How to tell if your iPhone is unlocked
In our web and call center stats we see that many people are asking how to check iPhone locked or unlocked. Also, whether the handset can be used on some different network while locked to another, etc. Many questions are about cross border use of iPhones. For example:
Do I need to unlock a Vodafone to use Verizon?
… as well as domestic network usage:
How to unlock iPhone 4s Verizon for At&t?
First of all, your iPhone must have an active SIM slot since most carriers here in U.S. and abroad use GSM technology. If your iPhone model does not have a SIM slot, chances are it won’t work on another network. If you inserted a SIM card in your iPhone and received a message that goes something along these lines:
The SIM card that you currently have installed in this iPhone is from a carrier that is not supported under the activation policy that is currently assigned by the activation server. This is not a hardware issue with the iPhone. Please insert another SIM card from a supported carrier or request that this iPhone be unlocked by your carrier.
This message pops up if you are trying to use your iPhone on an unsupported network so it must be carrier unlocked before you can do so. If you already know which carrier it is locked to then you can order an unlock on our home page. In case you are not sure which carrier it is locked to, then simply select “Don’t know your carrier?” on our main page to run a quick carrier lookup by IMEI number.
Once you get your iPhone officially unlocked through our gateway or directly via your carrier, you may now try to use it on a network of your choice.
Also, while one will be able to use Verizon’s iPhone 5 and 5S/C on At&t or any other domestic GSM network as well as on oversee networks, the earlier versions of Verizon’s iPhone 4S will only work on networks outside the U.S. (once unlocked, of course), which means that you can’t take an unlocked iPhone 4S from Verizon to T-Mobile or At&t as per Verizon’s policy. The same rules apply all iPhones purchased from Sprint, even the latest 5S. These rules try to discourage you from switching from one domestic carrier to another.
For our customers we have also created the troubleshooting section which they can use to resolve most common issues with their unlocks.