question about unlocked iPhone 5SE

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by drewaz, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. drewaz macrumors regular

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    Dec 4, 2012
    #1
    Is an unlocked phone purchased from Apple different from a phone purchased (ie, not financed) at a carrier like AT&T?
     
  2. vietalogy macrumors 6502

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    Sep 17, 2006
    #2
    Both will be unlocked if paid in full. If bought at a carrier might have to do a restore or pop in a another carrier sim to make sure it's unlocked.
     
  3. drewaz thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 4, 2012
    #3
    thanks but .... is the phone itself identical?
     
  4. BentTable123 macrumors member

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    Nov 29, 2015
    #4
    There are small differences, phones from carriers will add bookmarks and shortcuts even if you reset the phone. Also hidden tracking software exists in carrier phones such as Carrier IQ.

     
  5. drewaz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2012
    #5
    ahh ... so it might be better to buy from Apple?

    Can I just pop the SIM card from my old phone in the new one and not deal with AT&T?
     
  6. estabya, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016

    estabya macrumors 6502

    estabya

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    #6
    As long as it's the same size SIM you can do this. I've done it many, many times.

    EDIT: However, if you don't currently have an LTE iPhone you will have to call/chat with them to change the plan so you can get LTE. If you currently have an iPhone 5 or later you won't have to do this.
     
  7. Rigby, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016

    Rigby macrumors 601

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    San Jose, CA
    #7
    Apple does not allow carriers to install custom software or brand the OS. Apple also removed Carrier IQ from iOS years ago. A phone bought from a carrier should be identical to the same carrier version bought from Apple.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 22, 2016 ---
    You can buy an AT&T phone from Apple at full price. It will be unlocked and come with an AT&T SIM pre-installed. Depending on how old your existing SIM is, it might be a good idea to get a new one since they are sometimes needed to unlock new carrier functionality.
     
  8. drewaz thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 4, 2012
    #8

    Sorry for the confusion but I'm wondering about the SIM free phone from Apple (not a carrier version) vs. an unlocked phone from AT&T ... are they identical?
     
  9. Rigby, Mar 22, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016

    Rigby macrumors 601

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    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    I don't know for sure if AT&T stores sell unlocked phones (but you should be able to get it unlocked if it isn't already as long as you pay for it in full). Apart from that, there shouldn't be a difference.

    But if you want to buy from Apple, there is really no reason to buy the SIM free version if you want to use the phone on AT&T. Apple's FAQ states that phones that are paid in full will be unlocked this year.
     
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    Have a look on apples website for lte bands. There are two versions of the device and each is missing quite a few bands. Personally I think people stress about this too much though. I don't expect you to have any issues unless you end up relocating across the globe or you're a global traveler. So few of us fit that bill that buying the phone for the carrier you're on is probably always a perfectly solid decision.
     

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