Unlock iPhone - is it worth it?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by edtorious, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. edtorious macrumors 65816


    Aug 14, 2007
    San Diego, California
    I'm thinking of getting unlocked iPhone 5s if they ever realease one. My question is it worth it? I'm not eligible for upgrade thru Verizon, I still have 1 year left on my contract, I'm thinking of cancelling, pay the ETF sell my iPhone 5 then get an unlock iPhone 5s?

    This will be my first unlock iPhone if I get one. I'm sorry for the ignorance :eek: but once I get an unlock iPhone, I can just get a month to month service from any carriers correct? What is the best carrier to use for an unlock iPhone? And if I want to use it on another country outside U.S., it will be easier to get a service from that country? Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. brendu macrumors 68020

    Apr 23, 2009
    if you can afford it, go for it! the up front cost is more but you will save hundreds over the course of the two years you would have been locked in a contract paying insanely high rates. Look into "straight talk" as a prepaid plan. Unlimited talk text and data for $45 a month. You even use ATT towers so if you get att service in your area then you're set.

    I am planning on paying my ETF with ATT and moving to TMobile to go to the $30/month plan for unlimited data and text with 100 min talk.
  3. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    T-Mobile or an MVNO like Net10, Straight Talk, or AIO Wireless are your best options for carriers with an unlocked device. You pay monthly and don't have a contract so your bill is a lot cheaper than Verizon.
  4. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012


    Apple site says you can buy unlock 5s for $649 - $749 - $849.


    As far is worth it, only your accountant knows.
  5. theuserjohnny macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2012
    Yeah if you can pay for it, it's worth it! I'm using a pre-paid plan through Solavei 50 bucks a month for 5GB of data (before being kicked down to 2G). They use T-Mobile towers so it's like T-Mobile but not being called T-Mobile.

    If you have parents or any close relatives or friends who have upgrades try asking if you can take theirs as an option.

    For example my parents could care less about smartphones and I'm planning to use their upgrade to get a iPhone 5c for 100 bucks then getting it unlocked to use with my carrier.
  6. Killerbob macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2008
    I know Apple say it is "unlocked", but it isn't actually...

    It is still only unlocked for US carriers only.

    If you were to buy one "unlocked" iPhone 5S, and take it to Europe, you could NOT put in a SIM card from say TDC, 3, DT, SC or any other European carrier.

    That's at least how it was a few years ago, and how I assume it still works, but please enlighten me if that is not the case...
  7. rockyroad55 macrumors 601


    Jul 14, 2010
    Phila, PA
    I'm pretty sure you can because many scalpers buy unlocked devices here and ship them back to their countries (China for example).
  8. Fdfan100 macrumors member

    Mar 28, 2013
    When you buy a unlocked phone, you can use it with any gsm carrier of your choice. Here in the US, unlocked phones are getting popular due to prepaid. We only have 2 GSM carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile. All the prepaid GSM networks run off one of those 2 networks. In other countries, you got many choices for a GSM provider. With having a unlocked phone, you got the freedom to choose any carrier you want.
  9. Killerbob macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2008
    You guys are not entirely correct, at least not according to my own experiences three years ago.

    In 2010 I went to an Apple store and bought an iPhone 4. I paid "full" price to get an unlocked one.

    When I inserted the SIM card from my Danish carrier (3) it was not accepted, and I could not activate the phone. I called Apple support and they explained that an "unlocked" iPhone still was bound to the country it was purchased from. I.e. an iPhone purchased in the US would not work with a European carrier. Luckily I was permitted to take the phone back to the store, and get a full refund.

    In Europe it is slightly different, probably due to the closeness of the countries, and an iPhone purchased from Apple is indeed entirely unlocked, and you can put any carrier's SIM card in your phone.

    I just wonder if this is still true? Like I said it was true two years ago...
  10. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2008
    No. It isn't. First of all the apple website says you can use any GSM sim in an unlocked iPhone (as long as its an official supported iPhone network...meaning the iPhone is available on that carrier in that country)

    i travel all the time with an unlocked iPhone and put in foreign SIMs all the time no problem.


    iPhone 4 sold in the US at the time were not available unlocked. They were all LOCKED to ATT because that was the only supported carrier in the USA. The only advantage to paying full price during that time was that your contract would not be extended or you would not have a contract at all, but it was still locked to the ATT network.

    Now apple actually sells unlocked phones in the USA...
  11. Killerbob macrumors 6502a


    Jan 25, 2008
    Excellent news - thanks.

    I understand you can now insert a Eiropean carrier SIM in an unlocked iPhone, but can you also activate a new iPhone with the said European SIM?

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