Different Answers to a Simple Question

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Strangeite, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Strangeite macrumors newbie


    Feb 24, 2009
    I had what I thought was a simple question.

    Which iPhone 7+ should I buy?

    I have been on T-Mobile for a couple of years now, and generally happy with the service and very pleased with the price. However, a couple of times a month, work takes me into rural areas where the service drops off completely. I do know that Verizon has decent service in those same areas.

    According to Apple's website, the GSM phones will not work on the CDMA networks, but the CDMA Verizon iPhone will work on the GSM networks (so I can keep T-Mobile). I thought, if I purchase at full price directly from the Apple Store a Verizon iPhone, I should be able to throw my T-Mobile SIM into the tray. I could then purchase a cheap pre-paid plan from a Verizon MVNO for those rare times that I'm in areas with no T-Mobile service. Simple, right?


    This article seemed to support my analysis that the Verizon iPhone was the best bet for me. But to make sure, I asked the Twitter Apple Support account. At first, they agreed that the Verizon iPhone would support T-Mobile's GSM network, but then stated that they do not sell an unlocked version of the Verizon iPhone. I clarified that I would be buying the phone outright, in person, at an Apple Store. They insisted, that it simply is impossible to purchase an unlocked Verizon iPhone.

    That didn't seem right to me. It contradicted what I read in the above article and in several other locations that insisted that the Verizon iPhone was in fact, unlocked.

    So, I reached out to John Gruber, asking him if he knew why Apple wasn't selling an unlocked Verizon iPhone. I also reached out to the author of the PCMag article, asking him about the issue. Mr. Segan responded back to me first, insisting that the Apple Support rep was just misinformed and that the Verizon iPhone was in fact unlocked.

    A few hours later, Gruber wrote back saying that he didn't know why Apple wasn't selling an unlocked Verizon iPhone, and in fact, it had caused him hassles as well.

    I called my local Apple Store. Nope, they say they don't sell an unlocked Verizon iPhone.

    I find a bunch more articles and forum posts that all insist, yes, the Verizon iPhone is unlocked.


    I thought this would be a simple question. If I want to periodically switch between networks, which iPhone should I buy?

    I could just buy the thing and test it out, but >$900 is a lot of money to spend on an experiment.

    Any help?
  2. gurase macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2015
    Apple is notorious for giving out inaccurate information about unlocked devices. The Verizon iPhone is GSM unlocked. Just go to your Apple Store and ask to buy it "device only". Don't mention anything about not having a Verizon account or using it on a different carrier. They should just sell you the phone no questions asked. If they do hassle you, just say it's a gift.
  3. Dirtydutch macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2015
    I have T-Mobile, bought verizon 128 plus outright, put T-Mobile sim in before i powered on and it literally works right away.
  4. Strangeite thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 24, 2009
    Will I then be able to just swap SIM cards? Specifically, my existing T-Mobile SIM and a cheap pre-paid Verizon MVNO?
  5. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    You are getting misinformation from apple. If you buy the phone outright (sprint or verizon) it will work on any carrier.

    Verizon may not activate a new line of service with a sprint phone, and that is the only thing separating the two. If you already have verizon service the sprint phone would work.

    Source: I have paid in full sprint/verizon phones the last few years and used them on cricket.
  6. gurase macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2015

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5 September 20, 2016