Carrier PSA: Verizon works on T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone 6

iphone5att64

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 19, 2012
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This needs more attention. Despite what you see on Apple's spec page, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone 6 have the same model number A1522 and same hardware unlike iPhone 5 and 5S.

https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=19838452#post19838452

before you repeat what people have been saying since the iPhone 5, about the gsm radio only being able to run on gsm, because the verizon iPhone has an added cdma radio. perhaps you should do the experiment. you would be surprised.

i found out that its no longer true. and verizon sims ENABLES cdma on iPhone 6

i purchased my iPhone 6 128 gb t-mobile version. i stood in line wondering if it was true that this time around it would be locked. the store manager said it wasn't locked. i took my new iPhone and wanted to see how unlocked it was. i had a spare AT&T sim on me. neither sims were associated with an account, they weren't "live" sims. when i put the sims in my iPhone, it asked for a carrier update. and the about screens changed to reflect which carrier the phone was working for. this means when an iPhone 6 sees a new sim, it just automatically refreshes its baseband by itself.

well. guess what. on a lark, i decided to put my "live" sim out of my verizon iPhone 5 and guess what. it worked. i was shocked. i thought that maybe the iPhone 6 was like an iPad air / iPad mini retina, and you could only use it for data.

so i figured it was natural , eh , it was okay, that data worked.

so then i decided to try and make a phone call to a regular land line, (Diamond Dan's Pro Wrestling Hotline (317) 335 HOTT) , and guess what. the CDMA radio came active, and the phone call went through. it acted just like my iPhone 5. the 3g/LTE connection went to 2.5 (showing just verizon in the upper left hand corner) and it worked

as far as i can figure out the only difference between a t-mobile and a verizon iPhone 6 is now verzon's white list of verizon devices.

what this means is that verizon cannot and will not put your non vzw iPhone 6 IMEI or MEID numbers on your account. you can't sign up for verizon with a non-vzw iPhone 6, and you can't transfer your service to a non-vzw iPhone 6. but as far as being compatible , for data and making telephone calls it works.

i posted another message on this forum and i have tried notifying ask maggie on cnet of my discovery. but no one yet has verified my claim

i don't know if Volte works. i didn't test that. i didn't test if putting in a "live" AT&T sim will lock out "live" verizon sims. because my 2 other sims i have for t-mobile and AT&T are not active.

when you are running the sim in an iPhone 6 plus ( the phone i had to test on ) , my verizon website no longer listed the iPhone 5 as being on my account. replaced was a generic graphic with NON VZW PHONE and SIM CARD # XXXXXXXXX in its place.

i guess it is possible if i had a real live AT&T or t-mo sim that the phone would of stayed in GSM mode only . that is something i did not try.

i also sent several text messages to my coke rewards using short code #2653 and the sms worked as well

another item i did not test was visual voice mail
this time around there are only two models of the iPhone 6 ( and 6 plus)
a gsm / cdma model ( that is listed as a verizon phone solely by its serial number). like i said before, you cannot activate a new line of service or transfer an existing line of service to the new MEID/IMEI. but if you stick in the verizon sim card, it becomes a verizon iPhone

the other model is a sprint cdma version that runs sprint firmware


yes the call i made did not use VoLTE, because it was a landline. Verizon Volte only works when you call another VoLTE device.

( stuff i said about verizon iPhone 6 only getting VoLTE DELETED )



i spoke too soon. it just took a while for Volte to become enabled!!!!!!!
yesterday i tested visual voice mail, and found out about 30 seconds after the phone got connected to the verizon tower , that visual voice mail came up and that works too.

so the only feature that does not work on the unlocked t-mobile phone with a live pre-activated verizon sim card, is simply officially signing up or officially transferring service to an iPhone 6. as long as you stick the sim card in a t-mobile phone and don't tell them, then it works
 

Winona Northdakota

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2010
580
1

Winona Northdakota

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2010
580
1
PSA: Verizon works on T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone 6

Yeah but with those Apple did disable the CDMA bands. This time they didn't. Seems like they did that to streamline their repair inventory, since the SKUs no longer differentiate between CDMA and GSM a like in the past

Nope, Verizon has only activated phones in the past that were bought from Verizon. The MSNs and MEIDs of the phones needed to be on a white list to be activated on Verizon's network. It looks like the iPhone 6 is handled different by Verizon, most likely because of VoLTE.
 

terraphantm

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Jun 27, 2009
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Nope, Verizon has only activated phones in the past that were bought from Verizon. The MSNs and MEIDs of the phones needed to be on a white list to be activated on Verizon's network. It looks like the iPhone 6 is handled different by Verizon.
Unlike the 6, the AT&T 5S doesn't report an MEID. So those really do have the CDMA radio disabled. People have tested that from what I recall.

Things changed with the 6. Verizon even recognizes my unlocked AT&T MEID as valid
 

Winona Northdakota

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2010
580
1
PSA: Verizon works on T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone 6

Unlike the 6, the AT&T 5S doesn't report an MEID. So those really do have the CDMA radio disabled. People have tested that from what I recall.



Things changed with the 6. Verizon even recognizes my unlocked AT&T MEID as valid

MEIDs are exclusive to CDMA 2000 networks, which AT&T is not. My AT&T iPhones 4S-5S have had an MEID. The MEID just isn't used with GSM evolution technology networks. The MEID used with non Verizon or non CDMA 2000 network iPhones was not a compatible MEID with Verizon's registration system. Those phones may have been given an incompatible MEID, to prevent them from being activated in any way on Verizon's network.

Now, IMEI is a different story.
 
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terraphantm

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Jun 27, 2009
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MEIDs are exclusive to CDMA 2000 networks, which AT&T is not. My AT&T iPhones 4S-5S have had an MEID. The MEID just isn't used with GSM evolution technology networks. The MEID used with non Verizon or non CDMA 2000 network iPhones was not a compatible MEID with Verizon's registration system. Those phones may have been given an incompatible MEID, to prevent them from being activated in any way on Verizon's network.

Now, IMEI is a different story.
I have an AT&T 4S and 5S sitting in front of me as I type this. Neither report an MEID in the settings page. The only devices that bother reporting an MEID are the ones with the CDMA bands enabled. To date, that includes all Sprint and Verizon iPhones/iPads, all iPad airs/retina minis, and now the iPhone 6(+)

You will not be able to use a Verizon SIM on a non-Verizon iPhone 4S-5S. I've tried on the 4S and others have tried on the 5 and 5S
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
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You will not be able to use a Verizon SIM on a non-Verizon iPhone 4S-5S. I've tried on the 4S and others have tried on the 5 and 5S
I'm curious, is the Verizon SIM totally not working on an unlocked AT&T/T-Mobile 5c/5s or does it at least work partially? Because I expect the CDMA portion (calls and SMS) would be non-functional but I would think LTE data would work.
 

terraphantm

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Jun 27, 2009
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I'm curious, is the Verizon SIM totally not working on an unlocked AT&T/T-Mobile 5c/5s or does it at least work partially? Because I expect the CDMA portion (calls and SMS) would be non-functional but I would think LTE data would work.
That's a good question. I'm not sure how Verizon handles things - it might be that the device needs to send a quick ping over the CDMA network to register or something. Or it may simply refuse to let a device on the network without a valid MEID (which the pre-6 GSM variants don't report). May get an opportunity to test for myself in a few days, I'll try to investigate then
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
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That's a good question. I'm not sure how Verizon handles things - it might be that the device needs to send a quick ping over the CDMA network to register or something. Or it may simply refuse to let a device on the network without a valid MEID (which the pre-6 GSM variants don't report). May get an opportunity to test for myself in a few days, I'll try to investigate then
I would test it myself but I still need to wait 14 days before I can unlock my ATT 5s. Hmm, is VoLTE an iPhone 6 or an iOS 8 feature?
 

Winona Northdakota

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2010
580
1
PSA: Verizon works on T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone 6

I have an AT&T 4S and 5S sitting in front of me as I type this. Neither report an MEID in the settings page. The only devices that bother reporting an MEID are the ones with the CDMA bands enabled. To date, that includes all Sprint and Verizon iPhones/iPads, all iPad airs/retina minis, and now the iPhone 6(+)

You will not be able to use a Verizon SIM on a non-Verizon iPhone 4S-5S. I've tried on the 4S and others have tried on the 5 and 5S

The phone won't, unless it is activated on the compatible network. The phone needs updated carrier settings, which is usually updated upon activation with the network you have subscribed to. As far as Verizon, it's up to them to activate the phone for their CDMA network. People certainly can put in a Verizon SIM into any unlocked iPhone 5S and get Verizon LTE, not Verizon CDMA. The iPhone 4S forward does in fact have an MEID. Look at your box. It may not be an MEID that is compatible with Verizon's system, though there is an MEID and there is the hardware.
 
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terraphantm

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The phone won't, unless it is on the compatible network. The phone needs updated carrier settings, which is usually updated upon activation with the network you have subscribed to.
Nope. If that were the case, my iPhone 6 wouldn't report an MEID despite being activated on att right now.

Verizon LTE is another question, but my guess is the phone simply won't be able to register onto the network, at least until Verizon starts rolling out LTE-only devices in a few years.

Anyway, the important thing is the "GSM" iPhone 6s are fully compatible, CDMA and all. That is new for this year.
 

Winona Northdakota

macrumors 6502a
Dec 27, 2010
580
1
I would test it myself but I still need to wait 14 days before I can unlock my ATT 5s. Hmm, is VoLTE an iPhone 6 or an iOS 8 feature?

VoLTE is a feature is of iOS 8, though carriers may force you to get an iPhone 6 to get it. From what I understand, AT&T is allowing the iPhone 5S to partake in the VoLTE, with it's test markets.

----------

Do you have an iPhone 6 on att? Then go check. It's right there. I'd post a picture, but I don't want that number on a public forum

The iPhone 6, like the iPhone 4S might very well display an MEID.
 

terraphantm

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Jun 27, 2009
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VoLTE is a feature is of iOS 8, though carriers may force you to get an iPhone 6 to get it. From what I understand, AT&T is allowing the iPhone 5S to partake in the VoLTE, with it's test markets.
My iPhone 5S doesn't show voice over LTE as an option, but my iPhone 6 does. I don't live in a VoLTE market. So it looks like Apple is limiting the feature to the new phones

----------

The iPhone 6, like the iPhone 4S might very well display an MEID.
Non Verizon/Sprint 4S does not report an MEID.
 

taedouni

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2011
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Since the iPhone 5, the Verizon version has been unlocked. Verizon uses CDMA so non Verizon phones won't work on its network, however the Verizon phone will work on any GSM network.
 

rui no onna

macrumors G3
Oct 25, 2013
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Since the iPhone 5, the Verizon version has been unlocked. Verizon uses CDMA so non Verizon phones won't work on its network, however the Verizon phone will work on any GSM network.
Except it appears like CDMA hardware is enabled on the new GSM iPhone 6/6+ and it seems Verizon doesn't actually block devices from accessing their CDMA network. They just prevent activation of unknown ESN/MEID/IMEI. If you can find a workaround for the activation issue (e.g. activate SIM on Verizon phone then switch SIMs), it looks like GSM iPhone 6/6+ do work on Verizon. :p
 

zorinlynx

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May 31, 2007
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I wonder if this is a sign that Verizon might be changing their policy to allow phones they didn't sell onto their network soon.

The policy certainly hurts them more than it helps; it keeps people who own unlocked phones from switching to them easily. They probably want to get into the whole "I'm unhappy with my carrier, maybe you guys are better?" customers.

Especially since there's going to be a lot more unlocked phones bouncing around soon.
 

rigormortis

macrumors 68000
Jun 11, 2009
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The Meid is just the imei number with one extra digit added.

To summarize as long as you have an activated verizon SIM card pulled from another phone and stick it in the unlocked Tmobile iphone 6' the iPhone willl pull down new carrier settings. Cdma, VoLTE, LTE data & Visual voice mail works,

But you can't go to a store and have them activate your phone.
You can't go to my verizon.com and switch meids, because it's not a verizon iPhone 6

As long as you do not try those two things. The iPhone 6 magically becomes a verizon iPhone
And the only thing listed under devices on your account is your SIM card.

I would like to see what happens when someone puts in a sprint sim. I think it will be rejected. But someone
Needs to try..l. Maybe if you put the iPhone in DFU mode with a sprint sim, will itunes get sprint firmware?
That would be crazy if that worked. I wonder if the phone would lock.. . Hmmm. I bet that it wouldn't give you LTE channels 38 39 40 and 41
 
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rigormortis

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Jun 11, 2009
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Since the iPhone 5, the Verizon version has been unlocked. Verizon uses CDMA so non Verizon phones won't work on its network, however the Verizon phone will work on any GSM network.

That information does not apply to the iphone 6. It's cdma radio is not disabled. The story about how apple disables cdma in gsm iphones became obsolete the day the iPhone. 6 came out. The CDMA issue only applies to iphone 5 , 5c, and 5s.
 

jetjaguar

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Apr 6, 2009
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i found a verizon 128gb iPhone 6 locally at a best buy .. so this will work with no issues if i throw my att sim from my 5s in there correct ?? never bought anything but att phones
 

terraphantm

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Jun 27, 2009
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The Meid is just the imei number with one extra digit added.

But you can't go to a store and have them activate your phone.
You can't go to my verizon.com and switch meids, because it's not a verizon iPhone 6
I know that's what it is (it's actuallly one digit removed), but the point is the phone only reports its MEID as an MEID if the CDMA radios are enabled.

Also, at least for my unlocked AT&T iPhone 6, this page strongly suggests Verizon can activate service on it: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/nso/enterDeviceId.do?&zipRdr=y
 
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