Using Korea-Purchased iPhones Abroad
iPhones may be purchased in Korea either new (via the carrier) or used (not attached to a particular carrier, available at second-hand phone shops).
Because the iPhone uses a standard GSM sim card, an iPhone purchased in Korea may be used with other service providers abroad. In order to use your Korean-purchased iPhone abroad, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Currently iPhone 4S is being sold unlocked, so you should be able to slip in any other operator's sim card.
2. iPhone 4 and 3GS have always been sold carrier-locked; however by law the carrier MUST unlock the device at the customer's request. This means that if you fax or email them a return airline ticket they will unlock it digitally. You will also have to send them your IMEI number, which is located on your iPhone in 'Settings, General, About.' You will have to plug in to iTunes a few days later, where it will tell you that “you have updated carrier settings to apply”. Do that and you're unlocked forever. The carriers don't have the ability to re-lock it: once it's done, it's done.
NOTE: Even if your iPhone contract has expired, you still have to request an unlock. However, in this case, you don't need to show a return ticket.
If you still have time left on your contract you can buy out the remainder (expensive), after which they will also unlock it without seeing a return ticket (but make sure to expressly request this).
All iPhones purchased after November 2011 (through both SKT and KTF) are sim free, therefore there is no need to get them unlocked.
K4E Editor: We try to make the information on Korea4Expats.com as complete and accurate as possible, so if you notice any errors or omissions in the content above, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated on 2017-09-22
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