US iPhone for foreigner - I need GPS!

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Sepp, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Sepp macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Hi forum,

    I am looking to buy an iPhone 4 (off contract) in the US when I am there on vacation. I would like to know what I need to do, to have GPS working (would like to use it for geo-tagging with my camera).

    1. Does GPS require phone reception (if yes, would a US prepay SIM work?)?

    2. I guess I need to jailbreak it to have it work with a european service provider, right (would like to use it as my regular phone of course, once I'm back)?

    3. Can jailbreak be reversed if I want to use AppleCare to solve any warranty issues (assuming that the phone doesn't break down entirely, and thus prevents reversing)

    4. Anything else I missed on using GPS only?

    5. Anything else I missed on using a US phone abroad?

    Thanks for helping,

  2. ml.sail1 macrumors regular

    Aug 23, 2010
    Where to buy

    You can buy an off contract iphone at either an at&t store or an apple store for
    USD $599 16 gig's
    USD $699 32 gig's

    You will have to jailbreak to use even with at&t's prepaid service

    To answer your question about needing phone reception for gps, the answer is yes and in the USA the only 2 gsm networks are at&t and t-mobile, both of which offer pre paid service. Of the two though at&t offers the better coverage.

    *Note you cannot use verizon as it is a cdma based cell phone (that is the type of suignal it uses) while the iphone 4 uses a gsm signal based antenna.

    You can un jailbreak as long as you create a restore on itunes before you jailbreak that you can restore from undoing the jailbreak. However since you are purchasing in the US you will probably want to keep it jailbroken so you can use it on foreign networks, this shouldnt be a problem as most foreign networks are gsm based.

    Hope I helped! :)

    Enjoy your future Iphone 4

    Also if you dont get gps coverage on a prepaid service you may be able to use the tomtom gps acessory available at best buy
  3. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    If you can you should buy an unlocked iPhone from the apple store in Canada, etc. No worrying about jailbreak or warranty issues. It's about the same price for a no contract iPhone too.
    When you have to undo the jailbreak for warranty issues, you have to be careful. Most people restore it to the latest firmware. That will kill your jailbreak activities for a while. If you go to the hacks section, you'll see posts of people who updated to 4.0.2. Because there won't be a JB until 4.1 at the earliest, those people are stuck.
  4. Sepp thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Back again - thanks for the answers...

    I am a bit confused by the terms "unlock" and "jailbreak". Wouldn't unlocking do the trick for me? I just want to be able to use the iPhone with any carrier other than AT&T.

    How about if I purchase this here for example?:

    Or am I mistaken here?

  5. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    Unlock: can use with any SIM card
    Jailbreak: allows you to install the unlock program and other apps not approved by Apple.
    A couple of things:
    -You must install the jailbreak before you install the software unlock. Think of the jailbreak as the OS and unlock as a program that runs on the OS.
    You can not update your phone; you must wait until a new jailbreak is available. Also you have to be careful about resetting your phone; this also erases your jailbreak. Right now, there is no jailbreak for 4.0.2.--and there never will be. Also, Apple will refuse to work on a jailbroken phone.
    -hardware unlock is done by Apple. Once it's unlocked, it is always unlocked. It is the best unlock option.
    -jailbreaking software is free. Do not ever pay for it. The URL you're pointing to is a software based solution. All they did was take free software and sell it to sheeple, who don't possess critical thinking skills.
  6. Sepp thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Thanks Eastercat,

    Should I assume that there will be a jailbreak available for 4.1 in a few weeks/months?

    I guess hardware unlock would require buying over an Apple employee, or is there other ways to do that?

    Also: can iPhone be used as let's say "iPodExtraordinaire" for iTunes/videos without an AT&T contract (without calling abbilities)?
  7. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I heard the jailbreakers have been working on 4.1. It, however, takes time to work on it. After the iphone 4 was released, a jailbreak didn't come out until early August. It all depends on what they have to work with. You should check the hacks subforum for updates on the jailbreak. I'm sure there's some twitter feeds you can follow, but I don't know them.
    Hardware unlock is done by Apple. You can buy it from the Apple store or from a provider that offers unlocked phones (although it's still done by Apple). They're your best bet. You can also get it from ebay, but you have to double check that it's hardware unlocked and not software. As I mentioned before, hardware unlock allows you to update the iOS whenever you want, while you can't do that with the jailbreak--unless you want to erase your jailbreak and unlock.
    You can use your iphone as an ipod. However, it has to be activated first. All new iphones come with a connect to itunes screen. AFAIK, you can't bypass that. Someone more knowledgeable than me might know of a trick. You can try the hacks subforum, but I have to warn you that it's unlikely.
    Once your phone is activated, you can easily put it in airplane mode or take the SIM out. I did this with my iphone when I took it to Europe. At the time, it wasn't unlocked.


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