Buying Unlocked A1586 iPhone 6 and Use it in USA?

TopazAl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2014
8
0
According to Apple LTE compatibility website (https://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/), Model A1586 is a truly global phone as it supports all 20 LTE bands (FDD and TDD bands)

I see that in Hong Kong, it is selling unlocked version of A1586. Is that factory unloced? What if I bought unlocked A1586 iPhone 6 from Hong Kong, will it work in US?

I don't really care for Sprint as it is listed as supported network. I know for a fact that Sprint will not allow to bring that phone in as it is their company policy. However I do want to use the phone in other GSM/UMTS/LTE network in US like on AT&T or T-Mobile.

Basically I'm looking for a phone that is truly factory unlocked and A1586 seems to be the best one to get as it support CDMA, GSM/UMTS and LTE (TDD/FDD).

Any help is appreciated.
 
Last edited:

theoski

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2008
56
5
Ok I just brought A1586 (iPhone 6, unlocked, full price) from UK to the US because I was sick off ATT iPhone 5 supporting only lousy 3G worldwide. I travel globally quite a bit.

Result?

ATT: LTE
3: 4G
EE: 4GEE

Could not be more happier. I dont have T-Mobile US card to test it but I suspect it will work.
 

TopazAl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2014
8
0
Ok I just brought A1586 (iPhone 6, unlocked, full price) from UK to the US because I was sick off ATT iPhone 5 supporting only lousy 3G worldwide. I travel globally quite a bit.

Result?

ATT: LTE
3: 4G
EE: 4GEE

Could not be more happier. I dont have T-Mobile US card to test it but I suspect it will work.
Thanks for the note. That's very helpful to hear that unlocked A1586 works in US LTE network beside Sprint.

I was told that US will start selling unlocked version in late Nov. I will definitely buy one then.
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,756
582
Pennsylvania
Thanks for the note. That's very helpful to hear that unlocked A1586 works in US LTE network beside Sprint.

I was told that US will start selling unlocked version in late Nov. I will definitely buy one then.
We don't know what version they'll sell as unlocked though. In the past, it's always been the "GSM" version, in which case you'd be no better off than just buying a T-mobile/ATT/Verizon phone

What I want to know is what happens if you buy a Sprint phone "Device Only" -- I know the common wisdom is that it will be locked, but no one has tested that. Someone on the Apple Support forums claimed that he bought it Device Only and that it is unlocked
 

Tthomas612

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2013
1,309
285
We don't know what version they'll sell as unlocked though. In the past, it's always been the "GSM" version, in which case you'd be no better off than just buying a T-mobile/ATT/Verizon phone

What I want to know is what happens if you buy a Sprint phone "Device Only" -- I know the common wisdom is that it will be locked, but no one has tested that. Someone on the Apple Support forums claimed that he bought it Device Only and that it is unlocked
I bought a Sprint A1586 and it is LOCKED in the US. However it is UNLOCKED FOR international. I have tried them both ways...
 

TopazAl

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 22, 2014
8
0
We don't know what version they'll sell as unlocked though. In the past, it's always been the "GSM" version, in which case you'd be no better off than just buying a T-mobile/ATT/Verizon phone

What I want to know is what happens if you buy a Sprint phone "Device Only" -- I know the common wisdom is that it will be locked, but no one has tested that. Someone on the Apple Support forums claimed that he bought it Device Only and that it is unlocked
In order to buy a unlocked A1586, you need to buy it oversea such as UK or Hong Kong. It is sold in their local Apple Store. See URL:

http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/
http://store.apple.com/hk/iphone

If you select the model, size and color, it will show "Unlocked" after u try to check out. Those version is factory unlocked by Apple
 

Zinthar

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2006
285
0
Is there any technical reason why Apple couldn't have made the A1586 the ONLY 4.7" iPhone 6 model? It seems to support everything that the other model does and more. And if so, it's the closest thing we've had yet to a true "worldphone".
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,756
582
Pennsylvania
Is there any technical reason why Apple couldn't have made the A1586 the ONLY 4.7" iPhone 6 model? It seems to support everything that the other model does and more. And if so, it's the closest thing we've had yet to a true "worldphone".
As far as I can tell, there's no technical reason. My only guess is that there's some licensing cost that made it justifiable to Apple to leave the TDD LTE bands out of the US non-Sprint iPhones
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,860
4,840
As far as I can tell, there's no technical reason. My only guess is that there's some licensing cost that made it justifiable to Apple to leave the TDD LTE bands out of the US non-Sprint iPhones
Meh, I think it's likely an agreement between Apple and Sprint so as to give Sprint an excuse not to unlock for domestic use, still. If it's just cost of licensing fees that's the issue, why release the same A1586 model in all parts of the world (bar US ATT/TMo/VZW) when only China and India use TDD LTE (and Sprint, afaik). :rolleyes:
 

terraphantm

macrumors 68040
Jun 27, 2009
3,756
582
Pennsylvania
Meh, I think it's likely an agreement between Apple and Sprint so as to give Sprint an excuse not to unlock for domestic use, still. If it's just cost of licensing fees that's the issue, why release the same A1586 model in all parts of the world (bar US ATT/TMo/VZW) when only China and India use TDD LTE (and Sprint, afaik). :rolleyes:
Some European carriers are planning to roll out TDD LTE, and it probably makes sense to have a single phone across the entirety of Europe. I think Sprint would have to pay Apple a lot of money for them to justify creating a different hardware variant.

If for some reason Apple is contractually obligated to give Sprint an incompatible iPhone, they could have just disabled all the extra bands on the sprint version and kept everything else unified.
 

Zinthar

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2006
285
0
Some European carriers are planning to roll out TDD LTE, and it probably makes sense to have a single phone across the entirety of Europe. I think Sprint would have to pay Apple a lot of money for them to justify creating a different hardware variant.

If for some reason Apple is contractually obligated to give Sprint an incompatible iPhone, they could have just disabled all the extra bands on the sprint version and kept everything else unified.
I could imagine a scenario where Sprint would pay them to have a phone that they could advertise as being the only iPhone offered by a major US carrier to work with LTE in HK & India, but that seems unlikely because Sprint doesn't seem to be advertising it.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
8,860
4,840
Some European carriers are planning to roll out TDD LTE, and it probably makes sense to have a single phone across the entirety of Europe. I think Sprint would have to pay Apple a lot of money for them to justify creating a different hardware variant.

If for some reason Apple is contractually obligated to give Sprint an incompatible iPhone, they could have just disabled all the extra bands on the sprint version and kept everything else unified.
Didn't Sprint promise to buy $15 billion dollars worth of iPhones over a certain period? I think this is the last year of that agreement. :p
 

OvOjeremy

macrumors newbie
Sep 15, 2014
4
0
I bought a Sprint A1586 and it is LOCKED in the US. However it is UNLOCKED FOR international. I have tried them both ways...
Oh that's an important news you have there!

I wanted to buy an AT&T or T-Mobile device only at the :apple: Store but the fact that it was the A1549 model bothered me because I was scared I couldn't use the warranty for an exchange if needed here in France.

But if the Sprint device only is unlocked for international I should get this one instead as it is the same as the European model (A1586).

Are you 100% sure it's unlocked for international sim cards? Did you have one to try? Sorry to bother you my friend but you might change my plans in a good way! :D
Oh and another stupid question, are Sprint's iPhones GSM, CMDA or both? We only use GSM in Europe...
 

Tthomas612

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2013
1,309
285
Oh that's an important news you have there!

I wanted to buy an AT&T or T-Mobile device only at the :apple: Store but the fact that it was the A1549 model bothered me because I was scared I couldn't use the warranty for an exchange if needed here in France.

But if the Sprint device only is unlocked for international I should get this one instead as it is the same as the European model (A1586).

Are you 100% sure it's unlocked for international sim cards? Did you have one to try? Sorry to bother you my friend but you might change my plans in a good way! :D
Oh and another stupid question, are Sprint's iPhones GSM, CMDA or both? We only use GSM in Europe...
Yes I am sure. I did have one and they will try and tell you different In store but it is true

----------

Oh that's an important news you have there!

I wanted to buy an AT&T or T-Mobile device only at the :apple: Store but the fact that it was the A1549 model bothered me because I was scared I couldn't use the warranty for an exchange if needed here in France.

But if the Sprint device only is unlocked for international I should get this one instead as it is the same as the European model (A1586).

Are you 100% sure it's unlocked for international sim cards? Did you have one to try? Sorry to bother you my friend but you might change my plans in a good way! :D
Oh and another stupid question, are Sprint's iPhones GSM, CMDA or both? We only use GSM in Europe...
Oh one more thing ... They have both GSM AND CDMA cell radios in them. However it will only work overseas

----------

Of course this is only the Sprint devices purchased device only at the Apple Store not from Sprint
 

OvOjeremy

macrumors newbie
Sep 15, 2014
4
0
Yes I am sure. I did have one and they will try and tell you different In store but it is true

----------



Oh one more thing ... They have both GSM AND CDMA cell radios in them. However it will only work overseas

----------

Of course this is only the Sprint devices purchased device only at the Apple Store not from Sprint

Thanks a lot for your answers! Then I'm gonna buy a Sprint iPhone, best deal for an european consumer I guess!

Just one last question, can you confirm it was internationally unlocked out of the box or did you have to do anything to unlock it? I read different things about it, so just want to make sure!
 

Tthomas612

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2013
1,309
285
Thanks a lot for your answers! Then I'm gonna buy a Sprint iPhone, best deal for an european consumer I guess!

Just one last question, can you confirm it was internationally unlocked out of the box or did you have to do anything to unlock it? I read different things about it, so just want to make sure!
I didn't do anything to it. I just bought it on launch day in the Apple Store as "device only." The genius tried to tell me that I was making a mistake, but I had two phones last year that were the same thing.
 
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