Is my new iPhone 5 / 5S already unlocked?

iphone5newIf you just got your new iPhone 5 / 5S, you are probably wondering if it is unlocked and can be used on any network. The Internet is full of rumors about policies used by different providers. We have called and talked to each provider to find out. The Web is also full of misinformation and outright scams that try to sell you jailbreaks calling them factory unlocks. Read on and be aware.

AT&T’s iPhones – all of them – are sold locked even if you pay a full price. As long as you got it from At&t’s location or online store or from Apple’s store with At&t’s “strings attached”, your iPhone is locked. You need to contact AT&T and request an unlocking code. Allow some time for your request to be processed. If you don’t want to wait, deal with AT&T directly (especially, if you are not the original owner of the iPhone) or you got your unlocking request denied, simply order our AT&T unlocking service and we will take care of everything. If you wish to switch, say, over to T-Mobile, you will definitely need to order our official unlock. Also for those who want to use their iPhone abroad when they travel our unlocking express gateway service will come handy.

Verizon would have liked it very much to sell you a “locked-up” iPhone 5 / 5S but per recent FCC regulations the company was required to leave the GSM slot unlocked. This means that you can automatically switch your device to any GSM network within the U.S. and use it internationally on local carriers. You will need to connect to iTunes to sync your unlock with Apple’s database though. Obviously, the CDMA radio is still locked to Verizon; therefore you won’t be able to use it on another CDMA network, like Sprint.

What about Sprint? Technically, in order to be able to use your locked Sprint phone abroad, you simply need to send them an unlock request. Per their wording:

Customers in good standing for at least three months can ask to have them [iPhones] unlocked for international use only.

If you have tried placing an unlocking request for your iPhone 5 /5S with Sprint and was unsuccessful, let us know in comments. The wording “in good standing” may be misleading as it might imply many different things. A Sprint representative clarified this for us:

First, you must have your iPhone active on a Sprint account for at least 90 days. Second, the account must not be past-due and last, you must not be an ASL account.

Remember, when available, you can order a factory unlock from us if you are abroad and do not want to deal with Sprint directly.

UK Vodafone

If you are a Vodafone customer, the policies are a bit similar to Sprint. They want you to stay with them for 90 days before letting you go on a different network. Experiences vary – some people get their handsets unlocked after just one call or email to customer service, others have their requests rejected after trying again and again. Clearly, if you are one of the unfortunate ones, simply order our official factory unlock for Vodafone and we will get it going!

To check the status of your iPhone (Locked / Unlocked), simply order a Locked Carrier Lookup on our main page order form.

This post was updated on Feb. 28, 2014

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 12:50 am by admin · Permalink
In: Official iPhone Unlock · Tagged with: