visiting US need iPhone

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by owaring, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. owaring macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #1
    Hello all.

    I am a iPhone user in the UK and am working in the US for a few months this year.

    It makes sense for me to pick up a US cell to keep costs down and I would love to be able to do this with an iPhone.

    I do not want to hack my existing handset but wondered if anyone could offer advice on picking up an iPhone 3G and using it without a contract, probably 'pay as you go'.

    I'd also be looking for advice on networks when it comes to coverage and data usage.

    Many thanks, looking forward to your replies.

    Ollie
     
  2. LoMonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #2
    Currently there is no "Pay as you go" plan for the iPhone 3G at AT&T. Not officially anyway. The only way for you to do that would be to activate a Pay as you go plan with 3G data and buy an iPhone off of ebay or use your current device (if it's unocked) on it. Good luck!
     
  3. owaring thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #3
    I saw some rumours about refurbed handsets via wal mart. Could I buy one of the shelf and unlock it?

    What methods would you recommend?

    What pay and go packages would you recommend
     
  4. LoMonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #4
    I'm almost positive you can't buy an iPhone 3G at Wal-Mart without a contract.
    I can't recommend any pay as you go packages, because I don't know any or have never used them. Sorry.
     
  5. BayouBengal macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Houston,TX
    #5
    iPhone in US is AT&T only and only available with a 2 year contract. It is possible to purchase an unlocked iPhone but it would very expensive and not through official channels. Most pay as you go phones in the US are very cheap phone and nothing like the iPhone typically.
     
  6. j3yq macrumors 6502

    j3yq

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #6
    I bought one at walmart without contract, but you have to do it when someone who doesnt know what they are doing is working. the price is considrably higher than the $200-$300 price. Also you will need a first gen iphone to get the prepaid option.
     
  7. bytethese macrumors 68030

    bytethese

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    Location:
    Cranford, NJ
    #7
    As others have stated, I think that this will not work for you. What you should probably do is jailbreak, then unlock it, then buy a pay as you go SIM here so that you don't have to buy any extra hardware. :) You could always restore it to stock firmware when you return to the UK.
     
  8. gngan macrumors 68000

    gngan

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    MacWorld
    #8
    I bought my iPhone from Hong Kong's Apple site and it comes unlock. But it's pricey.
     
  9. iFerd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #9
    Do you know if Apple Hong Kong will ship an unlocked iPhone to the US?
     
  10. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #10
    Nope.
    :(
     
  11. iFerd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #11
    That's what I expected.
     
  12. owaring thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #12
    Thanks for all the replies.

    I will try and pick up a handset to unlock then (or use existing one)

    Leads me to ask 2 further questions;

    1) Best method of unlocking network
    2) Recommendation for network and pay as you go package including 3G data

    Thanks again guys.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    I'm confused now about what you're trying to do. Do you still want an iPhone? The 3G iPhone can be unlocked, but the only compatible 3G network in the US is AT&T's.

    Otherwise, if you're not talking about an iPhone, SIM/carrier/network unlocking is completely different on one handset to the next if done by software. The only "universal" method is that GSM phones can be unlocked using a device like a TurboSIM (3G/GSM phones on AT&T and T-Mobile, the two major providers who offer this kind of device, are mostly not intercompatible at 3G anyways).

    So, basically, if you're not getting an iPhone, I'm not sure that unlocking will actually be particularly necessary or helpful -- you can just as easily buy a locked, used phone for Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, or T-Mobile and just use it.
     
  14. owaring thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    #14
    I definitely want to stick with an iPhone, but would like to avoid voiding any warranty on my UK handset.

    So if I understand the above correctly, i would have to get a AT&T pay as you go in order to take have data usage?
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #15
    On an iPhone, at 3G speeds, yes. It used to be true that you didn't even need to unlock it to do this (link). I don't know if that's true anymore. If it is, then you might just be able to get an AT&T PAYG SIM and use your phone without doing anything that would approach breaking its warranty (although I don't think there's any significant danger with software unlocks). But I'm not 100% sure about that.

    At EDGE speeds, you can use an unlocked iPhone on either AT&T or T-Mobile plans, and probably in some places can also get a regional GSM/EDGE provider.
     
  16. iNash macrumors 6502

    iNash

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hanslope, UK
    #16
    Thinking about the cost of buying a new 3G iPhone "off contract" and a SIM card (probably $10 just for the sim maybe plus $600 for the iPhone) would it not just be cheaper for you to simply turn on data roaming while you go over there and take your UK SIM?

    That way you'd be accepting a £200 phone bill (depending on how long you are out there) which you could probably make cheaper by turning on ONLY when you need it (say 8am + 8pm just to check email unless in a WiFi area) rather than the full £600(circa) for getting a new phone? - This seems like the most logical, easiest and long term - cheapest option.

    (This is what I am doing at the end of the month when I go there)

    Or if you really didn't like that idea then the two options would be:

    1) "Jailbreak" (Unlock) your current iPhone and use a US pre-pay SIM card in it and then re-store it back to it's pre-Jailbreak state when you come home (just remember to do a back up)

    2) Buy a Pay As You Go iPhone 3G from CPW (c£300) and follow step 1 above.

    Either way you Jailbreak the phone, again option 1 is cheaper as it doesn't involve buying a brand new iPhone :cool:


    If you pick one of the above 2 options, simply Google QuickPwn (for Windows or Mac depending on the PC you use) and the rest is pretty self explanitory ;)

    Just remember the Apple policy though

    "Unlocking your iPhone 'could' cause it to stop working and will void your Apple warranty"

    Also they have a policy that the warranty is only valid in the country you purchased the iPhone

    Hope this helps?
     
  17. iNash macrumors 6502

    iNash

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hanslope, UK
    #17
    On a side note:

    I had an old 2G iPhone (4GB) which I unlocked (never had an issue with it)

    And then got a 3G iPhone on contract and was given another one (on PAYG) through work - which I then simply put in my work O2 contract SIM and it worked no problem.

    With both 3G's I have Jailbroken both and restored back to their original locked state more than once no issues - simply didn't like it being Jailbroken.

    Once you restore the iPhone I don't think Apple could tell if it was ever any different, that I am not sure about though...
     

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