iPhone 3G on a different country's official SIM card?
September 20, 2008 5:52 AM   Subscribe

Can I use a non-unlocked iPhone (3G if it matters) with another country's official carrier's SIM card?

I have a Japanese iPhone 3G through SoftBank, and in the unlikely circumstance that there's no clear unlock available when I leave Japan and either go back to the US or wherever else, is it possible to use it with another country's SIM cards for the official carrier?

Basically, the long and short of it is whether I could, say, take the SoftBank SIM card out and replace it with an AT&T SIM card, or, perhaps, whether I could put it into recovery mode and get it into some sort of factory-restore mode where I can use it with the official carrier of a different country.

I haven't seen this addressed anywhere, so I'm curious about this, because in theory it shouldn't entail an unlock.
posted by DoctorFedora to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
In theory and in fact it would entail an unlock. Carrier-locking is just that. If you're locked to AT&T, you're locked to AT&T, not to Apple's official partner in whatever country you happen to be in.
posted by adamrice at 6:13 AM on September 20, 2008

The Times Square electronics stores (here in NYC) sell "unlocked" iPhones -- which are basically gray market iPhones with the TurboSIM installed. I haven't tried it myself, and have no idea if it's legal, but that might be your answer.
posted by rdn at 6:28 AM on September 20, 2008

no. Adam Rice is correct.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:46 AM on September 20, 2008

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