Is there any way I can unlock an iPhone 6 in Japan and use it in Kazakhstan?

I heard from reading other forums that it's got to be unlocked, but aside from that how can I be sure it will work back in Kazakhstan?

Also what are the cons of buying and using in different country?

Following some answers, to clarify

I know where to get an unlocked iPhone 6. I want to use the iPhone 6 in Kazakhstan. The cost of iPhone 6 is expensive in Kazakhstan. Want to buy it in Japan and bring it to Kazakhstan to use.

I want to make sure the unlocked iPhone 6 I buy in Japan can be used with networks in Kazakhstan, and if there's any disadvantages to this approach as opposed to buying the iphone 6 in Kazakhstan.

Thank you.

update 27/05/2015

found this link: http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/ but it doesn't mention Kazakhstan, so not very assuring.

  • Everything I have read indicates that you cannot buy an iPhone in Japan and have it unlocked, so your question may be moot. If you buy "SIM Free" check carefully that it is really unlocked the way you want. If you want an iphone that works somewhere else it is best to get it outside Japan. Search the Apple discussions and you can see various reports of people with useless Japanese-origin iPhones. Commented May 26, 2015 at 14:51

2 Answers 2


If you buy a mobile phone that is locked to a carrier (as is common practice in the US), then you can only use it on that carrier. If you buy an unlocked mobile phone, then you can use it on any carrier. This is true for all mobile phones, including the iPhone.

It sounds like getting an unlocked iPhone in Japan might be difficult, but other Asian countries only sell phones unlocked, as it is illegal for a carrier to lock them in those countries. (This is certainly the case in Thailand, where I live.)

Hong Kong and Singapore also sell all their iPhones unlocked.

It sounds like you might be better off sourcing a phone from one of those countries. It might be possible to buy an iPhone on the 'grey market' in Japan also, but if you do, make sure that you test that the phone works with SIM cards from two different carriers, and that it is not jailbroken, before you buy it. This is because a jailbroken iPhone can be 'software unlocked' to use with any carrier, but doing an OS update in the future would then return the phone to its previous locked state.

My recommendation is to buy an iPhone from a reputable dealer in a country that does not lock its phones (e.g. Hong Kong). Note that unlocked phones are much more expensive than locked phones.

  • Thanks Scott, I'm after some sort of evidence to know that if I buy an unlocked iPhone from Japan it will definitely work in Kazakhstan. Have to be sure, not just a maybe, because there's no way to return the iPhone afterwards.
    – JackDev
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 5:37
  • An unlocked iPhone 6 from anywhere will work in Kazakhstan. If getting an iPhone earlier than that, there were several models for different countries, so the LTE bands might not be compatible. But the 6/6+ series has one single model. Commented May 26, 2015 at 6:16
  • Thanks Scott. I came across this apple.com/iphone/LTE it doesn't mention Kazakhstan. So you are saying it will work regardless?
    – JackDev
    Commented May 27, 2015 at 2:52
  • 1
    It will work on 3G/EDGE anyway :) Commented May 27, 2015 at 2:57
  • As ScottEarle mentioned, only problem you should face is not getting the device's full speed while on cellular network, otherwise the phone should work without trouble.
    – listik
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 12:48

[edit] Apparently the questioner didn't actually mean "Is there any way I can bu[y] an iPhone 6 in Japan And use it in Kazakhstan?" when he wrote that, but merely wanted to ask how to buy an unlocked iPhone in Japan. Here is a link to do so: http://kakaku.com/item/J0000013571/

Original answer below.

Yes, you can use a Japanese iPhone in Kazakhstan. You don't have to unlock it either. Calls to Japan cost 380 yen/minute, and calls within the country cost 80 yen/minute (more for SoftBank). You can't or shouldn't use data.

Sources: au, docomo, SoftBank

You can buy unlocked iPhones in Japan but it will cost a lot more to sign up with a Japanese phone company, so I don't know why you would want to.

I'm not sure what you mean by the third part of your question. You should buy a cell phone plan in the country that you spend most of your time in. If you don't have a way of paying your bills to a Japanese cell phone company, you should buy your phone elsewhere.

  • You are suggesting that he buy a phone in Japan on a Japanese carrier, then use it 'roaming' in Kazakhstan? That sounds hideously expensive to me - especially for data use. Commented May 26, 2015 at 1:51
  • The phone will be used in Kazakhstan, having it on roaming with a japanese phone company is too expensive.
    – JackDev
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 4:46
  • 1
    I was just in Shibuya literally 30 minutes ago and I saw a sign advertising unlocked iPhones.
    – Avery
    Commented May 26, 2015 at 8:09
  • As long as they are 'factory unlocked' that's what you want Commented May 29, 2015 at 12:49

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