US Cellular iPhone 6 on Verizon?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sdilley14, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

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    Mesa, AZ
    #1
    I have a lead on a nicely priced iPhone 6. The original owner was using it on US Cellular and decided to switch providers. So I have a simple questions...can a "US Cellular iPhone 6" be used on Verizon? Is there anything I should be aware of when trying to get a phone from one network working on another? I've bought used phones before but never "cross network". But they're both CDMA so I would *think* it shouldn't be too complicated??
     
  2. Truefan31 macrumors 68040

    Truefan31

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    Aug 25, 2012
    #2

    Probably not. Usually us cellular iPhones are the sprint cDMA versions
     
  3. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I spoke with a Verizon representative and they said that it should work if the phone is unlocked. Is it difficult to get these phones unlocked?
     
  4. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020

    KUguardgrl13

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    #4
    It's probably best to start with the seller contacting US Cellular about getting it unlocked. If they agree and process the unlock request then it's very easy. He just has to plug it into a computer with iTunes and restore it. Then you would need a SIM card from Verizon. I'm interested in why the CSR told you to simply unlock it. Historically Verizon will only activate phones they sold or are designed for their network. Perhaps with the iPhone 6 being much more universal they're loosening up.
     
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #5
    If you already have an active Verizon SIM you can put it into an unlocked iPhone 6 and it will work. I don't think they will activate a SIM card specifically for an unlocked non-VZW iPhone 6, though.

    US Cellular uses the "Sprint" iPhone since that's their largest roaming partner. Sprint won't unlock their iPhones. If US Cellular will, then that version actually becomes the most desirable US model as it supports all the bands that the AT&T/T-Mobile/Verizon model does, plus the TD-LTE bands that provide LTE service in China, and the ability to use US Cellular and roam on Sprint.

    Here is their unlocking policy. They don't officially list the iPhone 6, but they do list the 5s and 5c, so perhaps it just needs to be updated. They say that every phone they sell by 2/11/15 will be capable of being unlocked. Sprint just says that phones developed and released after that date will be unlockable.
     
  6. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Well, I have a Verizon iPhone 5 right now. Would I have to remove the SIM from that phone and put it into the iPhone 6? I'm really not very familiar with how SIM cards work.

    And if I did this, that would basically make my iPhone 5 useless until I got another SIM for it?

    Where does one go to purchase a Verizon SIM card?
     
  7. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #7
    Yes, once you pull the SIM card out of your iPhone 5 and put it into the iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 starts working with your existing number, and you'd need to open up a new account and get a new SIM card to keep your iPhone 5 working. Carriers don't allow two SIM cards to "share" a single account. If for whatever reason you need a new SIM card, a Verizon corporate store can give you one at no charge. If they do that, then your old SIM card stops working.

    The SIM card contains your account information. It is what lets the phone "know" what your number is and how to connect to the network.
     
  8. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    I just got off the phone with US Cellular. They said they are able to unlock the phone, as long as the contract is completely satisfied. So if the customer bought it on subsidy or installment, the contract needs to be completely fulfilled, installment plan totally paid, or account closed out with ETF paid and no outstanding balances.

    So how would this work? I would take the phone to US Cellular, have them unlock it, then take it to Verizon, they give me a new SIM card, and activate the phone from there?

    Would I be able to keep the existing SIM card in my iPhone 5 so I'm not left with a SIM-less iPhone to try and sell?
     
  9. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #9
    Just take the SIM card out of your iPhone 5 and put it into the iPhone 6 after it is unlocked. There is no need to call Verizon or do anything unless the phone doesn't work for some reason (when I upgraded to the iPhone 6, I got a text from AT&T telling me to replace my SIM since it wasn't provisioned for VoLTE). For better results, you may want to turn the phone off before putting in the SIM card. When it turns on, it will recognize the Verizon SIM, download the carrier settings, and you'll be on your way.

    You can sell your iPhone 5 without a SIM card. Anyone on Verizon can buy it and use it by putting in a SIM card that they already have (or Verizon will give them a new SIM if necessary). Also, someone can use it with an existing AT&T or T-Mobile nano-SIM, but it won't get LTE support, just HSPA+ ("4G"), since the Verizon iPhone 5 lacked support for AT&T and T-Mobile's LTE bands.
     
  10. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Ok, that makes sense - thanks!
     
  11. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #11
    Yes, it's really that simple in the GSM world. With SIM cards, changing phones is easy.

    Verizon has one foot in the CDMA world and one in the GSM world. By 2016 they want to be able to sell phones that no longer support CDMA and are LTE-only, though they will leave their CDMA network on until at least 2020.

    As for the iPhone 5, if you are willing to ship internationally, you might get a little bit more for it, since it will work on some European LTE networks. That said, even "fair" condition Verizon iPhone 5 models sell for about $200 on Swappa.
     
  12. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Mesa, AZ
    #12
    I'm hoping to get about $200 for my iPhone 5.

    This iPhone 6 I'm buying is $450. :)

    $200 for my IP5 would offset that cost nicely. I'm not actually eligible to upgrade until Dec. 28th. I figured I would just buy a phone outright this time, then keep my upgrade elgibility in tact until the 6s comes out, and get on the "S" upgrade cycle.

    Sell the IP5 now for $200, buy the IP6 for $450, sell the IP6 next year for $400-$500, pick up the 6s and go from there.
     
  13. KPOM macrumors G5

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #13
    It should be no problem getting $200 for your iPhone 5 on Swappa. $450 is a great price on an unlocked iPhone 6, particularly a US Cellular version with the extra TD-LTE bands.
     
  14. HarrisonTaylor macrumors regular

    HarrisonTaylor

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    Sep 29, 2012
    #14
    If it's clean and not active on an account all it takes is a simple phone call to US Cellular or a visit to a USCC store to have it unlocked. If you're looking to get it unlocked for international use, it's already unlocked for outside the U.S.
     
  15. cgnoyes macrumors newbie

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    Apr 1, 2015
    #15
    US Cellular iPhone activated on Verizon | Just did this successfully

    All, I just wanted to post this as I just successfully did this, with a lot of frustration along the way.

    To dispel any rumors, US Cellular uses the CDMA network, NOT GSM. If you are going from Verizon to US Cellular, you don't even need to unlock the phone, go into the store and they will insert a US Cellular SIM card in it and you'll be on your way.

    US Cellular to Verizon is a little more tricky because Verizon's network is a little more locked down. Before you purchase your iphone, get the IMEI number (or a screenshot of the settings screen to be on the safe side) and call the US Cellular corporate number to verify that the phone is not reported lost/stolen and that it has been completely removed from whatever account it was tied to. Then once you purchase the phone, contact the US Cellular corporate office to request the phone be unlocked, which they will do free of charge and will normally take two business days. I would then remove the US Cellular SIM card BEFORE walking into the Verizon store and ask them to activate it, which they will provide a Verizon LTE SIM card for you.

    I made the mistake of telling the guy at the local Verizon store that it was a US Cellular phone and after I adamantly asked him to insert a SIM card to try and activate the phone, he said it was impossible and said all he could do is give me the trade in value of the phone on a Verizon gift card. Frustrated I called the Verizon corporate office up and the woman I spoke with was nice enough to send me a SIM card through the mail and waive the 2 day business priority shipping. Once I received it and waited the two days for the phone to be unlocked, I simply called the Verizon corporate customer service number again and asked them to activate the phone (didn't mention that it was previously on US Cellular) and it went through just fine. US Cellular recently signed an agreement to become part of the group of major us cellulars that will willingly unlock their phones for you, even if you're not a customer. Other companies overseas charge a lot of money for this service, so DO NOT BE FOOLED.

    Also, if someone tells you this isn't possible, hang up or walk out and speak to someone else as I'm proof that with a little footwork this can be accomplished.

    Also if you look on eBay or Amazon, US Cellular iPhone 5s/6/6+'s are usually cheaper than their Verizon counterpart, even though they are the EXACT same phone.

    Hope this helps someone...
     
  16. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #16
    Technically speaking Verizon iPhones are already factory unlocked since iPhone 5.
     
  17. timothyurquhart macrumors newbie

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    Apr 2, 2016
    #17

    I have a US Cellular Iphone 6+ from US Cellular, and it is currently working now on Verizon's network. Verizon told me all they needed to do was insert a SIM from their company. It's been working fine with no problems. It's called BYOD or bring your own device program
     
  18. Bustersmommy01 macrumors newbie

    Bustersmommy01

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    #18
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2017 ---
    I have recently purchased a iphone 6s+ it says it's U.S cellular.. I've talked to all kinds of ppl and they say it won't work.. I'm wanting to out it on Verizon also. I hope it's as easy as yours. ANY advice you can give me ?
     

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