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-   -   buying an iPhone in the US (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/buying-iphone-us-758061/)

sawdustanddiamonds May 12th 2012 10:04 pm

buying an iPhone in the US
 
Hello!

I am new and this is my first post! As far as I am aware no one has posted about iPhones specifically in the U.S so I'm just going to go ahead and post.

I am moving to the U.S in August from London to study. While living in London over the past 4 years I have relied on having an iPhone and I would really like to continue using an iPhone when I move. My phone is pretty old now and I would like to purchase a new one as soon as I arrive, does anyone know of any networks to go with ? I have so far only come across AT&T and their cheapest 'package' is $199 + $79.99 per month which seems absurd! - I am currently paying £20 a month here in the UK for unlimited texts/500 minutes etc.

If anyone has any information to share I would really appreciate it :)

Weeze May 12th 2012 10:17 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
Phone contracts are very expensive in the US so that's the price you'll pay for an iPhone contract. Also, there's no guarantee you'll get a contract that easily as you'll have no credit history. I stuck to virgin mobile until I'd built up a credit history. That's $35/month but you can't get an iPhone with them.
Sprint, AT&T and Verizon are the only network options if you have your heart set on an iPhone.

Kar98 May 12th 2012 10:22 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
Get your iPhone unlocked and go with one of the prepaid packages offered by T-Mobile?

jxsteinberg May 12th 2012 10:26 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by Kar98 (Post 10056861)
Get your iPhone unlocked and go with one of the prepaid packages offered by T-Mobile?

This is a good/cheap option however the only drawback is that on T-Mobile you can't get 3G on the iPhone so data speeds are super slow.

I had the same dilemma when I arrived (no credit etc) I ended up going with Sprint and had to pay a $250 deposit that you get credited back after 12mths. ATT and Verizon it was $500 and didn't get the money back until later in the contract.

As has already been stated phone contracts here are very expensive unfortunately

Kar98 May 12th 2012 10:33 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by jxsteinberg (Post 10056864)
This is a good/cheap option however the only drawback is that on T-Mobile you can't get 3G on the iPhone so data speeds are super slow.

This is true. But I've got fast internet at home and at work and at every Dunkin Donuts and McDonald's and every hotel I've ever stayed in, so slow internet speeds on the phone aren't that much of an issue for me. Might be different for other people ;)

All I want is a decent phone ;)

sawdustanddiamonds May 12th 2012 10:42 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
Thanks everyone for your replies. I had no idea about the credit system in the US. I am so used to my iPhone but all I really need is unlimited texts and around 300 minutes but I would really need 3G, wifi as I use google maps and check emails on the go a lot.
Would it be worth buying a phone in the UK first, getting it unlocked and only Then finding a network when I arrive? (I am in need of an upgrade anyway)

Kar98 May 12th 2012 10:47 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
The "all I really need is..." is where just about every US provider rams a barbwired flag pole up your ass without as much as muttering a "pardon me, sir".

Bob May 12th 2012 10:56 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds (Post 10056850)
As far as I am aware no one has posted about iPhones specifically in the U.S...

If you search you'll find loads, but welcome to BE!

You'll also find phone rates and packages are a bit poo and there aren't many options, added to the fact that you have no US credit history.

There are plenty of posts about jailbreaking and going the PAYG route though, presuming you get your phone out of contract.

Bob May 12th 2012 10:59 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds (Post 10056882)
Would it be worth buying a phone in the UK first, getting it unlocked and only Then finding a network when I arrive? (I am in need of an upgrade anyway)

No.

Best bet is a Android phone, more PAYG options too.

Kar98 May 12th 2012 11:00 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 10056889)
No.

Best bet is a Android phone, more PAYG options too.

Yup. Higher speeds, better rates than limiting yourself to an iPhone.

rpjs May 13th 2012 12:23 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
I understand T-Mobile US are upgrading their network and should be offering widespread 3G support for the iPhone by the end of the year. They'll also start selling iPhones so hopefully AT&T will be forced to reduce their rates.

There's also this http://www.slashgear.com/freedompop-...rder-11227787/ which is a forthcoming iPhone case that has a built in data connection to Sprint's Wimax network - it's supposed to be a one-time payment of $99 then 500MB of data per month free (which is enough for basic data usage if not video or VOIP)

Kar98 May 13th 2012 12:42 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by rpjs (Post 10056954)
I understand T-Mobile US are upgrading their network

Yes.


They'll also start selling iPhones
Nah.

cluedweasel May 13th 2012 1:05 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by rpjs (Post 10056954)
I understand T-Mobile US are upgrading their network and should be offering widespread 3G support for the iPhone by the end of the year. They'll also start selling iPhones so hopefully AT&T will be forced to reduce their rates.

That worked so well when Verizon started selling the iPhone :ohmy:

helpmeplease123 May 13th 2012 1:06 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds (Post 10056882)
Thanks everyone for your replies. I had no idea about the credit system in the US. I am so used to my iPhone but all I really need is unlimited texts and around 300 minutes but I would really need 3G, wifi as I use google maps and check emails on the go a lot.
Would it be worth buying a phone in the UK first, getting it unlocked and only Then finding a network when I arrive? (I am in need of an upgrade anyway)

Not an IPhone.. the ones in the US are sim card-less, so with a foreign IPhone you wouldn't be able to get a US IPhone package sim on its own...although I suppose you could just get a plan that includes internet but for an android. I don't think there are m(any) plans with unlimited internet as of recently either, as a lot of people were using it for tethering. I think it's gone on Verizon at least.

Kar98 May 13th 2012 1:09 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by helpmeplease123 (Post 10057013)
Not an IPhone.. the ones in the US are sim card-less.

Bollocks. :thumbdown:

helpmeplease123 May 13th 2012 1:10 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by Kar98 (Post 10057016)
Bollocks. :thumbdown:

Mine and all the ones owned by people I know are... :thumbup:

Kar98 May 13th 2012 1:14 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by helpmeplease123 (Post 10057019)
Mine and all the ones owned by people I know are... :thumbup:

AT&T, T-Mobile and a bunch of the smaller mom n pop providers that are GSM all use SIM cards. You can also use SIM cards in many of the newer Verizon phones, but only for international, i.e. outside the US, use.

Bob May 13th 2012 1:20 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by helpmeplease123 (Post 10057013)
Not an IPhone.. the ones in the US are sim card-less, so with a foreign IPhone you wouldn't be able to get a US IPhone package sim on its own...although I suppose you could just get a plan that includes internet but for an android. I don't think there are m(any) plans with unlimited internet as of recently either, as a lot of people were using it for tethering. I think it's gone on Verizon at least.

Yeah, what Kar just said. They've got sims in them these days, that's how people are able to get other networks such as the pay as you go sim cards to work on the things.

There are plenty of unlimited data plans on PAYG for Android phones, they tend to be 4G for x number of MB's a month though, say 200-500, but then drop the speed way down after that.

helpmeplease123 May 13th 2012 1:26 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 10057036)
Yeah, what Kar just said. They've got sims in them these days, that's how people are able to get other networks such as the pay as you go sim cards to work on the things.

There are plenty of unlimited data plans on PAYG for Android phones, they tend to be 4G for x number of MB's a month though, say 200-500, but then drop the speed way down after that.

Well then, i'm off to Verizon to complain! The guy who sold me my phone explicitly said no sim cards in any IPhone 4S as I wanted to use it with foreign sims... so I bought a new English phone rather than just a sim card when I came back. They also told me they had recently scrapped all of their unlimited data plans and everyone else was too because of all the tethering :frown: I have no idea about other networks though, which is why I only mentioned Verizon

Kar98 May 13th 2012 1:34 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by helpmeplease123 (Post 10057046)
Well then, i'm off to Verizon to complain! The guy who sold me my phone explicitly said no sim cards in any IPhone 4S as I wanted to use it with foreign sims... so I bought a new English phone rather than just a sim card when I came back.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/10/12/s...ck-for-intern/

"The iPhone 4S works like all of our global phones. The phone comes in box with a SIM locked to our network and the network of our roaming partners including Vodafone, one of our parent companies. Customers sign up for a Verizon Wireless voice plan (beginning at $39.99 for 450 min.) and a data plan beginning at 2GB for $30. When they choose to go out of the country, they should call Verizon Wireless and sign up for a global plan. The customer can also request to have the SIM unlocked if they want to use a local service while out of the country. The request needs to be made prior to leaving the country, their bill must be current and the phone must be active on the account for 60 days before we will unlock the SIM."

Bob May 13th 2012 1:35 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by helpmeplease123 (Post 10057046)
Well then, i'm off to Verizon to complain! The guy who sold me my phone explicitly said no sim cards in any IPhone 4S as I wanted to use it with foreign sims... so I bought a new English phone rather than just a sim card when I came back. They also told me they had recently scrapped all of their unlimited data plans and everyone else was too because of all the tethering :frown: I have no idea about other networks though, which is why I only mentioned Verizon

Verizon don't use sim's because their network is different.

The phone still has a sim socket in it.

You'd need to unlock and jailbreak it to use a sim from else where to work on the phone.

You'd need to jailbreak the phone to tether it anyway because all the networks disabled that feature on the phone for the iPhone.

The unlimited data plans with uncapped speeds has pretty much come to the end, but there are unlimited data plans around which cap the amount of data you can use at maximum speed.

frrussre May 13th 2012 5:48 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds (Post 10056882)
Thanks everyone for your replies. I had no idea about the credit system in the US. I am so used to my iPhone but all I really need is unlimited texts and around 300 minutes but I would really need 3G, wifi as I use google maps and check emails on the go a lot.
Would it be worth buying a phone in the UK first, getting it unlocked and only Then finding a network when I arrive? (I am in need of an upgrade anyway)

"but all I really need is unlimited texts and around 300 minutes but I would really need 3G"

Will that be 300 British minutes?
Because here in good ole USA, you would need more then double that. We pay for incoming calls and all calls are rounded off, to nearest minute. 1min 1sec minutes.

Reg. Frank R.

optomisticgirl May 13th 2012 2:03 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
Verizon does not use Sim cards - in fact, if I remember right, Apple had to virtually make a whole new iPhone just for the Verizon network because we don't have sim cards on our phones.

frrussre May 13th 2012 2:19 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by optomisticgirl (Post 10057800)
Verizon does not use Sim cards - in fact, if I remember right, Apple had to virtually make a whole new iPhone just for the Verizon network because we don't have sim cards on our phones.

The latest ones, maybe even the the 4, have Unlocked Sim Card slot for "Out of USA", use. As do the IPAD.

Reg. Frank R.

sawdustanddiamonds May 13th 2012 2:24 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by frrussre (Post 10057261)
"but all I really need is unlimited texts and around 300 minutes but I would really need 3G"

Will that be 300 British minutes?
Because here in good ole USA, you would need more then double that. We pay for incoming calls and all calls are rounded off, to nearest minute. 1min 1sec minutes.

Reg. Frank R.

:ohmy:

frrussre May 13th 2012 2:38 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by frrussre (Post 10057261)
"but all I really need is unlimited texts and around 300 minutes but I would really need 3G"

Will that be 300 British minutes?
Because here in good ole USA, you would need more then double that. We pay for incoming calls and all calls are rounded off, to nearest minute. 1min 1sec minutes.

Reg. Frank R.

Should have read: All calls are rounded up one minute one second = 2 minutes.

Reg. Frank R.

oxonlad May 13th 2012 6:40 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by sawdustanddiamonds (Post 10056850)
Hello!

I am new and this is my first post! As far as I am aware no one has posted about iPhones specifically in the U.S so I'm just going to go ahead and post.

I am moving to the U.S in August from London to study. While living in London over the past 4 years I have relied on having an iPhone and I would really like to continue using an iPhone when I move. My phone is pretty old now and I would like to purchase a new one as soon as I arrive, does anyone know of any networks to go with ? I have so far only come across AT&T and their cheapest 'package' is $199 + $79.99 per month which seems absurd! - I am currently paying £20 a month here in the UK for unlimited texts/500 minutes etc.

If anyone has any information to share I would really appreciate it :)

Just unlock your current phone, and get a PayGo sim in the US. The iPhone takes a micro sim (unlike many other phones) - but you can cut a 'regular' sim card down to size (there are many guides online).

optomisticgirl May 13th 2012 7:12 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by frrussre (Post 10057818)
The latest ones, maybe even the the 4, have Unlocked Sim Card slot for "Out of USA", use. As do the IPAD.

Reg. Frank R.

I have a 4 and I don't have a Sim Card slot.

cluedweasel May 13th 2012 7:41 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by optomisticgirl (Post 10058088)
I have a 4 and I don't have a Sim Card slot.

Are you sure?


optomisticgirl May 13th 2012 7:45 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by cluedweasel (Post 10058121)

Positive

civilservant May 13th 2012 7:56 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
I was with OG wheb she got her phone, and indeed can confirm that her CDMA iPhone with Verizon has no SIM card slot. I know because I asked where it was before I knew that Verizon was CDMA, and I own an iPhone with a slot myself.

Giantaxe May 13th 2012 8:39 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by civilservant (Post 10058149)
I was with OG wheb she got her phone, and indeed can confirm that her CDMA iPhone with Verizon has no SIM card slot. I know because I asked where it was before I knew that Verizon was CDMA, and I own an iPhone with a slot myself.

The iPhone 4s was the first CDMA Verizon iPhone also to have a SIM card slot. Earlier versions from Verizon didn't have a slot. This is why I didn't get an iPhone until the 4s. As already pointed out Verizon will unlock the phone after 60 days and you can then use any non-US SIM card either in the US (probably pointless) and anywhere else.

civilservant May 13th 2012 8:41 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
Ah, there we go then. She purchased an iPhone 4.

cluedweasel May 14th 2012 4:11 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
Aha! What do I know? Not much it seems.

captainsensible May 14th 2012 11:33 am

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
I bought a T-Mobile PAYG sim card for use in my Android phone. $2 a day on the days you use it, for unlimited calls & texts & data, so even if you use it everyday thats 'only' around $60 a month, which is a lot cheaper than a contract, especially Verizon who are thieving shites in my opinion. When my USC wife got her new phone, to get a data package she has to pay an extra $30 a month for a minimum of 2Gb, which is frankly ludicrous (e.g. I never use more than about 300mb a month and neither does she).

Giantaxe May 14th 2012 3:28 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by captainsensible (Post 10059115)
I bought a T-Mobile PAYG sim card for use in my Android phone. $2 a day on the days you use it, for unlimited calls & texts & data, so even if you use it everyday thats 'only' around $60 a month, which is a lot cheaper than a contract, especially Verizon who are thieving shites in my opinion. When my USC wife got her new phone, to get a data package she has to pay an extra $30 a month for a minimum of 2Gb, which is frankly ludicrous (e.g. I never use more than about 300mb a month and neither does she).

I agree that Verizon are thieving shites. There are a couple of other potential options though - they have a $20 plan with, I think, 400Mb a month. And if you have access to a corporate program, you can get a much better deal. For example, I'm paying $20 for unlimited data.

captainsensible May 14th 2012 3:50 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 
Unfortunately, they make you take the 'minimum' 2gb data package if you get a smartphone. Would be interested to know if they let you downgrade though.

Giantaxe May 14th 2012 3:51 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by captainsensible (Post 10059572)
Unfortunately, they make you take the 'minimum' 2gb data package if you get a smartphone. Would be interested to know if they let you downgrade though.

Do they? I know I was offered the $20 plan for 400Mb, but I can't remember when it was when I actually bought the 'phone.

captainsensible May 14th 2012 3:59 pm

Re: buying an iPhone in the US
 

Originally Posted by Giantaxe (Post 10059575)
Do they? I know I was offered the $20 plan for 400Mb, but I can't remember when it was when I actually bought the 'phone.

It was late last year that she bought the phone, so certainly since then.


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