Guide to unlock your iPhone on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Virgin Mobile
Most of the Telecom providers want you to unlock your iOS phone before switching to a new carrier which you seem more useful to you. With this facility now you do not have to be loyal to one single carrier with a locked phone for many months and get into 24 or more monthly contract and become baseless for any other network of your choice. Remember that your wireless carrier must unlock your phone if you request it. This is legal in all aspects as the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act makes it so and any phone purchased after 2015 will work with any carrier, so your provider can’t keep your phone tied to their network as they feel like it. But there are some terms and conditions that you’ll need to follow before you can put in another SIM into your phone and this vary by carrier to carrier.
What you need to do before going in for a new network?
As said above you need to meet a series of requirements if you want to switch to a new carrier.
- Your iPhone should be your legitimate device and can’t have been reported as lost or stolen, or associated with any sort of illegal activity.
- Your carrier account should be free of any financial obligations. If you accepted a contract in exchange for a subsidized up-front cost, you’ll have to either wait until your contract is up , or if you bought your phone on a payment plan you’ll need to pay the balance.
- Most carriers require accounts to have been active for a certain number of days before they will allow devices to be unlocked. For T-Mobile it’s 40 days, Sprint 50 days, and AT&T is the longest at 60 days. Verizon doesn’t have a minimum time and you might need to factory reset your phone before the new network can be recognized, so make sure you’re backed up.
Recently Verizon has updated his unlocking policy but it is the friendliest unlocking policy for LTE phones. Whether you purchased your iPhone from an Apple Store or a Verizon shop, it does not lock any 4G LTE devices, so no code is needed to open up your iPhone for use with another carrier. If you want to move to a new network, simply cancel your service and start a new plan with the carrier of your choice.
Being an AT&T customer, the process is slightly more complicated than the other carriers. iPhones bought from the company will still be locked to AT&T’s network, so bringing it to another carrier isn’t as simple as popping out the SIM. You need to submit a request to the carrier to find out whether your iPhone is eligible to be unlocked. Just log into your account, choose the device you want to unlock, select “Unlock phone or tablet to work with another wireless provider,” and follow the prompts. If you can’t get into your account for some reason, you can use the company’s Device unlock portal to verify the phone’s eligibility.
Then you submit the request and you’ll get a confirmation email with an unlock request number. Open the link in the email to confirm the request. If the device is eligible after the two-day review period, you’ll then be able to take out the old SIM and insert the new one.
As a T Mobile customer all you need to unlock your iPhone is to call customer service at (877) 746-0909 to get the Mobile Device Unlock code for your phone. You’ll find out in two days whether your phone is eligible, and if it is, you’ll receive an email with an unlock code. Next follow the instructions, take out your SIM, and you’ll be ready to switch networks.
iPhone from Sprint fulfills all the criteria in the mentioned requirements as stated above. Sprint states that it will automatically unlock phones as soon as they’re eligible, so you should be able to insert a new SIM and start using it with your new carrier immediately. If that doesn’t work, or if you haven’t met all the requirements, you can call customer service at (888) 211-4727 and they’ll be able to help.
Virgin Mobile is now an iPhone-only carrier, so if you’re tempted to sign up for the new Inner Circle plan at an Apple Store, the phone you get won’t be locked to their network. That means you can take it to any carrier as long as the criteria above is met. However, if you buy the same cell phone at virginmobileusa.com, it will be locked “for fraud-prevention reasons”.
According to Virgin spokesperson Justin Scott if you have bought your iPhone 6, SE, 7, 8 or X last year sometime in June you will have to wait for 12 months to get it unlocked. That means any device that was purchased under a previous plan will need to have been active for 12 months before Virgin will unlock it. Once it has, you can give customer service a call and they’ll take care of it for you. Also Virgin may unlock any new iPhone if a customer “has previously seen Virgin Mobile cite a 14-day unlock policy and wishes for them to honor it.” You can call customer service at (888) 322-1122 to unlock your Virgin phones.