Which "unlocked 5S" is recommended - ATT or T-Mobile?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ET iPhone Home, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. ET iPhone Home macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #1
    Not sure which route to take on an unlocked 5S - ATT or T-Mobile? Obviously, Sprint is out of the question. :confused:

    Will Apple begin to sell unlocked iPhones that are not exclusive to a specific network within a few weeks?

    I've read that T-Mobile requires 40 days of service before it can be unlocked. What if you purchase a full-price ATT 5S through the Apple Store, is it unlocked and good for use on T-Mobile's network?

    Thanks.
     
  2. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    #2
    I'm pretty sure the general consensus I've been reading on the forum here has been to buy the Verizon version at full price if you want one you can use on any GSM carrier.
     
  3. KPOM macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #3
    x2 on Verizon. It works on all the same LTE and 3G bands as the AT&T and T-Mobile version. Plus it gives you the option to switch to Verizon or sell it next year to someone who has Verizon when it's time to buy the iPhone 6. :D

    That said, any of the AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile phones bought directly from Apple should be unlocked out of the box. I can personally attest having bought a device-only AT&T iPhone 5 last year. Someone else posted on another thread that the T-Mobile phone he bought from Apple was also unlocked out of the box. If you are buying from a carrier store, it will be locked. AT&T's policy is to unlock it at your request (it takes a few days). T-Mobile requires you to have service for 40 days. Verizon's are unlocked but they might not sell you the phone device-only. You can try ordering a prepaid plan and a Verizon iPhone, though.
     
  4. Col Ronson macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    #4
    ATT full price. It's what i did. Do it at apple store. Then restore in iTunes and tada, unlocked.

    From what ive read on the forums, Tmo iPhone 5S sold at the apple store is unlocked too.

    You can go the Verizon route too, BUT some people might not sell you device only Verizon iPhones.

    Apple will sell specifically labeled "unlocked" phones when they have plentiful stock. Give it a few months.
     
  5. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    #5
    ATT and T-Mobile have the EXACT SAME phone. If you buy either one "DEVICE ONLY" from the APPLE STORE they will be unlocked and will work on the same GSM/LTE bands world wide.

    The same is true if you buy a VERIZON phone "DEVICE ONLY" from the APPLE STORE. It runs the exact same GSM/LTE Bands as the ATT & T-mo iPhones and IN ADDITION, it can be registered to work with Verizon on their CDMA network. So the VERIZON phone is the most versatile if you can get one in the color/size that you want.

    Also if you buy a VERIZON one from a source other than the APPLE STORE it will still be unlocked (but you'll have a hard time doing so without a new or renewed contract). If you buy either T-mobile's or ATT from directly from the carriers they will also be locked and can only be unlocked at the discretion of the carriers' rules. (This is the T-mobile 40 day rule...only applies to phones bought from T-mobile not ones bought at the APPLE STORE).

    Hope this is clear!
     
  6. ET iPhone Home thread starter macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #6
    Hey. Thanks so much. I will definitely be purchasing directly from Apple at full price. I went in store today and they did say that Apple will be selling factory unlocked by Mid-October. I'm not sure how accurate that information is.

    So with that said, even though the Verizon 5S is CDMA, is this recommended and preferred over ATT and T-Mobile since it is able to utilize CDMA/LTE/GSM Bands? Also, will I be able to just pop in a nano-sim bought directly from ATT or T-Mobile without issue?

    Thank you.
     
  7. ET iPhone Home thread starter macrumors 68040

    ET iPhone Home

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Orange County, California USA
    #8
    Thanks for this link. It looks like the Verizon 5S is versatile for both GSM and CDMA networks. I'll be happy with the T-Mobile model though. GSM networks is far more utilized in many foreign countries.
     
  8. BruiserB macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2008
    #9
    Yes, Yes.

    ----------

    If you will be using with a GSM carrier, any of the 3 will work equally fine. The only advantage to having the VZ model would be that if you plan to eventually resell it in the US, you will have a wider audience of people who may want to buy your phone.
     
  9. aneftp macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #10
    Exactly. VZ iPhone 5 S is best for resell in USA cause of wider range of potential customers.
     

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