Purchasing iPhone 4S for use abroad

Q: I’m living in Italy right now but I’m visiting family in the U.S. next week and will be around when the new iPhone 4S comes out. If I buy an iPhone 4S in the U.S. next week will it work when I get back to Italy?

– Sabina

A: An unlocked iPhone 4S will work on any iPhone-compatible GSM network worldwide regardless of what country the device was purchased in. Unfortunately, however, Apple will not be selling the iPhone 4S unlocked in the U.S. until November, so even if you were to purchase one next week you would end up with a locked iPhone that could not be used on any other carrier. 

Note that the iPhone 4S is being sold unlocked in most other countries where it is being launched, specifically Canada, Australia, the U.K., France, Germany. Should you be visiting one of these countries, you could purchase the unlocked iPhone 4S and would be able to use it in Italy.


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