Can you buy a sim free iPhone on apples upgrade program?


Eileen89

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2014
1,146
327
You can reserve it to purchase in store. However, I was told when they first came out that the Sim Free models weren't available for Apples upgrade program. You might want to call your local store before you go to make sure they aren't going to charge you the full price for the Sim Free model that you choose if you aren't prepared to pay that amount.
 

cale508

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2015
436
579
IL
No, they are not allowing people to buy it under the program. I went there and it has to be a carrier tied phone. I asked them why the system is allowing people to reserve the phone under the program, they just said "that's how the program works, you have to have a carrier tied phone". It didn't make sense to me because phones are unlocked with this program.
 

thatanonymoususer

macrumors regular
Oct 12, 2015
248
315
No, they are not allowing people to buy it under the program. I went there and it has to be a carrier tied phone. I asked them why the system is allowing people to reserve the phone under the program, they just said "that's how the program works, you have to have a carrier tied phone". It didn't make sense to me because phones are unlocked with this program.
Looking at it again, the page states:
[QUOTE = "Apple"]The iPhone Upgrade Program is subject to credit check and approval, and requires activation with one of the four national carriers (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile) at time of purchase.[/QUOTE]

So maybe they're trying to avoid people walking out with 10 of those phones with the intent to rent them out for a month or some other business model that would be profit-hurting for Apple. You might be able to reserve an AT&T model and activate it on T-Mobile or Verizon if you ask nicely so that you get the Band 30 if you plan on needing to use it later.
 

Nor'easter

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2012
25
0
I had a terrible experience on Launch day after having a reservation. After two hours I was told that btw AT&T biz customers cannot enroll in apple upgrade program after all, amazingly frustrating so be advised!
 

jettie1767

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2003
405
107
New Jersey, USA
Yes, you can buy a sim-free iPhone without having to activate with any of the carriers. That's if you pay for it outright. If you want to avail of the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program, you will have to choose a carrier to activate the sim-free phone with at time of purchase. It is still a sim-free phone and they give you the sim card of your choice before you leave the store.
 

John-F

macrumors regular
Oct 7, 2011
220
550
Nevada
Yes, you can buy a sim-free iPhone without having to activate with any of the carriers. That's if you pay for it outright. If you want to avail of the Apple iPhone Upgrade Program, you will have to choose a carrier to activate the sim-free phone with at time of purchase. It is still a sim-free phone and they give you the sim card of your choice before you leave the store.
That was my experience yesterday. The phone came sim-free, but they gave me an AT&T sim card. The phone is supposed to remain unlocked even after the sim card is activated on the AT&T network.
 

89007132

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2015
44
8
You can definitely buy a SIM-free phone on the IUP. It just needs to be activated on a phone line with one of the carriers. The phone remains completely unlocked.

The employee just has to get a new SIM card for your carrier and activate it along with the purchase. So technically I guess it's just the new SIM that needs to be activated. You could put that new SIM card in any phone and your phone number would follow it.
 

MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,593
593
No you cannot buy it on IUP. i reserved one yesterday and went to pick it up and told him i want to get it on IUP. he said nope you cannot get it on IUP. anyways i was lucky as they had the same one in AT&T model so i got it.
 

89007132

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2015
44
8
No you cannot buy it on IUP. i reserved one yesterday and went to pick it up and told him i want to get it on IUP. he said nope you cannot get it on IUP. anyways i was lucky as they had the same one in AT&T model so i got it.
The person who helped you was misinformed. You can buy the "sim-free" model, it just needs to come with a separate SIM card that gets activated on your carrier account during the process. Not that it matters whether you get the "sim-free" model or not cause they are both going to be the same phone just one will have the SIM card already in the phone while the other will come with the sim out of the phone.

I did this at the Apple Store with one of the lines on my Verizon account.
 

AndrewR23

macrumors 68040
Jun 24, 2010
3,850
1,003
The person who helped you was misinformed. You can buy the "sim-free" model, it just needs to come with a separate SIM card that gets activated on your carrier account during the process. Not that it matters whether you get the "sim-free" model or not cause they are both going to be the same phone just one will have the SIM card already in the phone while the other will come with the sim out of the phone.

I did this at the Apple Store with one of the lines on my Verizon account.
Okay so where did they get a sim card for you then?
 

MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,593
593
The person who helped you was misinformed. You can buy the "sim-free" model, it just needs to come with a separate SIM card that gets activated on your carrier account during the process. Not that it matters whether you get the "sim-free" model or not cause they are both going to be the same phone just one will have the SIM card already in the phone while the other will come with the sim out of the phone.

I did this at the Apple Store with one of the lines on my Verizon account.
to be honest i knew that he was not informed properly as why would apple give an option of SIM free on the web page. Moreover the apple rep's iPhone had SIM FREE written under IUP and when i tried to argue with him regarding that he said that IUP isnt iphone upgrade program but it is just the upgrade program from your current account.

thanks for the information. i am going to return the iPhone anyway.
 

89007132

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2015
44
8
... he said that IUP isnt iphone upgrade program but it is just the upgrade program from your current account.
I have no idea what he would be talking about there. The IUP is separate from your carrier account in regards to contracts and such. As far as the carrier is concerned you are just brining a new unlocked device you bought elsewhere on to the account.

thanks for the information. i am going to return the iPhone anyway.
No problem. Just FYI though - the AT&T and sim-free 6s phones are identical because they both support band 30. Don't bother exchanging the AT&T phone for a sim-free one because it will make absolutely no difference for anything.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,244
1,312
So it sounds like if you want to use Apple's Upgrade Program to buy a SIM-free phone, you have to already have an account on one of the Big Four networks, and the phone you purchase has to get activated on your account.

That sounds exactly like how a regular Apple Upgrade purchase goes, expect instead of grabbing an iPhone that already has a SIM in it, the Apple employee has to grab a SIM-free iPhone and then put a SIM in the phone for you (so you're really not getting a SIM-free phone).

To me, a truly SIM-free purchase would be someone walking out of the store with a new iPhone that has no SIM in it/wasn't activated on a Big Four account. I haven't seen where you can do that on the Apple Upgrade Program.
 

MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,593
593
I have no idea what he would be talking about there. The IUP is separate from your carrier account in regards to contracts and such. As far as the carrier is concerned you are just brining a new unlocked device you bought elsewhere on to the account.



No problem. Just FYI though - the AT&T and sim-free 6s phones are identical because they both support band 30. Don't bother exchanging the AT&T phone for a sim-free one because it will make absolutely no difference for anything.

yeah i know. i am not going to exchange it. i already have a 6s plus with a blown speaker. so bought another one to check if its fine or not. it has the same problem so i am going to return that.
 
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89007132

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2015
44
8
You must have got lucky then. The guy and manager wouldn't budge on doing it for me. Oh well.
Huh, that's really weird cause I didn't talk to anyone besides the regular specialist who was able to do it with no fuss at all. Maybe it requires an extra step that they didn't know about. The specialist who helped me just went to go grab a Verizon sim when I told him I wanted to do IUP with the sim-free iPhone I reserved. He scanned the new SIM card after scanning the phone and it went smoothly from there.


So it sounds like if you want to use Apple's Upgrade Program to buy a SIM-free phone, you have to already have an account on one of the Big Four networks, and the phone you purchase has to get activated on your account.

That sounds exactly like how a regular Apple Upgrade purchase goes, expect the Apple employee has to put the SIM in the phone for you (so you're really not getting a SIM-free phone).

To me, a truly SIM-free purchase would be someone walking out of the store with a new iPhone that has no SIM in it/wasn't activated on a Big Four account. I haven't seen where you can do that on the Apple Upgrade Program.
You do already have to have an account with one of the Big Four networks to do the IUP. But it's not the phone that gets registered so much as it is the new SIM card that gets activated with your phone number. You could probably just pop that new SIM card in your current phone and still have an unlocked iPhone 6s not tied into any carrier.
 
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MuGeN PoWeR

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2011
2,593
593
Huh, that's really weird cause I didn't talk to anyone besides the regular specialist who was able to do it with no fuss at all. Maybe it requires an extra step that they didn't know about. The specialist who helped me just went to go grab a Verizon sim when I told him I wanted to do IUP with the device I reserved. He scanned the new SIM card after scanning the phone and it went smoothly from there.




You do already have to have an account with one of the Big Four networks to do the IUP. But it's not the phone that gets registered so much as it is the new SIM card that gets activated with your phone number. You could probably just pop that new SIM card in your current phone and still have an unlocked iPhone 6s not tied into any carrier.

thats what i did. i got the 6s plus on my account and gave it to my wife who uses at&t go phone.
 
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sharibells

macrumors newbie
May 3, 2017
1
0
You can definitely buy a SIM-free phone on the IUP. It just needs to be activated on a phone line with one of the carriers. The phone remains completely unlocked.

The employee just has to get a new SIM card for your carrier and activate it along with the purchase. So technically I guess it's just the new SIM that needs to be activated. You could put that new SIM card in any phone and your phone number would follow it.
[doublepost=1493879112][/doublepost]So how about this:

Go to the apple store to purchase a new iphone under the Upgrade program. Now, say your current carrier is not one of the 4 main carriers - like me, I'm with cricket. Get the apple assistant to apply for the upgrade program with a BRAND NEW phone number with ATT (unlocked phone). After this step; take out the ATT sim card and then put in your cricket sim card.

The question is; what do you have to do with the ATT sim card? Do you HAVE to keep it active or else the iphone crashes and burns?
 
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