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DougFNJ

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 22, 2008
1,478
1,196
NJ
I had preordered the iPhone during the week under Verizon paying in full. I figured it would be easier to transfer my number to it vs the hassles I’ve had in the past with unlocked not being in the Verizon system and issues getting them activated.

When I went to complete my order this morning, I had a lot of issues, ultimately got to payment, and crashing out saying my choice was no longer available.

I went to the website and ordered the same configuration but unlocked, that order went through, and I could pick up at the store next week.

When I went to my email, it showed both orders went through.

In the end, if I am not financing through the carrier, paying up front, what is the difference between unlocked, and carrier specific? Asking mainly so when I ultimately sell the phone, I’m assuming it could be used with any carrier?
 
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jntdroid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
945
1,297
It says “choose any carrier later”.

Right - my verbiage was a little off in the last comment, but that option isn't showing up on apple.com for me (U.S.). It's only showing AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. I know they're still unlocked, though. I would rather it not link to my line for me, which is what that'll force it to do.
 

jntdroid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
945
1,297
Figured it out. If I choose to pay in full up front, it shows the "Connect to any carrier later" option. But if I choose to finance it through Apple Card, iPhone Payments, or the Upgrade Program, that option disappears and it forces you to choose a carrier. 🤷‍♂️

I guess maybe that's how it's been on past release dates now that I think about it (if I'm remembering right). And then soon after it changes...
 

DougFNJ

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 22, 2008
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The main reason I chose Verizon transfer my number option is it took a few hours to be able to activate my phone last year. I figure if it gets done automatically this year, it would make it easier, and I’m assuming on the back end because there is no financing it should automatically be unlocked when I choose to sell at some point.
 
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jbintn

macrumors newbie
Sep 15, 2023
14
10
Figured it out. If I choose to pay in full up front, it shows the "Connect to any carrier later" option. But if I choose to finance it through Apple Card, iPhone Payments, or the Upgrade Program, that option disappears and it forces you to choose a carrier. 🤷‍♂️

I guess maybe that's how it's been on past release dates now that I think about it (if I'm remembering right). And then soon after it changes...
No, Apple unfortunately changed the Apple Card installments option. If you choose that, you must choose a carrier and that's new. When I bought my iPhone 12, I could choose no carrier and ACMI.

I had planned on pre-ordering today but scrapped those plans. I'm trying to figure out my options. I am leaning towards choosing T-Mobile with a new number and then canceling the service and getting an eSim for my phone and existing number on PureTalk. But, of course, that will cost me at least one month's of service with T-Mobile plus whatever activation fee they want to charge me. My other consideration is buying it outright and paying it off in 12 months (instead of 24), but I need to run it through an interest calculator to see which makes more sense.
 
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johnny hotsauce

macrumors regular
Nov 7, 2011
146
93
Usually, the biggest benefit to grab a fully unlocked one is you can usually skate around the BS carrier activation fee, at least with Verizon. If you get the carrier branded version, you normally get screwed with the $35 activation.
 
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sack_peak

Suspended
Sep 3, 2023
1,020
958
I had preordered the iPhone during the week under Verizon paying in full. I figured it would be easier to transfer my number to it vs the hassles I’ve had in the past with unlocked not being in the Verizon system and issues getting them activated.

When I went to complete my order this morning, I had a lot of issues, ultimately got to payment, and crashing out saying my choice was no longer available.

I went to the website and ordered the same configuration but unlocked, that order went through, and I could pick up at the store next week.

When I went to my email, it showed both orders went through.

In the end, if I am not financing through the carrier, paying up front, what is the difference between unlocked, and carrier specific? Asking mainly so when I ultimately sell the phone, I’m assuming it could be used with any carrier?
If you have it financed through your carrier then your iPhone would be amortized over the length of the contract.

It is less heavy on your cashflow.

At end of contract you can request your carrier to unlock the iPhone.

This only becomes inconvenient when traveling abroad and you want to use a local SIM for better data rates.
 

DougFNJ

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 22, 2008
1,478
1,196
NJ
Usually, the biggest benefit to grab a fully unlocked one is you can usually skate around the BS carrier activation fee, at least with Verizon. If you get the carrier branded version, you normally get screwed with the $35 activation.

Unfortunately last year when activating on Verizon network, they tried to bang me for that fee. I had it credited after a call.
 

jntdroid

macrumors 6502a
Oct 12, 2011
945
1,297
Usually, the biggest benefit to grab a fully unlocked one is you can usually skate around the BS carrier activation fee, at least with Verizon. If you get the carrier branded version, you normally get screwed with the $35 activation.

Is that the case with Verizon with an e-sim device as well?
 

ebockelman

macrumors newbie
Sep 3, 2022
3
1
I've always purchased the unlocked / connect later option. If you aren't taking advantage of installment payments or carrier deals, why would you go any other way? Is there a benefit I'm not aware of?
 

LinkRS

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2014
401
331
Texas, USA
Most carriers used to sell locked devices tied to the contract period, and would only unlock under certain restrictions. However, I know that at least Verizon (my carrier) has not had contracts for awhile now, and devices are only locked for short period of time, to help with theft. Here is their current policy (dated from 2019): https://www.verizon.com/support/device-unlocking-policy/ Basically, your "locked" phone is unlocked after 60 days on post-paid plans automatically, unless your device has been flagged as stolen.
 

DougFNJ

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 22, 2008
1,478
1,196
NJ
I called Apple Customer Service and here’s what she told me regarding any iPhone I purchase and pay in full up front.

Unlocked is I buy the phone. I could take it to start a new activation with any carrier. Once I bring it to that carrier and they activate it, it basically becomes “locked” to that carrier, but if I moved to another carrier it automatically unlocks, and locks onto the new carrier you activate with.

Buying the carrier specific phone is a convenience, the phone is already registered with the carrier, so activation should be more straight forward.

I also confirmed with Verizon, my phone will not be locked to their network. Should I choose to take it to AT&T in a month, I don’t have to request that they unlock it anymore, the esim does all the work.

In regards to international travel, there are multiple esims in the phone, a new number could just be added as long as the phone works on their network. If it’s 3G or below in a 3rd world country with old technology, you’ll likely have to buy a prepaid phone.
 

kevink2

macrumors 68000
Nov 2, 2008
1,845
297
Note that if you are buying it on the Apple site, the Verizon model is unlocked. So if you have Verizon postpaid it may just be easier.
 
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Wags

macrumors 68020
Mar 5, 2006
2,200
1,671
Nebraska, USA
I called Apple Customer Service and here’s what she told me regarding any iPhone I purchase and pay in full up front.

Unlocked is I buy the phone. I could take it to start a new activation with any carrier. Once I bring it to that carrier and they activate it, it basically becomes “locked” to that carrier, but if I moved to another carrier it automatically unlocks, and locks onto the new carrier you activate with.

Buying the carrier specific phone is a convenience, the phone is already registered with the carrier, so activation should be more straight forward.

I also confirmed with Verizon, my phone will not be locked to their network. Should I choose to take it to AT&T in a month, I don’t have to request that they unlock it anymore, the esim does all the work.

In regards to international travel, there are multiple esims in the phone, a new number could just be added as long as the phone works on their network. If it’s 3G or below in a 3rd world country with old technology, you’ll likely have to buy a prepaid phone.
Only device locked when choose att installments. Locked until paid in full
 
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