Is The T-Mobile iPhone 6 unlocked? It depends… As many T-Mobile customers have reported, all iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus units purchased from T-Mobile are indeed locked to the carrier. However, the T-Mobile iPhone 6 comes completely unlocked if purchased from Apple. In this article we’ll explain why this doesn’t matter to most people and how to get an unlock code from T-Mobile for your iPhone 6 if you need one.
Apple sells the iPhone 6 with a T-Mobile SIM at full price and without any sort of carrier subsidy. That means the 16 GB iPhone 6 is $649, the 64GB version is $749 and the 128GB model is $849. T-Mobile customers can’t take advantage of any of T-Mobile’s payment plans, trade-in programs or other incentives when purchasing the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus at Apple stores or Apple.com. The advantage of buying the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from Apple rather than T-Mobile is that they are unlocked right out of the box.
We received several emails from readers that were confused as to why their T-Mobile iPhone 6s were not working with other carriers’ SIMs right out of the box as demonstrated in the above video. It turns out that every iPhone 6 user that complained about the issue purchased their new iPhones from T-Mobile rather than Apple. As we explained in an earlier article, any phone purchased from T-Mobile is locked to the network.
T-Mobile has every reason to try and keep those that purchase iPhone 6s on their network rather than simply selling the devices and letting people use the devices on other networks. However, T-Mobile has a very lenient unlocking policy that allows customers to call into T-Mobile customer service after 40 days and requesting an unlock code. So long as the iPhone 6 is paid off in full and you didn’t agree to any sort of promotion, such as an Early Termination Fee payoff for switching from another carrier, T-Mobile will hand over the keys to unlock your iPhone 6.
While this is T-Mobile’s standard policy, it’s very easy to see why customers are confused about whether or not iPhones are unlocked. Traditionally, wireless carriers have subsidized device purchase in exchange for customers signing two-year wireless contracts. T-Mobile leading the charge to rid the wireless industry of this practice by getting rid of two-year contracts and subsidies in exchange for lower monthly fees. Many wireless customers already buy full-priced phones from Google, Apple and other reputable outlets that come unlocked. Many customers assume that any phone purchased at full price would be unlocked, but this is an example of that not being the case.
While T-Mobile does offer several attractive deals, we recommend buying the iPhone 6 directly from Apple if you plan on using it on a different wireless network immediately or in the near future.
T-Mobile isn’t the only wireless carrier to have an unlocking policy that applies to full-price iPhone 6s. In fact, its 40-day policy is more lenient than AT&T’s which has a 60-day lockup period for devices purchased from either AT&T or Apple. AT&T will unlock phones so long as the account holder is in good standing and the device is fully paid for.
If you want to your iPhone 6 unlocked, simply dial 611 after you’ve passed the 40 day mark. You can also walk into any T-Mobile corporate store for assistance. Those who travel abroad frequently may need to have an iPhone 6 unlocked before the 40 day period is up. If you bought the iPhone 6 from T-Mobile and simply must have it unlocked right now, your best course of action may be to return it and buy an unlocked iPhone 6 from Apple.
Most American iPhone 6 users shouldn’t worry about unlocking their devices. We simply don’t have the same sort of carrier variety that some regions do and most people end up sticking with their network of choice for years on end. Those who save money by using pre-paid carriers will have the best experience with the T-Mobile iPhone 6, but only if they buy directly from Apple.