Unlocked iPhone 5S

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DarkSel, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. DarkSel macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2012
    Hi guys,
    I'm planning on ordering an unlocked iPhone 5S directly from Apple, but I am not sure whether it is possible to purchase it directly from an Apple Store on launch day. I'd really prefer not to order online. Can anyone enlighten me?

    Also, somewhat unrelated question. Is it possible to purchase a full price 5S from AT&T directly without starting a new contract? AT&T has a nice insurance plan that covers theft (which AppleCare+ doesn't).

  2. DarkSel thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2012
  3. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    I'm in the same boat I'll be buying to 32GB Unlock 5s , I guess you can buy online and then go to the Apple store in the morning, if they have one you can always cancel the online order.
  4. hisboyelroy macrumors member


    Jun 17, 2009
    Austin, Texas
    OK, first, I'm not sure how AT&T works as I'm on another carrier. I didn't see anyone else respond to you so thought I would share what little knowledge I have about this.

    I have read through a lot of these forums and here is what I have been able to piece together. First, Apple will tell you that only the T-Mobile version is being sold unlocked on launch day from Apple (online or in store). That phone will come with a T-Mobile sim card. While there are options shown to purchase an iPhone from any of the 4 US carriers, only T-Mobile has the option available on the site to purchase unlocked. It seems likely, however, that you could use that T-Mobile unlocked iPhone on any other GSM carrier since it is being sold as an unlocked phone, as long as you get a sim card for the phone that will work with your carrier. You can read more about this option on the Apple website if you go to the 5s pricing and configuration page. There is a helpful note about purchasing the unlocked iPhone at the bottom of the page. Just follow the "learn more about the unlocked iPhone" link.

    I think it is less likely that you would be able to get that phone to work on a CDMA carrier. From what I can tell, if you are with Sprint or Verizon (CDMA carriers) you must buy the CDMA version of the phone, which Apple does not seem to be selling off-contract or unlocked, at least not yet.

    I would imagine that AT&T will let you purchase a new phone off contract if you are willing to pay the full retail price, as opposed to the subsidized price. In fact, from what I have heard others say on here, AT&T is the least restrictive of any of the carriers about this, regardless of where you are with them in your contract cycle.
  5. curtoise macrumors 6502a

    Apr 19, 2010
    I just finished chatting with Apple customer service and they've told me that the T-mobile unlocked phone will work 100% with At&T, it is unlocked but it will come with a t-mob sim card that you can discard and pop your At&t one.

    I just purchased a new unlocked Nexus 4 and went to At&t for a new SIM, no questions asked and I was out of there in 4 minutes with my Nexus 4 working, free SIM and activation.

    I've asked about getting a new SIM for the 5s and they've told me it would be the same (this is a corporate store).
  6. dasx macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2012
    After visiting this link from Apple I got a little confused.

    The difference between 5S A1533 and A1453 seems to be that the second one has the 18 and 26 bands which the first one lacks of.

    OK. Then I guess Sprint uses either the 18th or 26th band that the A1533 can't provide. BUT. What I don't understand then is why the A1453 won't support AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon…

    Can anybody explain that?
  7. colomac macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2013
    Just in case the solution hasn't already been found, or if someone else is looking for a way to puchase an unlocked (no contract discount and 2 yr agreement) iPHone 5s for AT&T cellular network, here's what I found.

    You can't order the iPhone 5s online without signing up for a contract discount and agreement. I was told I could when I called a local Apple store, but that was not the case. I even went into the store and had an Apple store rep walk through the online ording steps while I entered the info, and there wasn't any "opt-out" option. The Apple store rep was genuinely surprised that it couldn't be done.

    Luckily, the online ordering site showed another Apple store that had in stock the iPhone 5s I wanted.

    I had to purchase my iPhone 5s from store inventory in order to pay full price and not have to opt-in for the contract discount and 2 yr agreement.
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Sprint locks their phones for domestic use. I.e. you can get it unlocked to use GSM or LTE outside the US, but it will not accept SIM cards for any other US carriers. As for CDMA, both Sprint and Verizon limit access to their CDMA networks to phones formally assigned to their networks.
  9. redlinux macrumors regular


    Sep 25, 2013
    iPhone 5S T-Mobile contract free that is purchased from either Apple Store or Apple Online Store is Factory Unlocked http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1640112

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