1. donawalt's Avatar
    I apologize if this first of two questions is a dumb question, but my skeptical side has me wondering...

    I have always gotten locked iPhones - AT&T is my vendor, love em or hate em (topic for another thread!)

    I am considering the Apple upgrade program this time, and I noticed it says you will get an unlocked phone. I know there are advantages to unlocked phones, the obvious ones being you are not tied to a carrier and there is better resale value. I also know you can pretty much get any phone unlocked now by the carrier before you sell.

    But here is my 1st question - are there any DISADVANTAGES to getting an unlocked new phone vs. a locked new phone?

    Second question - if I have ordered an AT&T/GSM phone for store pickup, unless they have phones to spare I probably can't sign up for Apple Upgrade in the store since that would be a different phone (unlocked), right?

    Thanks for your help!
    09-15-2015 10:33 AM
  2. kch50428's Avatar
    But here is my 1st question - are there any DISADVANTAGES to getting an unlocked new phone vs. a locked new phone?
    None I can think of...
    Second question - if I have ordered an AT&T/GSM phone for store pickup, unless they have phones to spare I probably can't sign up for Apple Upgrade in the store since that would be a different phone (unlocked), right?
    Don't know for sure about this one... physically, the devices would be the same - there's just a bit of firmware that would "flip a switch" to unlock... and they have a stack of devices with the software switch flipped, and a stack not is mu guess.
    TwitchyPuppy and donawalt like this.
    09-15-2015 10:44 AM
  3. SeanHRCC's Avatar
    If it follows suit from last year, the AT&T phones, regardless of how you purchase them on release day, are all carrier LOCKED...therefore, to answer your second question, it would definitely be a different device all together if you were to get one on the Apple Upgrade plan that comes with carrier UNLOCKED devices (again, if they follow the same system as last year).

    I buy my devices outright and buy them for AT&T. After I get them, I have to call AT&T and have them unlocked...this is unfortunately the only way to go since Apple historically has not sold fully unlocked devices right out of the box...the only exception being if you bought one for another carrier like Tmobile or I think Verizon, but because I have no plans to leave AT&T, I never bother going through all of that, and I just order my device and then contact them and have them unlock it after purchase. It's never an issue, and the process usually takes about 24 hours to complete.

    I actually did this with the iPhone 5S (gold) when I bought 3 of them (2 of them to flip). Had to have all three of them unlocked, and had no issues doing so, so long as your bill is paid up to date and the IMEI number associated wit the phone is not also associated with a termed contract.

    To answer your first question, there are no disadvantages directly related to the device itself for buying them with or without contract...the only issue you'd run into really is if you decided to immediately sell the thing, and you'd find that the carrier locked device doesn't bring anywhere near the kind of profit the unlocked variant would. This holds true throughout the entire ownership experience really...my unlocked iPhone 6 Plus is worth quite a bit more than the same model with carrier lock.
    09-15-2015 02:39 PM
  4. knotsure's Avatar
    I thought there is a new law requiring cell companies to unlock all phones. Is that just after the contract or payment period are finished? Thought I heard that somewhere.
    09-15-2015 02:47 PM
  5. kch50428's Avatar
    I thought there is a new law requiring cell companies to unlock all phones. Is that just after the contract or payment period are finished? Thought I heard that somewhere.
    Part of Verizon's deal with the Government for all the 700Mhz spectrum they license was to unlock LTE devices out of the box... so - they are... other companies are required to unlock any device bought under contract/subsidy at the end of the contract... and any device bought at full retail price.
    Last edited by kch50428; 09-15-2015 at 03:10 PM.
    09-15-2015 02:50 PM
  6. SeanHRCC's Avatar
    I thought there is a new law requiring cell companies to unlock all phones. Is that just after the contract or payment period are finished? Thought I heard that somewhere.
    That refers to devices outside of contract aside from Verizon devices (their agreement is somewhat obscure and unique)...before, carriers were preventing people who were NOT under contract from unlocking their devices, while at the same time making it almost impossible to do it via 3rd party unlocking service. Essentially, they were taking people's contract free phones and holding them hostage for any number of BS reasons (I remember one of them being the initial 14 day "return" period, stating that they could not unlock a device until the phone was outside of that grace period.

    Now, if you buy a device that is not contracted in any way, or you have a device that is outside of the original contract it was under, they have to unlock them without question or wait time (outside of the typical processing time of 24-48 hours).
    09-15-2015 02:52 PM
  7. HankAZ's Avatar
    Part of Verizon's deal with the Government for all the 700Mhz spectrum they license was to unlock LTE devices out of the box... so - they are... other companies are required to unlock any device bought under contract/subsidy at the end of the contract ... and any device bought at full retail price, upon request by the customer.
    You have to ask, but if you meet the requirements, the carriers have to unlock the devices.
    kch50428 likes this.
    09-15-2015 03:41 PM
  8. HankAZ's Avatar
    That refers to devices outside of contract aside from Verizon devices (their agreement is somewhat obscure and unique)...before, carriers were preventing people who were NOT under contract from unlocking their devices, while at the same time making it almost impossible to do it via 3rd party unlocking service. Essentially, they were taking people's contract free phones and holding them hostage for any number of BS reasons (I remember one of them being the initial 14 day "return" period, stating that they could not unlock a device until the phone was outside of that grace period.

    Now, if you buy a device that is not contracted in any way, or you have a device that is outside of the original contract it was under, they have to unlock them without question or wait time (outside of the typical processing time of 24-48 hours).
    I have recently requested unlocks for a number of older devices from AT&T. They have been very responsive... their emails and websites suggest 24 hour turnaround, but I usually get through the process, start to finish, in about 5-10 minutes.
    09-15-2015 03:43 PM
  9. BreakingKayfabe's Avatar
    Last year I bought an AT&T 6 Plus for full price and it came unlocked. Didn't need to call or anything. Before you even restore a backup on it it'll unlock once you connect it to iTunes.
    09-15-2015 03:46 PM
  10. eyecrispy's Avatar
    My friend pointed out that the 6S and 6S+ have two US variants. The AT&T variant and everyone else. The AT&T variant will support band 30 as well as all current bands. Band 30 is supposed to be the super fast LTE band that AT&T is rolling out (sometime in the future). The other variant will support all current bands AND the CDMA bands, so will also work on Verizon and Sprint. However, it does not support band 30.

    I ordered a T-Mobile (unlocked) one and will pay full retail instead of going for AT&T model bc I think that one will have better resale value since it's not a GSM only device.
    09-15-2015 06:15 PM
  11. Rostyslav Gryvnak1's Avatar
    I use AT&T official web site for unlocking my iPhone 5S (I bought it on ebay) but I received a letter of refusal. It was the debt contract. So I use alternative online service for unlock iphone - that guy unlocked it I think you can buy locked iPhone 6S, and use alternative services like my.
    09-16-2015 04:08 AM

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