Will factory unlocked iPhones work on T-Mobile?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by danny_w, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #1
    I know that the only "official" GSM provider in the US is AT&T, and that I can unlock (via a hack) an iPhone to use on T-Mobile (but limited to EDGE speeds for data). My question is concerning the factory unlocked iPhones (3GS, 4, and now 4S) that you buy at full price from Apple. Will they also work on T-Mobile?
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #2
    This question has been answered time and time again. It'll work like the factory unlocked iPhone 4 which means just fine. You may have to call T-Mobile to enable international text to activate FaceTime, but that's it :)

    It'll text the UK once, but when it's activated it'll use Wi-Fi for FaceTime
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    whynot83706

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    It will work, but speed on iPhone 4 on T-Mobile was not so great....maybe it will be better with this one.
     
  4. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    Can you please elaborate a bit more on this or direct me to a link? I just picked up a factory unlocked 4 last night for use on tmo, and I didn't even think about facetime being an issue or not. I figured everything would work as advertised. Thank you!
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
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    #5
    FaceTime activates by silently texting a UK number and receiving a silent text from Apple. Everthing else will work fine out of the box. You will also need to use the settings app to configure MMs and tethering settings by hand.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #6
    Thanks for all of the good info everyone! I had done a search but had not found this specific question asked.
     
  7. macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco California, USA
    #7
    The nice thing about T-Mobile is the $50 fee; but as others have stated the iPhone data plan operates on the EDGE network which is 2007 technology. Slower than slow, but acceptable by others standards...:eek:
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    #8
    T Mobile only works at 2G specs as Applle left out the T Mobile 3G frequencies.
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #9
    The supposed chip, the Qualcomm MDM6600, in the 4S supports T-Mobile AWS 3G signals - question is if they are enabled in the firmware. Only way to test is for a person to try it.....
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #10
    It's only $10 for me as an added line on a family plan. And Most everywhere that I need data there is wifi, so I just disable cellular data. I currently have a Samsung Galaxy S 4G but am really missing my iPhones (had the original and a 4 on AT&T). The only misgiving that I have is that iPhone Mail (and Mac Mail for that matter) does not play nicely with Gmail, but I understand that they have an iPhone-optimized website. True? I use Sparrow on my Macs.
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #11
    I just called tmobile and it's 10 dollars to add international talk and text. Just to be sure once I activate FaceTime do I have to keep the international talk and text?
     
  12. macrumors 68040

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    No but keep in mind you may need it again if you remove your SIM or restore your iPhone.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #13
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    The qualcomm chip in the 4S can use t-mobiles 3G bands but the real question is does the software on the 4S allow you to use it.
     
  14. macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #14
    Why wouldn't they? Apple wants to sell phones unlocked/unrestricted! They would be opening themselves to legal problems.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #15
    Why would it text a UK number if activating in the US? I have unlimited family texting on T-Mobile.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #16
    It doesn't allow T-Mobile USA 3G bands. The Apple spec sheet for the iPhone 4S confirms this.
     
  17. macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #17
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Still no FaceTime. What's my next step text the UK? How?

    Thanks
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #18
    Still no FaceTime
    Going to upgrade to ios5 today, maybe the face time will appear.
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #19
    you're using a factory unlocked correct? when you update could you please report back and let us...well, me...know if mms (both sent and received) works without any issues? thanks! :D
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    osofast240sx

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    #20
    Yes factory unlocked, not jail broken.

    ----------

    FaceTime is working with the installation of iOS 5

    ----------

    FaceTime is working but the MMS is not letting me send a photo
     
  21. thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #21
    Well I got a jailbroken/unlocked 3GS from a local phone store and am using it on T-Mobile right now. They had advertised a 3GS still in warranty with the matching box for $200 but by the time I got there that one had been sold and I ended up with another not in warranty and without the matching box (although they did give me a 3G box). Cosmetically it is in pristine condition (looks like new actually) but occasionally the touch input freezes up and I will usually have to put it to sleep and wake it up to get touch input working again (sometimes pressing the Home button brings the touch input back, but usually not). They said if it does it again to bring it in frozen, but the problem with that is that as soon as it goes to sleep it "fixes" itself so I can no longer show the problem. What should I do in this case?
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #22
    I briefly tried an iPhone 4 unlocked via Gevey sim and the result was just downright painful. The unlocking process is not reliable at all, and it takes many tries to get it to actually work. Well I finally got tired of the unlocking/updating/jailbreaking stupidity and just went and got a factory unlocked iPhone 4 from the local Apple store. Yes it cost quite a bit but it is so nice not to have to worry about these things any more.
     

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