Unlocking My iPhone12 Mini

  • 24 June 2022
  • 5 replies


I purchased my iPhone12 Mini in July, 2021 from Best Buy.  Since I travel a lot internationally I contacted T-Mobile for unlocking.  I guess default is locking because they checked and told me it was locked, and I was told it will be unlock.  A few days later I was assured it was unlock.  In October and november, 2021, I went to Canada but did not need to change my SIM card.  

I have been in Korea for the last 6 weeks and need a local phone number and found my iphone is still locked!  I contacted T-Mobile and they sent me a set of instructions to follow to unlock my phone and here are my comments and questions:

  1. The instruction starts with “backing up” my iphone. - Is auto backup good enough just in case something goes wrong?
  2. I started follow the instruction and resetting one after another so I stopped because I realized I am resetting to virtually going back up factory setting.
  3. Can’t T-Mobile unlock my iphone remotely as they had claimed last year soon after I purchased my iphone?
  4. Since I am not home but am traveling, I may not have all the info like wifi settings/password with me.  Is it prudent to proceed and clear all that info while away from home?
  5. Has anyone done unlocking while in other country?

Best answer by tidbits 28 June 2022, 13:31

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5 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +4

If you are eligible for unlock and told by TMO that your phone is unlocked, then your device unlock status on your TMO online account should say “unlocked”. If your TMO account still shows “locked”, then no amount of backing and and restoring is going to unlock your phone. The only way to unlock your phone in this case is to contact TMO and request unlock again.

Go to Account home page, select the line associated with your iPhone and the “Check Device Unlock Status” is the first option under your device picture and info.

If your TMO account shows “unlocked”, then your phone should be unlocked and should not require any backup and resetting per TMO’s own instructions:

As long as your account shows unlocked, all you need to do is power down and insert your new SIM card and you are good to go. 

Lastly, if TMO needs to “really” unlock your phone while you are abroad, you just need your phone to be on wifi for the unlock to go into effect.

One more tip - make sure the IMEI of the “unlocked” phone according to TMO matches the IMEI that shows on your phone’s about info. This would check the possibility TMO unlocked the wrong phone.


Thank you for the info.  I just followed your instruction and found that according to TMO, the unlock “STATUS UNKNOWN. This device is not in our system.”  I have been using this phone since July, 2021.  Good to know TMO can unlock if I am within a WIFI coverage area.

Userlevel 7
Badge +13

just means they will need to input your phones IMEI etc into their system so they can put in the request to Apple to have it unlocked.


Thank you for your reply, but who do you meant by “they” who need to input my IMEI.  Last year soon after I purchased my phone Best Buy, I contacted TMO, and that time they assured me that my phone is unlocked.  This time, when I found the phone is not unlocked, I contacted TMO again (with my IMEI) and was told to do it by myself with instructions including a bunch of resets.  As I tried to follow the instruction I was not sure if I have all the info in order to restore my iphone to the previous state so I stopped and restored.*

Are you telling TMO should be able to unlock if they have my IMEI?  If that’s the case why haven’t they done it yet?

​​​​​​​*I already have some apps in Korean inadvertently.  This happened while I tried to stop resetting and restoring.

Userlevel 5
Badge +12

It’s called Apple Reseller Flex Policy.  Any third party seller sells unlocked will become locked to the first carrier sim.  The problem with this Policy is carriers have no knowledge of the IMEI of that device. Apple sends these IMEI’s from time to time, but it can be months before Apple does, and then T-Mobile has to put those IMEI’s into the network database.  T-Mobile will not put a random IMEI into the database because someone said it’s locked. 

You need to have your BB receipt ready showing it’s paid off, and then talk to T-Mobile Help on twitter or Facebook.  They can verify with Apple higher up(low level rep calling isn’t going to pass muster), and when verified they’ll put it into their system then put in the request to Apple to have the device unlocked.