The new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus are now available all over the world. If you are visiting the US and want to buy an iPhone here, you can save some money because the pricing of Apple Store US is lower than any other country.
The entry-level model (iPhone 6S 16GB) has the price tag of $649 plus tax. So if you buy one in New York, you will have to pay just over $700. However, many people don’t know how to buy a factory unlocked contract-free version so that they can use on another carrier or in other countries. This post will help you clarify the concern, here are some ways to buy your unlocked iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.
This is the easiest and fastest way to buy an unlocked iPhone. Just go to iPhone page on Apple website to order one by choosing a model, color and storage.
Buy unlocked iPhone 6S Plus on Amazon
If you are a foreign visitor, you won’t be able to get an AT&T, Sprint or Verizon phone because it requires credit check via Social Security number. Therefore, you can choose the T-Mobile version, then choose Pay in Full under Purchase Options. You can also pay full price to get the sim-free version (iPhone 6S A1633 or iPhone 6S Plus A1634). In case you have a Social Security number, you can also purchase the Verizon phone which is also unlocked out of the box (even when it comes with an installment plan). You will receive the iPhone 6S A1688 or iPhone 6S Plus A1687.
Read also: Differences between iPhone 6S A1633, A1634, A1688, A1687, A1699 and A1700
Walk into an Apple Retail Store
If you can’t wait for your online order to arrive, you can make a reservation on Apple website and pick up your iPhone at a nearby store. You might have more options at the store.
1. iPhone Upgrade Program
Instead of going to Apple.com and order an iPhone as usual, you need to visit the Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program page and click on Reserve an iPhone to buy in store.
Choose the store, model and carrier and then just go to Apple Store at the scheduled time to pick up your unlocked phone. A credit check and US credit card are required to take part in the program.
2. Buy Device only
You can walk into an Apple Store and ask for a sim-free iPhone or an iPhone 6S device only on AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon. All those models are unlocked and you are not tied to any contract, so you will be able to use it on any carrier in the U.S. as well as internationally.
If you know any other way to buy an unlocked iPhone in the US, let us know in a comment below.
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Another way *should* be to order online, pick the model you want, pick ATT/Verizon/Sprint, select “Pay in Full”, select “Reserve to buy instore”. Notice it is slightly different from apple upgrade program.
I have a problem I buy iphone6s in USA bt it not activated I need to unlocked this phone. if u help please help me it &&need a support Carrie Thanks a lot
I’m trying to buy model A1688. So can I get the model if I just make full payment for any of the three companies? I thought full payment through tmobile only gives u A1688.
I ordered online from Apple an iphone 6s unit with the T-Mobile version (as you described above) since I’m a foreign visitor. Then I called Apple to check about if the unit will arrive unlocked.
I’ve made three calls to Apple. One rep claimed my unit will arrive locked and I will not be able to use it abroad (as I clearly mentioned that this is my purpose), the second one said tat un unlocked iphone can only be purchased through the Apple Upgrade Program, and one rep claimed that the others are wrong and the unit will arrive unlocked “T-Mobile iphone are sent unlocked…”. Well I’m still concerned because of these replies and also reading in the Apple confirmation email a Q&A about picking an unlocked iphone. What do you think?
I will not be at the US to receive the iphone on Sep. 25th 2015. I’ll be glad to know from buyers of such unit, whether they are able to use their iphone 6S with a non T-Mobile sim. Thank you.
I pre-ordered the T-Mobile version through APPLE STORE ONLINE also and have contacted three different representatives from Apple. All claimed that it comes with a T-Mobile sim and the device itself is not locked unless you activate with that sim. So be sure to TAKE THE SIM CARD OUT before activating your phone and you will be ready to go. If you pre-ordered directly from T-Mobile, you probably will not be able to have an unlocked phone. But, it works if you ordered directly from Apple.
I contacted apple many times and they keep telling me that all iPhone are locked to each carrier, and i’m not going to be able to use it with a foreign network (Outside the U.S with another sim card). That my only choice is the upgrade program, also contacted T-Mobile and they told me the same, if i buy from Apple Online Store at full price it will be desactivated and locked for T-Mobile, i should go to an Apple Store or a T-Mobile store to get it activated with an account and then in 1 month or so, i can unlock my iPhone.
Also, read from pc-magazine and they have the same statement. All iPhone are locked for each carrier D=!
Not excatly (from PC MAG.):”For the record, Verizon phones are unlocked if purchased at full price. T-Mobile iPhones are unlocked if purchased at full price directly from Apple (as opposed to from T-Mobile.) AT&T and Sprint phones are not unlocked by default.”
Can someone confirm that he or she ordered from Aplle online a full price 6S/6S Plus T-Mobile, went outside the country, swap the sim with a local one and all is fine?
I contacted 2 Apple representative in their spanish support system and they told me that they are telling everyone from Latin America to purchase the T-Mobile at full price from the Apple Online Store, because those are unlocked straight out of the box, just swap the sim card for another one and you are done.
I ordered mine a couple of days ago, however, my delivery date is oct 21-28, also contacted a friend and he told me that he went to the U.S only to pick up his iphone and he bought the T-Mobile and it’s working with another sim card, since it’s unlocked.
However, it will be great if someone else can confirm that everything is working with another sim card.
Oh! And btw, i said that because in the bottom of PC Mag you see “If you really want the freedom to switch between carriers, wait a few weeks for the formally unlocked phones to appear. Right now, Apple tells me it is not selling formally unlocked iPhones by pre-order. “Apple may add it, but as of right now it is not available,” a retail rep said.”
i have bought several tmobile phones from apple and i can tell you that it comes unlocked and would recommend you listen to the third rep you talked to. I have been studying iPhone for a long time and i am even getting the same unit as you in space gray 64 GB and i live in europe and know it will work there and in other continents.
Mina Gamal says
I bought iPhone from Apple Online Store and choose AT&T and I payed full payment, and the iPhone was arrived unlocked and used with another carrier. :)
Does iphone 6s from T-mobile store is unlocked?
Im planning on buying the iphone 6splus in NY when i go visit next month. If i buy a verizon device only, would i be buying it unlocked and ready to work in Korea when i swap sim cards? Whether or not its cdma, wcdma and what not? I would really appreciate your answer!! Thank you.
Hello, I have a question: I live in New York unitl May 2016 – I’m currently using an AT&T prepaid monthly plan
So tomorrow I wanna go and buy the new iPhone 6S in New York City 5th Avenue Store – so which means if I buy the iPhone 6S AT&T or T-Mobile I will have an unlocked phone which I can use in Austria, Europe when I go back home?
I was reading that AT&T unlocks their phones after 60 days so I don’t have to worry at all?
Tuan Do says
You also can get the device only at Apple Store and your AT&T phone will be unlocked out of the box. If you buy it at AT&T, you can wait a couple of months and then contact them to unlock your phone.
following my question above: I took out the T-mobile sim before first power-up. Brought my Iphone 6s to Israel, inserted my israeli sim and everything is working good!
I bought an “unlocked” iPhone 6s from the US on AT&T. I powered it without taking the SIM out. Will it now work if I use it with another SIM? I am using it in the UK.
Thanks for the update Eyal.
This helped me on deciding to buy a T-mobile iPhone 6s from Apple in the US and bring it back to Israel.
I ordered sim free iPhone 6s and 6s plus models online, will that work on Verizon? I didn’t select Verizon network when I ordered. I selected sim free model. Please advise
Tuan Do says
Yes, it will be activated and work fine on Verizon.
hello, that model iphone 6s plus 128 recommended to buy and use SIM-FREE in Argentina by carrier PERSONAL? Thank you
I need to purchase iPhone 6s Plus in the US for my family in China. According to your article, the China model A1699=US model A1687, so I can pay full price for a T-Mobile phone. Or should I buy the sim-free model A1634? Will both A1687 and A1634 work in China?
To get an unlocked a1688 model, shall i buy t-mobile model on the website of apple directly with a full payment?? I’ll bring it to Korea without unboxing
please advise me from you guys experts!
Thanks in advance
Tuan Do says
You can buy the sim-free version on Apple website now.
it’s an a1633, as far as I know , unable to get refurbished due to different model sold in korea(a1688) friend said buy a1688, is tmobile still unlocked unless power-on with tmobile sim??
Very useful article – thanks!
I will be in New York on holiday during December and while I’m there, I’ll be looking to buy a 6S but the A1688 model. I want to use the phone when I return home to South Africa. As far as I can see on the Apple online store, the SIM-free 6S’s are all A1634 models which won’t work on South African networks because of the differences in LTE bands.
How do I go about making sure that I get an A1688 model? Is it possible to ask for a specific model in-store?
Thanks in advance for your help!
I am travelling to EEUU next month and i am planning to buy an iphone from the apple store and pick it by myself , the problem is that when i check the website it says that i need to show them a VALID PHOTO ID, as a foreinger can i show them my passport? cause it says that the adress in the credit card must match with the adress in the ID, and i think that they will not accept an ID from my country… do you think that they will accept my passport?