Unlocked iPhone FAQ

Buy an unlocked iPhone for superior carrier selection and more.

What does an unlocked iPhone mean?

An unlocked iPhone is an iPhone that isn’t restricted to a specific carrier. This gives you the freedom to use any network with compatible bands. With an unlocked iPhone, you can shop around for the best phone plans and switch whenever you’d like. Unlocked iPhones also make international travel easier. Simply pop in a new SIM card and connect to the carrier of your choosing.

Why should I buy an unlocked iPhone?

Buying unlocked offers a number of advantages such as freedom from carriers and contracts, lower-priced cell phone plans, and a better selection of phones. There are no downsides to buying an unlocked iPhone, but they may cost more money upfront. However, buying unlocked will save you money in the long run when paired with a cheaper cell phone plan.

How to use an unlocked iPhone

Activating an unlocked iPhone is incredibly simple. In most cases, all you have to do is insert a SIM card and turn on your device. Once your iPhone is fully powered up, it should automatically activate on your network. Depending on which carrier you are connecting to, you may be required to manually enter a few network details such as APN settings. This information can be found in your SIM card activation kit or by contacting your carrier directly.

Although you are free to stick with your existing carrier, we recommend taking this opportunity to shop around for the best phone plans. After signing up for a wireless plan, your new carrier will mail you a SIM card and activation kit.

How do I know if my iPhone is unlocked?

If you purchased your iPhone directly from Apple, it is most likely unlocked. However, if you bought your iPhone from your carrier, it is probably locked to that specific network. The best way to make sure is to call your carrier and ask. They may ask for your IMEI, which can be found printed on your iPhone’s SIM tray or by going to Settings > General > About. After providing your device information, your carrier will be able to tell you whether your iPhone is already unlocked or if you are eligible for a free device unlock.

What carriers can I use my unlocked iPhone on?

Almost every unlocked iPhone is compatible with all major US carriers. However, some iPhones do not support every band on every network. Visit our Unlocked iPhone Carrier Compatibility Guide to find out which iPhones can be used on your specific network.

Where can I buy an unlocked iPhone?

The best place to buy an unlocked iPhone is Swappa. You’ll find a wide selection of gently used iPhones on Swappa, ranging from cheap iPhones a few generations old to the very latest flagship models. Regardless of your budget, Swappa will save you hundreds compared to what you’d pay at the Apple Store.

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to other sites. We may receive commissions for purchases made through these links.

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