Immigrant iPhone
September 25, 2009 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Immigrant iPhone: When I move from the U.S. to Canada (hopefully soon), can I simply plug my SIM card from my cheap Rogers plan into an U.S. iPhone?

I understand that I will not have access to a data plan, which are ridiculously expensive in Canada.

But can I make calls and send texts?

posted by Apollo's Favorite Mistake to Technology (7 answers total)
Your US iPhone is almost undoubtedly locked to AT&T. So I doubt it, not without some machinations on your part.

Good luck on moving up here from there. I did the same, and I've not regretted it. Except for the crappy telecoms, of course.
posted by the dief at 12:11 PM on September 25, 2009

Best answer: You'll need to unlock (not "jailbreak") the phone to work with any carrier. There are web pages all about this, as well as guys in every city's cheap electronics neighborhood who will do it for ten bucks. Other than that, you're fine, and once it's unlocked any carrier's GSM card will work, including the cheap prepaid cards from convenience stores.

But the cheapest Rogers plan WITH data, according to my houseguest who has one, is about $65/mo, so that's not much different than ATT. 500Mb monthly data limit, though she says she's never broken that ceiling anyway.
posted by rokusan at 12:18 PM on September 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Some US carriers will waive early termination fees, etc, if you furnish proof that you're moving outside of their area of service. I have no idea whether this would extend to AT&T "unlocking" your iPhone (without having to go to the "jailbreak" electronics guy down the block), but it's worth checking into.

fwiw, my data add-on is $30/month to Rogers for 6 GB/month -- that's on top of my voice plan. That part, in and of itself, didn't strike me as all that ridiculous. (What's ridiculous are all the little nickle-and-dime fees that they add on to plans here, which make some of the "$35/month" voice plans more like $50 once you add in little things like voicemail and caller ID.)
posted by chalkbored at 12:51 PM on September 25, 2009

Regarding data plan prices: I also have a 6GB $30/mo data plan which I signed up for a few months ago, but I was told it was just a 3GS launch promo. $30 normally only gets you something like 500MB-1GB of data. So yeah, it's damn pricey up here.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 12:55 PM on September 25, 2009

I too have the 6GB data plan. It's been available ac ouple times since the 3G launch. If you're interested, just wait - it'll come back around eventually. That being said, I'm a heavy user (think streaming audio/video all day) and haven't broken the 1GB/month mark yet. I a pay $75/month with data, taxes and stupid fees. Your mileage may vary as your patience with rigers customer support wains. You'll still be tied to a 3-year contract though..

But no, as others have said, you'll need to unlock your phone first. If the postings on craigslist are any indication, it shouldn't be too hard, and will cost around $20-$25.
posted by cgg at 1:05 PM on September 25, 2009

Depending on the version of your iphone, all the unlock info you need is available from the iPhone Dev Team. Won't cost you a cent, and these guys are the leaders in the field.

Note: unlock means to enable your phone for other carriers, jailbreak means to enable your phone for 3rd party software.
posted by furtive at 2:16 PM on September 25, 2009

I don't know if the 6GB data plan is still officially available, but a friend of mine was able to get it last week on his new 3GS just by asking for it. It was $30/month, the same price that 1GB usually goes for.
posted by Fully Completely at 3:14 PM on September 25, 2009

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