Where to get an unlocked (subscription-free) 3G iPhone (Europe, other continents)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sirherbert, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. sirherbert macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    I wanted to start a whole new thread to ONLY discuss, where you can get unlocked (subscription-free, legal, new, non sim-locked etc. etc.) 3G iPhone.

    I live in Finland, and we do have iPhone 3G by Sonera, but they have wack contracts with limited data (largest contract is 1000mb, but at the price it's just ridiculous, 142$/month, check it out, translated by google: iPhone - Sonera - Pricing)

    SO I want to buy an UNLOCKED iPhone, because I already have a nice contract with another carrier, about 15$/month and unlimited data. I read that belgium's carrier Mobistar sells them, but they're priced way too high.

    So what I'd want you to do is state FACTS which you can prove by linking to CARRIER websites, of subscription-free iPhone 3G's sold in different countries. I'm obviously interested only in the iPhones sold in the European Union (EU), but some other people might be interested in the iPhones of other continents, such as Australia, i hear they have those too.

    My 2 cents:

    1) http://iphone3g.mobistar.be/nl/iphone3g.cfm# EDIT: a translated version by google: Mobistar - iPhone 3G
    1.1) iPhone black 8gb 525€ (834$)
    1.2) iPhone white 16gb 615€ (977$)
  2. klmossart macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2008
    no, the Belgian iphone is not only usable in Belgium, it's an unlocked iphone

    so as I know, you can buy unlocked iphone in Belgium, France, Italy, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Australia

    and please, people don't spread the rumor that simlock free iphones can only be used in the country where you bought it
  3. sirherbert thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    Well, I'm not spreading rumours, I'm just pointing out what the Mobistar website is saying. If you follow the link I posted, you can indeed see that it says so in the bottom. If they're lying, I can't do much about that.

    klmossart, could you post links to the carriers of the said France, Italy and Switzerland?
  4. sirherbert thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    2) http://www.tim.it/consumer/c365/i70113/o69684/prodotto.do
    2.1) 16GB white and black: 569€

    3) Swisscom http://iphone3g.swisscom.ch/ EDIT: got the link working with safari
    3.1) 16GB 316 Swiss francs = 195.780082€, and that's super cheap BUT
    3.2) "All prices in CHF including VAT valid as at 1 July 2008. Subject to change. Whan buying a new subscription for 24 months, with SIM lock. Excluding SIM card CHF 40.--.
    Meaning that tha's not a real possibility.
    3.3) All us living inside the EU, we have to pay our own VAT and customs fees, because Switzerland is not a part of the EU.

    4) France (Orange) http://iphone.orange.fr/iphone1G.php#/option_business/
    4.1) did not find official info on Orange selling separately, but they start selling 17th of July, so let's wait until then.

    This blog mentions the possibility of the french selling unlocked:
    http://tech.blorge.com/Structure: /2007/10/17/apple-to-sell-unlocked-3g-iphone-in-france/
  5. sirherbert thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    Does anyone have info on the Italian iPhone; is it SIM-locked and do they ship abroad? I mean, the Swiss phone is obviously locked, the belgian is OFFICIALLY locked, the French don't say - the best bet at the moment is to go with the italian; it at least doesn't say that it's locked.

    Though, the development with the iPhone Dev Team (big up to them!) seems to lead to a point where the sim lock doesn't mean anything. It might even lead to a situation where I'll buy the phone here with a cheap contract (2€/month) and send the SIM card to "Will it blend" or something.. ;)
  6. frosse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    Yeah I'm thinking the same thing, I could go with the Italian BUT if DevTeam do their thing I might as well go with the Swiss one, since its cheaper. :)
  7. sirherbert thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    frosse, I agree, but with the both of us being in the EU, the customs and all that sh*t makes it a lot more complicated to order from Switzerland than from Italy. I'm on standby with the dev team and TeliaSonera's doings..
  8. iWizzard macrumors regular

    Mar 24, 2007
    The best deal seam to be a swiss Iphone 8chf 519/619) that you unlock. The problem is
    a) find a store to get it shipped outside swizerland
    b) cusum fees and VAT (if it is not sent via DHL etc the risk of it getting stuck in cosum is farly smal)
    c) getting it unlocket (apple might have made it harder)

    VAT you Want to be payning in swizzerland sins it is only 7,6 %
    Also Swizzerlan is the size of a family pizza so it might be possible that some one sends it from an EU country.
  9. cyberone macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2005
    Switzerland was sold out of iPhones already on July 11th - nobody knows when new supplies arrive. But anyway, they all got the Swisscom or Orange SIM-lock.

    Anybody can confirm that that Italian phone is factory unlocked?

    And any news on the French iPhones? The price lists don't show a PAYG version - anybody knows more?
  10. frosse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2007
    The Swisscom prices (519/619) already include VAT.

    Edit: Oh you mean paying VAT if it gets stuck in customs, well then you're pretty much ****ed.
  11. sirherbert thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    These are the two remaining main questions. If they are all indeed sim locked, then we'll have to wait for the confirmation from the iPhone Dev Team that they are able to unlock it; I just read from the Dev Team Blog that Jailbreaking does NOT mean unlocking, that's a separate process (and harder, if I understood correctly), and that will take even more time.

    It might be a long wait..
  12. sirherbert thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    I also have a friend going to switzerland in august, but I doubt he can get nine iPhones through customs with no customs asked.. :>
  13. sdm1985 macrumors 6502

    Jul 1, 2008
    So can i buy an iPhone unlocked delivered to the UK?

  14. sirherbert thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    That, at the moment, is unclear for those aforementioned reasons:

    1) it's unclear if the italian phone is locked or not sim-wise
    2) it's unclear if the operators ship iphones to different countries. my guess is they don't.

    and as a bonus

    3) it's unclear when and whether the iPhone Dev Team can crack the 3g iphone's "baseband" and thus unlock sim locked phones. at the moment it is NOT possible, and it still will not be possible when they publish the Jailbreak / Pwnage application (which is soon, I hear). That needs a whole different application, because it goes deeper than just the firmware, or that's how I understand it.
  15. samab macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2006
  16. sirherbert thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    Nice one, Apple answered all the questions I had, except one:

    How does the process of buying from Italy actually work? I bet they don't ship overseas; is the phone locked country-wise? Has someone actually bought an Italian phone and used it in another country with a non-italian SIM card? Do they sell to foreigners?

    I'm thinking of buying a cheap flight there, having a nice weekend in Italy and getting me one; though that would amount to double its price because of the trip. Maybe I'll just wait iPhone Dev Team cracks this and I'll buy a Finnish phone..
  17. omni-impotent macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    I live in France but will be in Italy for a vacation in 2 weeks. Will try to buy an unlocked iPhone there and let you know.

    I am just going to put a french orange sim card in it, so why not buy in france? because it's bloody expensive!

    Orange for some reason don't put any prices for PAYG iPhones on their website. Plus I went into a few stores and they were all sold out. Does anyone know the price for a 8GB one?

    I found out that Darty & FNAC sold the iPhones (still orange locked) but they are bloody expensive.

    Initially Darty was selling them for 509€ (http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/07/17/france_payg_iphone_3g/) but now they are at 650€!

    I went to FNAC yesterday and they tried to sell it for 750€!!!
  18. kamiboy macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2007
    Want legal unlocked iPhone? Goto ebay.be and search for iphone 3G, plenty of choices there. keep bidding on auctions with the price you are willing to pay and eventually yours will be a brand new unlocked iphone. As soon as I return from my vacation I will do exactly that. Don't expect to pay less that 700-800 EUR for a 16GB though.
  19. jpvaz macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2008
    In Portugal you can get the 8Gb for 509€ (VAT included), no contract with carrier but SIM locked and the 16Gb for 609€ (VAT included), also no contract with carrier but SIM locked.

    2 carriers have them, Vodafone and Optimus (Orange group).

    More info on www.optimus.pt and www.vodafone.pt (if you need any info translated, send me a PM, i'll gladly help out)
  20. archi17 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2008
    Australia! Optus sells unlocked ones for $800.
  21. ScubaDuc macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2003
    The iPhone in Belgium is "Officially Unlocked"...;) I can confirm it because I walked into a Mobistar shop and asked :D

    It is illegal to sell locked or subsidized GSM here... and the plans are a real rip-off :rolleyes:
  22. lamadude macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2006
    Brussels, BE
    The Belgian iPhone costs 525 euro and works with any SIM card from any country (according to what they said in the store). You don't need to sign up for anything.
    Although this is expensive, mobistar claims that they only make 5 euros of profit on every iPhone sold. The iPhone is out of stock for the moment though.

    You can find more info here: (In English, French and Dutch)
  23. jpvaz macrumors member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I seriously doubt that, but they are free to say what ever they want...

    If, according to reports posted on several forums and here on Mac Rumors, production cost on the iPhone 3G if about $100 US witch is about 65€, even if Apple re-sold them at about 300€ the carriers would profit way more then 5€ on the sale to final clients... :rolleyes:
  24. Mr. Brown macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2008
    Some Mobistar stores even have the nerve of doing this:

    You: hi, do you have any iPhones in stock?
    Store: will you be signing up for a 2-year contract?
    You: uh, no
    Store: sorry, we don't have any phones left in stock.

    No all stores do this but some customers reported that they were treated this way. Anyway, it's forbidden by the law.

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