Moving to another carrier questions

Mac Tyson

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
125
87
So I'm leaning towards going from ATT to Tmobile ( 2 lines @ $100 - Unlimited plan). I'm out of contract and I finance the phones through Apple's IUP.

I can use my current devices on Tmobile since they are of similar networks (GSM). I sent a request to ATT for my devices unlock. They both were approved and the instructions were to do a backup and restore.

I did an icloud backup and did a restore. I had to redownload all my apps, resync my apple watch, and etc.

Why do I have to do a full restore to unlock my phone? Which backup restore type is better: icloud or itunes?

I'm trying to find the best nonpainful way to restore an iphone without having to retype passwords, resync apple watch, etc.

Is there a way I can check if my phone is unlocked?
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
Yes, your phone will work fine on Tmobile.
You never had to do a backup and restore. Even though most carrier unlock instructions suggest it its not needed at all.
All you do is stick the other carriers sim inside and you're good.
You can check if its unlocked by putting in another carriers sim card.
 

Mac Tyson

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
125
87
Yes, your phone will work fine on Tmobile.
You never had to do a backup and restore. Even though most carrier unlock instructions suggest it its not needed at all.
All you do is stick the other carriers sim inside and you're good.
You can check if its unlocked by putting in another carriers sim card.
thanks for the response. So once ATT approves the unlock, my devices are unlocked and I can stick any SIM in there and that's all there is to it?

Good to know. I don't mind doing a backup and restore but when it comes to my wife's device, she just wants things to be the same and not interrupt her usage.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
thanks for the response. So once ATT approves the unlock, my devices are unlocked and I can stick any SIM in there and that's all there is to it?

Good to know. I don't mind doing a backup and restore but when it comes to my wife's device, she just wants things to be the same and not interrupt her usage.
Yep, all you have to do is stick the new sim and you're good.
Those unnecessary steps have gone away for years now by Apple but seems like carriers still instruct users to restore their phones and jump through dozens of hoops that are not needed any longer.
[doublepost=1489423275][/doublepost]
You say these phones are from Apple iPhone upgrade program? They would already be unlocked.
Oh yeah, I forgot about that.
You dont need to ask AT&T for anything.
IUP Apple iphones are already unlocked.
 
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eyoungren

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Aug 31, 2011
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thanks for the response. So once ATT approves the unlock, my devices are unlocked and I can stick any SIM in there and that's all there is to it?

Good to know. I don't mind doing a backup and restore but when it comes to my wife's device, she just wants things to be the same and not interrupt her usage.
Yep. Once they tell you it's unlocked, it's unlocked.

You haven't needed to restore since 2011 and while restoring is mentioned in the support document for unlocking on Apple's website, it's not the first option.

Restoring is really just if you MUST see that 'Congratulations' message.
 
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Givmeabrek

macrumors 68040
Apr 20, 2009
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If you need to do a backup and restore, then do an encrypted backup in iTunes. This is much faster and will retain all passwords and info.
 
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Mac Tyson

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
125
87
Oh yeah, I forgot about that.
You dont need to ask AT&T for anything.
IUP Apple iphones are already unlocked.
I did not know that. I thought the fully unlocked phones are the ones you have to buy full price at the time of purchase.

During my purchase, I was asked what carrier I was on, and I was given the iphone for ATT/Tmo networks (intel modem).

I was under the impression that the fully unlocked iphone was the one with the Qualcomm modem and to get that, you'd need to buy it full price.

I saw in some threads that to move from ATT to Verizon, you'd need these Qualcomm modem iphone types. It's more complicated if you are under the Apple IUP. You'd have to basically get a new IUP contract and get your past payments applied by reimbursement to your new IUP loan.
 

MiamiBourne

macrumors regular
Jan 26, 2009
159
25
iPhone's from the Apple Upgrade Program do come unlocked and the you need to have service with a provider to initially start the program. Then you can go about switching to another carrier as you wish...however, if you have AT&T they most likely gave you an iPhone that doesn't support Verizon's network. Why? Who knows. Since you are switching to T-Mobile you don't have to worry about it.

Here is some info on the different phone models:

https://www.macrumors.com/2016/09/08/att-and-tmobile-iphone-7-models-lack-cdma/

Also, notice the fine print on the bottom of Apple's website in regards to the AT&T/T-Mobile iPhone

http://www.apple.com/shop/iphone/iphone-upgrade-program

3. AT&T and T-Mobile customers may need to visit an Apple store to switch carriers. See a Specialist for details.
 
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LoliS

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2017
172
71
I can use my current devices on Tmobile since they are of similar networks (GSM).
As long as it is unlocked.


I sent a request to ATT for my devices unlock. They both were approved and the instructions were to do a backup and restore.
The device is unlocked without doing the restore, but yes, AT&T says to do the restore.


Why do I have to do a full restore to unlock my phone?
You don't any more. However, AT&T continues to say that in their emails when they confirm the unlock.


Is there a way I can check if my phone is unlocked?
Put a Verizon, Sprint or TMobile SIM card in the device and see if it reads it.
[doublepost=1489427198][/doublepost]
Is there a way I can check if my phone is unlocked?
You also can buy a GSX report on ebay for 99 cents.
 
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Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,672
6,532
At the iPhone hacks section.
I did not know that. I thought the fully unlocked phones are the ones you have to buy full price at the time of purchase.

During my purchase, I was asked what carrier I was on, and I was given the iphone for ATT/Tmo networks (intel modem).

I was under the impression that the fully unlocked iphone was the one with the Qualcomm modem and to get that, you'd need to buy it full price.

I saw in some threads that to move from ATT to Verizon, you'd need these Qualcomm modem iphone types. It's more complicated if you are under the Apple IUP. You'd have to basically get a new IUP contract and get your past payments applied by reimbursement to your new IUP loan.
Its fully unlocked when bought with Apple IUP.
It will not work on Verizon or Sprint but will work on any GSM carrier in the world. You dont need to ask AT&T for an unlock since its not locked to them.
Its already unlocked.
Enjoy.
 

Ca_lvn

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2016
73
20
Yes, your phone will work fine on Tmobile.
You never had to do a backup and restore. Even though most carrier unlock instructions suggest it its not needed at all.
All you do is stick the other carriers sim inside and you're good.
You can check if its unlocked by putting in another carriers sim card.
The back up and restore registers the phone with Apple as unlocked
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,598
Colorado
I have a fully unlocked T-Mobile iPhone 6s+. Still paying it off in fact. I asked - they unlocked.

Because I am jailbroken I never restored - didn't want to lose my jailbreak. Yet, I put different SIMs in my iPhone and I have service.
This is all I have ever had to do as well. I simply inserted the other carriers SIM and it asked me for my iCloud ID and password. Once entered, the phone was instantly unlocked. No restore needed.
 
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