iPhone 5 in Argentina

Yesterday Apple released the details on their newest iPhone, the iPhone 5. While these events are getting less and less climatic due to the number of leaks that come out beforehand, the latest iPhone still has a number of great new features including a bigger screen, thinner size, higher-speed LTE network, faster WiFi, new earbuds and much more.

Want to get one in Argentina? You’re out of luck.

With the government’s import restrictions, and Apple’s refusal to produce the devices in Tierra del Fuego, local mobile phone companies have no plans to market the new iPhone in Argentina. Your only option will be to buy one overseas and bring it back with you. And if that’s your plan, you’ll have to wait at least a few weeks until Apple starts selling unlocked iPhone 5’s (the initial ones will be for AT&T, Sprint and Verizon only).

So, say you get one of these unlocked iPhone 5s? Great, but that leaves you with just one problem…

The new iPhone 5 also uses a new nano SIM which is smaller and thinner than the current micro SIMs. This means that an existing SIM card cannot be cut down to fit the new iPhone 5. Claro, Personal and Movistar all report that they will sell these nano SIM cards to customers who get their iPhones outside the country, but of course have no dates as to when that will actually happen.

Hopefully, the fact that Argentine officials love Apple products will speed up this process.

(Oh yeah, and don’t even hope for LTE speeds. Just be happy if your 3G actually is somewhat reliable.)

UPDATE (12/3/12): Looks like the nano SIM is now available in Argentina, so all those illegal iPhone 5s now work here.

  • chino

    thanks for the insight, but i have to admit that living in argentina does have its perks, such as only paying 290 pesos, o 48 dollars a month for a plan of 500 minutes and unlimited data. for that one would have to fork out around 100 dollars stateside.

    it's still shitty that there's no telecom company here to offer contract pricing for iphone, and same with 1600 dollar base macbook air.

    • DaVe

      Yeah, the plan prices are much better, but I've found Movistar's 3G service to be pretty horrible. I also signed up for AT&T Go Phone this summer in the States and had a voice and data plan for $50/month. (1GB data, but I never hit it.)

    • I’m on TMobile USA and have a value plan, I have HSPA+ speeds (faster than most residential connections in Argentina), 500 minutes, unlimited mobile to mobile, mms, sms, weekends and nights..and it should be noted that domestic long distance calling is part of every single plan on every single carrier in the USA (as in it just goes against your minutes like any other call) I pay about 65 bucks a month. Sprint gives you u

  • Matt

    Any news on nano SIM availability in BA? Arriving next Friday and was hoping to use unlocked iPhone 5 with Movistar or someone else. If not, I guess I am renting a phone?

    • DaVe

      None yet. There are some YouTube videos showing how to cut a micro SIM down, but it's a bit more complicated that cutting a SIM into a micro SIM.

  • Greg

    Do you know where I can buy the nano SIM card in buenos aires?

  • Flor

    When are you people going to understand that there are more important problems in the world??? Ok! If Apple looses a lot of buyers in Argentina because of this, why doesn´t allow argentinian factories to produce it? This is always the same… Capitalism, capitalism, capitalism! But now, Argentina is saying: stop! We need to manufacturate our own products, buying them from china because people in china work for less than a dollar per day is not tolerable! Not for me at least, and i am argentinian! I want my country strong, it is the only way to be free. Thanks!

    • All that’s happening now is that people who want the phone are buying them overseas or paying like 50% more to buy it off of someone to brought it into the country illegally. The economy of Argentina suffers and those loaded enough to buy things like iPhones and resell profit great. Money is taken from the real market, less taxes are collected and services suffer. I love Argentina but it is a terribly managed country. It is demonstrated in every facet of life there. For the sake of the great people of Argentina I hope things improve swiftly.

  • Carolina

    It is possible to find it now? Thanks.

    • The iPhone 5 is not sold in Argentina, but you should be able to get the nanoSIM here (or cut one down from a microSIM).