UK resident, keen to buy 3GS in USA

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by copydeskcat, Jul 15, 2009.

  1. copydeskcat macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    Hi folks,

    I'm a UK-based iPhone 3G 16gb owner on holiday in the USA.

    I've figured out that I can get the 16gb 3GS in the USA for $599 (£370). If I buy it as a 'gift'. It's £440 in the UK on PAYG.

    I could get £300 easy for mine on eBay (minus fees etc. probably more like £290).

    My outlay would be about £80-90


    1. Can I put my o2 SIM in a US-bought 3GS and get it to work in the USA?

    2. Is it worth getting?


  2. ldobson macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Alright Mate,
    As a fellow Brit in the US, I can tell you that ANY 3GS phone you buy requires you to sign up for a 2 year contract (either via Apple or AT&T), and then the phone is locked to AT&T, so its not as simple as it sounds, you can not buy a iPhone on PAYG here, like you can in the UK. So you will be bound to sign up for a 2 year phone plan with a monthly $30 data plan, which you still probably could not do, since you do not have any credit ratings in the states.

    Unless of course you can find a USC who wants to renew their contract and would be willing to sell you their phone upgrade.

    Hope that helps.
  3. PoitNarf macrumors 65816


    May 28, 2007
    Northern NJ
    Yes, but you need to jailbreak and unlock it to do so.

    Get it back home, not here.
  4. shadow1 macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2009
    imagine the saving in Australia. A 16GB 3G S cost just $AUD 1040.
  5. copydeskcat thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2008
    thanks guys.

    Sounds like it's a no-goer.

    Being locked to ATT scuppers it.

    However, as for PAYG - there's an option to buy the 3GS from Apple unbundled for full price as a 'gift'. It's on the website in the small print.

  6. IDANNY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2003
    Las vegas
    Yah I think you can buy an unlocked one from at&t for much more money. Something around 600 us. just give them a call and ask.
  7. renewed macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2009
    Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
    It isn't "unlocked". It is contract free. It is locked to AT&T just like any other iPhone that is subsidized.

    This is so you can cancel without the ETF.
  8. ldobson macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    If you are willing to pay the contract free price, then just plug it in to your computer, go to and download the software, within 2 minutes you will have it jailbroken, then install ultrasn0w from cydia, which will unlock the phone, you will then be able to put your O2 sim in it and will be unlocked.
  9. djemyoudjel macrumors newbie


    Aug 7, 2009
    Istanbul, Türkiye
    hey guys,

    now just to make it clear...
    I have an iPhone 3G with a contract from Turkey. I'm still paying for it but since it doesn't cover international calls in USA, I got a pay as you go from T-Mobile. My 3G is unlocked, i can use any simcards inside it.

    I am thinking of giving my 3G to my father and get myself a new 3Gs from USA. I can pay for the contract free price but it's still going to be locked to AT&T and I am on T-Mobile.
    Since I am an international student at my school, starting February'10, I will start changing schools and agencies every three months. I might stay at least for another three months in USA, but I will fly back to Europe sooner or later so, sim-free Iphone is a must for me.

    Can I jailbreak my 3Gs to make it sim-free?


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