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Verizon iPhone 5s Unlocked: Use with AT&T & Pre-Paid



The Verizon iPhone 5s is unlocked and thanks to support for multiple LTE bands it will work on other carriers including AT&T, which makes it an attractive option for users who need multiple carriers to deliver the best service while traveling.

It’s also a good option for users who might want to buy an off contract iPhone 5s to use on a pre-paid service like Straight Talk, which should work on the Verizon iPhone 5s as well.

As we explained soon after Apple’s iPhone 5s announcement while you can’t use the Verizon iPhone 5s on Sprint, you can use it on AT&T or T-Mobile networks in the U.S.

Read: Gold iPhone 5S Video Will Make Buyers Sick

The Verizon iPhone 5s receipt looks like the device is locked, but it isn't in our tests.

The Verizon iPhone 5s receipt looks like the device is locked, but it isn’t in our tests.

When we purchased the iPhone 5s the contract made it sound like the Verizon iPhone 5s is locked, stating that it may not work on other wireless carriers even after the contract is over, but we are able to use the Verizon iPhone 5s on AT&T by simply swapping SIM cards.

Verizon iPhone 5s Unlocked – Swap to AT&T Video

As the video above shows it is easy to switch back and forth between AT&T and Verizon on this Verizon iPhone 5s. The process does not require users change any settings, ask Verizon to unlock the iPhone 5s or necessitate a jailbreak or other hack.

Just swap SIM cards and you are good to go. iMessage will prompt to use the new number for iMessage and FaceTime, but that’s the only action users need to take. When the new SIM is in place the Verizon iPhone 5s will use the number associated with that SIM.

Read: How to Swap iPhone nano-SIM with Smartphones Using Other SIMs

The iPhone 5s uses a nano-SIM card, like the iPhone 5, so some users will need to cut it down to fit and use an adapter in their other phone. The Moto X also uses a nano-SIM so it is a perfect option for swapping between phones.

In the video we only see AT&T 4G coverage, but that’s because AT&T LTE is not available here yet. In areas where AT&T 4G LTE coverage is available, the Verizon iPhone 5s can connect to it when paired with a compatible AT&T SIM card.

After testing this, the iPhone 5s switched back to Verizon as soon as the correct SIM was put in place. The only lingering issue is a new phone number that shows up on the iMessage list, so if you try this as a test, you may want to say no to using the phone number with iMessage.



  1. ken

    09/24/2013 at 12:46 pm

    actually it works on iphone 5 already I ve switched from verizon iphone 5 to AT &T for almost a year now, without any jailbreak or unlock.

  2. larry

    09/24/2013 at 5:01 pm

    very cool josh!!!!!! i was thinking it was locked to verizon today and just read this, thank you dude, you saved me a phone call to see on that and the proof here it is unlocked!! AWESOME JOSH!!!! GREAT ARTICLE!!!

  3. velia

    09/25/2013 at 10:52 am

    Could you show us the process of swapping the sim cards? The phone was “off screen” when you swapped the sim cards. How do we know that you were using the same phone?

  4. Jian Gu

    09/26/2013 at 1:02 am

    I hope the phone was not off screen during swap as well because I saw a video, saying verizon iphone 5s GSM is locked for domestic carriers (i.e. AT&T and Tmobile), but not international carriers (showed a Latin America carrier SIM is roaming in the U.S.). Josh, can you clarified the video, or better upload a video with phone always in sight?

  5. Mirrorlure7m

    09/28/2013 at 11:43 am

    I can confirm that the Verizon iPhone 5S paying full price will work on AT&T on all LTE bands. I am using the phone now.

  6. George Lee

    10/08/2013 at 7:58 am

    But how about foreign carriers’ SIM cards?

  7. KingOfThePhones

    10/15/2013 at 9:48 am

    yes, but there is one important difference… it won’t pick up AT&T’s LTE because the Verizon iPhone 5 variant doesn’t support it. The Verizon 5s however fully supports both Verizon’s and AT&T (and T-Mobile’s) LTE bands

  8. Jacob

    10/26/2013 at 1:42 pm

    Does it support international careers as well or is it locked to national networks?

  9. joey perez

    02/07/2014 at 8:47 pm

    Hey, I have a question for everyone. I’m planning to buy a new iPhone for my mom who is abroad. I read this post and thought about this. If I buy an iPhone 5s from the apple store (currently 64GB is $399) locked to Verizon, will this immediately work abroad? I mean, can I just take it abroad, open the brand new box put and GSM simcard and that’s it. Or do I need to have an account with Verizon first? Basically my problem is about activation.

  10. iamreedicus

    11/05/2014 at 8:02 pm

    Has there been any luck with a Virgin Mobile Sim? i was planning to upgrade to the 5s from Verizon after getting a Virgin 5s Sim. From what i am reading and hearing it should work with it being an international company.

  11. Texascitizen

    11/30/2016 at 8:22 pm

    11/30/16. I bought my I-phone 5s from Verizon & used it with Verizon for several years. Yesterday I switched the 5s to AT&T. (The change was seamless–signing up with AT&T took care of stopping Verizon service.) I went to an AT&T store; selected a plan; the rep popped my Verizon nano-sim card out; put in an AT&T card & that was it. I asked how long to get full AT&T service. He gave himself leeway and said 30 minutes. I had phone service & Wireless internet on AT&T LTE within 2 minutes. I did have to work with settings a little to get WiFi internet connection but now, the next day, I have everything I had with Verizon but at a lower price & with more service.

    CAUTION: The phone reps might not give the straight story when asked about unlocked/locked status. With Verizon I had one rep who said the 5s was locked & for me to call Verizon to get unlocked, one who initially not seem to know what locked/ unlocked meant & then said I could go online & find someone to unlock it & one who did not answer about the 5s directly but said all 4g devices are sold unlocked. I was using 4g LTE. I had one AT&T rep who said it was locked & one who said unlocked. Apparently my 5s was unlocked from the beginning.

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