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iPhone 12 Pro Verizon vs. SIM free?

ribbon

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 2, 2010
106
4
When ordering a new iPhone I believe it doesn't really matter the option since all of them are unlocked (except I think AT&T?). Having already a Verizon plan, I do have a couple of questions though:

  1. If I get the Verizon iPhone, the one I will receive will already have a SIM card included. Only need to turn it on, and my current SIM card will be deactivated.
  2. If I get the SIM free phone, I just need to take my SIM card and put it in the new iPhone. Do I need a special SIM card to enable 5G though, or I can just do this?
  3. I believe I need to pay an activation fee ($20 or $40 or something like that if I remember from previous years). Is this only in one of the options above?
Is there any preference on what to do? Not sure if Apple gives preference when stocking to SIM free models or carrier-specific ones (as in, which option would be easier to get on day 1).

Thanks!
 

ghostface147

macrumors 68040
May 28, 2008
3,350
3,030
The Verizon model will be locked for a period of 60 days. Once that has passed, it will be unlocked. I got a new 12 Pro from Verizon and it game with a 5G SIM card in it. My current one in my X wouldn't have worked on 5G since it requires a different SIM. I did have to call an 800 number to get the new 12 Pro activated. I am not aware of any activation fees since I'm on a corporate account. This phone was ordered via Verizon and not from Apple.
 

BreakingKayfabe

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2020
161
322
I purchased sim-free iphones. A 12 and 12 Pro. I took both Verizon SIM cards (business account) out of two 11 Pros and put them in the new phones and they worked fine. I did get messages on both that 5G SIM cards would be required.

I barely activated two 5G SIM cards that I got from Apple just today. But both phones were working fine since Friday.

Edit: I should mention that I was getting 5G with the old sim.
 
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Renho

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2014
2,731
1,346
SR, CA
I think you can switch the sim of old phone into new one. But will need to call them to provision the old sim for 5G
 

Otflyer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2017
1,378
926
SF Bay Area
I removed old sim from 11 Pro and installed in 12 Pro. Works great. Also got message from Verizon that I needed new sim. I called Verizon and was told I wasn’t on a 5G plan so no need for new sim unless I wanted to upgrade which I declined. My 12 Pro also indicated I was on 5G in the upper right corner but, obviously I’m not because I don’t have a 5G plan. You need a 5G plan and sim to get 5G on Verizon. I have my 12 Pro locked on LTE in set.
 
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oneteam

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2008
319
372
Cincinnati, USA
If you buy a Verizon phone it comes with a SIM and Verizon will charge an upgrade fee.

The screenshot below is from Verizon's web site.


Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 5.22.24 PM.png
 

BreakingKayfabe

macrumors regular
Oct 22, 2020
161
322
My 12 Pro also indicated I was on 5G in the upper right corner but, obviously I’m not because I don’t have a 5G plan. You need a 5G plan and sim to get 5G on Verizon.
I was curious and tested speeds when I was on 5G with the old sim. I went to around 110 down. Then I switched to LTE only and was getting about 60 down. I haven’t done anything on my plan.

However, today when I activated my 5G sim through my Verizon business portal it did give me an option of an extra $10 a month for 5G which I found weird.
 

Frankfurt

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2016
445
425
USA
I also bought a SIM free 12P phone (arrives tomorrow). The LTE SIM will work fine on the 5G network as detailed in above table. At some point you probably need an upgraded SIM. I asked Verizon to send me a 5G SIM and I plan to activate that. I switched to their new plans effective November as it came at negligible cost.
 

oneteam

macrumors 6502
Jun 21, 2008
319
372
Cincinnati, USA
I also bought a SIM free 12P phone (arrives tomorrow). The LTE SIM will work fine on the 5G network as detailed in above table. At some point you probably need an upgraded SIM. I asked Verizon to send me a 5G SIM and I plan to activate that. I switched to their new plans effective November as it came at negligible cost.
I called Verizon to ask if I need a new SIM for 5G, but she couldn't answer that question, I was sent to a verizon store. Did you have any issues requesting a 5G SIM?

My plan allows for 5G, I currently have an 11 Pro Max, and I want o make sure my 12 max will have 5G using the same sim.
 

Scubamom

macrumors member
Nov 3, 2016
85
100
Indiana
I also bought a SIM free 12P phone (arrives tomorrow). The LTE SIM will work fine on the 5G network as detailed in above table. At some point you probably need an upgraded SIM. I asked Verizon to send me a 5G SIM and I plan to activate that. I switched to their new plans effective November as it came at negligible cost.
When I contacted Verizon to be sent a new sim, they told me they couldn’t send me one until I had the IMEI number of the new phone, which I won’t have until I receive it tomorrow. Then they said it would be 3 business days to receive it. I tried calling my local Verizon store but their system sends you to their automated assistant. Is Verizon sending you a new sim without any of the phone info?
 

Never mind

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2018
790
823
Dunedin, Florida
I removed old sim from 11 Pro and installed in 12 Pro. Works great. Also got message from Verizon that I needed new sim. I called Verizon and was told I wasn’t on a 5G plan so no need for new sim unless I wanted to upgrade which I declined. My 12 Pro also indicated I was on 5G in the upper right corner but, obviously I’m not because I don’t have a 5G plan. You need a 5G plan and sim to get 5G on Verizon. I have my 12 Pro locked on LTE in set.


Just a heads up. I activated a new Verizon SIM card sent to me for my Carrier free 12Pro, thinking it would be a 5G SIM card, nothing printed on the Sim card indicating that it was 5G, but a few days ago I called Verizon again, and they shipped me another Sim card that actually had 5G printed on it. So the first tech was wrong when he said that I didn’t need one and there wasn’t any. I still have no indication that I have 5G in the upper right corner of my phone And I believe this is because I don’t have 5G in my area yet.
 

Sital

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2012
1,901
459
New England
When ordering a new iPhone I believe it doesn't really matter the option since all of them are unlocked (except I think AT&T?). Having already a Verizon plan, I do have a couple of questions though:

  1. If I get the Verizon iPhone, the one I will receive will already have a SIM card included. Only need to turn it on, and my current SIM card will be deactivated.
  2. If I get the SIM free phone, I just need to take my SIM card and put it in the new iPhone. Do I need a special SIM card to enable 5G though, or I can just do this?
  3. I believe I need to pay an activation fee ($20 or $40 or something like that if I remember from previous years). Is this only in one of the options above?
Is there any preference on what to do? Not sure if Apple gives preference when stocking to SIM free models or carrier-specific ones (as in, which option would be easier to get on day 1).

Thanks!

I just went through this process, having ordered a SIM-free 12 Pro and using the Verizon SIM card from my iPhone X. You do need a new 5G SIM card to use the 5G network (and a plan that includes 5G). Everything else will work fine with your old SIM card.


I also bought a SIM free 12P phone (arrives tomorrow). The LTE SIM will work fine on the 5G network as detailed in above table. At some point you probably need an upgraded SIM. I asked Verizon to send me a 5G SIM and I plan to activate that. I switched to their new plans effective November as it came at negligible cost.

I saw that table too and thought my old SIM card would work on the 5G network for now. It doesn't. I can't access the 5G even though it is available in my location and I have a 5G plan. I called and ordered a new 5G SIM card that should arrive tomorrow.


As a heads up: You get much better results calling Verizon. The live chat reps are less than helpful. And weekends seem extra difficult to find anyone knowledgable enough to give you the correct information, at least as it pertains to this new release.
 
Last edited:

Frankfurt

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2016
445
425
USA
When I contacted Verizon to be sent a new sim, they told me they couldn’t send me one until I had the IMEI number of the new phone, which I won’t have until I receive it tomorrow. Then they said it would be 3 business days to receive it. I tried calling my local Verizon store but their system sends you to their automated assistant. Is Verizon sending you a new sim without any of the phone info?
They sent my a 5G SIM without any new phone info. I will try to activate via their online activation tool. If that does not work I will call in for activation.
 

Frankfurt

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2016
445
425
USA
I called Verizon to ask if I need a new SIM for 5G, but she couldn't answer that question, I was sent to a verizon store. Did you have any issues requesting a 5G SIM?

My plan allows for 5G, I currently have an 11 Pro Max, and I want o make sure my 12 max will have 5G using the same sim.
No issue. I wanted to use my current LTE SIM, but they recommended to use a new 5G SIM, which they sent immediately.
 

Joho2078

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2019
460
136
When I contacted Verizon to be sent a new sim, they told me they couldn’t send me one until I had the IMEI number of the new phone, which I won’t have until I receive it tomorrow. Then they said it would be 3 business days to receive it. I tried calling my local Verizon store but their system sends you to their automated assistant. Is Verizon sending you a new sim without any of the phone info?
Try messaging them
 
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