Unlocking a Japanese iPhone 4s to use in the U.S.

burstroc

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Nov 11, 2012
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Hi everyone,

I have been living in Japan for several years and just recently had to move back to the U.S. I have an iPhone 4s I purchased from Japanese carrier AU KDDI, and I'm wondering what I need to do to be able to use it with a U.S. carrier. From what I've read online you need not only to jailbreak the phone and replace the SIM card but also remove the SIM lock and while I am familiar with the first two processes I'm not as sure about the third. Can anybody walk me through this? The phone is just under a year old and still works perfectly so it seems like a waste to replace it even if I can do so fairly cheaply.

Thanks!
 

tawnytodd

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Jan 3, 2013
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Removing Sim lock means you free your mobile from a particular network and use any network in your phone.Locked phones are cheaper than unlocked ones.This is just a way of business trick by the mobile network providers to increase their user count.Unlocking a phone(Remove sim lock) means you unlock your mobile from the particular network to which your mobile is locked.Now you have to unlock it from Japanese network to use the mobile with U.S network.
You can unlock your iPhone using remote unlock methods which is more reliable and less risky .The unlock process will be done by the network provider or by any 3rd party code provider available online.
 

3cit

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Removing Sim lock means you free your mobile from a particular network and use any network in your phone.Locked phones are cheaper than unlocked ones.This is just a way of business trick by the mobile network providers to increase their user count.Unlocking a phone(Remove sim lock) means you unlock your mobile from the particular network to which your mobile is locked.Now you have to unlock it from Japanese network to use the mobile with U.S network.
You can unlock your iPhone using remote unlock methods which is more reliable and less risky .The unlock process will be done by the network provider or by any 3rd party code provider available online.
only two months late on this one, but getting better
 

kch50428

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Oct 22, 2010
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Hi everyone,

I have been living in Japan for several years and just recently had to move back to the U.S. I have an iPhone 4s I purchased from Japanese carrier AU KDDI, and I'm wondering what I need to do to be able to use it with a U.S. carrier. From what I've read online you need not only to jailbreak the phone and replace the SIM card but also remove the SIM lock and while I am familiar with the first two processes I'm not as sure about the third. Can anybody walk me through this? The phone is just under a year old and still works perfectly so it seems like a waste to replace it even if I can do so fairly cheaply.

Thanks!

Unlocking the SIM on this device is irrelevant... while AU/KDDI is a CDMA provider, Verizon will not activate an iPhone4S that was not OEM'ed by Apple for Verizon. That's just the way it is.

If you live in a locale with a US military presence- you'll likely be able to find someone about to PCS to Japan that might like a phone they can activate/use there and you'll recoup the cost of getting a Verizon iPhone4S if you want to keep that... or go with the iP5.
 

margaretoak64

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May 31, 2013
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I had the exact same problem with an iphone4s from AU KDDI that my brother gave me, which he used for just a couple of months while he was in Japan. There is absolutely no way you can unlock that phone to use it outside of Japan apparently. He was at the AU KDDI office in Tokyo yesterday and that's what they had informed him. I can't tell whom to blame for this, AU KDDI or the Apple, but it's absurd that they locked it so that one would have to buy a whole new phone when one moves from Japan. Surely Apple should be able to override this plan/phone lock from Japan, but they said "No". Guess why? They'll be able to sell more iphones this way every time one leaves Japan. Pretty greedy and powerless for a multi-billion $ company!
 

kch50428

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You might try a US based CDMA prepaid provider that would activate that AU KDDI device... or, as I noted above, you could likely easily sell it to a US service member about to PCS to Japan and use those proceeds toward a device you can activate on your account.
 

natasftw

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Sep 13, 2012
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Unlocking the SIM on this device is irrelevant... while AU/KDDI is a CDMA provider, Verizon will not activate an iPhone4S that was not OEM'ed by Apple for Verizon. That's just the way it is.

If you live in a locale with a US military presence- you'll likely be able to find someone about to PCS to Japan that might like a phone they can activate/use there and you'll recoup the cost of getting a Verizon iPhone4S if you want to keep that... or go with the iP5.

There was only one hardware version for the 4s. What makes you so sure unlocking the SIM won't make it accessible on GSM networks as the other 4s phones are? It isn't like other versions of the iPhone that have different radios between GSM and CDMA models.
 

Richard Swart

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Oct 15, 2013
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I have iPhone 4S locked to kddi
Tryed to kddi to unlock it they no
I'm in australia now and have it unlocked by a gpp sim and still using it works perfect
It will work on any gsm carrier world wide
Everything works just like factory unlock all for$12au
So hope this helps
 

chills18

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Aug 13, 2014
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Hi! I'm in the exact same situation. Just moved back to Australia with my iPhone 4s locked to KDDI Au.

Can you pass on the details for the working GPP sim you bought? There seems to be so many dodgy websites around that I can't tell what seems actually genuine...
 

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