Question

Unlocking an iPhone not purchased from T-Mobile


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T-Mobile’s device unlock policy states “The device must be sold by T-Mobile”

 

So does that mean if you purchase a T-Mobile phone from Apple or Best Buy you can’t unlock the phone?

 


10 replies

Userlevel 7
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T-Mobile’s device unlock policy states “The device must be sold by T-Mobile”

 

So does that mean if you purchase a T-Mobile phone from Apple or Best Buy you can’t unlock the phone?

 

It ultimately depends.  If the device a branded T-Mobile device?  If so, then it might be possible.  The IMEI would have to be in T-Mobile’s system to be possible to unlock.  If that devices IMEI is not in T-Mobile’s system as a T-Mobile device.  T-Mobile won’t be able to unlock it.  I don’t think I have seen a T-Mobile branded phone in BestBuy but I don’t usually shop at BestBuy unless it’s only a choice between there or WalMart.  

SIM Unlock Policy | Unlock Your Mobile Wireless Device (t-mobile.com)

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Thanks for the reply.  I’m not sure what is meant by by T-Mobile branded device.  When you purchase an iPhone from Best Buy you have to select a carrier.  I select T-Mobile.  When I go to the store to pick it up they give you a brand new T-Mobile SIM and scan it into the system.  I would expect it’s the same thing as when you purchase from Apple and select T-Mobile instead of unlocked (to save the extra $30).  I can’t imagine all the iPhones sold by these retailers as locked to T-Mobile (and I’m including Target, Walmart, etc. as well) can’t be unlocked after the 40 days of use.

Userlevel 7
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The devices usually sold at these retailers are all unlocked until you put a SIM card in it.  The first SIM put in the device, activates the Reseller Policy, which SIM locks the device to that carrier and downloads the bloatware associated with that carrier.  The IMEI for that device will more than likely not be in T-Mobile's system.  

Userlevel 6
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for me..is all the hassle worth saving $30? carriers have their policies in place for a reason...you can try to get them to budge but if they dont there isnt a whole lot that can be done.

Userlevel 7
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With Apple devices as well.  Even if the IMEI is in T-Mobile's system.  T-Mobile has to reach out to Apple to process the unlock at T-Mobile's request, lengthening and further complicating the process.  

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In the past I’ve chipped in the extra $30 to get the unlocked version but this year I was able to upgrade all of our existing iPhone 12 minis to iPhone 13 mini for $69 each out the door at Best Buy.  It was kind of hard to pass up on that offer.  I’m just wondering if these phones will forever be locked to TMo.  Not that I’m looking to switch (as much as that data breach pissed me off) but they will take a hit if I have to sell them locked on Ebay or Swappa.

Userlevel 6
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forever? no...since you purchased them outright they’ll need to be on the TMO network for i believe 40 days then you can request the unlock.

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I wouldn’t have thought so either but when I log into my-tmobile and click on my phone, then click on the option for unlocking my phone it throws me an error that it doesn’t know about my phone (not in the system), even though the IMEI number and type of phone are listed.

Userlevel 6
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it was purchased outside of TMO though..if im remembering right any devices purchased from anyone other than TMO will pull up as unknown when looking at them on your account..huge thread about that on the site here.

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it was purchased outside of TMO though..if im remembering right any devices purchased from anyone other than TMO will pull up as unknown when looking at them on your account..huge thread about that on the site here.

Weird.  I’ll see if I can find it.

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