Carrier Factory Unlocked vs. Unlocked iPhone 5S (AT&T)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by genstonewall, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. genstonewall macrumors newbie

    Oct 5, 2014
    I have a iPhone 5S that I plan to sell on eBay. The 5S was originally on AT&T but I upgraded to the 6+. I filled out the AT&T unlock form and they honored my request. I restored my phone and it is now unlocked. My question is: is it factory unlocked or unlocked? I read through eBay's article but it sounded like it had to come from Apple's factory unlocked in order to be considered factory unlocked?
  2. tworth23 macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2010
    It's unlocked. You're good to go! You're 5s can now be used on T-Mobile, ATT or any gsm carrier Worldwide. Some LTE bands may missing for certain European carriers.
  3. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Normally "factory unlocked" means it was either purchased unlocked from a qualified retailer, or has been unlocked officially by the carrier. Just "unlocked" means it has been done by a third party or though some hack (which may or may not be the same as an official unlock). So, if AT&T unlocked your phone, it should be fine to sell it as "factory unlocked".
  4. erzhik macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2010
    No it doesn't. Factory unlocked is what the name implies, unlocked FROM the factory. Meaning it was unlocked by the manufacturer and NOBODY else, in this case Apple. Factory unlocked phones are far more valuable and easier to sell. Everything else (ebay unlock, third party company unlock, carrier unlock or home unlock) is just that, an unlock, not the same as a factory unlock. While both have the same effect, factory unlocked phones are more valuable, easier to sell and on certain manufacturers such as Nokia, they are just better than carrier variants.

    If AT&T unlocked your phone, it is NOT ok to sell as "factory unlocked", that's false advertisement.
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I disagree. It means unlocked BY the manufacturer, in this case Apple. If it's officially unlocked by the carrier, it's guaranteed to go through the manufacturer's offical channels. If it's unlocked by a third party, there is no guarantee.

    I have no idea why you think an officially unlocked phone is any less valuable than one that was purchased unlocked. It's exactly the same.
  6. ydhuldhoya macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2009
    Hi, wanted to understand the below output of my iPhone 6. Is it equivalent to 'factory unlocked'? Can I use any sim on it? Thank you.

    IMEI: ------
    Serial: --------
    MAC: --------
    ICCID: ---------
    iOS Version: 8.0
    Activation Status: Yes
    Unbricked: true
    Unlocked: false
    First Unbricked Date: 2014-10-03
    Last Unbricked Date: 2014-10-04
    Initial Activation Policy: 2023 - US Verizon LTE MM N51/N48/N42 Activation Policy
    Applied Activation Policy: 2023 - US Verizon LTE MM N51/N48/N42 Activation Policy
    Next Tether Policy (Carrier): 2023 - US Verizon LTE MM N51/N48/N42 Activation Policy
    Sim Lock: Unlocked
  7. 617aircav Suspended

    Jul 2, 2012

    Dude it's factory unlocked. No difference.
  8. myscrnnm macrumors 65816


    Sep 16, 2014
    Seattle, WA
    I get what you're saying when having to differentiate between "factory unlocked" and "carrier unlocked". But why is one more valuable and easier to sell? Functionally speaking, isn't carrier unlocked as good as factory unlocked? Once you ask AT&T (or whatever carrier you got the phone from) to unlock the phone, isn't it essentially unlocked forever?
  9. tgi macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2012
    I don't understand what difference it would make if the end result is still the same. You insert any sim and it works. How is selling a factory unlocked phone easier vs a carrier unlocked phone when they are both unlocked forever.


    +1, practically what I just said.
  10. erzhik macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2010
    As I've described above, a lot of times factory unlocked devices contain more bands and are generally better spec-ed. I am not sure if an unlocked iPhone has additional bands or not, you cannot sell a carrier unlocked phone labeled as a factory unlocked. Foreign buyers also tend to stay away from carrier unlocked phones in fear of getting blacklisted. Factory unlocked cannot get blacklisted by a carrier since it's not their device.
  11. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Maybe with other brands, such as Nokia, there is a distinction between factory unlocked and carrier unlocked. But Apple only makes one kind of, for instance, "AT&T iPhone." So an AT&T iPhone that is factory unlocked and one that is carrier unlocked is the exact same device. No difference in number of bands or other features, both unlocked forever.

    I thought carriers didn't unlock a phone unless all obligations relating to that device have been fulfilled. Therefore, I don't see why a carrier will ever have reason to blacklist an unlocked device.
  12. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    I agree factory unlocked doesn't have the same definition as carrier unlocked, but the end result is the same. No reason one should be worth more than the other.

    I'd just list it as "unlocked" if I were selling it

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