Apple's all-new iPhone XR might be one of the hottest and most loved devices on the market right now, but if you purchased it from a carrier like AT&T or Verizon, one of the more disappointing aspects might be finding out that it's locked to one of those carriers. But don't lose hope just yet, it is possible to Unlock iPhone XR and use it with other carriers.
There are actually a handful of ways that you can unlock iPhone XR, allowing it to work on almost any carrier on the market. This process might sound difficult, but it's actually easier than you might think.
If you follow along with us below, we'll take you step-by-step on how to unlock iPhone XR for any carrier. Let's dive right in.
What is a SIM unlock?
A SIM unlock is fairly simple -- when you purchase a phone directly from a carrier, generally that carrier locks that specific phone, usually identified by an IMEI or ESN number, to that carrier. That means if you buy a phone from AT&T, you won't be able to use it on anyone else's network.
That said, by "unlocking" the SIM or the phone, you open up the phone to be used on other carriers. In most cases, unlocking a phone these days will allow you to use them on any carrier. -- 4G LTE function and all, so long as you have a data plan for the phone with another carrier. However, there are some small nuances with the iPhone XR that we'll let you in on below.
How to unlock an iPhone XR
If you purchased your iPhone XR from AT&T or T-Mobile, it'll be slightly more difficult to unlock the device. If you meet the pre-requisites-- such as having your phone paid off from the carrier's device payment plan -- you can submit an official unlock request from AT&T or T-Mobile -- AT&T over at their website, or T-Mobile through their Device Unlock app.
However, meeting those requirements are often difficult, and AT&T and T-Mobile can be pretty strict as far as the different requirements go. That's why you might want to consider another, third-party method to unlock your iPhone XR on the cheap. This will allow you to SIM unlock your iPhone XR at a cheap price point, allowing you to take your iPhone XR to carriers as you please.
Step 1: Get a SIM unlock from UnlockBase. This will set you back just a few dollars, and will take a couple of days to arrive in the mail.
Step 2: Once the SIM arrives, insert it into the iPhone XR -- this will also work with most iPhones -- that you want to unlock.
Step 3: Once inserted, open up your Phone app or Dialer, and dial 5005*7672*00.
Step 4: Next, when prompted, you'll want to enter in the ICCID code written down on the card that you received.
Step 5: And that's all there is to it! Now that you're unlocked, you should be able to use this on any carrier as you please.
Note: It's worth mentioning that there are two models of the iPhone XR. If you picked up one from AT&T, once unlocked, you can take it to T-Mobile and vice versa. You could take it to any of T-Mobile or AT&T's subsidiary carriers as well, just not Verizon or Sprint, since it will only have the GSM chip inside.
However, if you picked up an iPhone XR from Sprint or Verizon, you'll get the model that has a CDMA and GSM chip inside. That said, one from Verizon or Sprint should be able to be taken to any carrier once unlocked. If you're unlocking any other iPhone model, they all should be able to be taken to any carrier.
Verizon and Sprint -- like AT&T and T-Mobile -- are pretty strict as far as unlocking a device goes, but just like you can for an AT&T or T-Mobile phone, following the steps above will work just fine.
We should also mention that unlocking a phone this way is only a temporary solution. If you Hard Reset, Factory Reset, or do a Firmware Upgrade (i.e. updating or upgrading iOS) the phone re-locks, and the process has to start over from the beginning.
You don't necessarily have to buy a new unlock SIM every time you upgrade iOS. Before upgrading to a new version, simply make sure that other folks who have upgraded aren't having a problem using the SIM unlock. Then, you can know that the new iOS version still supports this SIM unlock process.
You might not need to unlock iPhone XR
You don't always need to SIM unlock your iPhone XR. If you purchased your iPhone XR directly from Apple, whether in-store or through their online store, the iPhone XR comes as unlocked already, allowing you to freely take it to any carrier without any sort of hassle.
It's quite simple -- with an unlocked iPhone XR from Apple, you can put a SIM card in it from any of the major four carriers, and it'll work just fine. You'll obviously need a supported data plan, but it'll work fine. This is because the iPhone XR, from Apple, actually comes equipped with a GSM and CDMA chip, allowing you to use the phone on AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, as well as each of their subsidiaries.
As you can see, unlocking your iPhone XR -- and most other iPhone models -- is really easy, even if the carrier itself is refusing to unlock your smartphone. Buying this SIM unlock from UnlockBase should work just fine on most iPhones, just keep in mind the small nuances between AT&T and T-Mobile iPhone XRs and Verizon and Sprint iPhone XRs.