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itsmalicali
October 13th, 2014, 05:23
I only have three more months in the US before moving to Japan (got hired by Interac, yay). I recently broke my iPhone 4S and am now looking to buy the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. I read that in order to get a Bmobile SIM card you must have an unlocked iPhone.

Apple said they aren't selling factory unlocked iPhone 6 or 6 Plus' on their website or in store for another couple of months. However...

I went to the Apple website and assumed that the contract free iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for T-Mobile meant it was unlocked. I visited the Apple Store today and was told it's only unlocked to a certain extent. The contract free iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for T-Mobile can be used with any GSM carrier in the US, but wouldn't work in Japan because Japan uses CDMA.

They then recommended I buy the Verizon one at full price so that it will be unlocked for any GSM or CMDA carrier in the US as well as Japan. Reviews online said that it isn't really capable of CDMA outside of the US though.

Then there's Sprint... When I looked at Bmobile's website and they listed that they support the iPhone 6 model A1586 and the iPhone 6 Plus model A1524. I looked up those model versions and they are only sold by Sprint in the US. Sprint said that they would unlock the phone for international use, but it would only be available for GSM carriers. I assume if Japan only uses CDMA then Bmobile would be a CDMA carrier and not GSM.

Does anyone have any experience with this or recommendations as to where I should get an unlocked iPhone 6 or 6 Plus?

sharpinthefang
October 13th, 2014, 09:37
First thing you should know is that the b-mobile sim is still a two year contract. It is not a pay monthly kind of deal.
Your best bet is to hold off with a cheap $10 phone for three months, save the extra money and then get one on contract out here. You can pay for the phone outright and have a 5,500 a month contract with Softbank, or you could have the price of the phone broken down into the payments like normal. You don't save a huge amount by buying outright (about $50 i believe) but it means that if you leave before your two years are up, then you only have to pay the 10,000 cancelation fee.
You can unlock iphones that are tied to Japanese carriers without jail breaking, but not in Japan.
Incidentally, where are you being placed?

hypatia
October 13th, 2014, 14:11
Your best bet is to hold off with a cheap $10 phone for three months, save the extra money and then get one on contract out here. You can pay for the phone outright and have a 5,500 a month contract with Softbank, or you could have the price of the phone broken down into the payments like normal. You don't save a huge amount by buying outright (about $50 i believe) but it means that if you leave before your two years are up, then you only have to pay the 10,000 cancelation fee. You can unlock iphones that are tied to Japanese carriers without jail breaking, but not in Japan.

I second this. Also, if your heart isn't set on the iPhone 6 all three major companies (AU/Docomo/Softbank) have deals with the 5s that involve you getting the phone free with a two year contract.

greyjoy
October 13th, 2014, 16:12
if your heart isn't set on the iPhone 6

Hahahahaha.


You can get a phone for $20 on Virgin Mobile and pay $50 over the next three months for unlimited texts and calls. There are other similar options. But instead, I think you should buy the iPhone 6 now (it doesn't matter which carrier), then buy another one in Japan in January when you realize that there's basically no way to use the phone you had in Japan, because that's what you were going to [have had done] do anyway.

I wonder if some really cruel ex JET is involved in timing each new iPhone release in such a way that every year, hundreds of people furiously look up ways to avoid not having the newest iPhone for some weeks or months based on their timing of going to Japan.

therealwindycity
October 13th, 2014, 18:52
First thing you should know is that the b-mobile sim is still a two year contract. It is not a pay monthly kind of deal.
Your best bet is to hold off with a cheap $10 phone for three months, save the extra money and then get one on contract out here. You can pay for the phone outright and have a 5,500 a month contract with Softbank, or you could have the price of the phone broken down into the payments like normal. You don't save a huge amount by buying outright (about $50 i believe) but it means that if you leave before your two years are up, then you only have to pay the 10,000 cancelation fee.


Sometimes cell phone carriers have promotions that can let you get a phone for way cheaper than normal, too. Group A departures to my prefecture three years ago all somehow managed to get a free iPhone 4 while the group B JETs had to pay

ihatefall
October 14th, 2014, 15:19
B-mobile isn't the only low cost game in town.
For example. U-NEXT<ユーネクスト> | 日本最大級のビデオ・オンデマンド | U-NEXT (http://p.unext.jp/)


Also AFAIK the CDMA vs GSM is less of a thing now that LTE came to play. Look at supported LTE bands. The sim free iPhone handsets sold in Japan are the most compatible in the world.
Verizon 4G LTE - is it still CDMA or GSM? (http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1815513-Verizon-4G-LTE-is-it-still-CDMA-or-GSM)

sharpinthefang
October 14th, 2014, 17:30
Also AFAIK the CDMA vs GSM is less of a thing now that LTE came to play. Look at supported LTE bands. The sim free iPhone handsets sold in Japan are the most compatible in the world.
Verizon 4G LTE - is it still CDMA or GSM? (http://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1815513-Verizon-4G-LTE-is-it-still-CDMA-or-GSM)

I thought british unlocked ones were.