I was searching for an iPhone5 that is unlocked, 32GB and which works in Germany as well. The apple store at NYC sold me an iPhone 5 for $749 + tax which is the original price for an UNLOCKED iPhone 5. Although in the receipt it is said 'Verizon' but nothing about 'unlocked'.
After that I bought a prepaid T-Mobile sim card, because I lived in NYC for three months. This sim card worked perfectly with the iPhone5. That was the reason I thought everything was working well.
Now, since I am back in Germany I cannot use my cell anymore. That was the reason why I called up Apple support Germany to find out what the problem is. We could figure out that my iPhone5 is NOT UNLOCKED = it is LOCKED by Verizon (i could have had this much cheaper!). Obviously the Apple store sold me the locked iPhone 5 model but I have for an unlocked!
I would like to ask you if you can help to unlock my iPhone 5 so that it gets usable in Germany? I'm already in contact with Apple US but they don't care.
Thank you in advance!
Please do not hesitate to ask for further information.
It does not make sense to buy an unlocked iPhone which is locked so that I have to use a specific provider in this case vzw. Of course I can use my cell with its whole functions if I would use vzw. But in this case I wouldn't pay the full price! Locked iPhones are much cheaper (the difference is about $450).
I can't imagine any reason why it would work with the T-Mobile SIM card and not a SIM card from a German cellular provider.
I assume you did replace the T-Mobile SIM card with a local SIM in Germany?
I also can't understand why the NYC Apple store sold you a Verizon iPhone if you asked for an unlocked phone. According to the Apple website, when you purchase the unlocked version, it WILL NOT work with CDMA carriers such as Verizon and Sprint. Why they sold you a Verizon model instead of an unlocked model is certainly questionable.
I might be in the same boat. I bought an iPhone 5 A1429, the Verizon one, at an Apple store in the US for full price and then moved to Germany. The receipt says "Verizon Account Information No Wireless Service Activation during iPhone Sale" and "This iPhone model is configured to work only with the wireless services of Verizon Wireless."
I have no service contract with anyone.
The sales guy at the store said the Verizon GSM functionality was unlocked and would work freely with GSM on any European carriers that use the right bands. A guy from Belgium was doing the same thing right ahead of me. To double check, I searched online and read scores of articles supporting the claim. Here's one article about it. To triple check, I called Apple support. The operator was shocked that the Apple store would sell me a Verizon phone at full price with no contract, but he too confirmed that this device would work with European carriers as listed here. This is a list of carriers that provide LTE speeds on iPhone 5 bands. Maybe the phone doesn't support 3G for julia-iphone, but I doubt that. I have seen lots of carriers here in Germany that offer iPhone 5's with their 3G service, and as far as I know there are only two physically different versions of the iPhone 5: A1428 and A1429. So it should work and I am anxiously awaiting a conclusive answer to this post.
My box has not been opened yet but I have sadly passed the return date. It's been sitting in my closet for a month. Deutsche Telekom is the only German carrier that provides LTE speed on the bands supported by the iPhone 5, but their fees are too high. So I regret having bought this as it would be really expensive to get LTE speed on it and that's the main advantage over the 4s.
If anyone's moving to Europe and thinking about buying a phone in the US to save money. I don't recommend it. If you want LTE speed, you are going to have to get a long term contract with high monthly fees compared to prepaid and if you do that, it will be a lot cheaper to take the phone with the service plan than to bring your own. Android, Samsung and HTC are much better ideas in Germany due to the LTE supported bands of the devices. At the moment, Europe mostly uses different LTE bands than the iPhone 5 supports.
I purchased an iPhone 5 directly from Verizon with a contract ($199). The phone was unlocked when I bought it. I have used it with the NANO-SIM cards of multiple international carriers without issue (on GSM networks). However, I was only able to obtain 3G speeds as the LTE infrastructure has yet to be made widely available in the locations I was at. However, keep in mind that there exists different bands of LTE and some international carriers may be set to a different band than what the Verizon iPhone 5 is set to (which is the following 1, 3, 5, 13, 25). For example, if I switch to AT&T which is on the LTE #4 band I will not be able to obtain LTE speed. Same rules apply internationally.