If you’ve been wondering about how or if the T-Mobile iPhone 6s performs on AT&T’s network, wonder no more. Here, we take a look at the most important things you need to know about the T-Mobile iPhone 6s on AT&T.
Earlier this month, Apple announced two brand new iPhones dubbed iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The two smartphones take over the flagship role from the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. And like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, they are both enticing smartphones.
The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus come with new display technology (3D Touch), new cameras, a new A9 processor, a stronger design, and more. The two devices have already received excellent reviews and Apple says that it has already sold over 13 million copies. A record.
In the United States, the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are available on a number of carriers, big and small. And while lots of people are sticking with their usual carrier others, like me, have done things a little bit differently this time around.
I bought the T-Mobile iPhone 6s to use on AT&T’s network. While it sounds odd, it’s actually more common than you’d think. And in the buildup to the iPhone 6s release, I got bombarded with questions about my decision and the device.
With those questions in mind, I want to run down five important things you need to know about using the T-Mobile iPhone 6s on AT&T. If you’ve been thinking about making this move, for economic reasons or otherwise, here’s what you need to know.
Buy T-Mobile iPhone 6s from Apple
After T-Mobile CEO John Legere tweeted at me about my decision, I started getting an avalanche of questions about the T-Mobile iPhone 6s. The most common question was: “Will the T-Mobile iPhone 6s work on AT&T” out of the box? My answer? I was confident, 99.9% sure, but not 100%. Not until the phone arrived.
On Friday, my T-Mobile iPhone 6s arrived and I opened up the box with nervous excitement. Would it work? The answer: Yes.
I am currently using a T-Mobile iPhone 6s on AT&T’s LTE and HSPA+ (4G) networks. I’ve tested both networks and it’s working fine on both. Now, before you go down to a T-Mobile store to buy, heed this warning.
I bought my iPhone 6s from Apple, not T-Mobile. It’s my understanding that iPhone 6s models bought from T-Mobile are locked to T-Mobile. You have to request for it to be unlocked. This won’t occur right away so keep that in mind.
SIM Card Tool Missing
One other thing that I should point out is that my T-Mobile iPhone 6s didn’t come with a SIM card ejection tool.
My colleague Josh Smith noticed the same thing with his iPhone 6s (Verizon) and iPhone 6s Plus (AT&T) models. My colleague J.R. Nelson did get a SIM card tool with his iPhone 6s Plus but he lives in Canada. So why do I bring this up?
I bring it up because you’ll need some kind of tool to make the switch to AT&T happen. Fortunately, most of you probably have a tool that will work. (This is of course assuming your box doesn’t come with a tool.)
If you have an earring or a thumbtack sitting around, grab it. Push into the little hole in the tray on the side of the phone. It should pop out the T-Mobile SIM card. Put your AT&T SIM card in the same way and you should be good to go. I didn’t go through an activation process of any kind.
I did, however, have to go through a lengthy setup process that took a lot longer than a few swipes and a few passwords.
If you’re new to the iPhone or you just want a clean slate, it won’t take your long. If you’re like me, and you want the same setup you had on your old iPhone, it could take awhile, especially if you haven’t made a recent backup of your phone to iCloud or iTunes.
I made a backup right before I setup my new iPhone 6s and the process about 20 minutes. Once that’s done, you’ll restore from a backup which takes another 20 minutes or so. After that, it’s time to toggle a few options and enter some passwords.
My iPhone 6s setup process kept freezing so it ended up taking me well over an hour. I think this might’ve had to do with increased network activity on iPhone 6s release day so you might not have any problems when you do it.
You’ll be forced to enter in a six-digit passcode if you want a passcode but there is a way to revert back to a four-pin passcode if you’d rather have that.
Once you’re through, your phone should look like your old one if you restored from a proper backup. Just remember, you’ll need to input your logins for your apps/networks so you’ll want to be sure you have all of that information handy.
Missing LTE Band
Before you go this route, it’s important to know that the AT&T iPhone 6s is special. Special in that it comes with support for the carrier’s new and improved Band 30 LTE network.
The band is supposed to enhance speeds in congested urban areas. The band doesn’t cover much ground right now but it’s expected to expand before the end of the year.
So if you live in urban sprawl and you plan to keep this phone for the long haul, you might want to consider the AT&T model. (I plan on buying an AT&T iPhone 7 next year.)
Just remember. You have to wait 40 days for AT&T to unlock it and you’ll need to meet certain requirements for it to do so.
T-Mobile iPhone 6s on AT&T: Impressions
I’ve been using an unlocked T-Mobile iPhone 6s (that I bought from Apple) on AT&T’s network for a full three days now and my experience has been excellent.
I haven’t run into any major network problems, I haven’t felt any buyers remorse regarding the missing LTE band (and I live in the sprawling land known as Los Angeles), and the iPhone 6s is on the whole an excellent smartphone. 3D Touch, the performance and the cameras are outstanding.
Rsearch all of your options before going this route but know that if you end up taking this route, you should be in good shape.