Buying iPhone 5s Unlocked Off Contract?

Discussion in 'iPhone 5S' started by chris, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. chris

    chris Administrator
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    Has anyone had experience in year's past purchasing an iPhone off-contract. I checked my eligibility and I don't come for a partial, let alone a full subsidy. I think I may have to go full price. On Apple's site, there is no choice for off contract or unlocked, only for the iPhone 5c.

    What's been your experience? I haven't heard anything about unlocked models. That would be ideal, considering I'm paying full price.
     
  2. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    Apple.com has unlocked 5S' with 7-10 day shipping right now. Otherwise, you can get AT&T to IMEI unlock a locked one before you activate it. That's my plan if they don't have any unlocked ones in the store since I have to pay full price as well. Just call AT&T before you activate it. They can't do it otherwise.
     
  3. chris

    chris Administrator
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    Did you do that at the store, calling AT&T and all? Will the Apple Store sell me an AT&T model at full price, allowing me to leave without activating it?
     
  4. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    I called AT&T the other day. They set up a time to call me back to give them my IMEI later this morning after I buy a phone. However, they have to call the Apple Store here to verify I paid full price before they can do anything. I called this Apple Store a few days ago and was on hold for 30 minutes before getting a live person, so I'm not very hopeful it's going to work. It's not too big of deal though. I have an unlocked 5 and I can get the 5S unlocked next fall by AT&T when I upgrade to a 6 if this doesn't go through today.

    Do you need the unlock or do you just want it for resale value?

    Yes, they'll let you leave without activating it.
     
  5. chris

    chris Administrator
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    I don't need it unlocked. I figure if I am paying full price, I should get se added benefit. I don't have any international vacations. Plus, I already know that I'll cave and buy a Nexus 5 when it comes out. Nubia getting AT&T, there is less of a chance of scoring gold.
     
  6. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    That's sums up how I feel about it. But at least AT&T will unlock them when we are out of contract now so we don't have to worry about if we can't get them unlocked today.
     
  7. chris

    chris Administrator
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    When I moved up in the line, I asked an Apple employee:

    "Hey, I'd like to pay full price for an iPhone 5s to use with AT&T. Are the T-Mobile versions unlocked and will they work with AT&T?"

    Apple: "They are SIM-unlocked."

    Me: "So, they are unlocked?"

    Apple: "Not technically, they are SIM unlocked."

    Me: "Will they work with AT&T?"

    Apple: "We're not sure. You might want to just get an AT&T model."

    Me: "Do you have any silver or gold?"

    Apple: "No."

    Me: "Give me an AT&T 16GB Space Gray."
     
  8. chris

    chris Administrator
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    I spoke with AT&T. Similar to what you had heard. If you fax them a receipt, they'll unlock it.

    Yay! Unlocked Space Gray!
     
  9. chris

    chris Administrator
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    I'll report back in an hour. Fax done. They are supposed to call me back to get me unlocked.
     
  10. ak3788

    ak3788 New Member

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    I have a question. If anyone can help me it would be greatly appreciated. I bought the contract free "Unlocked" T-mobile version off Apple.com. Would I be able to activate that with a AT&T account?
     
  11. chris

    chris Administrator
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    I'm not sure. Technically it should work with any SIM card. Apple has changed the wording on the iPhone 5s page from the iPhone 5c page. I'm not sure if they are simply trying to dissuade people from buying an 'unlocked' iPhone 5s.

    The iPhone 5s page says: Unlocked T-Mobile contract free. The iPhone 5c page says: Unlocked and contract-free.

    There is also one big difference. The 5s ships with a T-Mobile SIM. You can choose to by a 5c with or without a T-Mobile SIM.

    I couldn't get a straight answer from no less than 3 Apple employees this morning.

    If I had to guess, it will work. I'm guessing it's the same phone. With short supply, they want T-Mobile customers to get phones and not us unlocked heathens.
     
  12. ak3788

    ak3788 New Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I am guessing it will work as well because they are both GSM phones I believe. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Thanks again!
     
  13. Lstrike

    Lstrike New Member

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    So my big thing was getting a 32gb or greater capacity. Color was secondary. I read online that TMobile, ATT and Verizon devices are all using the same model number. Also the device has all the bands required for the carriers less of course the sprint model which is different all together (you can confirm on Apples site under specs).

    I get to the front of the line yesterday and for ATT only space gray is left in 16gb. I ask for unlocked they hand me a TMobile and Verizon phone. I walk in and tell the rep I need ATT sims activated for both of course he is confused. Walks me over to the ATT and Verizon reps who are clueless and say why not get the ATT device I explain they try to educate me about how Verizon uses CDMA blah blah...I explain they have both radios in the model. They deny I say well I'm here and have cash lets try. Walk over to another Apple rep who is in the no says to the other rep to give him his ATT sim and he pops it into his Verizon phone and bammmmm. ATT LTE on. Sighhhh...

    Long story short the TMobile phone works no problems and Verizon phone turned out to be defective so they managed to dig me up an ATT phone off contract. I ask to make sure I am unlocked since I pay full pop. Rep says yes when you pay full price their servers communicate with the carrier and push unlock. On activation they show me their system and both phones are listed unlocked.

    Sorry for the long story but wanted to share some real world info. Full price iPhones from Verizon, ATT and TMobile work across the three of them. Don't take any bs!
     
  14. Lstrike

    Lstrike New Member

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    Both TMobile and Verizon come with their respective SIM cards. When you buy full price you tell them that you want an ATT SIM card they have them their. They call ATT and activate the SIM cards and pop them into the phone and they work.

    If they try and tell you it won't work ask them if someone there has a Verizon (for instance) device and pop your nano SIM card from ATT into it and watch it run.
     

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