1 2 3 Previous Next 31 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2011 6:38 AM by dgxo Branched to a new discussion.
jakudo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello all,

my friend (she's Korean) is now in Czech Republic for studying. She want to buy new iPhone 4 (it is not locked here) but she's not sure whether she will be able to use it back in Korea.
Does the iPhone 4 from Europe fit Korean mobile network? Also is possible to get there some Korean microSIM card?
When I was in Korea (2007/2008) I remember that they didn't use any SIM cards...

MacBook Pro 15.4'', iPhone 3G, Airport Express 802.11n, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • 1. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    jakudo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Does anybody know it please?
  • 2. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    Unlocked iPhones will work with a Korean SIM.
    <http://www.show.co.kr/sbrand2/iphone/main.asp>
  • 3. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    jakudo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So Koreans has already started to use SIM cards?

    thanks for the link
  • 4. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    tomjtx Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Doesn't Apple make a CDMA phone for Korea?

    My understanding is that Korea is NOT on the GSM standard.

    I would do some more research before buying.
  • 5. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    Doesn't Apple make a CDMA phone for Korea?

    iPhones are GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (3G), not CDMA.
    <http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html>
    My understanding is that Korea is NOT on the GSM standard.

    Correct. Korea and Japan use W-CDMA which is part of 3G, so the iPhone 3G, 3GS and 4 will work. The original iPhone was GSM/EDGE only, so would not be useful in Korea or Japan
  • 6. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    tomjtx Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Your friend should contact Apple in Korea and a Korean network provider for Iphone to be sure this will work.

    It may be that the european Iphone could roam in Korea (with huge costs) .

    If no providers in Korea can offer a sim then your friend would be out of luck.

    Message was edited by: tomjtx
  • 7. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    Your friend should contact Apple in Korea and a Korean network provider for IPhone to be sure this will work.

    <http://www.koreaherald.com/business/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20100919000238>
    It may be that the european iPhone could roam in Korea (with huge costs).

    If used with European SIMs, yes, but unlocked iPhones can use Korean SIMs at local rates.
    If no providers in Korea can offer a SIM then your friend would be out of luck.

    Korean carriers may be reluctant to sell SIMs to visitors, but the user is Korean, so shouldn't have a problem getting a SIM.
    Apple is making a CDMA phone which has been traced to an Asian factory.

    There have been many rumors about Apple planning on a CDMA iPhone, but no confirmation. They are definitely not selling one in Korea (or anywhere else) at the present time.
  • 8. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    jakudo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes Malcolm, the iPhones in Czech are unlocked (that's great:)). My friend is Korean so she should be able to get the korean SIM card easily.
    I've just found one information, that all Korean cell phones has registered IMEI number so that cell phones from foreign country with Korean SIM card may not be working. Do you know something about that?
  • 9. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    I've just found one information, that all Korean cell phones has registered IMEI number so that cell phones from foreign country with Korean SIM card may not be working. Do you know something about that?

    Contact the Korean carrier. Maybe they can register the IMEI when they sell the SIM card.
  • 10. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    Kwopau Level 4 Level 4 (1,725 points)
    Korea has GSM, which is Show. Show uses WCDMA/GSM.
  • 11. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    Kwopau Level 4 Level 4 (1,725 points)
    jakudo wrote:
    Yes Malcolm, the iPhones in Czech are unlocked (that's great:)). My friend is Korean so she should be able to get the korean SIM card easily.
    I've just found one information, that all Korean cell phones has registered IMEI number so that cell phones from foreign country with Korean SIM card may not be working. Do you know something about that?


    That is true that all Korean phones are registered to only work in Korea same goes for the iphone. a factory unlocked iphone will not work in Korea. Even if she does buy an iphone at Czech, it will not work in Korea and the only way to do so is to take it to this place, i'm sure KTF can direct her where to go and have to pay huge amount for them to open apart the iphone and change the frequency, which can void warranty. Since if the iphone was purchased in Czech, the warranty only works in Czech. I don't know how long she will stay here but if she is staying there for a short time, then I would recommend not getting one and when she goes back to Korea for good then she can decide whether to buy an iphone 4 or not.
  • 12. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    Kwopau Level 4 Level 4 (1,725 points)
    Okay for most of you that say that the unlocked iphone will work in Korea when using Korean sim card, it will not work at all even if it's officially unlocked. Here is the reason. All phones in Korea have their IMEI number and is registered to the Korean network, so a foreign phone whether it's an iphone or unlocked phone of any kind, it will not work in Korea because Korean network will recognize it that it's a foreign IMEI and that it won't let you connect.

    However as my previous post, my mom's cousin works in KTF and owns 6-7 stores, and I have talked to him about my iphone that was purchased in U.S, and see if it can work, even my cousin asked. He told me that it is possible for them to unlock and have it work in Korea (yes it will void warranty), I would have to take it to some place that does this, of course they will charge you, they will then change the IMEI on your iphone and register you a new IMEI so that it is registered to the Korean network and that your iphone should work( keep in mind that most korean phones do not show their IMEI numbers to their customers). Yes Korea actually uses a different system then anywhere else in the world but that's how it is.

    If you go on this link, if you read few threads you will find out why.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=536457

    I'm not sure if she still plan on getting the iphone 4, but if she does she can google or use naver.com where to look to change the IMEI because that is the only way to get the iphone purchased from other country than Korea to work. factory unlocked iphone, soft unlocked iphone will not work with Korean network without the approval of the IMEI number.
  • 13. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    jakudo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    yes, I've also found that. It's stupid!

    thanks for the explanation:)
  • 14. Re: iPhone 4 from Europe in South Korea
    dshubair Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the great info on this topic. I was wondering if anyone could provide guidance/thoughts on the following situation:

    I have a factory unlocked iPhone 4 that was bought in France while away on business. I have returned to Korea, where I live, and have learned that the only way to get the phone to work is to have a Korean IMEI. I am fine with this and willing to pay the money to do so, however will doing so prevent me from using the phone in other countries while on business or travel by slipping a SIM card in? In essence, will the phone still be unlocked for use in other countries or will getting a Korean IMEI lock the phone?

    Thanks!
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