Best Buy iP7/7+ Models are Subject to the US Reseller Flex Policy

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by JulesJam, Oct 12, 2016.

  1. JulesJam, Oct 12, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2016

    JulesJam macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #1
    This is worth repeating - Best Buy is selling the iP7/7+ models that are SUBJECT TO THE US RESELLER FLEX POLICY!!!! Walmart and Target always have sold these.

    What this means is that the phone will follow the SIM card locking policy of the carrier whose SIM card is in the device when it is initially activated - i.e., the very first time it is activated out of the box.

    So if your plan is to sell an unactivated iPhone purchased from Best Buy, Walmart or Target, you are likely better off activating these phones with a Verizon SIM - either an active Verizon SIM or an inactive Verizon SIM over WiFi - so that the phones are carrier unlocked before you sell them.

    Note that if the SIM card is not inside the phone when you buy it, unless it is a SIM free model sold directly by Apple then it is subject to the US Reseller Flex Policy. In the future even the iP6s/6s+ that Best Buy will sell are going to be like this.
     
  2. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    #2
    I have purchased an iPhone 7 through Best Buy and activated with a Verizon sim. From my understanding it is supposedly unlocked at this point as it uses Verizon's unlocking policy.

    However, another user on this forum had to return their iPhone 7 to Best Buy because it was not unlocked for use in another country...

    Did I almost just get screwed? (7+, Best Buy)

    Can anyone else here who purchased an iPhone 7 for Verizon from Best Buy confirm that they could or couldn't use an international sim? If I could somehow get my hands on an international sim card, I would be willing to test this.
     
  3. JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #3
    Verizon's 4G LTE phones are GSM SIM unlocked. There was a thread last year for the iP6s/iP6s+ that claimed that some of the Verizon iPhones were not globally unlocked but you would need to search for it. Idk what the outcome was.
     
  4. nanocustoms macrumors regular

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    #4
    I think if you read into it, one of the posts said that the person was in Central America when he tried to activate it. I think with a US FLex Reseller phone, it must be activated in the US first, then it will be unlocked.

    Maybe someone can ping the poster in that other thread?
     
  5. JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #5
    AFAIK you must use a domestic SIM card card for the initial activation of these phones. So yeah, if someone was trying to use an international SIM card for the initial activation, I don't think that would work.
     
  6. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #6
    But if the phone is purchased outright for the full price, then realistically it shouldn't be locked no matter which carrier it is activated on, right?
     
  7. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    Correct, @Beenblacklisted said he/she was in Panama. I'm not sure if it was first activated in the US and then went to Panama, or if it was purchased in the US without activation, then went to Panama and tried to use a local SIM there. But from my understanding, you're correct that it must first be activated with a US sim card.

    That is a fantastic question. Based on what I'm reading if it's purchased from a company (such as Best Buy or Walmart) that sells iPhones that fall under the "US Re-seller Policy" it still needs to be activated in the US first. It seems like if somebody is purchasing where it needs to be fully unlocked, it would be best to buy from Apple directly. I purchased mine from Best Buy as I wasn't aware of any differences until I read on here, unfortunately I am out of the return period so I wouldn't be able to return the device. But I am still trying to get clarification on this from Best Buy, but they don't seem to know.
     
  8. nanocustoms macrumors regular

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    #8
    I have a 3 Sim Card from a visit to Ireland and just like all of my other Verizon SIM based devices, the iPhone 7 accepted the SIM no problem. While on 3, it roams on ATT, but I got the "Welcome Abroad text" that comes when you use your SIM in a different country.

    I haven't had a chance to go out of the country with the iPhone 7 yet, but I would assume that for international use, it would be all good to go.

    I was able to take my US based iPad Mini + Cellular (Verizon) abroad, insert a SIM and continue with life.
     
  9. JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #9
    Depends on where you buy it from. If you buy it from Apple then yes, from Best Buy, Walmart or Target, no.
     
  10. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    #10
    Where did you purchase your Verizon iPhone 7 from?
     
  11. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #11
    So why not from those? Why would a fully paid off phone be activated as locked no matter where it is bought from? Something doesn't seem right about that.
     
  12. nanocustoms macrumors regular

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    #12
    Long story, but Ive tried on both Apple Retail i7 and BestBuy purchased i7 and verizon/wifi trick.

    Chris
     
  13. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    #13
    This sounds like good news so far. To make sure I'm understanding correctly, you have an iPhone 7 that was purchased from Best Buy AND activated for use on Verizon in the US? You then tested using a 3 SIM card in it, received a "Welcome abroad" message and it was roaming on AT&T? After that, were you able to re-insert the Verizon SIM and everything was ok?

    Sorry for so many questions, I just don't have any non-US SIM cards to use for testing.
     
  14. JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #14
    The information given here is correct - the Best Buy iP7/7+ are subject to the US Reseller Flex Policy and will follow the carrier lock policy of whichever carrier's SIM card is used to initially activate the device.

    No need to waste any time speaking with BB. This is how it works.
     
  15. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #15
    So the customer then needs to contact the carrier that locks the phone to have it unlocked given that it should be unlocked if the phone was purchased outright for its full price?
     
  16. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    #16
    My concern is that there was another poster on MR who stated that their Verizon iPhone 7 purchased from Best Buy did not work in Panama with a local sim card. I've added that person to an earlier post in this thread so perhaps they will be able to clarify. Because given the information here, they should've had a fully unlocked iPhone 7 as Verizon's lock policy doesn't lock phones. However, it wasn't clear if they activated it on Verizon first in the US or if they tried to activate it in Panama without activating it in the US first.
     
  17. JulesJam, Oct 14, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016

    JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #17
    Tmobile and Sprint won't unlock unless you have the device active on their service for 40 and 50 days respectively. If the device is not financed or under contract after that time period of active service, then they will unlock.

    AT&T you can try an online unlock request as a non-AT&T mobility customer and see what happens. I know they will unlock them if you are a current AT&T customer and submit the request.


    --- Post Merged, Oct 14, 2016 ---
    Best Buy doesn't sell Verizon iPhone 7/7+. They sell SIM free iPhone 7/7+ subject to the US Reseller Flex Policy.

    You have to use a US carrier SIM card to do the initial activation or they won't work at all. If you use a Verizon SIM card, even an inactive one over WiFi, they will be unlocked. You can't use a foreign SIM card to do the initial activation.

    It is very unlikely that you will be able to talk to someone at BB on the phone who will be knowledgeable about the US Reseller Flex Policy.
     
  18. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    #18
    Sorry the phrasing was incorrect on my previous post, I should have stated an iPhone 7 purchased from Best Buy for use on Verizon in the US.
     
  19. JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #19
    BB sells models A1660/A1661 subject to the US Reseller Flex Policy. They work on all 4 US national carriers and will follow the carrier locking policy of whichever carrier's SIM card is in the device for the initial activation.

    http://www.apple.com/iphone-7/specs/

    Model A1660*
    Model A1661*

    FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
     
  20. timeconsumer macrumors 65816

    timeconsumer

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    I understand the differences between the models. My point is that somebody in another thread which I've linked in a earlier post, purchased an iPhone 7 from Best Buy. They said they had purchased it for use on Verizon which implies that it was activated using a Verizon sim card in the US. They traveled to Panama where they tried to use a SIM card there, it did not work.
     
  21. JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #21
    I've read it, doesn't sound like that person knew what they were talking about. No one else has reported any problems. Verizon phones are SIM unlocked out of the box.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 14, 2016 ---
    Doesn't sound like they did to me. And even if they say they did, who knows if they actually did it or not.
     
  22. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #22
    I still don't quite follow how a carrier can refuse to unlock a device that is purchased at full price (and that's putting aside that devices like that shouldn't be locked to begin with as there's nothing to justify that).
     
  23. JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #23
    There is no law that requires them to do it. It is completely voluntary that they do it at all. The exception obviously is Verizon who cannot by law persuade a manufacturer to lock a 4G LTE device with Band 13 capabilities.


    --- Post Merged, Oct 14, 2016 ---
    That's an issue to take up with Apple and Best Buy. It is Apple that chooses to sell these SIM free devices subject to Apple's US Reseller Flex Policy and BB who decided to switch from the carrier models to these. And BB needs to train their employees on what the implications of Apple's URFP are.

    The carriers have nothing to do with this - this is on Apple and Best Buy.
     
  24. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    #24
    Even if there isn't a law it's a rather obvious shady practice these days especially. That aside, isn't there an unlocking law that went into effect not too long ago?
     
  25. JulesJam thread starter macrumors 68020

    JulesJam

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    #25
    Nope no law. People don't know the facts. Voluntary agreement and they will do it if the device is active on TMobile for 40 days and 50 days for Sprint. AT&T will probably do it if you simply submit an online request.

    People like you keep saying there is a law. Then others read it and repeat it. There is no law that requires this.

    Verizon is the exception that is why their devices are unlocked.
     

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