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The iPhone is on many shopping lists for travelers to Orlando. With the launch of new versions, the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with new features, layout and colors available, I imagine that even more people will want to bring a new cell phone from their trip to Orlando.

So, even if I prefer Android devices, I’ll bring you some tips here on how to buy your iPhone in the US.

Where to buy iPhone in Orlando?

First of all, Apple isn’t silly or anything and sets the price for all of its products. If you find an iPhone at half price, then please run away!

The product will either be counterfeit, defective or used. By the way, be aware also with Brazilian stores that offer the device and end up attracting many tourists because they don’t speak english!

I’ve found every hairy thing there in Orlando that it’s better not to get into the subject.

Iphone Orlando - Specifications
Iphone Orlando – Specifications

That’s why I recommend that you shop either at official Apple stores, or at major retail chains such as Best Buy and Walmart. Since not all networks work with unlocked devices, you’re guaranteed a one-way ticket if you go straight to an Apple store.

There are two in Orlando: one at the Mall at Millenia and the other at the Florida Mall.

For those on a tour of the region, you can still find stores in Altamonte Springs, Tampa and Brandon, a town close to Tampa.

How do I order an unlocked iPhone?

When entering the store, just ask for an unlocked phone and the attendant will already know what it is. Other names of the unlocked device are: SIM-free (without any link to operators) or Full Price (associated with an operator, but unlocked).

In addition, the two stores in Orlando even have several Brazilian sellers to help those who do not speak English, and the coolest thing is that there are no cashiers in the store.

The seller swipes the card or accepts money right there, where he meets you in the middle of the store. It’s amazing how fast the process is (and I always leave an Apple store thinking how to spend so much money in such a short time hehehe).

How much does an iPhone cost in the US?

Look, it’s not cheap. To buy an unlocked iPhone 12 in the US you will pay at least $699 + taxes.

With the release of the new versions, Apple now only sells the following iPhone models: the old iPhone SE, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 and the new iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max.

But the cool thing is that right after the launch of the new models, the prices of the old models have already dropped. In other words, great news for those who don’t care about the newest iPhone!

In addition, the prices of unlocked cell phones (so called ‘unlocked’ or ‘sim-free’) also vary according to the device’s storage space.

See the current table below, with the values ​​without the US sales tax, which in Florida is around 6.5%, and on the right the final value with the tax for purchases in Orlando already calculated.

Model (SIM-free) Capacity Price in USD Final price Orlando

  • iPhone 12 Pro Max 128GB US$1099 + tax US$1170.44
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max 256GB $1199 + tax $1276.94
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max 512GB US$1399 + tax US$1489.94
  • iPhone 12 Pro 128GB US$999 + tax US$1063.94
  • iPhone 12 Pro 256GB $1099 + tax $1170.44
  • iPhone 12 Pro 512GB US$1299 + tax US$1383.44
  • iPhone 12 64GB US$829 + tax US$882.86
  • iPhone 12 128GB US$879 + tax US$936.14
  • iPhone 12 256GB US$979 + tax US$1042.64
  • iPhone 12 Mini 64GB US$729 + tax US$776.39
  • iPhone 12 Mini 128GB US$779 + tax US$829.64
  • iPhone 12 Mini 256GB US$879 + tax US$936.14
  • iPhone 11 64GB US$599 + tax US$637.94
  • iPhone 11 256GB $649 + tax $691.19
  • iPhone 11 512GB US$749 + tax US$797.69
  • iPhone XR 64GB US$499 + tax US$531.44
  • iPhone XR 128GB $549 + tax $584.69
  • iPhone SE 64GB $399 + tax $424.94
  • iPhone SE 128GB US$449 + tax US$478.19
  • iPhone SE 256GB $549 + tax $584.69

Will I have problems with customs?

We’ve already talked about this on another page here on the OH Trips, but it’s worth clarifying: the Internal Revenue Service exempts the tax from a cell phone per person when returning from abroad. What does that mean? That your iPhone is not in the $500 quota, PROVIDED you don’t have another cell phone with you and it’s open and in use.

And yes, the other cell phone may be Brazilian, but still you are not entitled to another exempt device. In other words, if you’re interested in buying an iPhone in the US, either go without your cell phone, or leave your old cell phone there. In addition, it is important to take it out of the box and bring the device already activated (in use). Otherwise, be prepared to take the risk of paying customs duty when you return from your trip, as they may understand that you are bringing the product for sale.

Can I exchange my current iPhone for a new one?

Here comes the good news! It is possible, through the program called Apple Trade-in. Here you can take your used iPhone to any Apple store to exchange it for an Apple Shopping Voucher, which can then be used as a discount when purchasing a new device.

First of all, your used phone will go through an evaluation: they will look at the model, the color, the housing and touch screen conditions and then they will determine the amount that will be reverted in credits. The price you pay for the device can vary a lot, so the final price can only be determined by the Apple employee who reviews your device on the day you go to the store.

You can simulate the amount you can receive for your device on the program’s website, but below you find the maximum amounts paid for each model currently:

Four important pieces of information:

The credit can only be used within the Apple store, that is, you cannot go to the store and exchange your device for cash. The amount is reverted to an Apple Gift Card.
They only accept iPhone 6s or higher, meaning 6s or older are not accepted in the program.
The value of the cell phone may vary based on the Apple employee’s evaluation at the time of exchange. In fact, it’s not even guaranteed that they’ll accept your old cell phone in exchange.
iPads, Macs and Apple Watches may also be considered for the trade-in program.
iPhones and iPads purchased in Brazil may also be considered for exchange in the recycling program, however, as stated above, this will depend on the seller’s assessment at the time of purchase. I’ve had a friend of mine who managed to exchange the device purchased in Brazil, while I know who didn’t.
You do not need to bring a box, invoice and the complete product to participate in the recycling program, however, the more complete your package (mobile phone, cashier, manual, phone, etc), the more chances you have of being accepted into the program.
The program also accepts devices from other brands, but only some from Samsung and Google Pixel. See the complete list on the program’s website.

Is it worth it to buy the iPhone in the US?

If you’re just looking at the price, it’s definitely worth it – even if the dollar is sky high! After all, an iPhone unlocked here in Brazil doesn’t cost less than R$3,699 in cheaper versions and easily goes over R$7,000 in newer versions.

how to buy Iphone Orlando
how to buy Iphone Orlando

What are the advantages of buying in Brazil then? In my view, there are three:

Here you can buy the device in a plan/contract with length of stay and get a nice discount for it. This is also true for those who have loyalty plans and buy devices with discounts or points.

The second advantage is the good old installments, since in the US you will necessarily have to pay for the device in cash, which can be a hole in some people’s budget.

The third and last advantage is the certainty of the warranty: strictly speaking, only the models that are approved by Anatel are covered by the Apple do Brasil warranty – which is not always the case for devices sold in the USA.

The good news is that in recent years Apple Brazil has been offering warranty and assistance, even on devices purchased abroad and different from those approved in Brazil.

Anyway, it’s the price you pay to buy at a much lower price than here.

Buying my iPhone in the US will it work in other countries? What about 4G and 5G?

Yes! Cell phones in general, from Apple or not, work normally in Brazil or anywhere you might want to take your phone. I’ve already bought some myself and I’ve never had a problem using them in Brazil.

The important thing is to always check the size of the chip you have to see if it fits the cell phone you buy (iPhone uses nanoSIM), and also the data network frequencies of your operator in Brazil.

About 4G in Brazil, while previous iPhone versions (XR, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Max) were not compatible with some Brazilian 4G bands, iPhones from the 12 line (from mini to Max) are compatible with all 4G bands Brazilian companies, even the devices sold in the USA.

Another good news is about 5G. It is only present in 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max models, and devices sold in the US are also compatible with the Brazilian 5G frequency.

The coverage of operators offering 5G in Brazil is still in its infancy, but it is good to know that in the future, when the technology becomes more accessible, the 12 line devices purchased in the US will have this functionality.

I’m going to the US in the next few months, will I find the iPhone to buy?

He is going yes. Right after the release of the new versions, there is a frenzy and queues to buy, but after a few months (usually from December onwards) the stocks are regularized and it is easy to find the devices.

An interesting option to secure the device is to buy online at Apple’s website and choose store pickup. So you buy the desired model online and just go and search the store on the given day, without lines and without the risk of leaving empty-handed.

In addition, the purchase on the official website also allows delivery by mail, to your hotel or rented house. Just make sure your hotel is a reliable place to send a purchase as expensive as this one, and also keep an eye on delivery times to make it fit your stay.

Will I find discounts? What about iPhone prices on Black Friday? Do devices get cheaper after a while?

No no and no. On Black Friday, Apple does not offer discounts on iPhones, only on other products. What she’s been doing on this date is giving away a $50 gift certificate to be spent on apps, movies and music, but the device itself comes out without any discount. Furthermore, prices remain the same, until the launch of a next version of the device, which usually takes place in September of each year. Until then, prices stay the same and the chance of discounting is very, very remote, judging by what we’ve seen in all versions to date.

Will I have an Apple warranty in Brazil if I buy my device in the US?

In contrast to the posture of the past, Apple today is more liberal in relation to accepting other models to cover the guarantee of foreign devices in Brazil, but for those who want to guarantee, these are the models approved by Anatel and which are the ones marketed here :

  • X: A1901
  • XS: A2097
  • XS Max: A2101
  • XR: A2105
  • 11: A2221
  • 11 Pro: A2215
  • 11 Pro Max: A2218
  • 12: A2403
  • 12 Mini: A2399
  • 12 Pro: A2407
  • 12 Pro Max: A2411
  • The iPhone 12 line is still in the process of approval by ANATEL, but the models listed above are those that will be available in Brazil.
Iphone Orlando
Iphone Orlando

And how do I buy a internet chip in the US?

There are several carriers in the USA, being AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon the main ones, and you can buy in supermarkets, pharmacies, in the carriers’ own stores and even at the airport. I always use AT&T or T-Mobile models on prepaid plans that include unlimited data packages, calls and messages to other cell phones from the same operator.

In this other post we have more details on how to buy a data chip.

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