US iPhone 5S to be used in Norway

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SC54HI, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. SC54HI macrumors member


    Mar 7, 2012
    Did a search but couldn't find anything exactly like this, so thanks in advance for any advice! A Norwegian friend currently in the US would like to buy a new iphone here (probably 5s) before returning home. He has an iphone 2G bought from ATT during a previous stay in the US. At that time, he had to jailbreak it once back in Norway in order for it to work w/ a Norwegian sim & to have a Norwegian language interface. It's running OS Ver 1.1.4 & the firmware is 04.04.05 G. He does have an Apple ID but has not set up or used his iCloud acct.


    (1) Does it matter which US carrier he buys the new iphone from? As I read this thread (, it shouldn't matter greatly but wondered if anyone here has had experience.

    (2) Will replacing the US SIM with a Norwegian SIM restrict the phone to 2G/3G or will it work on all networks available to the specific SIM card?

    (3) Once he gets the phone, what is the best way to transfer contacts, etc. from the old phone to the new - via itunes or icloud? Will either or both work with a jailbroken phone as the "donor" phone?

    Thanks again for any advice you can provide.
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    Just two things to say regarding this. As to the best phone, I will leave it to others.

    1. Do not get a Sprint iPhone. It's locked to Sprint's network domestically and it's locked for international use. For your friend to unlock it for use in Norway would require that he establish service with Sprint for 90 days (no ASL account), pay the bill on time and then call Sprint to have it unlocked. Sprint will unlock for international use only. You can plead, beg, whine, threaten, yell and scream all you want but Sprint will never unlock an iPhone for US use. So, unless your friend wants a real expensive iPod Touch that just happens to have a cellular radio, don't let him buy a Sprint iPhone.

    2. Software unlocks are a thing of the past. The only way to unlock an iPhone now is to either buy it unlocked, call the carrier to have it unlocked or pay someone to unlock it. None of which will work for a Sprint iPhone. So, if you or your friend are under the impression that all you have to do is jailbreak and then unlock you would be mistaken.
  3. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    The Verizon iPhone 5c or 5s would be the best option. It is fully carrier unlocked out of the box.

    It depends on which bands are used by the carriers in Norway. The US model Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile iPhones have all but one of bands used in the European iPhone models.

    Probably iTunes as his old iPhone is running a version of iOS that doesn't support iCloud.
  4. zipa macrumors 65816

    Feb 19, 2010
    Except that the Verizon phones are CDMA and not GSM, no? Won't do anyone any good here in Europe.
  5. Afbar1114 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2012
    Did we just find a rare iphone? Lol. Was reading a thread about this
  6. MsRandall macrumors 65816


    Nov 27, 2011
    Bay Area, Ca
    The Verizon iPhone 5s and 5c contains GSM bands and is unlocked out the box so it can be used for US GSM now Norway is another question that I don't know
  7. TC03 macrumors 65816

    Aug 17, 2008
    Verizon phones should work fine if unlocked. Maybe it won't work with 4G, depending on the Norwegian carrier.
  8. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    If he is going to buy a new full price Phone go to the Apple store and buy it there.


    This has not appled for a while now. All current models are CDMA. GSM and LTE.
  9. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    All Verizon LTE phones (including Android (galaxy note 2/3 galaxy S3/4/5 and iPhone 5/5c/5S) sold these days will work on any gsm networks.

    The iPhone 5/5c/5s will work straight out of the box in Europe.

    Android phones may need you to root and change the apn settings for mms/data configuration.

    But beauty of apple is it will auto configure the mms/data with iOS
  10. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    Verizon is a CDMA carrier, correct. The Verizon iPhone 5c and 5s are identical, hardware wise, to the AT&T and T-Mobile models: they have all the same GSM and LTE radios. And as I said, the Verizon iPhone 5, 5c and 5s are fully carrier unlocked.

    OP: it looks like the major cellular carriers in Norway use LTE bands 3, 7 and 20. iPhones purchased in the US don't have hardware for LTE band 7, so that might be an issue.
  11. SC54HI thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 7, 2012
    Thank you, everyone, who's commented. It's all helpful & I'll let my friend know.

    With the exception of lacking LTE band 7, it sounds like a US iphone 5c/5s should work OK.

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