4 Replies Latest reply: Aug 31, 2010 2:00 PM by 88_King
godonholiday Level 1 Level 1
My mother in Law wants to buy me an iPad, she lives in SF in the US and I live in the UK. I initially asked her for the iPad that can take a sim card so I can use it out and about.

Is it possible for her to buy an iPad that has a sim slot in the US without having to sign a contract or have it only work with one phone operator?

Can I use it over here in the UK if I buy a UK sim from one of the companies selling iPad plans?


Mac OS X (10.5)
  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10
    A 3G iPad is not locked to a carrier (except maybe in Japan where it seems you have to buy an iPad in Japan to use 3G service). Thus, you can buy a 3G iPad in the USA and throw away the SIM and buy a SIM from one of the UK carriers and just insert it and use it.
  • godonholiday Level 1 Level 1
    Thanks very much for the help.
    Are there any issues with apps? do they know the iPad is in the UK? like ibooks etc?
    I want itunes etc to be the UK version?

    What are the best plans in the UK for the iPAd?
  • lllaass Level 10 Level 10
    I have no idea of UK carriers. Regarding apps, you can only get apps from the Apps Store associated with the iTunes account being used. If you are signed into the UK account you can only get them from the UK store.
  • 88_King Level 1 Level 1
    I have an 3G ipad brought from the USA, there are no differences compared to the UK model except the removable wall socket for the charger is different.
    I currently have Vodafone micro sim card in my ipad and it will also work with all the UK networks that offer ipad data plan.

    I don't have any issues with apps and ibooks from UK itune store, I think the ipad set to whichever country your itune account tires to when you active it the 1st time.

    My ipad does show up as US model when I put the serial number in online, but the warranty is valid in the UK.

    You can find a quick comparison of different ipad plans here:

    There are also two things you need to consider when buying the ipad from the US.

    1st the price you see on the US Apple website does not include state tax which I think is about 4% to 6%. As far as I can found out, there is no easy way to reclaim the state tax as a visitor when you leave the country.

    2ed, you will need to declare the ipad when you come through UK Custom and pay import and VAT on it.

    So overall, the saving will not be as much as the difference between the two prices listed on UK and US Apple store.