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Question: how do I know if my iPhone 6s is locked to a carrier?

I bought my iPhone 6s 16gb at Walmart for full price. I activated it myself with straight talk service and I have recently upgraded so I’d like to sell my phone but I need to know: Is it locked to the straight talk carrier? Is it available to use with any carrier? Which carriers is it compatible with? I still have the SIM card and the device is factory reset. Thanks

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iPhone's sold from Walmart will generally lock to the first carrier used to activate them. As such, in your case its safe to say its locked to Straight Talk.


You can test this by inserting a Sim card from a different carrier into the phone. If it issues an error such as the one below, then the iPhone is locked:


User uploaded file


If it issues no error, then its not locked.


You can request Straight Talk unlock it if you wish, as per their Unlocking Policy here (Section VII):

https://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home/h/legal/terms-and-conditions


You can follow the steps here, one of which is to contact the carrier it is locked to:

How to unlock your iPhone for use with a different carrier - Apple Support

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Mar 12, 2018 12:37 PM in response to elisecarda In response to elisecarda

You can make an appointment with an apple store and they can tell you if it is locked with a carrier. You can also contact your carrier to see if it is locked with their service. Keep in mind that there are two types of phones that were made because the carriers require different antennas on the devices to work with their service. So Sprint and Verizon networks are CDMA while ATT and T-mobile are GSM. You have straight talk so it would work with any ATT or T-mobile service but not with any Verizon or Sprint service after you figure out if it is locked to your carrier.

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Mar 12, 2018 12:30 PM in response to elisecarda In response to elisecarda

iPhone's sold from Walmart will generally lock to the first carrier used to activate them. As such, in your case its safe to say its locked to Straight Talk.


You can test this by inserting a Sim card from a different carrier into the phone. If it issues an error such as the one below, then the iPhone is locked:


User uploaded file


If it issues no error, then its not locked.


You can request Straight Talk unlock it if you wish, as per their Unlocking Policy here (Section VII):

https://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal/home/h/legal/terms-and-conditions


You can follow the steps here, one of which is to contact the carrier it is locked to:

How to unlock your iPhone for use with a different carrier - Apple Support

Mar 12, 2018 12:30 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 12:37 PM in response to elisecarda In response to elisecarda

You can make an appointment with an apple store and they can tell you if it is locked with a carrier. You can also contact your carrier to see if it is locked with their service. Keep in mind that there are two types of phones that were made because the carriers require different antennas on the devices to work with their service. So Sprint and Verizon networks are CDMA while ATT and T-mobile are GSM. You have straight talk so it would work with any ATT or T-mobile service but not with any Verizon or Sprint service after you figure out if it is locked to your carrier.

Mar 12, 2018 12:37 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 12:46 PM in response to chellester In response to chellester

chellester wrote:


Keep in mind that there are two types of phones that were made because the carriers require different antennas on the devices to work with their service.

While true for newer and much older models, iPhones from the 4s and up until the 7, had both types of Antennae built in to all models so can work interchangeably on both types of carriers. It's just that most CDMA carriers will most often not activate a phone on their network that is not in their database of devices, and iPhones not intended for them are in most cases not added to the database during the manufacturing process.


i tried putting in my activated verizon sim card and it didn’t have a message pop up saying that it doesn’t work with the phone. it showed the service bars but not “Verizon”

That generally means the phone is unlocked, however, Verizon would need to add it to their CDMA service for it to work entirely.


If the "Sim Not Supported" error was not shown its unlocked. It won't simply show no service, if the phone is locked and the sim card is not from the carrier it is locked to. It will issue the error in all cases.


You can try a sim card from a GSM carrier such as T-Mobile to verify this.

Mar 12, 2018 12:46 PM

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Mar 12, 2018 12:52 PM in response to chellester In response to chellester

Nope. iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, and iPhone 6s all have both types of hardware inside.


Activation again is dependant on the carrier. Verizon can choose not to activate it with their own service, that does not mean the CDMA hardware does not exist inside.

Mar 12, 2018 12:52 PM

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Question: how do I know if my iPhone 6s is locked to a carrier?