Friday, September 20, 2013

T-Mobile Version of the iPhone 5S: Unlocked, Or Not

There seems to be confusion going on about the T-Mobile version of the new 2013 iPhones.  I've personally bought two of them.  One of them will be used with T-Mobile itself.  The other will be for my brother who has an AT&T sim card.  I bought him the T-Mobile version because I was unable to buy the AT&T iPhone 5s outright.

On Apple's order page last night, the T-Mobile version was said to be unlocked.  Today, that's a different story.  Even so, perhaps, there was an omission one way or another.  No one seems certain whether the T-Mobile version of the new iPhones, 5c or 5s, is unlocked at this time.

It makes sense that the T-Mobile version would be locked into its network.  However, if the iPhone is bought at a full price, it should be unlocked no matter what.  However, it appears that T-Mobile is looking to get users to sign up for service.

What also adding to my confusion on this issue is that on my iPhone, the order confirmations for my T-Mobile iPhones specifically say "unlocked".  But when I sign into my account online, the "unlocked" part is missing.

Also, the "unlocked" designation is missing when I checked on the order on my iPhone Apple store app.

What's interesting about this is that this progressed through the night last night and well into the start of the ordering process.

However, a few folks who have managed to get their hands on a T-Mobile version did confirm that these phones work with the AT&T sim cards.

The point I'm trying to make here is really about how the locking process and philosophy doesn't work anymore today.  Even with T-Mobile's more consumer friendly plans and device payment plans, if you buy a phone that you're still making payments on, you are locked into T-Mobile's service.  Makes no sense at all.

And that is likely at the root of this Apple and T-Mobile confusion concerning the 2013 iPhones.  And why should T-Mobile's iPhones be specially locked into T-Mobile when AT&T and Verizon's versions are both unlocked.

How do I know that?  Because my Verizon iPhone 5 last year came unlocked.

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