These questions might sound ridiculous to some of you but since I've never owned an iphone before, they are of great importance to me in order to understand this matter, so take them seriously please! I'm going for the new iphone 3Gs but if I should buy one bound to a carrier or not that's the question(risky considering questions 12-14). (P.S. I have an ipod touch 2G so I know some about jailbreaking) 1. I live in Japan at the moment but planning on moving to LA, California next year so I wonder, in the long run, which would be the best option for me, buy with contract(one in Japan and one in US) or a carrier-free from ex. Hong Kong? 2. if I buy an iphone with contract here in Japan(softbank), or any part of the world actually, can it be 100% unlocked, yes or no? 3. if unlocked, can I later bring it to the US(or anywhere) and use it with ex. T-mobile? 4. if I go for a contract, will I be able to keep the iphone(after the infamous 24 months of payment) or what else will happen? 5. What will happen if I cancel a contract, will they take back the iphone? 6. If I cancel a contract, how much(approx.) will I pay in fine, is it the remaining fee from the 24 months contract or more? 7. Is there any difference in unlocking a carrier-locked iphone or a carrier-free iphone(ex.one from Hong kong)...just jailbreaking on the HK iphone? 8. Is there any other carrier than T-mobile that has working GSM SIM for the iphone in the US? 9. Any carrier(US) that can offer just the SIM card without a phone (if possible with data plan as well)? 10. Read somewhere that if you use prepaid SIM, you can only call and receive calls and not receive sms/mms/mail...true? 11. Can I receive sms/mms/mail on a contract based SIM? 12. Some people have referred to a problem called "error 23", what is that? 13. How can it get this error 23? Can it be fixed? How can I AVOID getting this error? (except lame answers like: -"Dude, don't hack your iphone then huhuhu") 13. What does it mean the iphone gets "bricked"? Is it software or hardware related? Is it broken for all eternity and beyond? 14. If I buy an iphone, unlock it and jailbreak it, how big are my chances of getting it bricked or the "error 23" message? 15. If it's on contract and there is no way of "unbricking" of fixing any error, will apple see that it's been unlocked(considering warranty)? 16. How can I make sure that my iphone is "empty" of all the "warranty voiding" evidence like apps, scripts, errors etc. 17. Can it be "emptied" even in bricked mode? 18. If I buy an iphone legally unlocked(HK, Belgium, Italy etc.) and it breaks, do I have to send it back to where I bought it or can I send it to apple(world wide warranty or what it's called...)? 19. If I decide to buy iphone with contract(I won't travel anywhere for at least 10 months), would you say it is less risky(question 12-14) if I just jailbreak it and wait with unlocking it until I leave for US(maybe by then there should be safer measures to hack iphone 3gs)? 20. Let's just say I've bought an iphone, jailbroke it, unlocked it and now I want to restore it, is it just plug in and restore it in itunes or is there something I have to be aware of about recovery mode(ex. have to use right OS so I don't brick it or get error 23 etc.) 21. Should I avoid any kind of update while on a unlocked and jailbroken iphone? 22. Read that some got "bricked" while uploading old backup to their iphones...what's the safest way to update(OS, carrier update etc.) 23. Last question(for now)....something I can't understand is that people want to unlock their iphones so they can choose different carriers in different countries etc. right? But won't that be more expensive? For ex...either you buy iphone from HK(approx. 700 USD depending on size) and then get a subscription(because you need it anyway in order for the phone to have its fully potential powers) OR...buy an iphone with subscription, unlock it and get another carrier...which leaves you with 2 carriers to pay monthly....either way it will be soo damn expensive!! Yes, you might go for pre-paid SIM card but then we have problem as in question "nr. 10"...or am I missing something else here?? There might be more questions or things I haven't thought of yet but which are of great importance...if so and you spotted it, please let me know, thank you for all your help!!