What Countries Offer Unlocked iPhone 3G

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ahoover, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. ahoover macrumors member


    May 11, 2004
    I'm interested in the new Apple 3G iPhone but I will not purchase "any" mobile phone that locks me into a particular carrier. I presently use T-Mobile in the US with an unlocked Sony Ericsson P990i. I have no issue with paying retail/premium for a factory out of the box unlocked iPhone 3G (don't want or need the subsidy). I want to be able to use "my" GSM carrier of choice, and switch SIMs when I travel? I do want my 3G iPhone to be covered under Apple warranty and not have the issues with firmware updates associated with aftermarket unlocking. The iPhone 3G must support US English language.

    Advise and guidance appreciate.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    Keep in mind that T-Mobile USA does not use the same 3G spectrum as the iphone.
  3. butterfly0fdoom macrumors 6502a

    Oct 17, 2007
    Camp Snoopy
    In fact, T-Mobile's USA 3G frequency is a completely unique frequency that requires the radio to be slightly modified; it's 2100, but not the same 2100 that Europe uses.
  4. rioja macrumors regular

    May 19, 2008
    This is from BGR:

    Hot off the wires, we’ve got a hold of the unsubsidized price for the iPhone 3G. Well, for Italy anyway. Vodafone Italy is setting an out-of-contract price at €499 and €569 for the 8GB and 16GB models respectively. We don’t know what the monthly nut is going to be yet but word on the streets is that this pricing is actually reasonable and dare we say competitive in Italy’s smartphone market.

    I'm wondering... if Vodaphone is doing this in Italy, where else will they do it. And how long before unlocked versions start appearing on Ebay. If it ends up being true, this could negate Apple's and the Carriers plans of locking people in. At least in Europe.
  5. rioja macrumors regular

    May 19, 2008
    Another BGR post:

    Take this for what you will, but one of our ninjas tipped us off to an iPhone ad currently being Portugal by wireless carrier Optimus, which is a subsidiary of Orange. According to the ad, Optimus is going to be offering the iPhone 3G with a monthly tariff on both post and pre-paid accounts. Yep, you read that one correctly. While AT&T has explicitly said that they will not be offering the new iPhone 3G with any sort of pre-paid options, it looks like other carriers are reserving the option to provide the handset without a lengthy contract. The ad doesn’t give any indication as to what we might expect the unsubsidized pricing to be, but we’re working hard to dig up that info. Unfortunately, we’re not expecting any miracles here on the US side of things, as AT&T has been very explicit about the contractual requirements of the iPhone agreements. Remember when the rest of the world was madly trying to import American iPhones? Things might be going the other way this time around.
  6. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    Pay as you go iphones --- don't mean unlocked iphones. It's just means that you don't have to sign a contract --- the phone can still be simlocked.
  7. onlycopunk macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2008
    It will be interesting to see if any of the iPhones come unlocked. But then again there are only a couple of countries that make locked phones illegal to see. I wonder how Apple will get around it
  8. trevreyno macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2007
    The way they did it in France-offer unlocked iPhones for a ridiculously high price which precludes most people from buying them.
  9. iCantwait macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
  10. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    A couple of law professors thinking about potential theoretical legal problems --- don't mean that there is an actual legal problem for Apple. There is no such law in Australia.
  11. onlycopunk macrumors 6502

    May 10, 2008
    The laws would have to deal with antitrust issues. And I'm pretty sure there are ways to get around looking like a monopoly. So far I'm pretty sure Belgium is the only country that prohibits companies from forcing people into contracts, there may be one more, I'm not sure.
  12. teleromeo macrumors 65816


    Dec 2, 2006
    kidnapped by aliens
    It is indeed forbidden to sell phones toghether with a contract in Belgium so all phones sold here are simmlockfree. Mobistar has an exclusive contract with apple but they can not force you to sing a contract along with the purchase of the phone. Anyway, the launch date is postponed in Belgium ...
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    No, I've heard the same. Same with Japan. Well anyway, I'm in Australia now (and for the last 4.5 years), and am going to Japan again in August. I expect Either way......booyah! I'm quite sure I'll find some way to get this phone legally unlocked, and then I'll come to Canada and use it with Fido. I travel far too often to be locked down to a particular country.

    Haha, when was that? I'd love to know. Europe and Asia has all the American choices, and more. America and Canada have always had far fewer choices.
  14. ubercool macrumors 6502a


    Jan 31, 2008
    Las Vegas
    And France, Italy and Germany. I've got my FF miles ready for a nice trip to Europe to pick up a non-encumbered iPhone. Then we have to figure out how to unlock it! :D

    I'm almost ready to begin organizing Belgian frites and iPhone tours! :p
  15. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
  16. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    How many people said the same thing before last November when the iphone launched in Europe?

    They were all talking like there was a law in UK this, there was a law in Germany that....
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    There's no law in the UK about this, or not that I know of. I used to live there.

    And no, not every country has a law against this, but I thought France did, possibly Norway.
  18. tj8 macrumors newbie

    Jun 10, 2008
    ahh dammit, that is a benefit of living in belgium, with the law about not being able to force contracts on anyone, and its well received here as well. damn you apple, why can't you let the majority of people want what they want!
  19. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    In France, it had been possible to buy the original iPhone without a contract (an an increased price), and there was the option to pay 100 euros to have any out-of-contract iPhone officially SIM-unlocked. (IIRC it was free to SIM-unlock if the iPhone had previously been on-contract for at least 6 months and the contract had either expired or was bought out. But I don't remember if this detail was a rumor or an officially stated policy.)

    At the time, this was blamed on a French law.

    Has that law (or Apple's/Orange's interpretation of it) changed since then? With the last piece of credible information I'd heard, this policy was still in place.

    (This is a different situation than the court cases in Germany which opened a window of a few days in which iPhones were officially available unlocked in that country. Because the two events happened at close to the same time, many people seem to have blended the two cases together in their memories...)
  20. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    Yes but this means that you are not tied in with a contract and therefore wont have monthly payements if you buy the software to unlock it from home...

    So technically a pay-as-you-go phone price is an unlocked phone price!
  21. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    The French law is that the carrier must provide unlocking codes for free at the end of the contract or at the end of 6 months (whichever is earlier). The problem is that the carrier can charge whatever they want for unlocking codes before that time. And the carrier can charge whatever they want for a phone without simlock --- so we have an iphone that costs 750 euro ($1200 US)

    Another problem is that there is no French law on ETF.
  22. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
    And technically that price is close to $1000 US (according to the Italy prices).
  23. peterja macrumors regular


    Jan 21, 2008
    Do you mean if you where to import it?
    What you can say about 499€/569€ is that it's on par with other high end Smartphones in Europe.

    €499 will get you 2.6 iPod Nanos
    2.64 * $199 = $525

    or 1.087 iPod Touch 32GB
    1.087 * $499 = $540
  24. jncoanalog macrumors member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Portuguese Vodafone will provide you unlocked iPhone 3G from 1098 US$

    Hi there,

    here in Portugal you can actually buy an unlocked 3G iPhone. Vodafone sells the 8Gb version for 499€ and 16Gb for 599€ without contract but still locked to the carrier, but if you pay them 200€ more they will LEGALLY unlock the phone for you. I believe you can set the portuguese phone to the english language but i can't be sure because i don't have one to verify :mad:

    So you can buy UNLOCKED and NO CONTRACT 3G iPhones in Portugal for:
    8Gb - 499€ + 200€ = 699€ (1098 US$)
    16Gb - 599€ + 200€ = 799€ (1255 US$)

    Hope it helps...
  25. plasticlung macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2008
    Why not just get it from att and pay the early termination fee? 199 + 175.

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