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New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-30-2020

If I buy an iPhone...

I want to buy an iPhone 12 Pro Max and try T-Mobile. I plan to pay upfront for the phone. If it turns out that T-Mobile is not the best service for me, will I be able to transfer the phone to another service? I have read a lot of horror stories about 'universal' vs 'unlocked' but they seem to be people buying the phone and immediately taking it out of the country or otherwise cancelling the service. I want to actually transfer to T-Mobile but if it doesn't end up working out I don't want an $1,100 door stop. Making such a mistake would be a significant expense and cause undue strife in my household.  $1,100 is nothing to sneeze at and we could spend that money in a number of other ways if it's not going to be on a superior cellular service with a superior phone. Ideally BestBuy, Apple and the carriers would be open, honest and transparent but that appears to not be the case.  Hoping the community can provide some guidance. 




New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-30-2020

Re: If I buy an iPhone...

I found this page on T-Mobile's site:

  • T-Mobile can only unlock devices sold by T-Mobile.
  • Certain equipment types are sold unlocked by T-Mobile, including
    • Apple iPads
    • Apple watches
    • Samsung watches
  • If you have an unlocked device from another carrier you would like to use with T-Mobile service, see our  Bring your own device (BYOD) guide.
  • To unlock a non-T-Mobile device, contact the original retailer or carrier, including devices purchased from Sprint or Metro by T-Mobile.

BestBuy would be the original retailer but from what I have read they don't unlock devices and redirect you to the carrier. There has to be a better answer to this. 

Valued Expert
Posts: 8,648
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: If I buy an iPhone...

If you buy a phone that is earmarked for T-Mobile then it would not be considered an unlocked phone.  However, you should be able to switch to a differet carrier but you will have to pay for that carriers sim card


Unlocked phones do not come with the sim card, and that would be an extra charge from the carrier for thier card

I am not an employee of Best Buy and all opinions left on this forum are my own. Please leave Kudo’s if you like a post or click Accept as Solution if a post answers your query.
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Registered: ‎08-21-2017

Re: If I buy an iPhone...

Hi there, ShanePresley,


Thank you for stopping by our community forums. I know a cell phone is a big purchase and I can understand wanting to make sure you get the right phone on the right network for you. I'd be glad to give you some more details about this process.


As you mentioned, Best Buy is unable to unlock a phone from a carrier. Generally, if you activate a phone with a major carrier your phone will then be locked until that carrier allows it to be unlocked.


With that said, we do sell unlocked phones that can then be associated with a major carrier after your purchase. Keep in mind that some carriers may not allow you to immediately unlock that phone, I would recommend reaching out to each carrier directly more for details. 


I hope I was able to answer your questions. Please let me know if I can help with anything else!

AndrewB|Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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