Why do Apple stores (UK) refuse to sell sim free phones?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gadget123, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. gadget123 macrumors 68000

    Apr 17, 2011
    United Kingdom
    Been this way for years in the UK anytime a new Iphone comes out. A week or two in..in stock yes and they won't sell due to you wanting it sim free.

    Why do they force everybody to go online?
  2. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    Even the online ones have SIMs in them :confused:

    Are you instead asking why Apple always opens the box and activates the iPhone in person?
  3. gadget123 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 17, 2011
    United Kingdom
    The ones online come sim free I'm sure.
  4. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
    Guess that's different then the States then.

    Edit: I still don't get your original question, but I think you are asking "why doesn't Apple sell the iPhone contract free instead of needing a contract?"
  5. anonnymouse macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2011
    The SIM-free GSM unlocked SKU (part number, model, whatever you want to call it) will be available soon. This is the way Apple does things. It will probably never change.

    They want to assure as many as possible are attaching to carrier accounts. In a few weeks you'll be able to buy SIM free online and in store.
  6. zorinlynx macrumors 601


    May 31, 2007
    Florida, USA
    My mother was able to preorder a SIM free iPhone 5C, received it on release day and already got it activated on MetroPCS. I helped her order it; it was an online order and it arrived with no SIM in it, fully unlocked and even had the SIM removal tool which didn't come with my iPhone 5 last year!

    So you definitely CAN order new iPhones SIM-free.
  7. GadgetGeek407 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 26, 2009
    why does nobody realize buying a full price iphone on att tmobile or verizon its THE SAME as a sim free phone only difference is you get a sim out of it than u can trash, i have bought enough times to know its THE SAME exact as sim free except your box has an iccid and sim in it its full factory unlocked
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Because 99% of people here buy phones on contract. Except for T-Mobile, there's no advantage to buying device-only here. While it sucks for those of us in the know, I don't blame Apple one bit for selling phones only on contract through the online in-store-pickup option. It's how most people get their phones.
  9. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    He is from the UK, here in the US, the 5C is available SIM-FREE, but the 5S, you have to get one with a SIM in it, but under certain circumstances some are unlocked. In about a month, the regular SIM free 5S' will be available., incl. the SIM removal tool.
  10. appleonlife macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2013
    The 5S isn't SIM free right now. Just get the 5C.
  11. objcFan macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2013
    In the US? Because Apple and the carriers make incredible amounts of money from selling cell phone contracts. Make no mistake, it's a conscious decision on Apple's part to prioritize contract attached sales because they benefit as well as the carrier.
  12. EzJe Suspended

    May 25, 2010
    This is why I buy my iPhones online. They are always completely unlocked. Plus no queuing up in the cold.
  13. d123 macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2009
    If you go and queue outside a Apple Store and they have stock they will sell it to you sim free, not sure why you think otherwise, many people have bought this way (as well as hundreds of scalpers).

    Other retailers like CarphoneWarehouse keep stock back for contract sales when stock is low.
  14. Mrrikki macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2010
    Every year I have a new iPhone first was contract so was 3G, since then I have always queued outside an official Apple store (not a network or CPW etc.) and have always bought an unlocked sim free phones and just put in my existing sim; without any issues?

    So I am confused as why you can't buy it sim free, my 5S I got on launch day is sim free.
  15. OllyW, Oct 2, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2013

    OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    Apple UK have been selling sim free unlocked iPhones in their retail stores since the launch of the iPhone 4.
  16. gCloud macrumors 6502a

    Mar 9, 2012
    United Federation of Planets
    This is not true, i purchased 4s and 5s from uk apple store sim free unlocked.
  17. ~~Hello~~ macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2007
    Bought my iphone 4 and 4s sim free at the apple store in the UK. So no idea why the OP thinks you can't buy one sim free there. Very weird.
  18. lamboman macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    As above, no idea what the OP is on about. Have always been able to buy a SIM free device from launch.
  19. bensharma macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2013
    Sometimes they'll not allow those sales for the first month or two. Happened in Canada with the 5 -- one had to order online to get a sim-free unlocked phone.

    It's to make sure there are enough for the carriers, early on, Apple gets money from them.

    Understandable if annoying.
  20. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    That's never been the case in the UK though.
  21. Steve121178 macrumors 68040


    Apr 13, 2010
    Bedfordshire, UK
    I don't understand, I thought they sold them SIM free in stores?

    How are scalpers getting dozens of them then? There's no way they would be taking out a contract per device!
  22. Rankrotten macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2006
    Absolute rubbish got my 5s from the Apple Store in Glasgow and have been using both 02 and 3 sims in it with no problem it is completely unlocked as you would expect buying it at full price sim free.
  23. mds1256 macrumors regular

    Apr 9, 2011
    Here in UK, 4 days after Launch day I went to the local Apple Store and picked up a 16gb iPhone 5S sim free unlocked. They sold it to me straight away no questions asked. I popped my sim card in and off I went. The device is totally unlocked and sim free....... not sure what the OP is talking about?
  24. mkjj macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Think the OP is a tad mistaken as other people have also said. My last 3 phones have all been unlocked and SIM free when bought on launch day!
  25. OVERTASK macrumors 6502


    Sep 17, 2013
    Too many people in this thread can't tell the difference between the UK and the US.

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