SIM free vs Unlocked iPhone 6 from PCWorld(UK)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Mike Boreham, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. Mike Boreham macrumors 65816

    Aug 10, 2006
    I recently bought a SIM free iPhone 6 from PCWorld. Set it up with EE SIM-only contract Sim and all was well.

    Then I vaguely remembered reading that "SIM free" iPhones from CarPhone Warehouse, Currys and PCWorld lock themselves to the network of the first SIM put in them, whereas unlocked iPhones from Apple are permanently unlocked. Widespread confirmation of this by Googling.

    I wasn't too bothered because I have no intention of switching and could unlock later anyway.

    But just had a chance to put a 3 SIM in it and it worked fine!

    So has something changed in the SIM free vs unlocked situation, or does it not apply to all iPhones, or what?

  2. blaugrana69 macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2012
    Just resurrecting this thread in case anyone in the UK can confirm re PC World (out of interest) ?
    Had a similar experience this week. Bought an iPhone 7 128GB from PC World as they were selling them at £20 less than the price at Apple, it potentially locking to the first sim inserted didn't concern me overly as I'm on a SIM only plan with Three and assumed I would get a free unlock from them.
    Anyway after a couple of days i thought I may as well go ahead and request the unlock - filled in the 3 online form but received a response from them stating they couldn't verify the device details to process the unlock. Did lead me to believe that perhaps it hadn't locked to Three ?
    Took into a local place that does unlocking - he kindly put in a SIM from another Network and the Network's name was displayed, although I didn't make a phone call to test so wasn't absolutely convinced !
    So rang Apple and asked them to confrm - they confirmed it is completely unlocked.
    So looks like PC World sell completely unlocked iPhones which do not lock to the first SIM used. Whether this extends to Carphone Warehouse I don't know ?
    Anyone ?
  3. Globug macrumors 6502


    Mar 16, 2012
    Brisbane Australia
    sim free and unlocked are the same thing. Welcome to 2017.
  4. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Not quite as there are resellers that still have a particular policy applied to their unlocked phones that would make them follow the policies of the first SIM that is used in the device.

    Also from hardware point of view, a SIM-free model can be a different one than a particular carrier model that is unlocked but might not have some radios or support some bands that the SIM-free model does.
  5. blaugrana69 macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2012
    No, don't think so. In the UK I believe that some phones sold as "unlocked" and SIM free will lock to the network of the first SIM used.
  6. Adapsys macrumors member


    Jun 19, 2009
    Interesting you bring this up as just yesterday I found out that they are indeed different. Sim free phones from currys and pcworld will lock to the first sim you use. Unlocked phones from Apple and John Lewis will forever remain unlocked.
  7. blaugrana69 macrumors regular


    Sep 23, 2012
    See post #2 - not all phones from PC World !
  8. robotica macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    It's possible that pc world changed the policy and never told anyone about.
  9. lugworm macrumors 6502


    Apr 4, 2011
    Mine locked to tesco/o2 when I put the sim in last (2015) Christmas. I had to wait 12 months for tesco to unlock it.
    Looks like things have changed.

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