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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Please clear this up for me... unlocked phones

Please clear this up for me... unlocked phones
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Thorzdad
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Mar 17, 2018, 12:10 PM
 
So, yesterday, the missus was let go from her job of 22 years. In the process, they took back her phone, a 6s. So, now we’re looking to get her a new phone. To save a few dollars, we’re looking at refurbed 6s phones.

Now, as I understand it, the 6s came from the factory essentially unlocked, and should work on both AT&T and Verizon LTE networks. Just plug-in the correct SIM and you’re good to go. But, as I’m shopping, I’m seeing listings for 6s’s that claim to be unlocked yet only work on AT&T. That isn’t right, is it?
     
andi*pandi
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Mar 17, 2018, 01:06 PM
 
That sucks! The phone I have was unlocked supposedly works with either sim... but some providers may only support certain networks. We were told by net10 to get a ATT simcard. It doesn't do visual voice mail. We have a verizon card to try and see if that works better.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 17, 2018, 02:16 PM
 
We were just at the Verizon store and they told us that some 6's do work on their network and some don't for whatever reason. The only sure way to know is to plug-in the phone's serial number and see if it comes up compatible. Of course, you'd already have bought the phone from whatever online source at that point. I thought LTE was LTE wherever.
     
P
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Mar 18, 2018, 04:52 PM
 
This is the page that explains everything:

https://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/#ip...iphone-6s-plus

Long story short: LTE the standard can work on a large number of different bands, and at some point Apple gave up on trying to make one that supports all variants. There is usually a Verizon phone and an AT&T phone, and one of those two phones is used in the EU and most of the rest of the world. China sometimes has their own variants as well, but you're unlikely to be able to buy one of them in the US. Look on the back of your phone to see the model number. A1633 is the AT&T phone, A1688 is the "world" phone which is also used on Verizon in the US, A1691 and A1700 are two highly similar phones that only work in China and which you usually can't even buy in the US.

Oh, and if you buy the "world" phone in the US, it will come with support for old CDMA 2G and 3G networks to fall back on if LTE isn't there, but that support is disabled for licensing reasons if you buy it outside the US. Because yeah.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
ghporter
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Mar 18, 2018, 05:51 PM
 
Being "let go" instead of being retired sucks like deep space. I hope she's doing OK. Otherwise, I have nothing to add except that the model number thing that P mentioned is your best bet to ensure you're getting a phone that will work on the network you prefer.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 18, 2018, 06:05 PM
 
She’s doing as well as can be expected, I guess. She lost her health insurance with the job, so now she has to hit the Marketplace, and I have to go back to the Marketplace and adjust my income figures, now that they’re going to be substntially lower. Hopefully, I can get a good cut in the cost of my insurance.

A serious complication in the matter is her age (my age, too, for that matter.) No one really wants to hire anyone our age for any serious position. This whole thing sucks.
     
reader50
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Mar 18, 2018, 07:34 PM
 
How close was she to retirement? If it was pretty close, letting her go for a phony reason to lower their costs probably violates some labor laws.
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 19, 2018, 12:02 AM
 
Retirement, for us, is more of a vague dream than a hard point in time. In any case, she’s probably 6-7 years out from anything that could be considered “retirement.” It was a small company, though, with no retirement plans like matching 401k or whatnot, so it’s not like they screwed her out of anything other than a steady, continuing paycheck.
     
ghporter
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Mar 22, 2018, 05:32 PM
 
The small company part is more to the point than the “retirement age” (or “retirement ready”) part. Getting all that set up with a small firm is pretty much all on the employees with IRAs and other personal retirement plans. More’s the pity.

Any info yet on the phones you were looking at? I’m pretty sure the model number will be extremely useful in figuring out whether you can use any randomly offered phone.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 22, 2018, 08:16 PM
 
She really needed a phone asap, so she got a refurb 6s from Verizon. I didn’t know Verizon even had refurbs.
     
   
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