Bestbuy iPhone 5S unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by arun128, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. arun128 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    #1
    I am currently on Tmobile and wanted to buy the new iPhone 5S. I have over $700 in bestbuy reward certificates and gift cards. Bestbuy doesn't offer the tmobile version of the 5S, so could I buy the ATT one off contract (pay full price) and will they unlock it for me? What is the process to unlock the Iphone, now that they have said it is illegal to do unless it it from the manufacture or carrier.

    I know I could buy one directly from Apple but I would like to use my certificates and gift cards.
     
  2. aziatiklover macrumors 68030

    aziatiklover

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    Jul 12, 2011
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    #2
    Wy dont you go buy the tmobile one instead of going to att?:confused:
     
  3. Aylan macrumors regular

    Aylan

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    Jun 3, 2013
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    Best Buy does not sell the T-mobile version and he has money to use there. the GSM version is the same for both AT&T and T-Mobile, however, so if he buys it un-subsidized the phone will be unlocked but the real question is whether best buy will sell a device without activating service.
     
  4. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    If the ATT and TMO models are the same unlocked, why would they have a "Chose T-Mobile Unlocked or GSM Unlocked" option on this and previous models?
     
  5. skimcpip macrumors regular

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    Aug 28, 2013
    #5
    I don't think such an option exists. There is one unlocked phone, and it comes with a T-Mobile SIM card, which you don't have to use.
     
  6. Vctr macrumors regular

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    May 24, 2012
    #6
    Yea I'm a bit confused by this as well ... People have been saying that the iPhone 5S is compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon bands (and I think I remember seeing that during the announcement yesterday), so that leads me to believe that an unlocked T-Mobile iPhone 5S will work on AT&T and Verizon as well.

    But big question here is ... why do they advertise it as T-Mobile Unlocked when in actuality its an AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Unlocked phone? This just caused confusion.
     
  7. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #7
    My guess is part of the deal with att. They always hold back on offering "att unlocked" with each release. So I think it's just marketing.
     
  8. thecurryman macrumors 6502

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    Jun 9, 2012
    #8
    best buy doesnt even offer the iphone 5s yet. Id wait till it comes out then get the unlocked gsm one
     
  9. cnotes2019 Suspended

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    Aug 17, 2013
    #9
    Doesn't the sprint version support the other three as well? Just that sprint may not unlock it for that use
     
  10. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
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    Oregon
    #10
    The T-Mobile version comes with a T-Mobile SIM card while the GSM-unlocked version you have to supply the SIM card. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be a difference. For some reason, the phone bought from T-Mobile doesn't have the SIM card. Anyway, I'm buying next week (T-Mobile version from Apple) and will try T-Mobile. If it doesn't work out (due to bad coverage) I'll get the AIO SIM and service. Nice not to be locked to a single provider!
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #11
    The sprint iPhone is the worst one to get.
    They won't unlock it for domestic use and they won't even unlock it for international use unless you fulfill their requirements.
     
  12. saud0488 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2011
    #13
    ATT iPhones have become very easy and cheap to unlock. You could probably buy the ATT version and have it unlocked for as little as 2 dollars. No word on whether the unlock procedure will work but all unlock providers say they're pretty certain it won't change.
     
  13. shenan1982 macrumors 68040

    shenan1982

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #14
    It's a risk though, took iPhone 5 a while for prices to come down, so my guess is 5s prices to unlock will be high for a bit, then come down.
     
  14. skimcpip macrumors regular

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    Aug 28, 2013
    #15
    It's truly not very complicated. ATT, Verizon and T-Mobile are all selling the SAME EXACT phone. If you select any of those carriers from Apple's website, OR if you buy it from a carrier, it's going to be locked to that carrier. If you buy the UNLOCKED version from Apple, it should work on ANY of the three (although I've read rumors that Verizon refuses to activate phones that weren't purchased to be specifically activated on its network - but that doesn't mean the phone is different).

    When you buy the unlocked version from Apple, they give you a T-Mobile SIM card, but that doesn't mean it's a T-Mobile phone. You could use a ATT SIM card instead, or straight talk, or H20, or whatever else.
     
  15. DravenGSX macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #16
    The AT&T and Verizon phones are the same? So the AT&T phone will work on the CDMA Verizon network and the CDMA Verizon phone will work on the GSM AT&T network? Since when?
     
  16. BishamonX macrumors member

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    Oct 16, 2011
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    NoVA
    #17
    AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile use Model A1533. The problem is with each carrier locking the phone for domestic use to their network with the exception of T-Mobile.

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/
     
  17. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #18
    If you pay the $649 for the unlocked phone, it isn't locked by any carrier. Only if you pay the subsidized price ($199) are they locked because, basically, the carrier owns the phone during the contract period. T-Mobile doesn't have contracts, hence you have to pay full price, but get an unlocked phone.
     
  18. skimcpip macrumors regular

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    Aug 28, 2013
    #19
    Since 9/20/2013.

    EDIT: actually, since last year. The Verizon iPhone 5 works on ATT and T-Mobile's HPSA networks. I'm using my Verizon iPhone 5 on T-Mobile as we speak.
     
  19. saud0488, Sep 12, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2013

    saud0488 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #20
    I've unlocked well over 100. They are all the same price. Places that charge more to unlock certain models are simply taking advantage of the buyer's ignorance. They all cost the same to unlock from reputable sellers.

    ----------

    I think you made it more complicated then it is. the iPhones 5c/5s for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are the same model. However....


    AT&T iPhones don't come unlocked but are easily unlocked

    Tmobile iPhones don't come unlocked, but can be unlocked but are expensive and it takes time.

    Verizon iPhones come unlocked. Nothing further to know. You can take you sim, put it in there and it'll work.


    Based upon the above info, your best bet is to get a Verizon one. If you can't do that, the next safest thing is to get an AT&T one. If you're buying from best buy you should know that they no longer have restocking fees so if for any reason you can't unlock the AT&T one (not likely) you can always return and buy Verizon.

    Let me clarify one thing: all the models are the same however the unlock status is changed depending on what carrier they are assigned to.
     
  20. darster Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    #21
    The big question that remains unanswered is whether or not the T-Mobile iPhone 5s will work on Verizon, since they are now all are the same model. One would assume if they are, then the unlock companies should be able to unlock the Verizon version just as easily as the AT&T version to use all LTE bands in US.
     
  21. skimcpip macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    #22
    Since it's the same exact model phone, it technically SHOULD work. The question is whether Verizon will activate it for you. I've seen some people say that Verizon won't activate a phone that wasn't originally purchased for use on Verizon, but I don't know if that's true.
     
  22. DravenGSX macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #23
    Yes, but the AT&T model does not work on Verizon. ... at least not in areas without LTE or for voice at all.
     
  23. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #24
    No.
    Those are gsm iPhones and won't work on CDMA carriers like verizon or sprint.
    And even if they could have their CDMA chips to function verizon and sprint won't allow it to activate on their network unless they are sold by them and not a different carriers iPhone.
     
  24. darster Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    #25
    I saw on the Apple page clarification on the 5s. There are 2 1533 models. a CDMA and a GSM. The unlocked T-mobile version will not have a CDMA band.
     

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