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iPhone Hardware and Accessories Discuss iPhone hardware

Do I require an unlocked phone for overseas SIMs?


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Fatamorgana

 
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As I understand it, a phone (iPhone or others) has to be "unlocked" for it to accept different SIM cards in different countries, chopping them out as I move from one country to another in slow time. Is that correct?
Or can I simply buy an iPhone and swap out different SIM cards for overseas use?

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rabbitjetta

 
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If you have a carrier here in the U.S. I think you may be able to go to them and explain the situation and they can unlock the iPhone to were you can install the sim from another country while traveling abroad.
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Fatamorgana

 
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That's exactly what I don't want.

I want a phone where I can, as stated, simply put a new SIM card into my phone per country.

This question is still live as I am told it needs to be a "world wide unlocked" phone - but I am not sure.
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chscag

 
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If you purchase either the T-Mobile or Verizon iPhone 5c or 5s, they are both world wide unlocked. You can obtain a sim card from a carrier in the country you happen to be visiting. In addition to stateside CDMA networks, the Verizon iPhone can be used on GSM networks same as the T-Mobile iPhone.

Do not purchase either an AT&T or Sprint iPhone as they will be locked and you may have difficulty getting them unlocked for travel.
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatamorgana View Post
As I understand it, a phone (iPhone or others) has to be "unlocked" for it to accept different SIM cards in different countries, chopping them out as I move from one country to another in slow time. Is that correct?
Yes.

Quote:
Or can I simply buy an iPhone and swap out different SIM cards for overseas use?
Paying full price for an iPhone from Apple that is not tied to a carrier would work as well.
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propita

 
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AT&T will unlock phones which are off-contract. An Apple store employee told me just today that locked iPhones can accept non-US sims and work just fine--maybe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propita View Post
An Apple store employee told me just today that locked iPhones can accept non-US sims and work just fine--maybe.
The Apple Store employee either didn't understand your question or was confused (or could have been referring to Verizon/T-Mob phones, which don't use SIM cards and thus don't lock the SIM card slot).
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propita

 
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She may have been confused, but what she meant was that locked iPhones (even ATT) MIGHT work fine. In theory. Maybe.

I don’t see how, as I assume someone would’ve noticed that by now and lock/unlock wouldn’t be an issue anymore.
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The safest iPhones to take overseas are those mentioned above: Verizon, T-Mobile, and an Apple unlocked GSM iPhone. The Verizon iPhone is CDMA here in the US, however, its sim card slot is GSM and it's unlocked. T-Mobile iPhones use a GSM sim card but they are unlocked simply because the phone is not subsidized by T-Mobile. In other words, you buy the phone outright either as one payment or 24 monthly payments.
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