unlocked, SIM & contract free 6s?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by junnny, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. junnny, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015

    junnny macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #1
    Currently, you can pre-order and pay full fare for an iPhone 6S through one of the major carriers at the Apple site but can't pre-order and pay full fare for an iPhone 6s from the Apple Store -- I guess what was called a "SIM free" phone. Verizon sells its iPhones unlocked, but even with the GSM and CDMA technology, I'm told (by Verizon) that just putting in a SIM from another carrier in the US or overseas won't give you LTE speeds. The phone will work, they say, but LTE is an issue ... according to Verizon.

    Now, after three calls to Apple, no one can tell me the why and what of Apple's SIM free model (or whatever it's called model) is all about. They had this for the iPhone 6 and will likely have it for the 6s in weeks or months. What does this model purchased directly from Apple do that an iPhone bought through a major carrier doesn't? Does it have a different chip, for example, that works well with LTE no matter what network you hook into once the SIM card is inserted?

    How come no one at Apple can explain what seems to me a straightforward question. Do I have to contact one of their "geniuses?" :)
     
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #2
    verizon is lying to you :)
     
  3. junnny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #3
    hehehe ... they're ALL lying, if not for one reason, then another :)

    I'm currently a Verizon customer and told them I WANT to stick with VZN to keep my unlimited data plan. Hence pay the full fare. I had a question about the SIM free phone sold by Apple that isn't offered yet. How is THAT phone different from the Verizon, Sprint, or AT&T iPhones sold through the Apple site? And, if it's NOT different, why does Apple even manufacture and sell it?

    Is it all about the money embedded in so many deals or is there a difference in technology that might affect LTE speeds when changing networks -- let's say, in Lithuania.
     
  4. mattopotamus macrumors G5

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #4
    It use to be difference in the sense verizon would only activate the verizon iPhone or the SIM free iPhone on their network. That has sense changed and verizon will activate paid in full, unlocked phones (iPhones and nexus phones) on their network regardless of previous carrier if it is also CDMA.

    The SIM free version will probably be the same phone ATT is using, which is only different from the others b.c it has band 30 (ATT exclusive band). The SIM free phone is not nearly important as it use to be in the US since the carriers are letting up on their policy of bring your own phone.

    The SIM free version use to be a "world phone" and included bands the US phones did not for oversea usage. This year it seems like all of the phones are identical, sans the LTE band 30 on ATT.
     
  5. Azzin, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015

    Azzin macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    London, England.
    #5
    I thought (and I'm in the UK so no expert in U.S. phones) that the only truly unlocked iPhones were "TMobile phones purchased from the Apple Store and paid in full on the spot".

    I believe that when you then walk out of the Apple Store, you can put any SIM, from any country in it and use it in any country at your leisure.
     
  6. AntnyMikal macrumors regular

    AntnyMikal

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    #6
    There should be no difference. As I understand it the phones Are all the same, just carrier locked by software for the SIM. I Have a 6+ on Sprint, the contract is up in 10 days and I will be calling CC to have a DSU(domestic SIM unlock) done allowing the phone to accept any sim on any network so I can sell it as unlocked.

    I know you're on Verizon but I can't imagine it's much different, especially with the law passing last year or early this year(don't remember).

    For reference here is a shot of Sprint policy. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I could have swore if you purchase outright from Verizon the phone is unlocked and if you lease or do contract they auto unlock once paid in full with acct in good standing.
     
  7. junnny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #7
    As people are chiming in, I'm trying to simplify my question which seems to slip through the cracks of and in between different people's experience. Can anyone tell me why Apple manufactures and sells a phone that does not "go through" any of the major (or minor) carriers. It has it's own model number.

    Like I said, VZN iPhones come unlocked. But, if unlocking is the only issue, then ALL iPhones would be the same in every other regard, and Apple wouldn't need to make a separate unlocked model. But, they do. Why? And what's "the good?" How's it different?

    There sure is a lot of confusion around this. At least, I'm confused :)

    Seriously though ... the iPhone sold by AT&T has it's own model number. The one sold by VZN has a different number. And the iPhone sold by Apple that doesn't go through a carrier has ITS own model number. Presumably, they all work on each other's network because they all have GSM and CDMA hardware. But then, what are the different hardware models about, especially Apple's model of the 6s which isn't even available for sale YET?

    That's raises another possibly related question: Why does Apple offer it months after releasing the models for the major carriers, as it did with the iPhone 6?
     
  8. Broadus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    #8
    There are only two 6S models for U.S. carriers, right? A1633 for AT&T and a host of regional and MVNO carriers and A1688 for Verizon, Sprint, And T-Mobile.

    And you're right that either model works with any U.S. carrier. Why 2 models and simply not one? Only conjecture. I doubt anyone outside of Apple and the carriers, particularly AT&T, really knows.

    It has been suggested that a later SIM-free will be A1633, but the unlocked full price T-Mobile A1688 functions in that capacity now, it seems to me.

    In answer to your last question, perhaps Apple has a symbiotic relationship with the carriers. Folks shouldn't have to wait till January to get a SIM-free model.
     
  9. junnny thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    #9
    It's really this THIRD model, sold only through the Apple Store alongside the other two models you mentioned about which I have doubts. While all phones will work with all carriers, I don't think that they all get the same LTE speeds OF those other carriers, at least all the way round. And, to be sure, I'm not sure the SIM-free sold only by Apple model does any better.

    The fact that they DO have this model DOES, however, suggest that it does something more. Otherwise, why even offer it, other than perhaps to let the major carriers have their way with you for a couple of months before they strut out their one-size fits all Apple Model that works 100% with all carriers' LTE, even on the moon --if you can find a carrier.
     
  10. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #10
    So I'm clear on this - I'm looking at getting a new 6S. Because I'm not financing it and no longer want a contract, I might as well get it unlocked. But, I'm on AT&T currently (and happy to stay).

    So I should order a T-Mobile 6S, and then pop in my AT&T SIM, right? And I won't be giving anything up?
     
  11. iNinja08 macrumors regular

    iNinja08

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    #11
    I thought you could pay full price at the store but all phones being sold will be activated while at the store - therefore you account must be eligible for a phone upgrade. I spoke with with a rep at the apple store this week and this is what they confirmed. Did you receive other information?
     
  12. barondebxl macrumors 6502

    barondebxl

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    #12
    I also have a question, can I go to an apple store on Friday and buy any iPhone 6S full retail price if my carrier is cricket? Or do I have to have an account with a carrier to even be able to purchase it full price?
     
  13. Broadus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    #13
    If you buy the full-price T-Mobile phone, I don't think you have to have a carrier account. You should be able to insert your Cricket SIM card in it before you turn it on and follow the instructions.
     
  14. Cayden macrumors 6502a

    Cayden

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Location:
    Utah
    #14
    It seems like the AT&T model will be the unlocked/sim free model. It's the only one that has all the bands as it has CDMA, GSM, and Band 30 LTE
     
  15. jent macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
  16. Cyberpower678 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    Everywhere
    #16
    I don't understand why they just don't make it one phone for all carriers.
     
  17. Trauma1 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    #17
    The AT&T will have a SIM card in it. All carriers will have a SIM card as Apple doesn't sell the SIM-free model until a couple of months after launch.
     
  18. barondebxl, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  19. Cyberpower678 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2015
    Location:
    Everywhere
    #19
    Heys guys, so I've been wondering. I've been trying to get an unlocked one that I can use with any carrier. It seems the t-mobile one is unlocked right from the start online, but I have AT&T. So I pre-ordered the t-mobile one instead of the AT&T one, because it seems ordering the AT&T model will make changes to my plan considering I still need to login to my AT&T account to order it. It also seems the AT&T model will be locked to the carrier. Can someone enlighten me as to what I can expect, when I stick my AT&T SIM card into the t-mobile phone?
     
  20. barondebxl macrumors 6502

    barondebxl

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    #20
    Well I just called my local apple store and they said that even if you purchase an iPhone outright it needs to be activated in store and locked into a carrier.
     
  21. jent macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #21
    Agreed. At a certain point I would have to imagine it's simpler for inventory and production purposes to just churn out a chip with all frequencies. I compared the three models and it looks like the AT&T version has band 30, as mentioned, but other than that there is no difference. Does that make the AT&T model the "superior" version?

    Also, I'm assuming the AT&T model (A1633/A1634) is GSM-only while the other U.S. model (A1688/A1687) has a dual GSM-CDMA chip?
     

    Attached Files:

  22. jent macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
  23. Broadus macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    #23
    Actually, if you scroll down on this page, you find that all the models have all the radios and bands needed for GSM and CDMA, with the AT&T (A1633/34) also having the AT&T-only Band 30. I assume there are contracts between Apple and the carriers that lock down the iPhones to the carriers, at least initially. The T-Mobile full price 6s seems to be the only one that can get around this.

    Cellular and Wireless
    Model A1633*
    Model A1634*

    LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

    Model A1688*
    Model A1687*

    LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29)
    TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
    TD-SCDMA 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
    CDMA EV-DO Rev. A (800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
    GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

    All models

    802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO
    Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology
    NFC
     
  24. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #25
    I had an online chat with AT&T yesterday and was told that if you pay full price for a new iPhone AT&T will unlock it immediately (or within a couple of days) upon request.
     

Share This Page