Please help a super n00b

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by heyitsridz, May 11, 2015.

  1. heyitsridz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2015
    #1
    I'm so new to this I don't even know where to begin. I apologize in advance if my questions are really dumb.

    I live in the states. I have a Droid HD Maxx and I'm on VZ right now. 2-yr contract finished.

    I'm moving to Japan around the end of August, and I'll be there for 10-11 months.

    A very kind friend purchased a factory unlocked iPhone 6 for me from Apple, to use abroad (and because she's sick of my flaky phone.) The idea was to buy a sim card here and pay month-to-month, then buy a SIM card in Japan to use in the iPhone and go with a local plan there.

    I'm lost though, because the guys at VZ told me the phone won't work with VZ because it's GSM. Then I read online that GSM phones don't work in Japan. And now I'm like aack and trying to make sense of it all but I'm in way over my head.

    But I read the back of the phone's packaging and it states: Supports: CDMA, GSM, TD-SCDMA, UMTS and LTE (FDD and TD) cellular technologies.

    What do I do? Do I need to switch to AT&T? Will this phone really not work in Japan? Please help! Any advice is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. solo118 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    #2
    I believe phones must be flashed to verizon in order to use them. Though it will work with all GSM carriers, if you want to use at&t or Tmobile etc you will be fine. It will also definitely work in Japan.
     
  3. heyitsridz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 11, 2015
    #3
    Thanks for the reply! What a relief it will work in Japan!

    So I checked and the phone model is 1586. When I checked on the Apple website, it seems only Sprint is a major carrier that would work on this version? And unfortunately, I live in a rural area. I'm not even sure if we get Sprint here. Could AT&T still potentially work on this phone?
     

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  4. bigdaddy223 macrumors regular

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    Jul 15, 2014
    #4
    yes.
     
  5. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #5
    Technically, the phone will work just fine with Verizon as long as you already have an activated Verizon SIM card. Getting the activated Verizon SIM card is an issue though because Verizon has draconian corporate policies when it comes to bring your own devices.

    That said, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile shouldn't give you any issues if you want to use your new iPhone on their network. If you're going with AT&T, I recommend checking out Cricket. Uses AT&T's network but rates are much cheaper if you're a single user.
     
  6. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    Your friend got you the most flexible iPhone. The 1586 works on all 4 US carriers and supports all of the LTE bands. This is the phone you want. In fact, this is the phone Apple sells as the unlocked sim-free phone.

    The only catch is whether your friend bought the Sprint version or the unlocked version. I'm betting he/she bought the unlocked one.

    If so, then Verizon will absolutely activate it on your current account. Just take it to a corporate store and they'll get you the right SIM card.

    Also, if your moto has a nano-sim card, you might be able to put it into your iPhone and you'd be set. I know that AT&T works like that and I've read that Verizon does as well.

    Good luck
     
  7. byrdjr222 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    #7
    From what I have seen, the iPhone 6 is unique in that all phones should work with all carriers but there have been some cases where there have been issues with getting phones to work on the Verizon network. As mentioned above, Cricket is most likely your best bet for the month to month plan. Once you leave the US, you should be able to just pop in a sim and away you go. I could be over simplifying, but I have used a Verizon iPhone 6 on AT&T and an At&T iPhone 6 on Verizon without any issues at all.
     
  8. nox5 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 16, 2013
    #8
    Just use same micro SIM card from your droid. First you need to trim the sim to nano size with scissors.
     
  9. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #9
    Technically, the AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile versions of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus don't support Sprint's LTE network. The A1586 is the universal model though so should work fine on any network (technically at least).

    I'm guessing you already have the Verizon SIM card to begin with. If you have a working Verizon Nano SIM card, getting the new phone to work on Verizon is a piece of cake. Just swap the SIM and you're good to go. The problem is if you're trying to activate new Verizon service. It just won't work if your device is not whitelisted. Heck, I moved my Verizon Nano SIM from a Verizon iPhone 5s to an unlocked T-Mobile iPhone 6 and my plan got bumped off the $25 month-to-month discount because my iPhone 6 is not whitelisted/recognized by Verizon.

    Thankfully, it seems like going forward, Apple will be submitting the IMEIs for factory unlocked iPhones to Verizon and Sprint for whitelisting so as asinine as Verizon's policy still is, Apple's helping us "circumvent" it.
     
  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    I just thought of this. The OP stated that the friend bought the factory unlocked 1586 iPhone. This would mean that it's the SIM free model and would be on Verizon's whitelist.

    The moto maxx uses a nano-sim, so a quick swap should do the trick.

    Not sure why the Verizon people told the OP what they told him/her, but it seems incorrect. Perhaps it was a third party store and not a corporate VZ store.
     
  11. rui no onna macrumors 601

    rui no onna

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    #11
    Here's an easy way to check if the device is on Verizon's whitelist:
    http://www.verizonwireless.com/activate/

    That's the company line. Non-Verizon phones are not supported. Thank goodness Apple seems to be including factory unlocked iPhones in Verizon's whitelist as of late so they work the same as "official" Verizon iPhones. Just don't tell the customer service rep that it's factory unlocked and you should be good to go.
     
  12. howarddias macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    #12
    OP I just got back from Japan and the biggest issue you're going to have is getting a voice data sim. The carriers in Japan will not give you a sim because the phone is not registered with Japan's version of the fcc and the radios on the phone are not approved to work there.

    You can rent SIM cards but they will cost you an arm and leg and will not be worth your while. Your best bet is to buy the phone at a carrier store there and get it activated on their networks.
     
  13. heyitsridz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 11, 2015
    #13
    Hi everyone. Thanks for your replies!

    I tried to swap the SIM card directly but I think there's a size difference (like another poster mentioned.) I've never cut SIM cards down to size before so it makes me a little nervous. I don't want to mess it up!

    I think I'll end up canceling my service with VZ (for other reasons) and going with Cricket, as others have mentioned. I think a Gamestop in town also offers Cricket SIMs/service. I'll try and stop by after work.

    Thanks for letting me know about the whitelist! You guys are awesome.

    Getting a SIM card in Japan does worry me though...

    ----------

    Thanks for your reply!

    Apple's website seemed to suggest AU, DoCoMo and Softbank should support the phone. Do you think there will still be issues? I've got a few friends in Japan. Do you think a native Japanese will have better luck?
     
  14. howarddias macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    #14
    To be honest with you I don't know if they would even give a SIM card to even a resident. All of those carriers should technically support the Verizon version of the iPhone, but the Japanese government has some really stupid an draconian laws regarding frivolous things like this. You can try asking your friend, but my friend had problems getting me a SIM card through his carrier.
     
  15. heyitsridz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 11, 2015
    #15
    Ah! I realize my first post isn't very clear. The phone model is 1586, the "SIM-free" model. It isn't specifically a VZ model, just that I currently use VZ with my droid (current phone.) I wonder if that would change things at all. (´๑•_•๑)

    I'm sorry to hear your friend couldn't get you a SIM card. Damn, this is all much more complicated than I thought it would be.

    (My n00b colors are showing, aren't they?)
     
  16. cynics macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #16

    Actually I prefer if you ask every possible question you can think of. I'll be going to Japan in about a year and a half so I'm learning a lot here.
     
  17. heyitsridz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 11, 2015
    #17
    Hi everyone. Still in the U.S. but will be going to Japan at the end of the month. I'll be there for a little less than a year.

    The more I'm reading about it, the more I find that it's going to be tough getting a voice+data SIM. I'd really like to use this phone, but the program I'm attending requires a working cell phone number in Japan. I'm not sure what the best option would be now...any thoughts?
     
  18. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    #18
    You have the sim free iPhone model A1586. Thats the ONLY true world unlocked iPhone 6. If its the sim free one it will work on ALL LTE for every single carrier in the entire world and United States.

    If its the Sprints A1586 it will only work on Sprint but will work everywhere else in the world unlocked. Both the Sprint and sim free share model A1586.

    Im going to Japan in October as well. Simply get a sim card at the airport and you are good to go.
     
  19. heyitsridz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 11, 2015
    #19
    This isn't the Sprint model, no.

    I guess I'm concerned because I read that carriers refuse to give you service without you purchasing a phone along with it. Or that you can get a data SIM at the airport but you won't be able to one for both get voice and data?
     
  20. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #20
    I guess it can depend on the carrier, but most will let you use your own equipment, assuming it's compatible with their network.
     
  21. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

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    Jun 24, 2010
    #21
    C DM is correct. I wanna say 99% of carriers will give you voice + data as long as your phone supports it. The Sim free iPhone 6 is the exact same one sold all over the world. Same model number, everything.
     
  22. Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

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    May 3, 2014
    #22
    Wow. This is just... I knew many US corporations had crappy business policies, especially carriers but didn't know it's this bad. It's unheard of for me that carriers even sell phones that won't work in every network.
     
  23. mpavilion macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 4, 2014
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    SFV, CA, USA
    #23
    It's more a function of historically incompatible cell technologies / bands than "business practices" per se.
     
  24. Skylitfly macrumors 6502a

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    May 3, 2014
    #24
    What I meant is why doesn't every carrier just sell a1586 iPhones regardless if customer wants contract or not.
     
  25. mpavilion, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015

    mpavilion macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    [EDIT] Sorry I misinterpreted. If your question is "why don't TMO, ATT & VZ sell the model which is also compatible with Sprint's bands; and doesn't the current practice hurt consumers of those carriers who would like to bring their phone to Sprint" – I guess I can't answer that, but I suspect the reasons are more historical/technical than simply a desire to punish Sprint for using different LTE bands (or discourage switching to Sprint).
     

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