Don’t pop down to Belgium to buy your SIM-lock free phone…

On hearing the news that one could buy a SIM-lock free iPhone 3G for about €600, I was gobsmacked, then spent the best part of a long distance flight beating myself up for shelling out going on a €1000 (over a couple of years, of course) for doing the same thing in the Netherlands by buying then unlocking a T-mobile locked phone so I could use my KPN SIM.

After a little research, it turns out that Apple has certainly made the Belgian modes SIM-lock free exactly as the Belgian courts require — hard bundling, or koppelverkoop, is illegal in Belgium. However, the new SIMs must come from Belgium. SIM cards from any other country will not work. So, if you’re hoping to drive south of the border and pick yourself up a cheap Belgium SIM-lock free iPhone 3G to use in the Netherlands — or indeed anywhere else in the world, you’d be €600 out of pocket and the unhappy owner of a brick (or some heft roaming charges).

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8 Responses to “Don’t pop down to Belgium to buy your SIM-lock free phone…”

  1. Knight Says:

    Are you sure about that? That’s not what I’ve heard. Why don’t you stop publishing rumors as facts for a change… We’re all sorry about your 1000 euros experience, but iPhones in Belgium work just fine with any SIM.

  2. robinallenson Says:

    So to be clear — you are running on 3G iPhone you have bought in Belgium with a non-Belgium network SIM card?

  3. robinallenson Says:

    Hi Knight — just checked the source
    which says that although Mobistar say it is country level SIM locked, it is not and you can use foreign SIMs in it…

  4. Do pop down to Belgium to buy your fully legal unlocked iPhone! « Professional Management Says:

    […] pop down to Belgium to buy your fully legal unlocked iPhone! I wrote in “Don’t pop down to Belgium to buy your phone…” that “After a little research, it turns out that Apple has certainly made the Belgian modes […]

  5. robinallenson Says:

    Also check out my fuller response
    Thanks for your help in tracking down the truth!

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