I don't know in the US but my 903(Vodafone UK)has been unlocked to any network and I have tried using different SIMs and it's great. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work if it is unlocked. I hope there are some good guys out there in the US who can help you.
I guess this would be a stupid question...
Would a Sharp 903 work on the USA T-Mobile network, since it was stated earlier that Sharp made them specifically for Vodafone?
Skater42, i can see where you are coming from, i actually like Vodafone branding... i think it looks quite cool. just dont like the GX30 when they locked all that stuff... was that a mistake therefore started making the GX30i??? i can understand about that firmware, i just think that turning off the MP3 function is a bit of a kill joy, dont u think... this has just gone a bit too far... i like the 903SH Jap firmware cos it looks better also themes and also cool walpaper and i like the idea of having the 3 diff colours, i dont know why VF NZ and Uk and AU didnt do that also... 903 Jap firmware would be awesome if i used it in JP, but i dont... thanks for your info... very informing. Timmy
SHARP vs. NOKIA: Slaves to their masters.
1.Nokia CHOSE to release the 702NK & 702NK II to Vodafone.
2.SHARP is contracted by Vodafone to CREATE the 703,801,802,803,902,903SH series etc.
Nokia has an original Nokia-owned AND a V-Branded version. The Sharp 903 has NO other firmware than the V- and SX- brands.
ALL SHARP versions are created for ONE operator, the "original" being the Vodafone Software.
Vodafone has contracted Sharp to produce exclusive handsets for them that are not available to ANY OTHER operator.
Sharp is producing phones for T-Mobile (TM Series), DoCoMo-FOMA (F-Series) and of course Vodafone: the V-Series.
All phones are unique and solely compatible with their network-operator. Keep in mind that the Majority of the V- and F- Phones are PDC (not GSM) and can never be released outside of Japan and Taiwan.
Some models are released in both networks like the 903SH (3G) -> 604SH (PDC) and GX25(GSM) -> V302(PDC).
Everyone is complaining that Vodafone has too harsh branding, when in reality Vodafone is the real OWNER of the phone. It IS the original producer and is not "corrupting" some "brilliant" firmware. This might be true for the Nokia 702(II) but not for any other Vodafone exclusive.
So to speak Vodafone is OUTSOURCING the job to SHARP, instead of having their own factory.
I understand that completely, but think about these points:
- Vodafone is the biggest international(!) mobile Telco and without Vodafone we would NOT be able to enjoy Japanese Techs like SHARP & TOSHIBA.
By far Sharp and Toshiba have the best and most advanced technologies fueled by the Japanese market.
- Luckily Vodafone does release different versions and we don't have to worry about the JAP firmware. I don't think that the new versions exclude English as a system language, this would make no sense.
As for the IMEI, this is very interesting, think about this:
Japan has a WCDMA/PDC mode network. There are no IMEI's necessary to identify a phone, since an IMEI only applies to GSM networks.
Hence Japan does not need to lock via IMEI, but rather by software/hardware locks. The IMEI change has virtually no influence on the Japanese market. The only other network that can even offer a USIM card is FOMA/DOCOMO.
As you said, the IMEI change is merely for the international market, for the compatibility/service issues I mentioned before. And again, we don't need to worry because Vodafone will always release its WCDMA range to the European/Asiapacific market.
I only have the JAP version because it took too long to release the V903SH in OZ. I can deal with the little bugs but other than that I have to say that Vodafone is brilliant!
Yo skater42, you have got some very good points there, but seriously, Voda KK have taken is WAY too far!! have you heard about their new IMEI system?? they have generated a new IMEi that includes too many 1's in the last 7 digits of the IMEI to make it readable from ANY unlocking machine and network!!! They have corupted their Software SOOO bad that it WILL not function 100% in anyother country but their own and is not intended for any other language but Jap, therefore the people that dont speak JP and live in JP are screwd in owning one of these AWESOME phones and have to look at the Vodafone 802SE or the Vodafone 702NKII or 702NK that will suport their language, Vodafone KK take an awesome phone such as the Sharp 903 and mess with the SW on it and make it a Vodafone 903SH by Sharp, wtf is up with this?? they totaly Re-Brand their phones and take functions out of the phone, look at that Nokia 6680, they take a perfectly working phone from Nokia and mess with it and call it a Vodafone 703NKII!!!!! lol, i can see where you are coming from but it's gone a bit too far, C ya, thanks for your help!!
WHY PHONES ARE LOCKED
There are several reasons why the Japanese are cracking down on gray-imports.
- Japanese Networks
1. As you may know, Japanese networks are quite different to 3G/GSM networks elsewhere.
Japan does NOT employ GSM at all, merely 3G WCDMA and PDC.
To make this advanced technology available to as many people as possible they subsidize their phones like our providers here do too. Subsidized phones are always locked to ensure that all profits flow back into the same network. Makes sense for a business.
2. Vodafone KK (JP) has no pre-paid system as such. All phones must be purchased on a plan. Pre-paid services are often run by different firms/ branches and also offer different phones and services (mostly PDC).
For this reason, hi-tech devices can only be purchased on a plan with a minimum spend and long-term committment. To saveguard this, phones must be locked.
3. Services and compatibility are quite different to our networks. Vodafone KK offers FeliCa(Mobile Credit Card), GPS, etc. For this reason Vodafone has decided to lock these phones, as they may cause damage or incompatibility on other networks. They can be used for roaming though.
FeliCA, for example, is a secure technology that makes your phone a "mobile wallet". This service is not yet available elsewhere, and as such this could interfere negatively with your local network. Locking also prevents other networks access to YOUR secure data, as DOCOMO also offers FeliCa. (Think about this for a second.)
It's not to annoy people like you and me, but rather to ensure that profits stay where they belong.
Mobile technology is expensive and sensitive, and locking will guarantee that phones only operate in the environment they were intended for and do not cause damage or incompatibility, or interfere with other services.
Locking on a higher level also ensures that other Networks have NO ACCESS to YOUR SECURE DATA (Credit Card, Medicare, etc.).
There are many 903s for sale in eBay UK now. You can communicate with the sellers and if you pay by Pay Pal it is safer and it offers buyer protection. I heard Jap and HK versions have some Jap and Chinese characters on their menus. Black looks classic maybe that's the reason they are selling it for a bit more. Good luck
Hi Dani: to flash the phone you will need a flashing device, these are expencive, prob not that ideal if you were only wanting to flash your own personal phone, I really really dont recomend the Jap version of Software, also, you cant set a MP3 as a ring tone, you cant even play MP3 on the phone at all. Also you need to keep in mind that Jap version is now fully UNLOCKABLE, they have set new IMEI's to their phone that another network will not recognise and no Sharp tool will recognise the phone, I think that Vodafone Japan are wrecking the way that people use their mobiles, they want every body to be on their network and you can only use their YUCK Jap firmware with the phones, I am seriously thinking of selling my phone for BIG $$$ as i could proberly get that now being that they are nolonger able to be used with UK Firmware and get a new Sony Ericsson W900i. I cant believe what Sharp are doing along with Voafone!!! Sharp are the suckers and i think that VF JP are paying them more to play along and LOCK up their phones for VF JP only, Sorry all you loyal 903 users but this is getting a bit crazy now!!!! Thanks TIMMY
One more thing...
How can I tell the version that is loded into the phone?
Thanks for your comments. You somewhat convinced me into buying it. The cheapest I've seen it was on www.plemix.com. for $499 the red version and $40 more for the black one. The only concern I have is there is no phone number to call and place the order. Did ANYONE buy from plemix before? Are they trust worthy?. Or are there any other cheaper places to buy from?
B.T.W. why is the black version more money?
Flashing 903 UK? I don't think I would need to do that even if the next version comes.
To be honest, I've been browsing for a new phone for my wife as her GX30i is a little bit old now but so far I can't find one which would satisfy her taste as hers is much more meticulous than mine. I've been thinking of the SE W900i but I'm worried she might drop it when opening it with one hand. And why will I go for a less powerful camera if I can have the 903.
This is not to encourage you to buy UK version which I am using but just to tell you few things of what you are looking for a phone like 903. No doubt its camera is the best nowadays in the market as well as the video playback. You can set MP3/AAC as ringtone only if they are less than 3MB but for me it is an advantage as I can have only the portion I like on a song which is practical. The Vodafone Logo could be changed to any photograph you want on the power on/off system graphics settings. No there's no themes on the UK version. I can send MMS,SMS,Video call, browse the net, watch TV,and play games. The menu system is one of the easiest and contains all the basic and most important features of a mobile phone. Keypad is so soft and accurate you will never miss a letter or number pushing on it. To sum up all these, it has all the things that I need on a phone much more than others got. Good luck
I am on the market for a new phone and I must admit that while I am a big Nokia fan, and I was looking to get an N70, reading your reviews about Sharp 903 and saw NO complaints whatsoever, made me think twice before buying the Nokia. Having said that, these are my concerns and I would apreciate any help from you guys. What do I wnat from a phone:
good camera, set mp3 as ringtones, and get rid of the most anoying logo. I live in US and have T-mobile as provider. Having the logo screwing up my walpaper is really frustrating... aarghh.
Now, from what I read in your opinions, looks like some networks have diff features.
UK version, JP version, etc...
Considering that my main interest is in mp3 as ringtones, no operator logo, and want to have various themes, which version should I use?
Also, how can flash my phone if I do choose to switch between version, or even upgrade it? I hear people upgrading versions of software, but don'ty know how. It there a program from the net that alows you to do that? What other equipment you need?
Thanks and I am waiting for answers :))
I couldn't transfer JPEG from one handset to my handset. the file size just 20K. is there anyone encounter the same problem?
to be honest, my JAP version isn't flawless, but I can watch SD-Video, record SD-AUDIO and no operator logo.
I can live without T9, though it would be nice and well, the rest is pretty much the same.
I got used to the few minor bugs this firmware has.
Whether MP3 or MP4 doesn't play a major role (for me). If you download iTunes it will convert all your songs for you, and the quality is excellent.
I have converted everything to MP4 and it doesn't sound any worse. I see MP4 becoming more and more popular, don't ask me about the differences between MP3 though.
I personally would like to try the UK version merely for compatibility issues. I can send MMS, but they are not delivered within the Vodafone AU network, though I can send them to Germany.
All this doesn't bother ME, but might bother you. Having had the 802SH this is a hell lot better though. I couldn't do anything like WAP/e-mail on the 802SH.
I just don't want to spend $50-80 on getting my phone flashed, on top of sending it away to some stranger...it is really not that urgent. I have no one in my circle that can flash the 903 so I simply live and am happy with what I've got... By the time I would choose to flash it the V904SH will be available anyway.
And hey, the camera and MP4 player are really why I bought it...
Well rock on your right they work now I just gotta get the volume up a bit and they are perfect thanks Reno!!!! To bad I cant get my phone to see the games on my sd card wont work with beta unlock oh well i have tones of games from the url's on here !!! Hope the 905 is usable in USA love sharp phones this is the best so far!!!