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New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-13-2020
Accepted Solution

How to activate iPhone 11 outside USA

Hello all,


I live in the EU and my friend bought me an iPhone 11 Pro Max in the US in BestBuy. I've just realized later when I get the phone, that this phone is not unlocked, so I cannot activate it with my non US card.

I read some forums and it turned out, that BestBuy sells universal iPhones, which will lock the phone after the activation to one carrier, that the firstly inserted SIM has and the activation SIM has to be a US sim.


My question would be, that if I buy a US T-Mobile SIM and activate my phone with it, then can I use it with my non-US T-Mobile card?

I also read on some forums, that if I put a Verizon card first into the phone, then it will be unlocked after that, and I can use it with any other SIM card. Is it true or is it a fake info?


Thank you

My Blog Huy Dung Sua iPhone - thay kinh iphone
Valued Contributor
Posts: 1,874
Registered: ‎02-07-2011

Re: How to activate iPhone 11 outside USA

True - it will lock to the first US carrier sim inserted

True - you will have to follow that specific carriers rules to unlock.

True - Verizon phone were never truly locked in the past you would could use any sim after that. You would need to check with Verizon to verify

Also - if you previously inserted an unsupported EU sim it may confuse the process an lock to an unknown carrier
Best Buy Employee
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎01-09-2015

Re: How to activate iPhone 11 outside USA

Starting with the iPhone XS, Best Buy sells both current model unlocked and universal iPhones. If you have confirmed that your friend did in fact buy a universal model, it’s going to be a challenge getting it to activate.

All US carriers lock the phone when a US sim is inserted, this includes Verizon. Once activated, you will need to meet the criteria of the US carrier your activated SIM requires.

nckhammond brings up and excellent point. First inserting a non-US SIM does seem to confuse the phone. For whatever reason, these seem to come up as locked to T-mobile but the US T-Mobile will have no record of that since it wasn’t actually activated through them. I’m guessing it’s due to the SIM card range number. These iPhones, like most products sold at Best Buy, are intended for use within the US.
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