Which iPhone 5S in the US is the international unlocked version and works overseas?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by macno0b, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. macno0b macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    #1
    I'm buying one iPhone 5S as a gift for my relative living in Asia. Which iPhone 5S version is completely 100% unlocked and works anywhere in the world? I was thinking the full price Tmobile and At&t would be the one but Apple staff told me no?
     
  2. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #2
    This all depends on what network is being used in Asia. Once you know that and the bands they use, you can figure out which model you need.

    BL.
     
  3. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    The full priced no contract AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone 5s from the Apple store are unlocked.
     
  4. macno0b thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    #4
    It's all GSM in Asia. I know the ATT unlocked ip5 works perfectly there.

    Do the iPhone 5S unlocked at Tmobile store unlock themselves when plugged into itunes?
     
  5. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Location:
    Somewhere
    #5
    From what I've read online T-Mobile phones purchased at a T-Mobile store are locked, and you need something like 40 days of service before they can be unlocked. Try to get one from an Apple store then it should be unlocked.
     
  6. macno0b thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2013
    #6
    They only have Verizon one left here. Are those unlocked at full price too and do they have the same GMS chip as in Att and Tmo one?

    Thanks,
     
  7. cnotes2019 Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #7
    Yes it's the same


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk 2
     
  8. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Location:
    NYC
    #8
    Do you mean iPhones purchased from the T-Mobile store that are locked to T-Mobile?
     
  9. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #9
    Yes they are unlocked at full price, and will have the same GSM chip in them. I can say from personal experience that an unlocked Verizon 4S worked in Asia so the 5S should to.
     
  10. datapolitical macrumors member

    datapolitical

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    Caifornia
    #10
    No no no no no no no no no

    There are different LTE bands and there are different models of iPhones that support those bands. Specifically, if your family speaks Mandarin or Cantonese, there's a decent shot the iPhone you buy in the US will be a very pretty iPod Touch on their carrier.

    Unless you are absolutely certain about what LTE bands (or GSM/CDMA bands) are used by your relative's carrier (and even then there are cases where it doesn't work unless it's an authorized phone on that carrier) Don't take the risk.

    ----------

    Where in Asia? It's practically like saying your 5S should work somewhere on land...the spectrum is dramatically different and the carrier requirements are too. When you're buying a $700 piece of hardware, confirm with the carrier that an unlocked iPhone will work, and double check the frequency bands to see that they match.

    An Unlocked 4S does not have LTE. So you're talking apples and oranges if you want LTE. There's a reason Apple takes time to launch phones in more than 10 countries. It takes time to make sure carriers are ready (and they have to produce enough phones to launch successfully). In fact, for China there's a totally different device that won't work in the US, so you're shiite out of luck in that case.
     

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