Unlocked iPhone 4 from Canada for use in the U.S.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by spacepower7, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Couple of questions I have not found the answers to:


    Availability, only from Apple or various Canadian Mobile Retail sites?

    If only from Apple, can I pay with a U.S. credit card and have it shipped to a friend in Canada?

    Tethering is available for free for Rogers and maybe others, will that mean my non AT&T U.S carrier can't block it?

    Can I still get a free case from Apple, I know U.K. customers do?

    I currently have a great plan in the U.S. and the price difference will pay itself off in 6-8 months.

    In addition, switching to AT&T would mean I forgo an unlimited data plan.
    I currently pay $20 for unlimited data and SMS on my provider VS $45 for unlimited SMS and 2GB of data on AT&T.

    Anybody have any info?
  2. acarney macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2007
    I'm actually thinking of doing this too, just to not have to resign a contract with AT&T and to be able to use local SIMs if I travel with this phone. There are a lot of unknowns and I still haven't been able to get a clear answer either. It sounds like a US credit card SHOULD work, although I'm not sure you'll be able to use it from the online store, all my questions have been based on walking into a retail Apple store and buying it. (Only 6 hours away from me)

    The tether block would be carrier side so depending on what SIM you dropped in tether would either show up, ask you to pay more to activate it, or not work at all.

    The price seems to be up in the air too, though I'm guessing $699 and $799 +/- $100. The 3GS is $549 I believe from their online store right now. We should know for sure on the 30th. I'm not sure if you'll be able to ship it to a different address then the credit card, especially if it's a US card. Apple hasn't added a way to "gift" iPhone 4 yet as far as I know so they probably are doing that to make sure they know who is buying what and how many units.

    Finally, what carrier are you on now. iPhone 4 in the USA will only work on AT&T and T-Mobile. With AT&T you shouldn't have any problems at all as long as you can get a microSIM from them (if they won't give it to you they are bigger dicks then I thought... these phones always could have been a gift from someone). The problem with T-Mobile is that their 3G service isn't supported by iPhone so you'll only be able to get the EDGE speeds. (Think before iphone 3G)

    If that's worth it to you for the latest and greatest phone then it might be worth it to you, or it might be worth it to drop your data plan and just use voice and WiFi if you can. Also, I just thought of this, FaceTime may NOT work on anything but AT&T in the states. I know it goes over WiFi but the actual "handshake" first needs to start over AT&T so there may be some network side software that allows the connection to happen.
  3. Goldinboy17 macrumors 65816


    Jun 21, 2010
    San Francisco, Ca
    You could get away with tethering with the phone, but you'll only get EDGE data since it's not on AT&T - the only major network that used the same 3G frequencies in the US.
    EDGE speeds vary from 20 to a bit over one Mbps in my experience. So basically, from dial up to slow DSL speeds.
  4. acarney macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2007
    I never got more then ~200kbps from EDGE, in fact I think the specs max out somewhere around there and you never get that stuff in the real world. Basically 25KB/sec on a good day... or a 3Meg song downloaded in 2 min and 2 second.

    EDIT: AT&T says "75Kbps to 135Kbps" so... maybe twice as fast as dial up. It's damn slow, that's for sure. Fine for background email downloads and MobileMe sync for calendar and contacts and stuff and Meebo IM or something but man surfing is painful, I would think even more so since the phone it's self is a heck of a lot faster at switch apps and stuff.

  5. canadianipad macrumors regular


    Apr 22, 2010
    You may want to just call the Apple store you're going to ahead of Friday. Ive heard a stupid rumor a couple of times that during the launch weekend US credit cards will not be accepted in store for the iPhone 4 because of limited supply.
    I don't think this is true at all, but I'd hate for you to arrive and then go home empty handed.
  6. Greg M macrumors 6502

    Jul 13, 2008
    I have friends in Cleveland that I will probably be visiting sometime this fall. If T-mobile doesn't get the iphone this fall I might just take a drive up to Toronto for an overnight visit and buy a couple of unlocked iphones.

    I would also like to know if Apple will accept a US credit card and I'd like to add one more question to the OP's list.
    What is the limit to how many factory unlocked iphones you can buy without a contract?
    Also is that a per person and per day limit? I ask that because if I'm going all the way up there from NC some of my friends/family might want me to get them one while I'm there.
  7. spacepower7 thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    More Details

    Here are some more details:

    Currently use Cincinnati Bell, who charge me for the cheaper data plan, not the $30 Blackberry one. This may change if I use 3G rather than EDGE?

    Trying to figure out which flavor of 3G Cincinnati Bell uses. They claim their local 3G is 86% faster than AT&T. When traveling outside Cincinnati, customers use AT&T's national network for voice and data. EDGE at least on my first gen iPhone.

    Cincinnati Bell even has help pages to set up an unlocked iPhone on their network, so I don't think they mind.

    I mainly use the data on the iPhone for MobileMe syncing and email, never a big user of mobile web on the tiny screen and I'm usually around Wi-Fi anyway.

    I have a friend that works at a Mobile store in Canada, but we don't know if they will carry unlocked iPhones there. That could be a way around the Apple website, US credit card, and shipping issues.

    I travel internationally often, for work and pleasure, so being able to use local SIM cards is another motivation for buying an unlocked iPhone

    Just checked out AT&T's website from my university Wi-Fi, and the website is offering me a 15% discount on phone plans, but not the phones. No unlimited calling options though.

Share This Page