"Off Contract" AT&T iPhone 5s Already Come Unlocked

RichardF

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 27, 2006
566
73
New York City
A friend of mine just wrote and said he picked one up from a corporate at&t store and was shocked to find out it is SIM unlocked.

Can anyone confirm this?
 
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RichardF

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 27, 2006
566
73
New York City
Even though, Apple has not officially started selling the "unlocked" model? Will it then have a different model #/ SKU?

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Yes, but don't they cost $649??

They do but I will take that with a pre-paid plan any day of the week over getting screwed at $80 + 15-20 in taxes over two years while still not having a SIM unlocked device when traveling.
 

bradsnw

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2008
17
0
Yes, off contract/device only iPhone 5s are unlocked.
Ok, so I was not eligible for an upgrade through AT&T so I sucked it up and paid the full price of $550 (or whatever it was) for the 32GB model. So my model should be unlocked? Is there any way to tell or confirm this?
 

scorpio1973

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2009
559
19
Ok, so I was not eligible for an upgrade through AT&T so I sucked it up and paid the full price of $550 (or whatever it was) for the 32GB model. So my model should be unlocked? Is there any way to tell or confirm this?
If you paid $550 for a 32GB, that sounds like the early upgrade price ($250 + $299). The full price for a 32GB model is $749. I could be wrong, but I don't think yours would be unlocked. Also, I believe the phone would have to purchased as a "device only" directly from the Apple store.
 

RichardF

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 27, 2006
566
73
New York City
I believe scorpio1973 is correct.

Full retail is $649 for 16GB, $749 for 32GB and $849 for the 64GB. That would be the only way to get it unlocked out of the box.
Getting it from Apple direct is safest but my friend got his from an at&t store and it was unlocked (he paid full retail price).

I am just surprised people are not talking about it on the forums since there is a way to get an unlocked phone now without waiting for Apple to start calling and selling them as such. iPhone 4S Device Only (SIM unlocked) became avail from Apple's web site/ stores officially a couple of months after the launch. I would expect the same for the 5.


The way to tell if you have an unlocked phone is when you take it out of out of its box to just plug it into iTunes (without turning it on). It will boot, be detected by iTunes which upon checking for the IMEI # on Apple's servers will display:

"Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked".

Other method is: Turn on the phone, swap the SIM for a different one from your carrier, plug it in and iTunes will also do the same.
Though this method may be more difficult to execute since nano SIMs are not that easy to come by right now.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,464
3,025
A friend of mine just wrote and said he picked one up from a corporate at&t store and was shocked to find out it is SIM unlocked.

Can anyone confirm this?
That's interesting to hear. Last year the AT&T phones were sold locked, even at the full price. Perhaps it's because, per their own policies, they will unlock a full-priced device. Maybe they just decided to avoid the hassle of locking and getting requests from people to unlock.

I can confirm that the full-price iPhone 5 I purchased from the Apple Grand Central store on Saturday is unlocked. I got the message in iTunes. Of course, now that Apple has the reservation system in place, it's harder to buy a phone device only (you can't do it online when you reserve and pre-pay for the phone - you can only get a new contract or an upgrade).

Last year the unlocked 4S was (and remains) a separate SKU. I'm guessing that they will do the same when and if they release an unlocked 5 here.
 

RichardF

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 27, 2006
566
73
New York City
Now with the reservation system, an apple store won't sell you one without a reservation even if they have plenty of stock?
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,464
3,025
Now with the reservation system, an apple store won't sell you one without a reservation even if they have plenty of stock?
You can't reserve a device-only phone. However, the website still says that limited stock may be available on a first-come first-served basis. I'd guess that the NYC stores would sell phones to walk-ins if they are available.

This year the pre-order system is a bit different. You actually pay for the phone when you pre-order between 10pm-4am, and pick it up the next day. If you don't, the sale is reversed.