How I got an unlocked unsubsidized VZW phone through the reservation system

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ehchan, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. ehchan macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2006
    Just thought I'd write a bit about how I ended up doing my unlocked unsubsidized VZW iPhone 5 through the reservation system:

    1. Ignore the page. Just go to the online store ( and add the phone to your cart, as if you were going to have it shipped. When you get to the cart, you can choose store pickup, and around 9:58pm local time, stores will update their stock and you will be able to reserve one right away. If you miss it on one day, leave the items in your cart, and come back the next day, they should still be there, ready for you to check again.

    2. Since I just wanted an unsubsidized unlocked foreign-compatible phone, I chose VZW as my carrier. It has LTE bands 1, 3, and 5 for Asia/Europe, as well as VZW and Sprint bands. And it comes unlocked. Since the online store requires you to buy with a 2 year contract, I went ahead and let it, so my checkout was $299 + tax.

    3. On the pickup, I just did the normal process, activated the phone in the Apple Store, and made sure it worked, and had no scratches, dents, etc. Its important to activate the phone with VZW first, as it is not unlocked until you go through with that process, according to checking the unlock status on I checked before and after activation.

    4. Then, I went straight to a Verizon Wireless store to cancel the account. Ask them to cancel it immediately, and I will pay the ETF. They will prorate 1 day of service, and add the ETF to your bill. You don't have to pay right away, VZW will send you a final bill later.

    In the end, I should end up paying less than the unsubsidized cost of the phone:

    Unsubsidized: $749 (32gb) + Tax.
    my way: $299 + 350 (ETF) + 35 (Activation) + (80/30) (1 day of service) = $686.67 + Tax

    Hope this helps those of you who want an unlocked unsubsidized phone right now!
  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Interesting. I wonder if this would work for AT&T, as well (you can request an unlock after paying the ETF). This does require an extra step, but since Apple isn't offering the no-commitment price online, it could be an option, assuming AT&T doesn't just insist that you return the phone since it's within the return period.
  3. forcetactic macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2010
    Hmm do you not need to wait past 30 days before you pay ETF? Not sure how it works with Verizon but that is the case with ATT.
  4. CyBeRino macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2011
    Might I ask why you chose to go through this process and not stay with verizon? Now your iPhone isn't LTE-compatible in the US because you're not with VZW, didn't buy the phone from Sprint and thus can't use it there (or can you?) and it won't do LTE on AT&T because LTE spectrum is retarded?

    If you're outside the US so often you could've just gotten a European one factory unlocked.
  5. ehchan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2006
    To profit on eBay from rich overseas folks! And because I'm too impatient to wait for my subsidized AT&T phone :/


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