My brother will soon be traveling to South Korea for work an he has an unlocked iPhone 4S from Sprint. According to the Apple website, the 4S will work on one of the regional carriers so what he was wondering is if there are any fees associated with using a foreign cell phone while there. From some experience I have in Europe, it's as easy as walking into a carrier shop and purchasing a SIM card, but my brother has read online that there are high fees for registering the phone with, say, SK Telecom.

So, for anyone who has experience with using a US (or European) iPhone in South Korea, what is the process?

1 Answer 1


According to a post in the Apple Support Communities:

There is GOOD NEWS for people with iPhones bringing them into Korea! As long as it's factory unlocked, you CAN get your iPhone to work in Korea. The best way is to go to a KT global store and first have your iPhone's IMEI registered into the Korean directory. This is NOW FREE, one foreign IMEI registration per person. Then you should be able to proceed in getting a micro sim card and catching network signal, again, assuming your iPhone is factory unlocked. No extra fees. It's just like activating a new phone in Korea, except you don't have to pay for a phone since you have your iPhone.

So I searched in the KT webpage and it's true that you can activate 1 device. There are no fees, you only have to carry your passport. If you want to register another device, you have to de-activate the first one. Of the website there are also a list of all shops

  • Nifty. When we got the phone unlocked, we contacted Sprint Worldwide Technical support and they sent the unlock request to Apple and a few days later the phone was unlocked. Does that count as being "factory unlocked?"
    – user2824
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 3:42
  • 1
    Yes. Factory unlocked means that the phone foesn't have network lock at the moment
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 10:46

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