What to Know About SIM Locked iPhones | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

What to Know About SIM Locked iPhones

By Guidable Authors Mar 10, 2021

Have you ever heard about a SIM locked iPhone? When you are going to buy an iPhone in Japan, you have to be familiar with the terms of a SIM locked device. What stands out the most is the choice between buying a device with a locked or free SIM. Some people might not understand what a locked SIM is and how the system works. Here, you are going to find out more and will be more question-less to have your decision before buying. 

What Does SIM Locked Mean?

simlock iphone in japan

A SIM locked device simply means you have a deal with a mobile provider company under a particular contract. The contract includes the main rule which states you are only allowed to use the service plan from the company you bought the deal from. In other words, you may not be able to change it to another provider during a specified period of time. 

Nevertheless, choosing a SIM locked device is the easiest choice if you want to stay in Japan for two years or more.

Accordingly, when you decide to purchase the SIM locked phone they will ask you to make a contract with one of the mobile phone manufacturers in Japan such as Softbank, Docomo, or AU.

So, How Does It Work?

Purchasing a SIM locked mobile device means you have to follow the regulations under certain circumstances. 

The service plan is already on the list, and you have to choose one of them. It will depend on the devices you are using, the services you need, and the company itself. Usually, the services plan will be ¥2,000 – ¥6,000 per month. Notably, there will also be an administration fee at the very beginning. The type of payment will also be based on the agreement inside the contract.

Another note to remember is during the contract, your device can only be used in Japan, and will not be usable outside of Japan. Normally, the contract will last for two years or more. Indeed, this regulation will cause a bit of difficulty for those of you who are not living in Japan for a long time. 

You will not be able to use it if you leave Japan and move home during this period because the provider may only be available in Japan. And as it is SIM locked, will not be able to change the service provider before the contract ends.

Some Useful TIPS You May Need

To avoid the upcoming risks, we have some useful tips for you to be more certain in choosing your future iPhone by considering all possibilities. Here are some useful tips for you:

1. At the Very Beginning, Be Aware of Your Options.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Apple Store has changed the regulations when purchasing an iPhone. 

The booking options are only available for the SIM locked iPhone, so make sure you check this before you reserve your iPhone purchase.

If you wish to buy a SIM free phone, the only choice is to book a shopping session in one of the Apple Stores and purchase it directly from the store. Please note that the SIM free slot for a day is very limited.

Outside the pandemic period, it was possible to immediately ask for your preferable phone without having to order in advance. 

2. If You Wish to Buy a SIM Locked Phone, Understand the Contract Carefully

After you’ve decided to buy a SIM locked phone, you have to choose the right provider for your upcoming device. Please make sure to understand the offers by each company. 

A single tip for you, choose the best price suitable for what you need, listen to your needs. It is better to avoid the shop staff from choosing it for you. You have the right to read and understand the contract carefully and think about what’s best for yourself.

3. Learn When and How the Contract Ends

In a sudden situation where you need to take your device out of Japan, you can ask for a sudden cancellation of the contract. However, they might charge you a cancellation fee within a price range of 2,000 – 4,000 yen, together with the monthly payment. 

When you decide to terminate your contract or change the service plan, please let the company know in advance. They will take some time to finalize all of the steps, and it may cost you up to 10,000 yen if you did not notify in advance. 

When the end of the period comes, the provider will remove your SIM locked restrictions, and change it to SIM free. However, if you wish to continue with the plan, you can just ask for a renewal. All the options are available to meet your satisfaction. 

The More You Know, The Better.

If you have determined the options based on your preferences and followed all the steps, then you will not experience any unwanted issues in the future such as your device being locked to Japan, or having to pay undesirable additional costs.

It is important to realize, a SIM locked device doesn’t always mean an undesirable situation. It may help you to secure your devices, and they also provide some good offers. For more info, you can check the website here Docomo, Softbank, and AU.

On the above websites, all kinds of information are available in English along with customer support. So, have you decided what to buy next?


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