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if i buy an iphone in the states, will i be able to use it in the uk?

650 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Sep 19, 2013 7:52 AM by appleuser1322 RSS
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Sep 19, 2013 3:10 AM

i am travelling to the states next month and thinking of picking up an iphone 5c and an ipad while there, since they are so much cheaper than in the uk. what i need to know is, when i get back, will i be able to get use it with a uk carrier (currently with ee). likewise, with an ipad? i kind of assume they should work, because one does travel worldwide with a phone and is able to change the sim card and still use it- but i just want to be sure that there is not some weird 'thing' that does not allow this crossover!


thank you, people of apple world!

  • appleuser1322 Level 3 Level 3 (670 points)

    On the USA Apple site it states that the iphone5c is available unlocked as stated below.


    If you buy iPhone for T-Mobile, it will arrive with a nano-SIM card already installed that you can activate by visiting an Apple Retail Store or a T-Mobile store or by calling T-Mobile. If you buy a SIM-free iPhone, you will need to purchase a GSM-compatible nano-SIM card separately. In the United States, you can purchase such a SIM from AT&T or T-Mobile. When you travel internationally, you can use a nano-SIM card for iPhone 5c from a local GSM carrier. The unlocked iPhone 5c model is A1532 (GSM). For details on LTE support, see


    The ipad is the same in USA as in most other countries.


    However, the warranties are specific to the country the iphones and ipads are sold in, so if you need to have one replaced under warranty, you could have a problem. Personally, I don't quite 'get it.' We are in a very big city and at one Apple store that is always very crowded there is constantly a crowd of international tourists who buy many Apple products. We've seen one tourist buying eight to ten ipads! I wonder when I see them if they're aware of the warranty issue or if they have a way to work around it or if they're going to chance it.


    So I suggest you research this a little more before you decide. It's too bad that the prices vary so greatly from country to country. It could be customs and other taxes, but it would be great if this could somehow be changed.


    Hope this helps.

  • appleuser1322 Level 3 Level 3 (670 points)

    I'm happy I could help.


    So is that what people do - buy additional Apple Care in their country when they get home? I had no idea you could do that. And call your Apple sales to make sure you'll be able to do that.


    Another alternative would be to consider buying your ipad in the UK online only Apple certified refurbished store (some countries don't have this.) They come with a new front and back cover, a brand new battery and a full one year warranty. This would guarantee a UK warranty and an ipad at a lower price. 


    On an ipad retina wi-fi only you can save £60 to £94. On a cellular version you can save up to £110. This way you'll save money and not have to worry about support or your warranty being honored.


    We have had two for well over a year and they have been great. We had never bought anything refurbished or used anywhere, but were not happy with complaints about the now discontinued ipad 3 and when we went to buy ipad2 32 or 64 gb retail, there were none anywhere!


    Now that you can buy an unlocked iphone here, you would save about £143 on a 32gb as an example, and as long as you're sure you can add Apple Care at home, then you'll save a lot, as you have said.


    And have a great time when you come to the USA. I'm sure you'll be shopping a lot!


    Hope this helps.


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