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Looking To Buy an iPhone in Japan Questions

 
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Bruin



Joined: 08 Jun 2017
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:09 am    Post subject: Looking To Buy an iPhone in Japan Questions Reply with quote

For those of you with experience buying and using iPhones in Japan.

1. As I know it, usually you buy a phone from Softbank/Au/Docomo, and are required to enter a two year contract with a locked phone. I want an unlocked phone from the start so planning to buy one from the Apple store. My question is how do things work when taking an unlocked phone to, say, Softbank? Will they still require a one or two year commitment or want to lock it or is it month to month?

2. With Skype offering very cheap rates to make calls in Japan, anyone know if it is possible to only get internet on your phone(pay a monthly fee for only internet to use Skype) and not be able to make traditional calls? I would imagine this to be a money saver.
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kkiwi



Joined: 27 Dec 2016
Posts: 6
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi
I use IIJmio for my smartphone.
You order a sim over the internet. They use the docomo network so coverage is pretty good.(This is why I chose the company because my 2nd hand phone is locked to the docomo network).
You can choose a sim with data only or one with calling options. The plans are very reasonable.
However the website is only in Japanese and I think you have to sign up for a 2 year plan... (there`s always a drawback or two!).
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Bruin



Joined: 08 Jun 2017
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kkiwi, please excuse my lack of knowledge as I have been using the good ole flip phone( a very basic pre-paid one) as of late. So when I take my unlocked phone to Docomo, I will have to sign up for a 2 year plan, as you stated. But my phone will remain unlocked, correct? And all the two year plan means is I will have to pay a penalty fee if I cancel it, correct? Is there ever a month to month plan with any carrier in Japan?
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kkiwi



Joined: 27 Dec 2016
Posts: 6
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I was giving you an alternative to going to docomo/au/softbank.

IIJmio is only via the internet, there are no physical stores. They use the docomo network BUT are NOT part of the docomo company.
And yes a 2 year contract means that you have to pay a cancellation fee if you break contract, but I think it`s around 10,000 yen so not too expensive.

I`m not sure what you would be able to do if you take an unlocked phone into the docomo/softbank.
I know that au dont do sim cards so you can only use phones that you`ve purchased through them.

I haven`t heard of a month to month plan here, especially not from the big companies.

I guess you need to go into a store and ask...
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Bruin



Joined: 08 Jun 2017
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done some research and it seems like buying an unlocked phone and purchasing temporary SIM cards is the way to go to avoid long contracts and overpriced plans. Anyone have experience doing it this way and willing to share your story? There is a site tokyocheapo or something like that, with lots of information on this.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1423
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never done it but shop where the foreigners go, which would be Shin-Okubo on the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, or in other big cities in Kansai or Nagoya.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1423
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not only that but in a place like that you get better customer service and they may know your language. I heard a foreigner owned place (i.e. Korean) would be better. Plus I think it would be cheaper.
Or Akihabara is also a good place to go.
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tmax500



Joined: 29 Jan 2008
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With a tourist visa you can get a data SIM card without a phone number. You can buy a rechargeable IJJ SIM card at "BIC Camera". It costs 3800yen incl 2Gb (rechargeable up to 3 months). Top-up data IJJ cards are available at BIC Camera/ Yodabashi/ Sofmap/ Familymart/ and other stores, which cost 3000yen for 2Gb (or 1500 yen for 500Mb). This SIM card is for Internet only (no calls in/ out).

If you have a working visa and a foreigner ID card then it’s possible to get a phone number. If you have a SIM-free phone you can register at BIC camera and pay Yen 1800 a month for 3Gb internet, with a phone number for incoming calls. Outgoing calls can be made using skype.
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