How to Unlock an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus the Easy Way
Getting an unlocked iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus is now easier than ever, all you need to do is pay the full price for the new phone and buy it from Apple. That’s it, your new iPhone arrives unlocked and not tied to any cellular carrier. Essentially this means you can use the new iPhone anywhere on any provider as long as you have a compatible SIM card for it, making it easier than ever to buy an unlocked iPhone.
If you bought an iPhone 6s for full price, we’ll detail how to unlock the new iPhone and use it on another carrier, and as you’ll see, the unlock process is often just a matter of restoring from a backup and swapping a SIM card.
To be clear, the full priced iPhones arrive unlocked regardless of which carrier you selected during check-out on Apple.com, and this has been confirmed by a variety of customers and reliable sources. We have experienced the same with an iPhone 6S Plus bought contract-free and assigned to T-Mobile, now in use on a different GSM network. Of course, a full-priced iPhone doesn’t come cheap, but more on pricing in a moment. First let’s cover how to immediately use the unlocked iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, assuming you paid for it in full.
Swapping SIM Cards to an Unlocked iPhone 6S is Easy
If you aren’t sure if your iPhone is already unlocked, an easy way to check is to simply swap in a different cellular carriers SIM card.
For my iPhone 6S Plus, no unlock process or configurations were necessary, I setup the iPhone 6S Plus and transferred everything from an older iPhone to the new one and changed the SIM card. Simply swapping out the included T-Mobile SIM card and swapping in an existing AT&T SIM card was sufficient, the SIM card immediately worked and the iPhone 6s joined the AT&T network instantly, with no additional setup required. No unlock message, nothing, the new carrier logo just appeared in the upper left corner of the phone screen. That’s about as easy as it gets.
Changing SIM cards with an iPhone 6s / 6s+ is incredibly simple, all you need to do is stick a paperclip or one of the fancy SIM ejector tools from Apple into the tiny hole on the right side of the iPhone, push in a bit, and out the SIM card tray pops. Pop in another working SIM card, and you’re good to go. The video below shows how to do this if you haven’t done it before:
If for whatever reason you put in a new SIM card and it’s not working on the cell carrier, you can initiate the iPhone unlock process for a paid in full device by using iTunes and a computer as detailed next. Again, this wasn’t necessary for my iPhone, but there are some reports this was required for other users.
How do I Unlock a New iPhone 6S / iPhone 6S Plus?
If you bought an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus and paid in full, but either didn’t restore it from another device backup, or another SIM card isn’t immediately working with it, you can run through a simple three-step process outlined by iDownloadblog to unlock the device through iTunes:
- Plug the iPhone 6S into a computer with iTunes using a USB cable (if you started using it you may need to reset it to factory settings first)
- Complete the typical device setup and confirm the phone number, zip code, and last four digits of the related social security number
- Agree to the terms of service after reading the six hundred trillion pages of fine print carefully (we all read this stuff, right?)
- When you see a “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked” message, the iPhone 6S has been successfully unlocked and it’s ready to go
Once you see that message you can disconnect the iPhone from iTunes and change out the SIM card to a different cell carrier, it will work immediately.
If this looks familiar to you, it’s probably because the process is basically the same as unlocking a phone with AT&T after it becomes eligible once a subsidy or payment plan has been completed, though in that case you have to restore the iPhone for the unlock process to complete.
Remember, this is only possible with an iPhone that has been paid in full and is not part of any contract or payment plan. If you bought the new iPhone with a contract, it will usually not be unlocked until you complete the contract, or until you go through an official unlock process offered by the carrier, typically after a few months have passed (and of course you’re still on the hook for the entire bill, but you’ll have the luxury of being able to use the SIM card slot overseas if you’re traveling).
Prices of Unlocked iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus
As mentioned earlier, buying an iPhone 6S in full comes at a premium price because the iPhone is receiving no subsidy from the carrier, and because you’re not enrolling in a payment plan with a carrier. Here’s what you can expect to pay, before any taxes and fees:
Unlocked iPhone 6S Pricing
- 16GB – $649
- 64GB – $749
- 128GB – $849
Unlocked iPhone 6S Plus Pricing
- 16GB – $749
- 64GB – $849
- 128GB – $949
That is not cheap, but that is the true cost of an iPhone, a price that was basically long hidden from the consumer by the carriers thanks to the subsidization offers that were once ubiquitous in the USA (and some other countries too). Now that subsidies are going the way of the dinosaurs, most cellular providers are offering $0 money down 24 month payment plans instead, the pricing of which ranges per carrier and per contract period. So whether or not you want to pay a big sum up front, or pay for the entire iPhone over the course of a payment plan, is really a matter of personal preference, and personal finances. Either way, you’re paying for the entire iPhone.
So that’s it, the iPhone 6S is probably the easiest iPhone to unlock in the history of buying iPhones in the USA, as long as you don’t mind paying full price.