Home Apple T-Mobile iPhone 6 Unlocked Straight Out of the Box

T-Mobile iPhone 6 Unlocked Straight Out of the Box

The T-Mobile iPhone 6 comes unlocked despite what Apple and T-Mobile are telling customers. That means you can buy a T-Mobile iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus direct from Apple and have the flexibility of using it with AT&T, Verizon and pre-paid carriers.

Apple representatives have been telling people that the T-Mobile iPhone 6 is not unlocked and that they would have to talk to the carrier if they hoped to unlock it. I checked with several T-Mobile sales representatives and each referred us to T-Mobile’s standard unlocking policy, which requires iPhones to be active on their network for at least 40 days before being eligible for unlocking.  That confusion may be because Apple isn’t advertising the device as “T-Mobile iPhone 6 unlocked,” but just as being a contract-free device.

I’m happy to report that all the representatives I spoke to provided inaccurate information and that the T-Mobile iPhone can be used with AT&T and Verizon  right out of the box. Many pre-paid networks, such as Straight Talk, utilize AT&T’s network and will work with the T-Mobile iPhone 6 as well.

In the above demo I place a call and browse with Safari on T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon SIM cards in the same phone. That means a lot of flexibility for those who aren’t sure if they want to be on the same carrier for the next two years or not.

I did run into some trouble with our test Sprint SIM card. Before recording the above video, the Sprint SIM card successfully connected to Sprint’s 4G LTE network and loaded several Web sites in Safari. However, I could not place calls with it. In the video you can see that the iPhone 6 displays an activation error. When I pulled the Sprint SIM out of the T-Mobile iPhone 6 and put it back in a Sprint iPhone 5s it worked fine.

The Verizon iPhone 6 is also factory unlocked, but I haven’t had a chance to try it with SIM cards from all four networks. It does work fine with  AT&T SIM cards.

There is a price to pay for the flexibility of the unlocked T-Mobile iPhone 6 however. Apple only sells the T-Mobile iPhone 6 at full-price. That means you’ll have to pony up $649 to $849 rather than the commonly advertised $199 to $399. That’s because wireless carriers traditionally offer $450 subsidies to customers in exchange for two-year service commitments. The industry is moving away from this model and asking customers to pay full price for iPhones in exchange for lower monthly service fees. Carriers typically offer payment plans to spread the full cost of the phone out over a year or two. The only way to get the unlocked T-Mobile iPhone 6 from Apple without paying all that money upfront is to apply for a Barclaycard at the time of purchase.

In 5-0 minutes you'll finish your iPhone 6 setup.

The T-Mobile version of the iPhone 6 Plus is also unlocked if purchased directly from Apple. Both the T-Mobile iPhone 6 and T-Mobile iPhone 6 Plus have been incredibly difficult to find at T-Mobile and Apple Stores. There is a much greater supply of AT&T and Verizon iPhone 6s.

T-Mobile’s is aggressively pursuing AT&T, Sprint and Verizon subscribers and will even pay off their Early Termination Fees (ETF) if they switch. Early termination fees can cost hundreds of dollars and are basically a way for carriers to recoup the cost of selling subsidized phones when subscribers leave before their two-year commitments are up. These fees are what often prevents subscribers from leaving carriers and switching to another. T-Mobile’s family plans can be significantly cheaper than Verizon’s or AT&T’s. While switching to a low-cost carrier like T-Mobile is certainly inviting,  some T-Mobile subscribers complain of poor reception. Thanks to the full-priced T-Mobile iPhone 6 being unlocked, switching back is less of a chore and you won’t have to re-buy new iPhones for yourself and others on your plan.

Apple’s latest iPhone series is its most popular yet. The company reported that it sold more than 10 million units in the first three days of it hitting store shelves. You can read more of our iPhone 6 coverage here.

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17 Comments

  1. iPanda

    09/27/2014 at 2:58 pm

    I have a question about using Verizon service on the tmobile iPhone 6. Will Verizon allow me to activate my phone on their network if I were to walk into one of their stores… If not how could I go about getting an activated sim (could I just purchase a new sim and activate online or over the phone).

    Reply

  2. Mandeep

    09/27/2014 at 5:53 pm

    If the T-Mobile iPhone 6 phonse are unlocked will they also work with carriers from other countries?

    Reply

  3. Bruce C. Ertmann

    09/28/2014 at 12:13 am

    Your testing of the T-Mobile iPhone 6 makes sense and has been verified elsewhere except for one thing. Are you sure the phone worked with a Verizon SIM card? Verizon iPhones come with CDMA and GSM radios. Other GSM carriers like AT&T sell iPhone 6 devices that do not have the CDMA radio. T-Mobile is a GSM carrier so it was my assumption their iPhone 6 devices had the GSM radio but not the CDMA radio. But if your test is accurate, then the T-Mobile iPhone is closer to a true global/world phone that would work on most any carrier world-wide regardless of whether it is CDMA or GSM as long as you have the carrier-specific SIM card. In the past I have always purchased my iPhones from Verizon under contract because I could use the device on the Verizon network when I am in the USA and use it on the ICE network (GSM) where I live in Costa Rica merely by switching out SIM cards. It sounds like the T-Mobile iPhone 6 is the exact same model as the Verizon device, capable of operating on both CDMA and GSM carriers. This is a big plus.

    Reply

    • Marius

      09/28/2014 at 10:52 pm

      Actually, the T-Mobile, ATT, and Verizon iPhones are all the same model. They all have an active CDMA radio (apparently), but the ATT and T-Mobile versions will not be registered w/ Verizon. This is one thing the author sort of skipped over. While the T-Mobile (and likely the ATT if you unlock it) version works w/ Verizon, it won’t have My Verizon, visual voicemail, and other carrier features integrated b/c it is not a Verizon registered device. Only Verizon iPhones, which are more accurately the global iPhone, are registered and used seamlessly across carriers (except Sprint – the redheaded step child).

      Reply

  4. Jason Asunto

    09/30/2014 at 6:20 am

    My att sim doesnt work on my tmobile iPhone 6, says it isn’t valid for the provisioning profile on the activation server.

    Reply

  5. Elena

    10/03/2014 at 6:53 pm

    HEI! We Just developed a software for mobile phone unlocks. Our software unlocks phones like: iPhone, Samsung, LG, Sony, Nokia, BlackBerry, Motorola, HTC and many more.

    Watch a intro video for iPhone 6+ unlocks!

    Reply

  6. Chuck S. Indiana

    10/03/2014 at 7:33 pm

    Yes!..you are right!…I even got my virgin mobile SIM card to work,but it would only work for data, not calls. My Verizon ipad tablet sim worked.again, only for data.my wife’s ATT sim worked. I couldn’t belive it..so, I took my new iPhone 6 plus,got an ATT go phone SIM card and plan and I’m in business!
    Thank you !!

    Reply

    • Bruce Ertmann

      10/03/2014 at 11:53 pm

      It still seems the Verizon iPhone 6 is more of a global phone in that it has GSM specs as well as the CDMA radio. And it comes unlocked and it appears you can purchase it for full price on the Apple or Verizon site if you are already in contract but not eligible for upgrade. Then it seems you would be able to get data services across different carrier platforms.

      Apple says the T-Mobile device is GSM only but will have limited services on CDMA networks. The Verizon device unlocked should be capable of full service with any GSM or CDMA carrier. Not sure if it is contract free though even at full pop.

      Reply

      • Chuck

        10/05/2014 at 7:09 am

        Well, I bought the tmobile based on this article and other research, but it appears you are right and I wish I had known that before I bought the tmobile….sigh..thanks for the I fo though..now I know..

        Reply

  7. Aamir patel

    10/04/2014 at 12:35 am

    I have purchase iphone 6 t-mobile abot $707. Is this unlock ??
    . Will it be activate in indian carrier ??
    Pleaz give me a rply ..i’m waiting..

    Reply

  8. Sean

    10/15/2014 at 9:47 am

    I bought a t-mobile contract free iphone 6 and inserted my at&t SIM, but I can only call and cannot use the internet. does any know the reason?

    Reply

  9. DotheB

    10/16/2014 at 6:01 pm

    Wait – I get that the phone is unlocked, but Verizon runs on CDMA, not GSM – like T-Mobile. Because of that, your phone may “work”, but based on my conversations, it appears the LTE will have issues? CDMA and GSM are different, yes?

    Reply

    • Bruce Ertmann

      10/16/2014 at 7:50 pm

      I’ve come to the conclusion that the best option for me is to purchase a new iPhone 6 from Verizon at full retail while I am still under contract. That’s as close as I will come to getting a true “global” iphone. Closer than the T-mobile device. I will be able to use it in Costa Rica where I spend most of my time. I will then be able to use the device on most networks in the USA with full service when/if I return.

      Reply

      • chucksaw812chucksaw812

        10/17/2014 at 1:11 am

        So,I went ahead and got the Verizon 6 plus and it is globally unlocked out of the box if I am understanding correctly. I am using an ATT sim with no problems in it. Sounds like I can use any sim in it..both cdma and gsm!

        Reply

  10. Anonymuser

    10/18/2014 at 7:21 am

    Can anyone please confirm if either the tmobile or Verizon iPhone 6 works with sprint? Tia

    Reply

  11. NYCDrew

    10/24/2014 at 4:57 pm

    If anyone is still unclear which iPhone 6 can be unlocked, the answer is really quite simple: T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. Yes, technically even the AT&T version can be unlocked and be used on Verizon’s CDMA network. I said technically because getting the AT&T version unlocked maybe a problem for most.

    However, if you own a T-Mobile iPhone 6 bought at full retail price from Apple or a Verizon iPhone 6, they already come unlocked right out of the box. There are only two model numbers if you look at Apple’s website: A1549 (iPhone 6) and A1522 (iPhone 6 Plus). Both models have all the necessary radios to work on GSM and CDMA networks, and yes all radios are active. Please refer to this link to Apple’s official iPhone 6 page for all the specs. http://store.apple.com/us/buy-iphone/iphone6

    There is a catch of course. Like someone else has mentioned before, a T-Mobile iPhone 6 won’t get MyVerizon if you’re using a Verizon SIM. Likewise, a Verizon iPhone 6 probably won’t get T-Mobile WiFi calling feature if you’re using a T-Mobile SIM (a feature that has yet to be rolled out to T-Mobile iPhone 6 I might add). Also notice I never mentioned Sprint because I simply don’t know how that works. I have read on other forums that one cannot use an unlocked iPhone 6 on Sprint network and vice versa.

    Reply

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