Where to buy an iPhone UNLOCKED in US??

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by GS17, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. GS17 macrumors member


    Oct 21, 2009
    I need to buy a NEW iPhone UNLOCKED in the states, 32 GB White to replace one that was lost. It will be used in south america, but it looks like is cheaper to get it here than there where the replacement will cost about 1300 USD. I need it to come unlocked from factory to be used with a carrier there and not jailbroken unlocked since the last one did lock again if turned off.

    I never actually heard anything about Apple selling factory unlocked iphones anywhere in the world, but a quick ebay search will show hundreds of listings for factory unlocked some specifying not from china (not sure what they mean). It's ebay a good place to buy an iphone? anyone has gotten from one ebay, I like to hear your experience. I remember asking in one of the kiosks at the outlets mall back in november for the unlockeds they had in display and they where 800 or 900, they even unlock yours if is locked right on the spot through software.

    What sites do you recommend or have experience with to buy one?

    Please no comments about Wait, a new one will come out someday! I need it now and it's not for me.

    thanks for your time all
  2. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Theres no factory unlocked iphones sold in the US.
    Only ones sold are locked to AT&T.
  3. GS17 thread starter macrumors member


    Oct 21, 2009
    Actually that's true for apple distribution channels like the apple store or at&t stores, at least in the part that they are locked to at&t and that apple does not sell factory unlocked phones (even if such a thing exists) anywhere. I would like to know if they do exist and where to get one. But you can definitely buy an unlocked (trough software) iphone online, some retailers even the kiosk that is just in front of the local apple store in the mall.
  4. r6girl Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Sep 6, 2003
    I know of no physical stores in the U.S. where factory unlocked iPhones can be purchased. I had an unlocked 3G that a friend purchased for me in New Zealand and shipped to me here in the U.S.

    Buy.com sells them online, as does Expansys. Looks like they're cheaper on buy.com at the moment.
  5. labman macrumors 604


    Jun 9, 2009
    Mich near Detroit
  6. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    Factory unlocked phones do exist. Apple supplies them to markets outside the USA where either government regulation prohibits locked phones (in some places), or else competitive pressures lead carriers to choose not to use locks in the first place (in other places).

    If you're buying unlocked phones in the USA, you're definitely not getting them through official channels. It would be difficult to tell (without directly inspecting the phone) whether it is a real factory unlocked phone imported from another country, or an "officially" software unlocked phone, also imported from another country, or an "unofficially" unlocked phone, which was hacked to remove the lock.

    If it is one of the former two, then it is 100% safe to use them in the USA without fear of future software upgrades from Apple relocking your phone. If it is the latter, then there are no guarantees.

    If it is a phone that was imported from another country, it was most likely purchased through the normal distribution channels for that country and there are likely no issues of contested ownership. However, as with any time you buy something on the grey market, there is always the chance that you might be receiving stolen goods.

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