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kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
762
236
I’m trying to unlock my parents iPhone 7 which are paid off. T-Mobile sent me an email with instructions, it requires me to back ups their phones using iTunes and then set it up with iTunes. We r doing our backups using iCloud, haven’t used iTunes for resetting phones for a long time now. Do I absolutely have to follow the iTunes route or are there any other easier way to unlock a T-Mobile iPhone which are been authorized by carrier.
 

Garen

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2010
143
35
Los Angeles Area
I’m trying to unlock my parents iPhone 7 which are paid off. T-Mobile sent me an email with instructions, it requires me to back ups their phones using iTunes and then set it up with iTunes. We r doing our backups using iCloud, haven’t used iTunes for resetting phones for a long time now. Do I absolutely have to follow the iTunes route or are there any other easier way to unlock a T-Mobile iPhone which are been authorized by carrier.
You don’t need to use iTunes just use another carrier sim to make sure it is done.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,770
26,837
No, you do not need to do any of that.

Backup and restores haven't been a thing for unlocks since 2011.

Just insert a different SIM. If you're asked for Apple ID the phone is unlocked.
 
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kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
762
236
You don’t need to use iTunes just use another carrier sim to make sure it is done.

Unfortunate the phone will be gsm unlocked only and the only other SIM card we have in our household is a Verizon SIM. maybe go to bestbuy and buy an AT&T sim for $5? Lol
 

Starship67

Suspended
Oct 28, 2017
958
1,337
LA
Unfortunate the phone will be gsm unlocked only and the only other SIM card we have in our household is a Verizon SIM. maybe go to bestbuy and buy an AT&T sim for $5? Lol

The Verizon sim should still work to show if it’s unlocked.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,770
26,837
Unfortunate the phone will be gsm unlocked only…
No, that's a limitation of the hardware.

The T-Mobile/AT&T iPhone 7 (and up) have the Intel modem. Only the Sprint/Verizon models have the Qualcomm modem which has CDMA.

iPhone unlocks are either full unlocks or nothing. In the case of Sprint devices you can get an international unlock, but that's the only variation here.
 

kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
762
236
The Verizon sim should still work to show if it’s unlocked.

So all I have to do is insert my Verizon sim and once th prompt for Apple ID comes up it means the phone is unlocked?

Do I still need to back up the current phone if I use the method above? I don’t think so since I will insert the T-Mobile sim right back into the phone, just want to make sure.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,770
26,837
So all I have to do is insert my Verizon sim and once th prompt for Apple ID comes up it means the phone is unlocked?

Do I still need to back up the current phone if I use the method above? I don’t think so since I will insert the T-Mobile sim right back into the phone, just want to make sure.
Yes, but because the Intel modem of the 7 does not have CMDA you might get limited service on Verizon.

No you do not need to backup.
 
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kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
762
236
No, that's a limitation of the hardware.

The T-Mobile/AT&T iPhone 7 (and up) have the Intel modem. Only the Sprint/Verizon models have the Qualcomm modem which has CDMA.

iPhone unlocks are either full unlocks or nothing. In the case of Sprint devices you can get an international unlock, but that's the only variation here.

What I was told is unlocked T-Mobile iPhones can only work on other GSM networks like AT&T and their affiliates, not on Verizon and sprint which use cdma. Is this correct?
[doublepost=1533657585][/doublepost]
Yes, but because the Intel modem of the 7 does not have CMDA you might get limited service on Verizon.

No you do not need to backup.

The point is not using the Verizon sim on this phone. It’s just to show me thb phone is actually unlocked or not. We will insert back the T-Mobile sims.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,770
26,837
What I was told is unlocked T-Mobile iPhones can only work on other GSM networks like AT&T and their affiliates, not on Verizon and sprint which use cdma. Is this correct?
That is correct. But that's because the T-Mobile/AT&T 7 and up have the Intel modem which does not have CDMA. That is a hardware limitation - not an unlock type thing.
 

Starship67

Suspended
Oct 28, 2017
958
1,337
LA
Do I have to through the actual setting up process with the Verizon SIM? Or I can just pull out the Verizon card and insert back in the T-Mobile card and call it a day.

You don’t have to go through the whole process. You go through update complete and then If you don’t get an invalid SIM screen the iPhone is unlocked. You don’t want to see the screenshot below.
 

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kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
762
236
You don’t have to go through the whole process. You go through update complete and then If you don’t get an invalid SIM screen the iPhone is unlocked. You don’t want to see the screenshot below.


Thanks. So even a cdma card like Verizon will not trigger the error on that screenshot if the T-Mobile phone( which is gsm only) is really unlocked?
 

Agent OrangeZ

macrumors 68040
Mar 17, 2010
3,014
3,015
Planet Earth
A Verizon SIM works just fine in the T-Mobile/AT&T "CDMA-less" iPhone. I actually prefer it. There are some buildings at work, where a Verizon iPhone likes to switch to CDMA instead hanging on to a weaker LTE signal. I'd rather it just hang on to the LTE signal. Eliminating the CDMA chipset does just that!
 

kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
762
236
Sorry for bringing this thread back. I went through the aforementioned process: insert in my Verizon sim to the T-Mobile iPhone 7 which was approved for unlocking. Then it went through some background process of recognizing the new sim, and finally it showed the home screen with the Verizon sim. Does this mean it’s now unlocked? I have not seen the prompt asking for my Apple ID, and I did not see the invalids sim message either.

I went to my T-Mobile account page and it says the phone is still locked.
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,601
Colorado
Sorry for bringing this thread back. I went through the aforementioned process: insert in my Verizon sim to the T-Mobile iPhone 7 which was approved for unlocking. Then it went through some background process of recognizing the new sim, and finally it showed the home screen with the Verizon sim. Does this mean it’s now unlocked? I have not seen the prompt asking for my Apple ID, and I did not see the invalids sim message either.

I went to my T-Mobile account page and it says the phone is still locked.
Every time I have unlocked a T-Mobile phone, I had to enter my iCloud and password and then the phone was unlocked. Can you make a call with the Verizon sim? The T-Mobile site is unreliable in determining if the phone is unlocked.
 

kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
762
236
Every time I have unlocked a T-Mobile phone, I had to enter my iCloud and password and then the phone was unlocked. Can you make a call with the Verizon sim? The T-Mobile site is unreliable in determining if the phone is unlocked.

I have not tried but I don’t think I can make calls using Verizon sim in that T-Mobile iPhone since it is for gsm only.

Do I have to reset the tmobile phone to factory and THEN insert my version sim to go through the set up process? I didn’t do that, I just swapped SIM card and saw no error message popped up so I assumed it was unlocked.
 

Superrjamz54

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2015
499
314
No, that's a limitation of the hardware.

The T-Mobile/AT&T iPhone 7 (and up) have the Intel modem. Only the Sprint/Verizon models have the Qualcomm modem which has CDMA.

iPhone unlocks are either full unlocks or nothing. In the case of Sprint devices you can get an international unlock, but that's the only variation here.
My intel X works perfectly on Verizon. Verizon will work fine as long as your area is 4g.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Penryn
Aug 31, 2011
28,770
26,837
My intel X works perfectly on Verizon. Verizon will work fine as long as your area is 4g.
You don't say what version of iPhone X you have, so based on your statement, I am just going to assume you have the AT&T/T-Mobile model…because there's really no good reason to tell me that if you have the Verizon/Sprint model.

So, in light of that, then yes. LTE will work and therefore VoLTE. But fall back to 3G or 1xRTT and your iPhone X model (still assuming it's the AT&T/T-Mobile model) won't work.

Verizon has made a lot of headway in making LTE dominant, but Sprint less so. Sprint is only just now beginning to roll it out
 

JackieInCo

Suspended
Jul 18, 2013
5,178
1,601
Colorado
I have not tried but I don’t think I can make calls using Verizon sim in that T-Mobile iPhone since it is for gsm only.

Do I have to reset the tmobile phone to factory and THEN insert my version sim to go through the set up process? I didn’t do that, I just swapped SIM card and saw no error message popped up so I assumed it was unlocked.
I missed the part about you having Verizon so that is your problem on the T-Mobile phone.
 

kevjen888

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 13, 2008
762
236
I missed the part about you having Verizon so that is your problem on the T-Mobile phone.

The purpose is not to use my Verizon sim on that T-Mobile iPhone to make calls. The purpose of using Verizon sim is to unlock that T-Mobile phone.
 
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