OK guys, a challenging question here...

themich

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Nov 1, 2012
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Hi guys,

I'm based in Europe and looking to buy two iPhones when going to the U.S., which will be soon. The phones will only be used in Europe. One will be an old 4G for my brother, I'm looking for a 4S or 5.

But, all possible options get extremely confusing, so I thought I'd ask you more knowledgeable folks for some well needed help.

So here I go:

1) What options do I have for buying an iPhone 4?
We basically use pre-paid SIM phones (GSM network) in our country. Which 4G phones/editions would work?

a) CDMA (Verizon/Sprint) is out of the question, even if they are unlocked/flashed/..., right? Is factory unlocked the only possible option? What about AT&T?

2) Same question, but for iPhone 4S and iPhone 5
I read somewhere, but the source was dubious, that it will be IMPOSSIBLE to use a (/any) US iPhone on a EU sim-card GSM. Can you confirm this?
Please note that I don't care if it's jailbroken/unlocked/factory unlocked/unusable in the U.S./....
I don't care for any of that, as long as I can use it in Europe with pre-paid SIM cards (excluding T-mobile and O2).

Can't be hard, can it?

Thanks a million guys.
 

Roo Zilla

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1. You will need the ATT iPhone 4. If the iPhone 4 ATT version is unlocked, it will work on any GSM/UMTS carrier. If not SIM unlocked, it is possible to pay to have the ATT version unlocked.

2. For the 4S, you can get any version, as long as it's SIM unlocked. Even the Verizon one, if it is SIM unlocked, it will accept any SIM. Both are compatible with worldwide GSM/UMTS/HSPA networks. For the iPhone 5, it's similar, but depending on which LTE bands you want, you might want one or the other depending on the bands you want. I believe the Verizon one has more worldwide bands, something like 5. Recent reports indicate that the Verizon iPhone 5 is SIM unlocked, so it will work with any SIM, apparently it will work with an ATT SIM in the US. The ATT iPhone 5 is locked (unless you purchase it off contract), so you will have to buy it unlocked, or pay to have it unlocked, which is cheap now, about $5-$10. Both the ATT and Verizon iPhone 5s support virtually all worldwide bands of GSM/UMTS/HSPA.

EDIT: There are some countries which do not permit phones purchased in other countries to be used on their networks. South Korea is one of them. I don't know of any EU countries that have the same law.
 
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Aug 31, 2012
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You can buy an unlocked phone straight from Apple and it will work on any GSM network. Though, they only sell the 4 and 4S currently. Right now it costs $549.00 for a 4S and $450.00 for a 4. Hope this helps!

Edit: They will work in Europe. I have multiple friends from Sweden who bought a 4/4S while they were here, and they all work in Sweden.
 

Peligro911

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Simple

On the iPhone 4
Buy a att version
It's gsm
The CDMA won't have a sim slot

On 4s

Att version would be easiest to unlock

CDMA would have to have international unlock and buy it would never work on a US carrier

On 5

Att version can be unlocked

CDMA on Verizon comes unlocked but will not support LTE on gsm carriers so I would go with att version


My suggestion

Buy any phone you want but get a gsm / att version

Get them unlocked via unlock fusion on eBay or there web site it's like 9 bucks a phone and it factory unlocks them for good
 

bobbob1016

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@Roo Zilla minor note (really just FYI): The Verizon 4 doesn't have GSM, the 4S and 5 do, so your statement is correct, as the 4 on Verizon couldn't be factory unlocked. The 5 is factory unlocked on Verizon.
 

Roo Zilla

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@Roo Zilla minor note (really just FYI): The Verizon 4 doesn't have GSM, the 4S and 5 do, so your statement is correct, as the 4 on Verizon couldn't be factory unlocked. The 5 is factory unlocked on Verizon.

Thank you, just realized I don't remember seeing a SIM slot on my friend's Verizon iPhone 4. I corrected my post.
 

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