s54

Suspended
Sep 25, 2012
505
586
I had the same question, even though I already placed my order for a SIM FREE iPhone 8 in space gray about an hour ago.

Historically, I always wanted SIM FREE iPhones. It's a big deal to some. I travel abroad quite often and the SIM FREE iPhones have never disappointed me. Pop in a SIM card from any carrier in any country and off you go.

The one time I had a T-Mobile branded iPhone, I said never again. It was a hassle to get them to unlock it. They had to go through Apple and my iPhone was eventually unlocked, but it took two days and several phone calls, which is two days too many to be without a phone when you're traveling.
 

webstarcool

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 27, 2010
84
36
SFO
I had the same question, even though I already placed my order for a SIM FREE iPhone 8 in space gray about an hour ago.

Historically, I always wanted SIM FREE iPhones. It's a big deal to some. I travel abroad quite often and the SIM FREE iPhones have never disappointed me. Pop in a SIM card from any carrier in any country and off you go.

The one time I had a T-Mobile branded iPhone, I said never again. It was a hassle to get them to unlock it. They had to go through Apple and my iPhone was eventually unlocked, but it took two days and several phone calls, which is two days too many to be without a phone when you're traveling.

It shouldn't be an issue this time as they offer both the AT&T and T-Mo carrier versions unlocked. These however do not include a sim-eject tool.

I would just like to know what model you are getting when ordering the sim-free version. Especially when taking it back to Europe - don't need there to be a sim already sitting in the phone.
 

Appl3FTW

macrumors 603
Nov 15, 2012
5,412
1,044
Technically if u buy the phone full price... it's unlocked. Believe me I know.
 

s54

Suspended
Sep 25, 2012
505
586
Technically if u buy the phone full price... it's unlocked. Believe me I know.

This has been debating for years. Technically, that's the way it should be. But, believe you me, it's not always the case. I had a T-Mobile iPhone 6 that I bought at full price. I popped in a Vietnamese SIM card and it wouldn't work. It was locked. I had to call T-Mobile several times and it took two full days to get it unlocked, even after the unlock request has been put in through Apple. I was told it would take a few hours, but it took two full days. I was furious.
 

webstarcool

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 27, 2010
84
36
SFO
This has been debating for years. Technically, that's the way it should be. But, believe you me, it's not always the case. I had a T-Mobile iPhone 6 that I bought at full price. I popped in a Vietnamese SIM card and it wouldn't work. It was locked. I had to call T-Mobile several times and it took two full days to get it unlocked, even after the unlock request has been put in through Apple. I was told it would take a few hours, but it took two full days. I was furious.

That was the case before if you bought the iPhone directly with T-Mobile. If you bought the T-Mobile version at the Apple Store it would be unlocked.
 
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mateen110

macrumors regular
Jun 19, 2010
234
61
It will probably be the same as iPhone 7, where the Sim free model # was equivalent to verizon / sprint model #. Not 100% sure though!
 

Phonzoxd

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2013
609
403
I mean it has to be the model with CDMA or else why would they sell a sim-less model that suppose to work for all the carriers if it don't?
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Technically if u buy the phone full price... it's unlocked. Believe me I know.

Not true in the U.S. the only phones that come unlocked (which are the same actually) are the SIM-Free and the VZW. The others require the carrier to unlock the phone, and they will, but they do not come unlocked. TMob will unlock after 40 days. I think ATT will unlock immediately on request. Not sure about Sprint's policy.

Also only the ATT and TMob version are not capable of CDMA, only GSM. Doesn't matter if you pay full price for those models or in a payment plan.
 

iPhoneBangla

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2011
59
5
From the looks of it, both the models seem to have support for the exact same bands. Can anyone explain the diffrence between models. thanks
 

flashflooder

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2011
370
111
It will probably be the same as iPhone 7, where the Sim free model # was equivalent to verizon / sprint model #. Not 100% sure though!

This has to be correct.
[doublepost=1505487657][/doublepost]
From the looks of it, both the models seem to have support for the exact same bands. Can anyone explain the diffrence between models. thanks

The ATT / Tmobile model does not support some of the CDMA bands, IIRC.
 

Shadowbech

macrumors 604
Oct 18, 2011
6,936
2,930
Pretty clear what model version you are getting if you order the carrier versions.

But what model do you get when ordering the sim-free version?

https://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/#iphone-8-iphone-8-plus
The Sim-Free model will be the one shown below because it has to work on Verizon/Sprint/US Cellular. So the sim free model is A1863/A1864

upload_2017-9-15_10-1-3.png
 

Appl3FTW

macrumors 603
Nov 15, 2012
5,412
1,044
Not true in the U.S. the only phones that come unlocked (which are the same actually) are the SIM-Free and the VZW. The others require the carrier to unlock the phone, and they will, but they do not come unlocked. TMob will unlock after 40 days. I think ATT will unlock immediately on request. Not sure about Sprint's policy.

Also only the ATT and TMob version are not capable of CDMA, only GSM. Doesn't matter if you pay full price for those models or in a payment plan.
I purchased a full one and it was unlocked from the box so there goes that.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
I purchased a full one and it was unlocked from the box so there goes that.

You purchased which model though -- ATT? VZW? TMob? Sprint? If you bought an ATT or TMob model and it came unlocked then you just got lucky. That is not the norm and if you read those company's policies on unlocking you will see that is true.
 

michael31986

macrumors 601
Jul 11, 2008
4,114
591
You purchased which model though -- ATT? VZW? TMob? Sprint? If you bought an ATT or TMob model and it came unlocked then you just got lucky. That is not the norm and if you read those company's policies on unlocking you will see that is true.
It would come unlocked if you paid full price. Only way the phones comes locked are if you do carrier plans. For ex next plan. Otherwise I bought my iPhone full price from att and it's unlocked.
 

Appl3FTW

macrumors 603
Nov 15, 2012
5,412
1,044
It would come unlocked if you paid full price. Only way the phones comes locked are if you do carrier plans. For ex next plan. Otherwise I bought my iPhone full price from att and it's unlocked.
Thank you
[doublepost=1505488853][/doublepost]
You purchased which model though -- ATT? VZW? TMob? Sprint? If you bought an ATT or TMob model and it came unlocked then you just got lucky. That is not the norm and if you read those company's policies on unlocking you will see that is true.
Bruh I'm telling u it's unlocked if u buy full price
 

Moolani

macrumors member
Dec 18, 2012
87
93
Is there a downside to buying a Sim free phone? I have Verizon and am trying decide between the Verizon or Sim free iPhone 8 and it seems like Sim free is the obvious choice.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
Is there a downside to buying a Sim free phone? I have Verizon and am trying decide between the Verizon or Sim free iPhone 8 and it seems like Sim free is the obvious choice.

No difference between VZW and SIM free. They are the same phone & both come unlocked.
 

Shadowbech

macrumors 604
Oct 18, 2011
6,936
2,930
Can you get a sim free through Apple upgrade program?
Technically it's not designed to, and you can't do this online. You may need to go to the Apple store and talk to a specialist. I've read some were successful in trying to get the sim-free model on iUP, and some not so successful. It all depends on who you talk to.
 

lewisd25

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2007
845
581
Not true in the U.S. the only phones that come unlocked (which are the same actually) are the SIM-Free and the VZW. The others require the carrier to unlock the phone, and they will, but they do not come unlocked. TMob will unlock after 40 days. I think ATT will unlock immediately on request. Not sure about Sprint's policy.

This is fake news. If you buy a T-Mobile iPhone from the Apple Store it is unlocked, but restricted to GSM carriers. T-Mobile iPhones are only locked if purchased from a T-Mobile store.
 
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zizzy2005

macrumors newbie
Sep 15, 2017
2
1
Question: Has anyone used a sim-free iphone on either the AT&T or T-Mobile networks?

My understanding is that the ATT & TMOB iphones comes w/ an intel modem that works only on GSM networks, while the Sim-Free iphone comes w/ a Qualcomm CDMA modem. It is claimed that while the Qualcomm Modem is primarily used for CDMA networks, that it will still work on the GSM networks (is this true?).

my concern is HOW WELL will it work on the GSM networks. I don't want to purchase the sim-free version only to find that the cell reception &/or data speeds are crappy because it uses the Qualcomm modem on a GSM network.

any advice/experience would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!
 
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