Carrier are Verizon iPhones from Best Buy unlocked?

kevjen888

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
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i have a $200 Best Buy gift card planning on using it for the new iPhone 7S or 8. i'm with TMobile right now, unfortunately Best Buy does not sell TMobile iPhones. since Verizon iPhones are factory unlocked, can i get a VZ model from Best Buy and use it with my TMobile sim card? I do have an old Verizon sim card at home, but i've read if i insert that card into a Best Buy iPhone, then the phone will be locked to that carrier, so if i do buy a Verizon iPhone from Best Buy (paid in full), do i have to insert the Verizon sim card first to activate it?
[doublepost=1503159273][/doublepost]i did a little search around and found out i would have to insert my old Verizon card in first so the phone remains factory unlocked and then put in my TMobile sim card. can anyone confirm this? what if my Verizon sim card is no longer active since i've switched from VZ for a couple years now, would that still work?
 
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titrau

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Why dont you go to bestbuy and ask them ... they should know your case
 

Applejuiced

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Apr 16, 2008
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At the iPhone hacks section.
I wouldnt advise to ask Best Buy reps, my experience with them was horrible and they're worst than talking to a wall.
Yes, if you buy one for full price from Best buy their unlock policy is like you read online. Stick a Verizon sim and then you're completely unlocked.
 
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kevjen888

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Jul 13, 2008
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I wouldnt advise to ask Best Buy reps, my experience with them was horrible and they're worst than talking to a wall.
Yes, if you buy one for full price from Best buy their unlock policy is like you read online. Stick a Verizon sim and then you're completely unlocked.

Agreed, I wouldn't ask for their opinion either, we would just confuse each other lol. Would an inactive Verizon sim card work? Or does it need to be a working sim?
 
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MsRandall

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Nov 27, 2011
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Bay Area, Ca
i have a $200 Best Buy gift card planning on using it for the new iPhone 7S or 8. i'm with TMobile right now, unfortunately Best Buy does not sell TMobile iPhones. since Verizon iPhones are factory unlocked, can i get a VZ model from Best Buy and use it with my TMobile sim card? I do have an old Verizon sim card at home, but i've read if i insert that card into a Best Buy iPhone, then the phone will be locked to that carrier, so if i do buy a Verizon iPhone from Best Buy (paid in full), do i have to insert the Verizon sim card first to activate it?
[doublepost=1503159273][/doublepost]i did a little search around and found out i would have to insert my old Verizon card in first so the phone remains factory unlocked and then put in my TMobile sim card. can anyone confirm this? what if my Verizon sim card is no longer active since i've switched from VZ for a couple years now, would that still work?

I can confirm this works. I bought my sister an IPhone 7 Plus in April for Sprint online with in store pickup at the Best Buy Mobile Store in the mall near me.

Walked in for pickup and got a sealed phone. BB rep asked if I wanted it activated I stated no.

Got home activated it with my Verizon sim first. Then inserted her Sprint sim.

Fast forward to 1 month ago she decided to leave Sprint. Inserted tmobile sim in her iPhone 7 plus of course its UNLOCKED and worked
 
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kevjen888

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
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Does the Verizon card need to be active for this to work? My Verizon card was from my previous phone before I switched to tmobile. Wow good to hear this even work on a Sprint iPhone, Best Buy discounts their iPhones the most.
 

rockitdog

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Mar 25, 2013
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Best Buy sells the same iPhone for all carriers. A1660/A1661 models. They are all unlocked until they are associated with a carrier account- they come without a sim card installed. You'll need to have Best Buy price match the iPhone if buying in full, they inflate the price of the phones by $50 for some stupid reason. They will work on any carrier.
[doublepost=1503323531][/doublepost]
i have a $200 Best Buy gift card planning on using it for the new iPhone 7S or 8. i'm with TMobile right now, unfortunately Best Buy does not sell TMobile iPhones. since Verizon iPhones are factory unlocked, can i get a VZ model from Best Buy and use it with my TMobile sim card? I do have an old Verizon sim card at home, but i've read if i insert that card into a Best Buy iPhone, then the phone will be locked to that carrier, so if i do buy a Verizon iPhone from Best Buy (paid in full), do i have to insert the Verizon sim card first to activate it?
[doublepost=1503159273][/doublepost]i did a little search around and found out i would have to insert my old Verizon card in first so the phone remains factory unlocked and then put in my TMobile sim card. can anyone confirm this? what if my Verizon sim card is no longer active since i've switched from VZ for a couple years now, would that still work?
If buying the phone outright there is no reason to stick a VZW sim into it. It will be unlocked as long as it's paid for in full.
 
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kevjen888

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Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
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Someone had mentioned in an other post even the paid in full Best Buy iPhones will be locked to the first SIM card you insert in. My question is does that Verizon SIM card need to be an active working one for this to work?
 

noobinator

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Jun 19, 2009
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Pasadena, CA
Someone had mentioned in an other post even the paid in full Best Buy iPhones will be locked to the first SIM card you insert in. My question is does that Verizon SIM card need to be an active working one for this to work?
I believe you should use a verizon sim to activate and then it will be unlocked. If you do another sim first it appears it might be locked to that carrier.

http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Best-B...s-LOCKED-SIM-NOT-SUPPORTED/td-p/987836/page/6
 

rockitdog

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Mar 25, 2013
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Someone had mentioned in an other post even the paid in full Best Buy iPhones will be locked to the first SIM card you insert in. My question is does that Verizon SIM card need to be an active working one for this to work?
No. As I stated above, all Best Buy iPhones actually come Sim-free (just like you would get from the Apple Store). You can just tell them you want to buy it without a carrier and they will allow this (I've done this). If you buy it on a payment plan (like AT&T NEXT) the phone locks to AT&T once the sim is installed and associated with an account. I've bought a few sim-free iPhones from Best Buy for family members this year so I know this is a fact - you don't need a Verizon sim to unlock it.
 

Applejuiced

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Apr 16, 2008
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At the iPhone hacks section.
Someone had mentioned in an other post even the paid in full Best Buy iPhones will be locked to the first SIM card you insert in. My question is does that Verizon SIM card need to be an active working one for this to work?
No, the sim doesnt have to be working.
It will just take you to the activation screen and let you passed into the homescreen.
Then you're good.
Even though it will display no service once activated the device would be unlocked for good.
 

Droidbricker

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Sep 13, 2016
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If activated with a Verizon SIM you can use any other carriers SIM with an iPhone purchased through Best Buy.
If you activate with another carriers SIM it will be locked to that carrier. Be very careful with T-Mobile and Best Buy iPhones. If they activate using a T-Mobile SIM card they will be locked to T-Mobile and T-Mobile will be complete d-bags about unlocking it.
[doublepost=1503348090][/doublepost]
Best Buy sells the same iPhone for all carriers. A1660/A1661 models. They are all unlocked until they are associated with a carrier account- they come without a sim card installed. You'll need to have Best Buy price match the iPhone if buying in full, they inflate the price of the phones by $50 for some stupid reason. They will work on any carrier.
[doublepost=1503323531][/doublepost]
If buying the phone outright there is no reason to stick a VZW sim into it. It will be unlocked as long as it's paid for in full.
This is not true at all. Best Buy iPhones are subjected to the US reseller flex policy. I had a 6s locked to T-Mobile because of this very recently and it took way more time than it should have to get it unlocked.
 

kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
554
126
So in summary, I would buy an iPhone from best buy (pay in full) from whichever carrier has most discounts, at this moment it is Sprint. And then I will unlock it by inserting in my old Verizon sim card and once it gets to the home screen I'm all set to use my tmobile sim, are these steps correct and logical? Again, the only reason I'm buying an iPhone pay in full from best buy not apple store is because I have close to $300 BB gift card and rewards available.
 

noobinator

macrumors 604
Jun 19, 2009
6,545
5,636
Pasadena, CA
So in summary, I would buy an iPhone from best buy (pay in full) from whichever carrier has most discounts, at this moment it is Sprint. And then I will unlock it by inserting in my old Verizon sim card and once it gets to the home screen I'm all set to use my tmobile sim, are these steps correct and logical? Again, the only reason I'm buying an iPhone pay in full from best buy not apple store is because I have close to $300 BB gift card and rewards available.
I think the unlocking with a VZW sim only works on the VZW variant from BestBuy. I was under the impression if you bought an ATT version and even paid full price it would be locked to ATT until you got ATT to remove the lock. I've been wrong before though.
 

rockitdog

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Mar 25, 2013
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If activated with a Verizon SIM you can use any other carriers SIM with an iPhone purchased through Best Buy.
If you activate with another carriers SIM it will be locked to that carrier. Be very careful with T-Mobile and Best Buy iPhones. If they activate using a T-Mobile SIM card they will be locked to T-Mobile and T-Mobile will be complete d-bags about unlocking it.
[doublepost=1503348090][/doublepost]
This is not true at all. Best Buy iPhones are subjected to the US reseller flex policy. I had a 6s locked to T-Mobile because of this very recently and it took way more time than it should have to get it unlocked.
Life comes at you fast. Details can be difficult, I know but the OP stated iPhone 7 or 8. This is not a discussion about an iPhone 6s which had a different set of rules.
[doublepost=1503351306][/doublepost]
So in summary, I would buy an iPhone from best buy (pay in full) from whichever carrier has most discounts, at this moment it is Sprint. And then I will unlock it by inserting in my old Verizon sim card and once it gets to the home screen I'm all set to use my tmobile sim, are these steps correct and logical? Again, the only reason I'm buying an iPhone pay in full from best buy not apple store is because I have close to $300 BB gift card and rewards available.
Dude - this in't as difficult as you're making it. Try to follow along.
1. Best Buy iPhones (Sprint, AT&T & Verizon) are carrier agnostic (NONE OF THEM COME WITH SIM CARDS). They are the A1660/A1661 model (Same as Apple's sim free unlocked version). They will ONLY lock to a carrier if you purchase them on a payment plan or when you associate them with a carrier (AT&T or Sprint).
2. The deals on the iPhones are ONLY for folks purchasing them on a payment plan like AT&T Next or VZW or Sprint's installment plans. YOU WILL NOT GET A DISCOUNT IF YOU PURCHASE IN FULL REGARDLESS OF THE CARRIER.
3. You can walk in an pay at full price (ask them to match Apple's price b/c they inflate full retail by about $50 for some dumb reason) and walk out with an iPhone that is sim free and unlocked to any network. NO VERIZON SIM NEEDED.
4. This only pertains to the iPhone 7/7 Plus.
 
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rockitdog

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Mar 25, 2013
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This is correct. It follows the carrier's unlock policy of the first SIM card that is activated on the phone. Use a Verizon SIM card as the first SIM so it uses Verizon's unlock policy.
Unless the OP goes in and buys the iPhone outright! Best Buy will sell you the unlocked phone! No need to make this more complicated by throwing a carrier in the mix!

Yes, if a carrier is thrown into the mix their unlock rules apply. But the OP said he wants to use it on T-Mobile. No need to put any other carrier's SIM card in other than his T-Mobile sim!
 

jdogg836

macrumors 6502
Jul 28, 2010
267
184
Oklahoma
As a Best Buy employee, I can confirm that the devices we sell are sold under the FLEX policy, even when bought outright. When purchased, the first SIM card installed *MUST* be a North American carrier like Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T. It will then lock to the carrier designated by the SIM. It just so happens that locking to VERIZON (a.k.a. Not locked) is a workaround. I don't sell the phones as unlocked, nor do I assist in making them unlocked. Rockitdog is incorrect, please do not listen to the advice given. The threads posted from Howard forums as well as the community forum on Best Buy.com are more than ample evidence that rockitdog isn't right, this misinformation causes plenty of headaches...while my location states this correctly unfortunately there are examples of stores who still cannot grasp this. Please do not buy the phone from Best Buy without understanding the limitations of what you are purchasing. You might end up with a locked phone or a phone stuck with the "unsupported sim" message and no way to fix it.
 

kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
554
126
As a Best Buy employee, I can confirm that the devices we sell are sold under the FLEX policy, even when bought outright. When purchased, the first SIM card installed *MUST* be a North American carrier like Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T. It will then lock to the carrier designated by the SIM. It just so happens that locking to VERIZON (a.k.a. Not locked) is a workaround. I don't sell the phones as unlocked, nor do I assist in making them unlocked. Rockitdog is incorrect, please do not listen to the advice given. The threads posted from Howard forums as well as the community forum on Best Buy.com are more than ample evidence that rockitdog isn't right, this misinformation causes plenty of headaches...while my location states this correctly unfortunately there are examples of stores who still cannot grasp this. Please do not buy the phone from Best Buy without understanding the limitations of what you are purchasing. You might end up with a locked phone or a phone stuck with the "unsupported sim" message and no way to fix it.
So the verizon sim workaround as of right now is still the only viable way to unlocked a Best Buy iPhone correct?
 

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Mar 25, 2013
2,496
862
As a Best Buy employee, I can confirm that the devices we sell are sold under the FLEX policy, even when bought outright. When purchased, the first SIM card installed *MUST* be a North American carrier like Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T. It will then lock to the carrier designated by the SIM. It just so happens that locking to VERIZON (a.k.a. Not locked) is a workaround. I don't sell the phones as unlocked, nor do I assist in making them unlocked. Rockitdog is incorrect, please do not listen to the advice given. The threads posted from Howard forums as well as the community forum on Best Buy.com are more than ample evidence that rockitdog isn't right, this misinformation causes plenty of headaches...while my location states this correctly unfortunately there are examples of stores who still cannot grasp this. Please do not buy the phone from Best Buy without understanding the limitations of what you are purchasing. You might end up with a locked phone or a phone stuck with the "unsupported sim" message and no way to fix it.
So why was I able to go in on 2 different occasions and buy them outright and begin using them with different carrier sim cards. This was also done from 2 different stores. Explain how I was able to do this?
 

noobinator

macrumors 604
Jun 19, 2009
6,545
5,636
Pasadena, CA
So why was I able to go in on 2 different occasions and buy them outright and begin using them with different carrier sim cards. This was also done from 2 different stores. Explain how I was able to do this?
Tell us exactly what you purchased and what sims you were able to use on each phone? What one did you put in first? Second? If this did happen to you on two occasions then you had an experience outside of what is supposed to happen so consider yourself lucky. Giving this advice here is going to make someone possibly end up with a phone that they can't use despite your anecdotal evidence.

This is not possible as has been mentioned numerous times and even by an actual BestBuy employee. This has been covered to death all over the internet as well.
 

rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Mar 25, 2013
2,496
862
Tell us exactly what you purchased and what sims you were able to use on each phone? What one did you put in first? Second? If this did happen to you on two occasions then you had an experience outside of what is supposed to happen so consider yourself lucky. Giving this advice here is going to make someone possibly end up with a phone that they can't use despite your anecdotal evidence.

This is not possible as has been mentioned numerous times and even by an actual BestBuy employee. This has been covered to death all over the internet as well.
Well, I knew from research that the phones Best Buy carries are carrier agnostic- so I simply went in and asked to purchase one outright. After having them price match down to the $749 I walked out both times with sim-free unlocked iPhones. One was T-Mobile and other was on AT&T. I know that AT&T locked the device to their network but did unlock it upon request.
 
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