How do I know if an iPhone is factory unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by angelica314, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. angelica314 macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2013
    Hi everyone. I'm looking for an iphone 5 on craigslist and a few that I'm interested in say they are factory unlocked. This is super important because I need it to work with T-Mobile. How can I know? Anything else I should be aware of when buying a phone from someone?

    Thank you all very much!
  2. iPhonemaster5S macrumors 6502


    Oct 10, 2011
    Not really a good way to tell if its unlocked or not but if it happens to be locked you can always use a service that will unlock it for you or you might get T-Mobile to unlock it for you.
  3. PsstGreek macrumors 68040


    Oct 21, 2010
    Tampa Bay
    Just put in your SIM card to see if it is.
  4. 617aircav macrumors 68040

    Jul 2, 2012
  5. angelica314 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2013
    What's a non att SIM? Not from At&t?

    Thanks everyone
  6. Demonface macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2012
    An Example would be the T-Mobile Simcard
  7. g35 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 13, 2007
    Yep. Also you can restore the phone in iTunes, and when it's finished, it will show a screen telling you that it's unlocked (just once).

    If you get the unlocked phone replaced from the Apple store for some reason, make sure to tell the Apple store employee that it's unlocked. Then about 24 hours after it's replaced, it should be unlocked and ready to accept any SIM. It may not show the unlocked screen in iTunes but you can check by using a non-AT&T SIM.
  8. futurefortress macrumors newbie


    Jul 22, 2013
    If you restore a factory unlocked iPhone, it doesn't show that message in iTunes at all. It comes pre-unlocked. Also- the Apple Store replaces factory unlocked iPhones with factory unlocked iPhones.. there's no waiting period to determine if it's unlocked or not..
  9. Azadre macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2005
    Look at the model number. From the factory unlocked phones have a different prefix. Mine starts with MD which is a 4S unlocked.
  10. ATC macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    If you can get its IMEI number you can use this site ( to check lock status for free. Just make sure to enter the full IMEI number without any spaces.
  11. angelica314 thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2013
    Where would I get this number?

    I'm probably going to buy the sim card from t-mobile and take it with me when I go see the phone and I'll be able to check it right there.

    Thank you all, your help is appreciated :)
  12. ATC macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2008
    You could ask the seller for it. If it's a legit seller I can't see why they wouldn't provide it. I know I would if someone requests it (if I was selling my phone).
  13. Applejuiced macrumors Nehalem


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    Best thing would be to bring a Tmobile nanosim.
    Anyone can give you another iphones unlocked imei over email or over the phone.
    If it doesn't work and doesn't make calls with your tmobile sim then give the phone back and walk away.
    Too many scams out there.

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