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282 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 66251 16-Aug-2010 07:48 Send private message

I am looking for an iPhone 4 for a friend who wants it pretty urgently.

What is the difference between buying a Parallel imported iPhone4 (unlocked) from a tiny retail store that has been going for a while as opposed to from Apple store?

It looks like the only difference (from outside) is the power plug (and printed instruction in Chinese) - But is there any issues with buying it from non Vodafone dealer / Apple directly.

For example, does it stop me from getting the same consumer protection / access to Apple apps & updates ?

The Parallel Imported one cost $200 less and obtainable 3 weeks faster than the Applestore one.

What is the catch?

Tim




Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz





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  Reply # 368067 16-Aug-2010 07:56 Send private message

I'm not sure if it affects the iPhone 4 but I know the Chinese version of iPhone 3Gs Didnt have wifi due to regulations



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 368072 16-Aug-2010 08:08 Send private message

I just checked - it seems to have that too:





Wireless_LAN:
802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n









Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz





BDFL
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  Reply # 368074 16-Aug-2010 08:24 Send private message

That's what it says on paper... Believe it when you see it working.






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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 368104 16-Aug-2010 09:47 Send private message

freitasm: That's what it says on paper... Believe it when you see it working.


Thanks.....  I rang Apple - and Apple said all iPhones are same in theory. 

Apple also said they are the only company that sells 'unlocked iPhones'. So If I buy it from a Parallel imported shop, I need to check to see if it was 'factory unlocked' to ensure that you qualify for Apple Global warranty. [non factory unlocked ones are same as jail broken in Apple's eyes).

I asked the shop that parallel imported it - [the phone is unopened and the box looks legit (and it is actually from USA not China as I previously assumed)...

Apparently Wi-Fi seems to work fine with the last batch he sold - but I have not checked it myself.

Regarding my question, the shop could not confirm if it was Apple factory unlocked or unlocked by their supplier overseas. They said they are not sure about Apple 1 year global warranty - but it is covered by the shops's one year back to base warranty.

Should I take a gamble? If I don't there are a dozen or so people waiting in the queue for this shipment given the shortage of units....  so it is one of those supply and demand gambles!

Tim





Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 368117 16-Aug-2010 10:12 Send private message

If it's come from the US, my understanding is that all iPhones there come locked to AT&T, so it's most likely been unlocked by someone there, not Apple.

Shouldn't take you long to figure out whether everything is working or not. The only problem could be if your phone dies or is defective and they can't get replacement stock for months...

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  Reply # 368129 16-Aug-2010 10:53 Send private message

Buy from apple. FULLSTOP!!!





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  Reply # 368243 16-Aug-2010 16:23 Send private message

I'm with Tomgeek here...




Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

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  Reply # 368255 16-Aug-2010 16:46 Send private message

Yep, all USA iPhones are locked to AT&T. If it is not locked and its from the USA, it has no apple warranty because it has been jailbroken.

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  Reply # 368261 16-Aug-2010 17:09 Send private message

The most basic be, iPhone AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) is limited to the country originally be sold from.

Parallel Imports, imports iPhone 4 from other country, its included AppleCare is not valid for NZ, and buying APP will not provide you global coverage either.

There are several topics already discussed about PI iPhone vs officially sold iPhone.

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=76&topicid=65266
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=76&topicid=65292&page_no=2
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=76&topicid=64144

Parallel Imports does provide 3 years extended warranty for their iPhone 4, but you'll have to deal with them directly, not Apple, if anything goes wrong.

There is nothing different with PI iPhone or officially sold iPhone, other than your warranty, and who to get service from when things go awry.




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  Reply # 368274 16-Aug-2010 17:45 Send private message

chiefie: The most basic be, iPhone AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) is limited to the country originally be sold from.

Parallel Imports, imports iPhone 4 from other country, its included AppleCare is not valid for NZ, and buying APP will not provide you global coverage either.

There are several topics already discussed about PI iPhone vs officially sold iPhone.

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=76&topicid=65266
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=76&topicid=65292&page_no=2
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=76&topicid=64144

Parallel Imports does provide 3 years extended warranty for their iPhone 4, but you'll have to deal with them directly, not Apple, if anything goes wrong.

There is nothing different with PI iPhone or officially sold iPhone, other than your warranty, and who to get service from when things go awry.


If the phone was unlocked from the US is there any chance a software update could re-lock it? I've heard of baseband updates re-locking unlocked phones.

Or do I not know what I'm talking about? :-)  

We're lucky here in NZ to not have this locked-phone hassle.




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If you're not curious, your brain is already dying...if not dead.



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  Reply # 368275 16-Aug-2010 17:48 Send private message

When we lived in the UK I had two choices when I wanted to get my GF a iPhone 3G.

I could buy one from O2, locked (they wouldn't unlock and it had to be on a plan) or I could get one from a dodgy man on the Internet unlocked. I did some research and turns out dodgy man wasn't so dodgy, he had 20+ feedbacks all saying good things from long time ebay members, so I took the plunge.

Perfect. The phone was from Italy. Apart from some writing on the back in Italian, it worked perfectly and still does. It was unlocked and my now wife has had no problems using it in the UK or here in NZ on VFNZ's network.

Not _quite_ the same situation as both phones on offer here are unlocked. But apart from people saying "Don't do it", no one's offered any concrete reason to not go with the cheaper option.

I'm not offering any concrete reason to do it either, but hey, I'd be going the cheaper route.



EDIT: @Linuxluver My wife's phone has been updated many times with no problems. It was a proper iPhone from the Italy and they were known to be sold unlocked. So if it was truly properly unlocked (i.e. not unlocked by some dodgy method) then I can't see their being a problem.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 368279 16-Aug-2010 17:52 Send private message

chiefie: The most basic be, iPhone AppleCare Protection Plan (APP) is limited to the country originally be sold from. ... ... and buying APP will not provide you global coverage either.
...
There is nothing different with PI iPhone or officially sold iPhone, other than your warranty, and who to get service from when things go awry.


Thanks Chiefie - and for the links that I missed when I did a quick search before I posted the Q's;.




Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz





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  Reply # 368280 16-Aug-2010 17:53 Send private message

Yeah when apple updated the baseband with firmware 3.1.2 or something the 3gs could no longer be unlocked.. Until geohot got a hold of it and hacked it up again. So this left a lot of people out of a phone for quite a while. Just wait till the official New Zealand unlocked one is released, having a factory unlocked iphone is sweet.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 368284 16-Aug-2010 17:59 Send private message

muppet: But apart from people saying "Don't do it", no one's offered any concrete reason to not go with the cheaper option.
I'm not offering any concrete reason to do it either, but hey, I'd be going the cheaper route.


In this case I just wanted to know the risks before going for it.. That is all I wanted when I posted the question. 

Thanks for all your responses. I will sleep on it and overnight before telling him to buy it.




Tim M, Auckland
Blog: http://paddler.co.nz





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Geek


  Reply # 368308 16-Aug-2010 18:54 Send private message

which shop are you buying from? is it in auckland? i am interested in getting 1 now too.

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