Want to buy an iPhone that will work for you on Vodafones New Zealand network for less than $600NZD? Read on.....
I took delivery of my iPhone back in October last year and since then I have created a specific iPhone category here on half-geek. My post about where not to buy an iPhone has been quite popular, so I figured than in light of this I should probably take another look into the topic only this time from a more positive angle.
So here is my simple 3 step guide on how you can acquire your very own iPhone for the best price and 'adjust' the phone to allow to function perfectly using a vodafone New Zealand SIM Card.
Step 1 - Get your own US address
I decided to get my own US postal address back in 2004 using the myus program. If you are a prolific online shopper, you will have realized by now that there are many small and desirable items (particularly electronic stuff) that can be purchased online in the USA at a fraction of the cost of the same item here in New Zealand. This rule is particularly relevant given the current USD exchange rate.
Set up a merchandise only myus account for $20USD and they will provide you with your very own US postal address. You can keep the address for future purchases at a cost of $7USD per month.
You will use this address as your ship to location when you purchase the iPhone from the apple store (next step). Myus will accept delivery of the phone on your behalf, email to let you know that they have received it and then re-send the iPhone to via DHL (about a 3 day delivery from the Myus head office in Florida.
The best part about the Myus service is the fact that they will ask you what you want the declared value of the item that is being shipped to you to be on the DHL Airwaybill (AWB). It is important that you declare the cost of the goods at a reasonably low value as anything valued at over $400NZD will often be held up at customs- meaning you will pay extra for GST and handling. I mostly chose to put a value of $150 on my parcels that are valued over $400NZD.
Step 2- Buy your iPhone online
This is the easy bit- go to apple.com (not apple.co.nz) and purchase an iPhone using your credit card. At present there is no hack for the new 16G iPhones so I would suggest that you go for the 8GB model. Remember to use your US postal address that you have just acquired as part of step 1.
Note: Don't worry about all the babble on the apple site re: requiring a 2 year AT &T account to permit activation. Your phone will arrive with an AT & T SIM card installed, however, you aren't going to activate the phone using AT & T.
Step 3- Unlock your iPhone
So your iPhone has shown up and you want to start using it! Before you do anything like trying to turn it on, you should be well advanced in your understanding of how the phone will be unlocked. The best and cheapest way (free) to unlock your iphone is using the information provided on modmyiPhone.
There are a number of important factors that will determine the method that will be required for you to unlock your specific phone. The most important of these is probably the version of Iphone firmware that your new phone is running (1.01, 1.02 or 1.03). ModmyIphone has the latest and best information on how to unlock phones running any of these versions of the firmware.
Basically the older the version of the firmware your phone is running, the more tried and tested and simplified the hack will be. In saying this, each firmware upgrade does include small improvements to the phone, so some may argue that having a later version of the firmware is better value.
In any case, you can always upgrade your unlocked iPhone to the new version of the firmware. This is done by 'virginizing' your iPhone and then going through the complete hack process again.
If you can be assured that your iPhone is running either the 1.02 or 1.01 firmware version you may also want to consider going for the very low hassle approach of buying an iPhone sim free license. One of these bad boys will set you back about 100 bucks and thus blows the $600 NZD budget.
$$ COSTS $$
8GB iPhone $399 USD (aprox $510NZD)
myus postal address $20 USD + $7USD ( aprox $35NZD)
DHL shipping costs using myus - $50NZD
TOTAL - $595 NZD