Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 23, 2013 5:07 AM by suresh1980
Darshin145 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



Will there be a iphone 5s factory unlocked phone?


I go over to the iphone 5s page and scroll down to find that it says Contract free T-Mobile,


Does that mean it will work with att? I dont want to get the phone from att becuase i dont want a contract at the moemet, and i will be traveling out of the U.S this december for a month and i would like to use my iphone 5s there with service,


I talked to a apple rep right before this and he said it will only work with T - Mobile because it says the sim is already installed,


And i asked him if i can use it for att, and he said no because the iphone 5s doesnt have a simcard slot that you can take out like with the iphone 5


which doesnt make sense because tmobile and att both run on sims.


Thank you very much in an advance!

iPhone 5, iOS 6.0.1, It might be 6.0 or 6.01
  • gmn64ultra Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I have good news for you. I waited in line this morning and got some really good info, along with a new 5s...


    Currently, all iPhone 5s bought without a subsidy in the US are internationally unlocked, meaning you can take them abroad and you'll be able to use any sim. I am travelinig in November and I'm not up for a full subsidy anyways...


    With AT&T, if I got a partial subsidy and extended my contract, I would have a locked device for at least 6 months (per AT&T's terms). However, I paid for my phone out of pocket and so it's basically unlocked for international travel. I haven't tried putting in a T-Mobile sim card but when you plug the phone into iTunes it does say it's unlocked.


    I was told many times it's not a factory unlock (which seems to be true as those phones don't show an "unlocked" screen on iTunes), but I just need it to work on AT&T in the US and whatever carrier i pick abroad.


    Hope this helps!

  • Darshin145 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi, thank you very much! :)


    I still have a question sorry if I didn't catch it,


    So will it work with AT&T, what carrier are you using?


    As long as it works with AT&T And internationally with other carries I'm good,



  • Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (60,645 points)

    unlocked means unlocked.  it will work with any GSM carrier.

  • Darshin145 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The website just says Contract free tmobile? Is that unlocked as we'll?




  • gmn64ultra Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong (hopefully with some factual information via a weblink), but there is currently NO Factory Unlocked iPhone 5S for sale in the United States. Factory Unlocked (aka. "Sim-Free") is only offered for the 4S and 5C.


    All customers can purchase an iPhone 5S from Apple or respective carrier for the full retail price ($650+) and those devices will be internationally unlocked but locked to the carrier you pick.


    In my case, I purchased an AT&T iPhone 5C at full retail price. I did not sign a new contract, pay an upgrade fee, etc. My phone, when plugged into iTunes tells me it's Unlocked. Again, I don't have a T-Mobile Nano-Sim to test if it's fully unlocked (domestic & international) but it's safe to assume I will only be able to use my 5C in the USA with AT&T.


    Does this mean that the phone can never be fully unlocked? Probably not - I imagine all carriers and 3rd parties will be able to unlock the device (per-carrier terms, etc.).


    Hope this clears up any confusion.


    *Contract-Free T-Mobile is not fully unlocked either. T-Mobile no longer has contracts so Apple cannot present the T-Mobile version in the same space as the other carriers on their website. T-Mobile, like the other carriers, likely have the ability/option to fully unlock your device upon request (per-their carrier terms).

  • Darshin145 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you, it clears some confusion :)


    So the iPhone 5s will only work with tmobile?



  • gmn64ultra Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    If you buy online, the T-Mobile version will only work with T-Mobile in the USA till you get it unlocked by T-Mobile (not sure if they can/will do it immediately). This version is already unlocked for international travel (use with non-US based SIMS).


    I don't think you can buy the AT&T version through Apple's website without renewing your contract. You can visit  an AT&T or Apple store and purchase the AT&T version without contract though. I got mine at Apple and my friend got his at AT&T.

  • Darshin145 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Oh okay that makes much more sense! :)


    So I can go to apple and ask for a att iPhone 5s and pay the full price 649.00?

  • Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (60,645 points)

    "Sim-free" means just that..there is no SIM inlcuded with the device.  It DOES NOT mean "unlocked"

  • Templeton Peck Level 9 Level 9 (60,645 points)

    Darshin145 wrote:


    Oh okay that makes much more sense! :)


    So I can go to apple and ask for a att iPhone 5s and pay the full price 649.00?


    Call Apple and ask if you want a definitive answer.

  • gavin_imac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yea, I would second the recommendation of double checking with Apple directly. As Templeton wisely points out, unlocked and sim-free are not the same thing. I found this out the hard way a few years ago after purchasing a sim-free phone and it ended up not really being the right thing for my needs.

  • gmn64ultra Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I got a hold of my old 5 that I gave my mom that was unlocked and she's been using it on T-Mobile.

    Apparently my "AT&T 32GB Space Grey 5s" works on T-Mobile I would say my phone is completely unlocked!



  • lvictor101 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I once had the same question and when I called both AT&T and Apple they both said that the phones sold for AT&T are slightly modified because they have TWO antennas in them for multi-tasking. One said the SIM card spot is actually used for the second antenna. If that is true then one can not buy any other phone from anyone else to have it work properly with the AT&T may work but it will not be able to multi-task...that was not made clear during my calls. Can anybody confirm ot deny this.?

  • deggie Level 9 Level 9 (51,670 points)

    The iPhone 5s models for T-Mobile and AT&T are identical. Same model number. Check it.

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