Using an unlocked UK iPhone in the US

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by sjdigital, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. sjdigital macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    The Caucasus
    #1
    My daughter is planning to head to the US to work for a while and I may give her my unlocked iPhone 3G. (It's an official unlock from O2 in the UK). Would she be able to get a SIM only iPhone plan from AT&T? I did have a look at the AT&T web site but couldn't see anything like that. Or are there other, better plans from other carriers that offer data and WiFi?

    Any guidance or suggestions gratefully received.
     
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    She can get a plan from either AT&T or Tmobile.
    Only 2G service with Tmobile in the US though. 3G is incompatible.
     
  3. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    The Caucasus
    #3
    Thanks for this. So obviously she'd be best on AT&T if she wants data but can you point me to where I'd find out more on the AT&T site?
     
  4. robert1234 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    #4
    Careful...

    The only network that an iPhone can work on in the US is AT&T in 3G. For 2G you can go with T-Mobile or AT&T (T-Mo USA use a frequency unsupported by the iPhone for 3g.)

    However...

    Caveat 1) with a legally unlocked O2 iPhone, every time you put a non-O2 simcard in, it locks the phone out and forces you to connect it to iTunes. When you connect to iTunes, it identifies the sim card then gets the carrier settings and permissions (APN etc) - they claim so you don't have to fiddle. (Down side - if your iPhone runs out of battery you have to connect it to iTunes)

    Caveat 2) AT&T only allows data use with a contract SIM card on iPhones, and they enforce this by the above mechanism disabling data use on the phone. So if she's going to get a PAYG sim, and hope to use data - she's going to be dissapointed.

    However - if it's jailbroken (or never locked by a carrier), this doesn't apply.

    That's said in the big american cities, google maps is supremely useful in getting round, as it links up with public transit systems - so well worth jailbreaking IMHO :)

    Discovered this myself on a recent trip :)
     
  5. robert1234 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    #5
  6. sjdigital thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Location:
    The Caucasus
    #6
    @robert1234
    Many thanks for all this useful info. It was just what I was looking for. But one query - if I pop a non O2 SIM in my unlocked iPhone 3G it works just fine. OK, I've no data but the SIM in question doesn't have a data allowance. Now the phone is jailbroken, but has no software unlock, but there is no request to connect to iTunes. I must try and get that SIM data enabled and see if I can simply put the APN data in manually.

    But it's clear that in the UK we have much more choice with the iPhone being carried by all of the main networks and SIM only deals at £20 a month from O2.

    Of course young daughter now has her eye on an iPhone 4 so we'll have to hope that the Dev Team guys are on the ball!

    Thanks again
     

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