iPhones must be free phones
When we buy an iPhone in European territory, we can buy it unlocked. That is not be subject to any operator usage restrictions. In the US, this is standard practice. If we want to buy an iPhone with a price reduction, this is given because it is partially financed by a telephone operator. In exchange for paying less money, we can only use (according to the contract and the company) that specific operator.
Also, all iPhones sold in Europe have a SIM card tray. Since the launch of the iPhone 14 generation, in the US and Puerto Rico they are only sold with a virtual SIM card. These models can no longer be purchased with a physical SIM card tray. Although, yes, they are not necessarily blocked by operator. This is simply an alternative purchase option.
Now, on the one hand, we have a free phone that can be used with any operator. On the other, we have a phone that works with a physical SIM card. There is no problem using the iPhone from Europe in the United States. But here roaming comes into play, the use of the telephone company that you have contracted in your country (from Europe) and the compatible networks.
Beyond the iPhone
The iPhone ends where the communications infrastructure begins. This, although more and more, is more standardized, the truth is that there are still limitations that we must take into account. On the one hand, there are the European networks compatible with the American ones, in the European iPhones. To check the US networks and bands, as well as the supported networks and bands from Europe, we leave you this link.
Although the previous section is much more technical (and if you have doubts about the specific model of your iPhone, the technical service can give you very precise instructions), what we are going to explain now is something more “mundane”: the telephony. In the European Union, roaming is a thing of the past. We can cross a border (between countries that belong to the union) and continue using the same operator service that we already had contracted, without having to pay an exorbitant amount of money. However, the US does not belong to the European Union and, therefore, if we want to use our voice and data plan, It’s going to be extremely expensive.
That is why, in this case, we recommend that you hire an operator from there that is compatible with the bands and networks of your iPhone, in the event that you are going to spend a long time. However, if you go for a short time, you can hire an operator plan that offers data packages for days or weeksat a relatively cheap price, if we take into account what our operator of origin could charge us.