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  1. #1
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    Unlocked IPhone Prices Difference on Apple?

    Around 5 years ago, I bought the old IPhone SE on apple.com. I remember ordering it and selecting no sim as oppose to the other options of tmobile, att, verizon, sprint, etc. The reason being I was going to mainly use it while abroad with a nonUS sim card. I could even use that nonUS sim card in the US as well so first thing was making sure it was unlocked.



    Now after using this old SE for years, it has lot of issues as battery is very bad and very laggy. I did get a battery replacement few years ago which made it better but then battery wears out. I am most likely going to buy the iphone 13 mini. The other options would be iphone 13, iphone 11 or maybe the new iphone SE though people say battery for it is not good as just like my old SE so I will mostly likely avoid it.



    Now I was initially going to order it off apple.com. Do most of you order it there or buy it at the store? I see best buy and other stores sell it as well but mostly those sold are with a carrier and not a plan right? Or they also sell unlocked? But always best to buy directly from apple right?



    Now the thing that confuses me is when I click on the iphone 13 mini or the other iphones, is you get the option of a carrier or no carrier. But why is it ... no carrier charges you 30 dollars more? I always thought if you selected tmobile, sprint, att or verizon, well all they going to do is give you a sim card and thats all. Thus whether you activate the plan yourself or not when you get the phone is on you. So this is not correct? But I also read if you choose ATT... then that phone is locked? I had thought all iphones were unlocked because how can it be locked and you paying 700 dollars for an iphone 13 mini? So does this mean if I choose tmobile, they going to give me tmobile sim card but they going to activate a plan for me as well? Thing is I do not want a tmobile plan now as I plan to use it abroad mainly.



    Can anyone here clarify all this? Back few years ago when I bought the iphone SE and clicked on no sim, I regretted not picking tmobile because I thought... had I done that... then i get a tmobile sim card for free. But not only that... the price was exactly the same. So why is no sim 30 dollars more here on apple.com? I do notice however some phones are same price like if you choose the new iphone SE etc. Why is it same price with that phone but not with the iphone mini etc? I read that if you choose the carrier, you save 30 dollars and you had to pay the first month with that carrier. Is that true or not? I mean... its still an unlocked phone right?



    My plan would be to use a nonUS sim card on it and then a 3 dollar ultramobile sim card on it later. But I read i could actually put two sim cards in so that is probably what I do. Anyone know the answer to this?

  2. #2
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    If paid in full, the ATT and Verizon phones at least are supposed to be unlocked. i think the "discount" is because, if you buy it ATT Postpaid, there will be a $30 activation fee added.

    I think it would just be easier to pay the extra $30 unless you are postpaid.
    iPhone 12 Pro is my current phone I carry.

  3. #3
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    Well aren't I paying it in full either way though?


    Again im confused what happens if you choose that tmobile carrier as oppose to no carrier?



    So you telling me i can't just put my nonus sim into it and start using it?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauly02 View Post
    Well aren't I paying it in full either way though?


    Again im confused what happens if you choose that tmobile carrier as oppose to no carrier?



    So you telling me i can't just put my nonus sim into it and start using it?
    No the carrier is subsidizing $30.
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  5. #5
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    Check if BestBuy or directly from Apple is selling the device you want at a price you can accept for the device being UNLOCKED. Whatever Iphone you buy, it should be NEW AND UNLOCKED. You also need to be sure before you it, that it will work on the carrier or network which you want to use.

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    I have to assume people here would know the answer to this though right? I mean what happens if you choose tmobile carrier and thus pay 30 dollars less? So that mean the first time you put in a sim card into this new iphone, it has to be with tmobile? If you use a nonus sim card and put that in, it won't work?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauly02 View Post
    I have to assume people here would know the answer to this though right?...
    Yes I assume it wouldn't work.

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    Okay so to those people who bought the iphone on apple site and chosed tmobile, assuming you already on a tmobile line... that would mean no issue then right since you tmobile users who just put your old sim into the new iphone and it would work with no issue?


    But let say a month or later down the line, you want to cancel your tmobile and switch to ultramobile or some other carrier or use a nonUS carrier. I assume you could easily do this by putting that other sim card into this phone and it works?


    Again this phone is still unlocked right? Or is it always locked to tmobile until you unlock it?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauly02 View Post
    I have to assume people here would know the answer to this though right? I mean what happens if you choose tmobile carrier and thus pay 30 dollars less? So that mean the first time you put in a sim card into this new iphone, it has to be with tmobile? If you use a nonus sim card and put that in, it won't work?
    Somebody on HoFo likely knows; I am not so sure here; REREAD POST #5.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauly02 View Post
    Okay so to those people who bought the iphone on apple site and chosed tmobile, assuming you already on a tmobile line... that would mean no issue then right since you tmobile users who just put your old sim into the new iphone and it would work with no issue?


    But let say a month or later down the line, you want to cancel your tmobile and switch to ultramobile or some other carrier or use a nonUS carrier. I assume you could easily do this by putting that other sim card into this phone and it works?


    Again this phone is still unlocked right? Or is it always locked to tmobile until you unlock it?
    Buy the device as UNLOCKED! If possible, buy from the manufacturer!! If you buy the device from a major cellular carrier's retail store or even from their online store, IT WILL BE LOCKED! If you buy your mobile device from T-Mobile, then the device is locked. If you buy your device from AT&T, it is locked.

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    I'm aware if you click on connect later and pay $30 more, it will be unlocked.


    But how in the world do you pay $700 dollars instead of $730 when picking TMobile and it being locked? Thats only a $30 price difference so I thought no way a lock vs unlock can be that low of a price difference.


    I always thought from back then if you buy a locked vs unlocked phone... the price difference was like in the hundreds. So wasn't it like that before? Like if an locked phone cost 500 dollars back then... the locked phone would be like 300 dollars or not that more?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pauly02 View Post
    I'm aware if you click on connect later and pay $30 more, it will be unlocked.


    But how in the world do you pay $700 dollars instead of $730 when picking TMobile and it being locked? Thats only a $30 price difference so I thought no way a lock vs unlock can be that low of a price difference.


    I always thought from back then if you buy a locked vs unlocked phone... the price difference was like in the hundreds. So wasn't it like that before? Like if an locked phone cost 500 dollars back then... the locked phone would be like 300 dollars or not that more?
    Maybe T-Mobile is paying Best Buy $200 for every iphone sold locked to TM. So maybe BB is trying to sell as many locked as possible. And maybe apple dictates the retail price difference. I got more maybes if you want?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    Maybe T-Mobile is paying Best Buy $200 for every iphone sold locked to TM. So maybe BB is trying to sell as many locked as possible. And maybe apple dictates the retail price difference. I got more maybes if you want?
    i wonder if Best Buy still has the policy that the first SIM inserted will be locked to that cell provider, it was like this long time ago

  14. #14
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    Someone mentioned to me this

    Go ahead and buy the T-mobile phone. It will be $699 and will be unlocked and you can put whatever sim you want in it from day one if you buy it from Apple. You can even use Apple's financing to buy the phone, it's not necessary to pay for the phone all at once. The phone itself is the exact phone you would get for $729 with no sim or service.

    But I believe you're going to run into a roadblock when you try to go through the checkout process. It's going to ask you for either your current T-mobile account info or prompt you to sign up for a new line of service. If you happen to already have a different phone on T-mobile, you could probably enter the information for that line. Then when the phone comes, just use it as your international phone as you intended and keep your other phone on your current T-mobile line. But there is no way you are just going to select the T-mobile phone and be able to check out on the Apple website without setting up or linking to T-mobile service.

    You've likely spent more than $30 worth of your time and worry asking this question....there's really no way around this $30 fee that won't end up costing you more money and time in adding and removing a line of service that you probably don't need.




    Any thoughts on this?



    My thoughts/questions are


    Okay so I just thought about something but pretty sure this won't work or make sense. So what if you have someone who already has tmobile service and an iphone that they use it with it. Then put their sim card into this new iphone to recognize the tmobile sim card in it so to speak. Then you just take out their sim card and later put your sim card in? Or does that make no sense? I was wondering like is it the first carrier sim card it detects in the phone first or its not like that?


    Thus you put your nonUS sim card or like an ultramobile sim card or something like that into it? I thought the first sim it has to be recognized is a current t mobile one? I would be paying for the phone at full price at once.


    So what if a current tmobile customer puts their sim card in it and use it for few days. Then they later cancel their tmobile service which they could be using for years. Then decide to buy another sim card like ultramobile and put that sim card into this iphone? Certainly that would work? But if the person I borrow to use their sim card for this... continues to use their sim card in their current tmobile plan in their phone, would that mean this wouldn't work at all? This is really confusing because why does it show $729 for unlocked iphone and connect later but only $699 when you connect to a carrier? Because I thought if you buy a locked phone... isn't there a much bigger price difference? Would have though if you buy it locked... instead of it being $699, it might be even literally $300?

  15. #15
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    Just this part from pauley02:
    This is really confusing because why does it show $729 for unlocked iphone and connect later but only $699 when you connect to a carrier? Because I thought if you buy a locked phone... isn't there a much bigger price difference? Would have though if you buy it locked... instead of it being $699, it might be even literally $300?
    One might think that the price difference should be larger between buying a device unlocked, and buying with the included intention to buy the device with activation of cell service.

    Let me check online an example from BestBuy right now (not really the same as an Apple retail store), "Unlocked Cell Phones"...
    Looking in here first: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/mobile-...at156400050037
    Then choosing "All unlocked cell phone",...
    ----


    No. Nevermind. I cannot find what I was looking for. I believe BestBuy has changed the way it offers listing for the cell phones which it sells. BestBuy USED TO SHow two kinds of prices; With Activation, and Activate Later. the lower price, and the higher price. I cannot find such examples on the site/page anymore. The only meaning now to my attempt is that I see BestBuy still "sells" many unlocked smartphones (both for Android and for Apple systems).

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