Really need advice on buying and taking an iPhone to Argentina...

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Murkurial, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. Murkurial macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    Well, my initial post was taking so long to type that I guess MacRumors signed me out, and I lost it all on the refresh. So here it goes again.

    I'd really appreciate it if someone could take just a moment to give this a once over and answer a couple of questions. I cam to MacRumors as this place is usually rife with members who really know what the **** they're talking about and these particular issues have never come up until I found out, recently, that I'd be moving.

    I'm moving very soon to Argentina for at least 6 months and I have a few questions regarding the steps that I could take to make sure that I'll be able to use my iPhone (or perhaps even a new one) in Argentina while I'm there.

    I have a couple general ATT and 3g questions so I'll lay everything out individually:

    1) Does the situation still exist where the iPhone 3G, and I'd guess all subsequent 3g enabled iPhones, don't allow you to use the 3g service of any other provider or is that ONLY the case when trying to use the iPhone 3G with T-Mobile?

    2) Getting more to the point, if I were to take the new iPhone 4 to Argentina (provided someone determines how to jailbreak it by then) and sign up with Movistar or Claro, and they supplied 3g service, would the 3g work with this iPhone, or is it locked to ATT in that regard? I had heard something about ATT's 3g being on a different frequency band.

    My mom is going to be purchasing an iPhone 4 in the coming weeks, which will most likely result in an extension of our contract. However, she may opt to create a new account entirely (if possible) so that our current service, which is currently out-of-contract, can stay that way. My question, which is actually a scenario that I've run through once very briefly, is this:

    3) If she (my mom) were to purchase the iPhone 4, create a new account, complete with a new number (which I guess would have to happen), and then purchase another subsidized iPhone but NOT activate it (will Apple allow this again like they did with the first iPhone? Activating through iTunes at home? And why did they do this in the first place? I'm assuming it's because people would jailbreak before ever activating it.), could I then jailbreak that one, take it with me, and on the number that’s left open on the new contract, just give my old iPhone to my younger brother so that he can use that phone on that account?

    The out-of-contract account would just be cancelled since it's paid up.

    Is there something in that scenario (which I'd fleshed out a bit more in the past but after losing this entire post once, I've forgotten most of what I'd said) that I just completely missed or is it even slightly plausible?

    Another option would be to, I guess, buy the new subsidized iPhone on our current contract, extend the contract, buy another iPhone on it as well to replace my current one, jailbreak and move the new one, and just, once again, give my old one to my brother to use with my old number.

    Does ATT require you to register the phone or could I just, for example, get a used iPhone from a friend and swap the SIM from my current phone to his and use it with no problem? Because if that's the case it sounds like my initial suggestion would work fine (which is probably a sign that I've missed something).

    The entire aim is to obviously get the iPhone 4 at or near launch (won't be available in Argentina until August but probably Sept. is more likely and it'll cost far more than it would here) w/o the ETF from buying it subsidized and breaking the contract or the uber-expensive non-commitment price point?

    Would any of this work or is my best bet (assuming it's going to even be possible to jailbreak iOS 4) to pay that ETF or just pay $500-$700 for the phone w/o a contract commitment?

    EDIT: Something tells me that the new micro-SIM "O.J. Simpson"s my entire plan.
  2. Mr. Gates macrumors 68020

    Mr. Gates

    Jun 17, 2009
    --Redmond --------- ----------------Washington---
  3. Murkurial thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    I was rambling a bit and had a few questions, but, in so many words, I was asking if:

    1) It's possible to use an iPhone with 3g on an Argentinian network (or any network for that matter) and still use 3g? I remember hearing something about ATTs 3g band being different from other carriers and people only being able to use the EDGE network? I also heard that that was only something specific to a 3g-enabled iPhone on T-Mobile.

    2) If someone determines how to jailbreak the iPhone 4, would it be possible for me to jailbreak and use it in Argentina, where the phone won't actually be coming out until at least August (but maybe September)?

    Or would the micro-SIM kill that plan?

    I don't want to pay the non-commitment fee, nor do I want to pay any sort of ETF for buying the phone at the subsidized price and then jailbreaking it. I may not have to pay the ETF if I simply use the old iPhone on the number that I have now and find service with the iPhone 4 when I get to Argentina assuming that I can purchase the iPhone 4 online and activate it via iTunes (though I obv. won't be activating it here in the States at all...).

    But again, I'm assuming that there is no way to use a larger SIM with the new iPhone anyway.

    Do I have any recourse at all or do I just need to wait until the phone releases in Argentina when micro-SIMs will be available?
  4. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    1. You need to research what sort of frequency your cell provider in Argentina uses. That's the only way to know if you'll be on 3G.

    2. You'd need someone to jailbreak and unlock the iPhone. Jailbreak allows you to install the unlock--assuming you're doing the software unlock.

    You can cut the Argentinian SIM down. It's like those USB drives. The drive is mainly casing, which is the case with the regular size SIM. The micro SIM is the SIM without the excess packaging.
    If you google, there's some British guy who posted how he cut a SIM down to micro SIM size.
  5. Murkurial thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    1. Thanks, I'll look into that. I thought it was something specific to ATT but so long as the frequencies are supported I should be fine is what you're saying?

    2. Yeah, I'm good enough with that sort of thing to do the jailbreak and unlock myself (provided all the jailbreaking and unlocking is done via some sort of software).

    One more question that I had, if you don't mind (or anyone else who may happen to find this thread) concerns the possibility of purchasing a new iPhone 4 at the subsidized price, activating it in the store (if I have to) and linking it to my current number (also being used with an iPhone at the moment). At that point can I jailbreak and unlock the phone w/o having to do anything regarding cancelling my account? I would simply give my current iPhone to a family member to use with my old (current) number. Obviously I'd have to get a new number once I get over to Argentina but it's a situation that I'd be willing to deal with if it mean't not having to pay the non-commitment fee and/or the ETF.

    Essentially I'd buy the iPhone 4 like I normally would to use with my current number. But then swap out the SIM to the old iPhone as if I were to continue using the older one, and jailbreak and unlock the iPhone 4. Does ATT keep track of what phone you use with a particular line or is there really nothing that they can do to stop anyone from doing this?

    Just to clarify, my current account has another person on it so I wouldn't be cancelling anything and it would still be in use.
  6. systemlock macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2010
    I think I can help you some

    I currently have a iphone 3G that I have been using in argentina for the last 10 months without any problems. I used to have movistar but now I have personal. Go here for info on how to jailbreak and unlock the 3g:

    3G works on these networks but it is expensive. Seriously and even when I turned off all the data stuff it would still eat away at my balance. Anyway, I disabled mine but you can do as you please. It is a little confusing exactly what you are trying to do with the signing up for a plan and what not but in my research I haven't found a good way to get around that except just buying a phone from craigslist or ebay. Anyway, you want the iphone 4 so you mentioned something about buying it and then giving someone your old one and swapping out the sim, sounds like it should work, att doesn't track what phone you are using exactly but they do know exactly what device you are doing. Go to the website and you will prob see a picture of the exact phone you are using. I have switched out my sim before and the new phone shows up online but I have never heard anything from att about it.

    Also, don't know if you live near canada but towards the end of july they are going to be selling the iphone 4 factory unlocked. You should really buy the iphone 4 and sell your old one in argentina as they still go for a lot of money and this could offset the non commitment cost of a phone. Hope this helps you.

    oh, you should be able to just cut your argy sim down to size for the iphone 4.

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