Buying new iPhone - Choose my carrier or SIM-free?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Howyalikdemapls, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Howyalikdemapls macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    #1
    On Apple's website I have the choice of choosing my carrier (T-Mobile) or purchasing SIM-Free. They both say they're unlocked, but when I choose T-Mobile it says it comes with a T-Mobile SIM card. Can't I just use my current SIM-card? It just seems like unnecessary steps to choose my carrier first. Is there a benefit to choosing my carrier? Or is that mainly for people who want to switch carriers?
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #2
    Are you paying full price?

    If so, I'd go with the SIM-Free model and then just put in your old SIM.

    It may say that T-Mobile will come unlocked (if paying full price) but YOU will have to contact T-Mobile to have it unlocked after paying for it.

    Their policy as well is to have their phones active for no less than 40 days on their network before unlocking - so you may pay full price for the T-Mobile version but still have to wait 40 days before they will unlock.

    With your old T-Mobile SIM that won't make a difference as you'll still be on T-Mobile's network, but if you try a different SIM before those 40 days are up the phone will still be locked.

    Hope that makes it a little more clear.

    PS. The technology differences are in the bands that T-Mobile uses for LTE and the LTE bands that the SIM free phone uses.
     
  3. Howyalikdemapls thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Sep 2, 2013
    #3
    I imagine I'll probably just pay full price to avoid the hassle of trying to figure out payment plans and whatnot.
    So the SIM-Free phone and the T-Mobile phones support different LTE bands? Part of the reason I'm upgrading next month is to get a phone that supports the 700 MHz band 12. Will they both support this?

    (I'm coming from the iPhone 6+)
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    The T-Mobile 6S supports Band 12, so I cannot imagine Apple would remove it with the 7.

    Generally the carrier specific models only support the LTE bands that those carriers use. The SIM Free model, as part of it's feature set, supports MOST of the bands of ALL four carriers.

    You'd have to go look up the specs as I'm being general here.
     
  5. Cergman macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

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    #5
    This may be true for buying full price from T-Mobile, but purchasing any full priced iPhone from apple comes UNLOCKED, with no hoops to jump through.
    source: I've bought T-Mobile phones at launch to use on AT&T for the past 3 years and have had no problems
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    You mean purchasing a carrier model full price from Apple, versus full price from the carrier itself?
     
  7. Cergman macrumors 6502a

    Cergman

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    #7
    Yeah, that's exactly what I mean. Full price carrier phones purchased from Apple will always be unlocked, whereas purchasing a full price phone directly from a carrier store may or may not be unlocked.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    Gotcha! Thank you for that clarification for me!
     

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