Will iPhone 5 bought in Japan work with my AT&T plan?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Greenmustard, May 1, 2013.

  1. Greenmustard macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    This may be a stupid question, but can I get my iPhone 5 replaced in Japan (while I'm traveling there) if I'm still under AT&T?

    I know there are different models and whatnot, but it's still confusing me, and Apple support did nothing to help. Long story short, I was having battery issues with my 5...brought it into the Genius Bar for repair a couple of weeks ago and they reset it and claimed they "fixed" it. I then began my travels abroad, and the issue did not resolve itself (phone still turns off when battery is at 15-25%) and was going to get it looked at when I got back to the states. Yesterday, I had an accident and cracked the screen on my phone (phone still functions minus the aforementioned battery issue). Apple tells me now that I voided the warranty, so regardless of battery issues, I'll have to get the phone completely replaced for $229.

    I signed a 2 year contract with AT&T on release day, so the phone is locked. I'd prefer to have a perfectly working phone sooner rather than later, so would it be possible for me to just get a replacement phone at the Osaka Apple store? I was told it'd be 20800Y, which is actually cheaper than $229. Could it come unlocked? I'm only using the phone for wifi in Japan, but I need it to work in the states.

  2. Lyshen macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    You should be able to get it swapped out in Japan.

    The questions that come to mind is, what model will they give you... a1428 or a1429. (AT&T is a1428) Only affects LTE capabilities.

    And it should still be locked to AT&T unless AT&T unlocked yours.

    You could pay 3rd party people to unlock it.

    Just FYI, title is a little misleading, since you're asking about a service replacement not actually buying a new iPhone.
  3. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    SoftBank and KDDI both use A1429, so I imagine that Apple doesn't offer A1428 in Japan at all.
  4. Ocean20 macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2012

    From http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1937 you will see that the carriers in Japan do not offer unlocking so if you buy a phone in Japan it won't work with carriers in the US
  5. brettO5 macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2012
    Not quite the same as what you want to do, but I recently tried to outright purchase an iPhone 5 in Japan and it's not possible without a Japanese contract.

    Cheers, Brett
  6. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    All Japanese iPhones cannot be unlocked. Also, their cellular iPads are also SIM locked.
  7. ChristianVirtual macrumors 601


    May 10, 2010
    Yeah, sometime I think Japan is an island ... :rolleyes:

    at least the iPad2 two years ago I was able to use outside Japan with different SIM; did that in Switzerland while busisness trip. Swapped my SoftBank SIM with a Swisscom Prepaid SIM and was happy with it.

    On the iPhone I didnt tried ... try to change in your home country, different store ?
  8. Greenmustard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    Thanks for the replies and heads-ups! Guess I'll just deal with it when I get back to the states.

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