Using your iPhone in France – Android Prepaid Sim Card


iPhone 5s gold

Be sure to secure your iPhone or Android Smartphone whenever you travel. Precautions will help prevent disaster.

The iPhone or any Android Smartphone is an essential tool when traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for tourists of any country. Google maps, travel guides, language translation, and many other apps are extremely useful. We used them all the time. Using our American AT&T iPhone in Kuala Lumpur was tricky. Most Verizon iPhones from the USA do not work internationally, since they use CDMA technology. Verizon does carry several “World Phones” which work with SIM Cards. We have done the research on our last trip and are sharing the findings with you.

We also have articles on using prepaid SIM cards in other countries:

Be sure to read our restaurant reviews for France:



Here are some tips on using your iPhone in France

You can only use foreign SIM cards in an unlocked iPhone or Android Smartphone. A locked smartphone only works on the original cell phone carrier. Most cell phone carriers in the US, including AT&T, allow you to unlock Smartphones after your 2 year contract has been fulfilled. T-Mobile requires 18 months of payments before they will unlock a cell phone under contract. You can alternately purchase an unlocked Smartphone from Amazon, eBay, etc.

If you prefer to unlock your iPhone, you can try jailbreaking it. Jailbreaking and unlocking iPhones are not easy tasks. One slip and you may have bricked your expensive smartphone. You can buy a pre-jailbroken/unlocked used iPhone from eBay or Craigslist. iPhone 4’s typically cost around $150.

This article also applies to using prepaid SIM Cards in the iPhone 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, 4, 3gs, and iPad with 3G or LTE. Android Smartphones utilizing GSM technology are also supported.

Different Smartphones use different sized SIM cards. Most foreign cell phone carriers sell smaller micro-SIM (iPhone 4, 4S, iPad) and nano-SIM (iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, iPad mini) for use in a variety of Smartphones. You should remove the SIM card from your phone before you attempt to purchase a prepaid SIM card in another country.

Main cellphone carriers in France

The main cellphone carriers in France are SFR, Orange, and Bouygues Telecom. We learned from our trip that SFR is the most economical for American travelers with iPhones or other smartphones.

Where to Buy

We bought our SIM card from a local SFR store for 14 with 10€ of calling credit. We signed up for a short term plan called SFR La Carete seul for 20 days that costs 20 and included unlimited mobile internet.

3 top-up – 24hr unlimited internet
10 top-up – 7-days unlimited internet
20 top-up – 20-days unlimited internet
24 top-up – 20-days unlimited internet + 10 calling credit

Have the store activate the phone and load the card.

Manually set these iPhone Data settings: (Settings – General – Network – Cellular Data Network)

  • APN: sl2sfr
  • AFN: sl2sfr
  • Username: Leave blank
  • Password: Leave blank

Turn your iPhone off and on again to get the new settings to load.

You can call 500 or Text 22213 to see your credit balance.  The default PIN is 1234

These instructions should work for other smartphones including Android based smartphones that support US GSM networks from AT&T and T-Mobile.

Restaurant Map:

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