iPhone XR Are Best Buy phones unlocked?

alent1234

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 19, 2009
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if I pay full price?

Moving carriers this week but someone on my account needs a phone today and can’t finance it

Normally I’d go to the Apple store but the subways are crap this weekend and it’s easier to drive to Best Buy

If I buy a Verizon or att phone and pay full price, I need it to be fully unlocked to go to T-Mobile later in the week
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,183
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Best Buy and other retailers are subject to the Apple Retail Flex policy. That means, yes, full price they are sold unlocked. However, because of the policy they WILL lock to whatever SIM is first inserted in the device.

So, if you put anything in the phone other than a Verizon SIM it will lock. And the argument lately has been that using a Verizon SIM the first time may not keep the phone unlocked either. That's because Verizon made a change to their unlock policy a while back.

So, pretty much you are taking your chances.
 
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chanerz

macrumors 65816
Jul 7, 2010
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When I want to purchase full price for a phone, I go to Bestbuy for points. They are unlocked.
 

YaBoiD

macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2011
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Best Buy and other retailers are subject to the Apple Retail Flex policy. That means, yes, full price they are sold unlocked. However, because of the policy they WILL lock to whatever SIM is first inserted in the device.

So, if you put anything in the phone other than a Verizon SIM it will lock. And the argument lately has been that using a Verizon SIM the first time may not keep the phone unlocked either. That's because Verizon made a change to their unlock policy a while back.

So, pretty much you are taking your chances.
Just to clarify, if it’s purchased unlocked from Apple, it will NOT lock to whatever SIM is inserted first in the device but from any other retailer it WILL lock. Is that correct?
 

dmk1974

macrumors 68020
Sep 16, 2008
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So if I buy a Verizon or AT&T model from Best Buy, insert my T-Mobile SIM, it will then lock to T-Mobile just as if it was a T-Mobile iPhone, correct?

If so, and then since I have fully paid off the iPhone, can't I just have T-Mobile unlock it for me?
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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How? How does the phone know to do that?
It's not the phone. I'll explain…

Every iDevice periodically checks in with Apple's iTunes activation servers. These servers determine, according to whatever data is relevant, what activation policy to apply to the device. So, it's Apple's servers that determine if a device is locked or unlocked based on the relevant criteria.

If a device is subject to the Retail Flex policy it means it should lock to whatever carrier SIM is first inserted. So, that activation policy is applied to the device and the device is locked to that SIM's carrier. But in the case of Verizon, because those devices are sold unlocked out of the box (until most recently it seems) then that policy gets applied and the device remains unlocked.

Once a device is unlocked by Apple, it's unlocked for life. There are certain exceptions but those are all rare, extreme cases.

So, if a Verizon SIM is the first inserted SIM, the Reseller Flex policy applies, the device is unlocked (because Verizon LTE devices come unlocked) and remains unlocked.

It's not the device, it's Apple's servers that tell the device what to be.
 
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Shadowbech

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Oct 18, 2011
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So if I buy a Verizon or AT&T model from Best Buy, insert my T-Mobile SIM, it will then lock to T-Mobile just as if it was a T-Mobile iPhone, correct?

If so, and then since I have fully paid off the iPhone, can't I just have T-Mobile unlock it for me?
Technically Best Buy sells the sim-free model as it doesn't come with the sim. However they can't and will not sell you one without the carrier sim card. So they bring out the carrier sim card along with the device. You'll notice that if you go to Best Buy the model number is the same for all 3-4 major carriers.

Correct that if you insert your t-mobile sim card it will be locked to T-Mobile. Once you pay off your phone in full, you'll have to request an unlock from T-mobile to unlock the phone for you.

If you have a verizon sim card (can be a deactivated one), you can just insert that and activate the device then remove the verizon sim card and insert your t-mobile, it should remain unlocked.
 

StarShot

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2014
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I've bought ATT phones from both ATT and Apple, paying full price. Don't know about other carriers, but ATT has unlocked all my phones with a simple request.

Go to att.com/deviceunlock.
Read and agree to the eligibility requirements to unlock your device.
Complete and submit the request form.
You'll receive a confirmation email with your unlock request number.

They say it takes 2 days, but from my recent experience I got the unlock approval within hours. My main reason for unlocking is when I travel outside the country, I like to buy a local sim card rather than spend $10 a day with ATT for roaming.
 
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Relentless Power

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Jul 12, 2016
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Technically Best Buy sells the sim-free model as it doesn't come with the sim. However they can't and will not sell you one without the carrier sim card.
This is not true. There is an alternative Best Buy doesn’t mention. They will sell you the phone without a Sim card, but you have to verify you’re active through your carrier by providing 1.) Valid ID, 2.) Active account carrier information 3.) You must be the primary member on the account.
 
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Limeybastid

macrumors member
Aug 15, 2019
59
22
Florida hell hole
Interesting thread which fortunately prevented me from buying an XR from bestbuy today, thanks.

So if my mrs wanted to buy ( pay in full ) an iphone XR , where would the best place apart from Apple? So that the device doesn't sim lock itself to her carrier T Mobile .cheers
 

drmeatball

macrumors member
Aug 3, 2019
42
21
Ellicott City, MD
New? Just Apple.
[doublepost=1566527929][/doublepost]But if you buy a device new with T-Mobile full price, all you have to do is wait the 14 day return window for them to unlock it, no questions asked. Did that a few times.
 

mrochester

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2009
1,882
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Carphone Warehouse in the UK is/was like this too.

The question is, why don’t these shops just buy and sell devices that don’t lock to the first network used? What’s in it for the shop to sell a full price device that locks to the first network?
 
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