macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I'd ask your carrier first if they could unlock your phone, since you are going to be breaking contract with them anyway.

    If that doesn't work, there are plenty of 3rd party vendors all over the place now that will do an imei unlock for you for a pretty cheap price. (And I don't mean hacking the baseband unlock)
  13. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Locked devices don't automatically unlock. Confirm whether your device is locked first and get it unlocked by your carrier.

Share This Page