This article is about buying iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro from Apple in the US to use in another country. iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are expensive phones. Turns out that when you buy iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro from Apple in many other countries, the price is even more expensive than it is in the US.
For example in the US you can buy the iPhone 13 Pro Max from Apple starting at $1099 USD. However if you buy that same iPhone 13 Pro Max in China, it costs RMB 8999. That’s 1,399.56 USD at the current exchange rate at the time I’m writing this In India. that same iPhone 13 Pro Max costs ₹119900. That’s $1,593.65 USD at the current exchange rate. I chose China and India as examples, but the price difference may be even higher in the country you want to use iPhone 13 in.
On my channel I cover smartphones and prepaid wireless service in the USA. Every September I get a bunch of questions from people that want to buy the latest iPhone from Apple in the USA and then use it in another country. Here is what you need to know.
I want to say up front that I don’t own an iPhone 13 Pro and I have never used one in India nor China. I’m describing “what I would do” if I wanted to use the US iPhone 13 Pro in India or China.
You can buy an unlocked iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Pro from Apple in the US. You’ll pay the full price for the phone. Apple’s US online store will not ship outside the US so someone in the US will need to buy the phone and arrange to ship or deliver it to whatever country you want to send it.
Next up you’ll wan to know if the phone is compatible for use in your country. As I don’t have an iPhone 13 nor have I used the US model in your country, nor with your carrier I can guarantee this will work for you.
First, you should check with the carrier you want to use the iPhone with to understand their rules for using your own phone and iPhone 13 specifcally.
Next, you’ll want to identify what the iPhone 13 model number sells in your country and compare the technical specifications with the US model number. Locate the Cellular and Wireless section of the technical specifications. Compare the supported bands and frequencies of the US model with the model for your country. Below are the US models for iPhone 13 and link to their tech specs
- iPhone 13 mini model A2481 https://www.apple.com/iphone-13/specs/
- iPhone 13 model a2482 https://www.apple.com/iphone-13/specs/
- iPhone 13 Pro model A2483 https://www.apple.com/iphone-13-pro/specs/
- iPhone 13 Pro Max model A2484 https://www.apple.com/iphone-13-pro/specs/
Identify and bands and frequencies supported by the iPhone model from your country with the US model. If there are any, you want to check if your wireless company uses those bands.If your wireless operator uses those frequencies, then the US model may not be partially compatible, or incompatible with your wireless operator.
In most cases, I’d think you’d have partially compatibility. Don’t worry about any bands or frequencies that the US model supports but are not supported by your country’s model. If your country’s model doesn’t use those bands, no operator in your country would be using them.
In the video below, I compare the cellular and wireless frequencies for the US, Chinese, and India models for iPhone 13 Pro Max.
You can find the tech specs for each of the three below.
- iPhone 13 Pro Max model A2484 (USA) https://www.apple.com/iphone-13-pro/specs/
- iPhone 13 Pro Max model A2643 (India) https://www.apple.com/in/iphone-13-pro/specs//
- iPhone 13 Pro Max model A2644 (China) https://www.apple.com.cn/iphone-13-pro/specs/
Based on my comparision, all the 5G and 4G LTE frequiences supported by the A2643 (India) and the A2644(China) are supported by the A2484(USA). So based on my comparison, the US model would be fully compatible with cellular networks in India and China.
Make sure to check the specifications for any other features that your country’s model has but the US model doesn’t have. For example, the Chinese iPhone 13 models support two physical SIM cards, The US model supports one physical SIM card and one e-SIM. This is the only difference that I am aware of between iPhone 13 models but I haven’t checked for others.
Thats it. I hope this helps you out.