Does Apple Sell Unlocked iPhones? (Read This Before Buying)

Apple Sell Unlocked iPhones

Have you ever asked yourself or your friend if Apple sells unlocked iPhones? this is one of the questions our readers ask a lot. Well, we´ve got you covered.

In today’s mobile technology environment, almost all third-party smartphone retailers are in bed with one carrier or another.

Despite some laws here and there making it illegal to lock phones to a single provider, it’s still uncommon to find an iPhone that is truly unlocked. 

So, does Apple sell unlocked iPhones? Yes, Apple does sell unlocked iPhones. Apple’s iPhones are truly unlocked and you can put any sim card that you want in them at any time. This is why it is always in your best interests if you’re interested in not being tied to any, single carrier, that you purchase your iPhone through Apple.

The beauty of a truly unlocked iPhone is your ability to jump from carrier to carrier at will. If AT&T ups their prices, jump over to Mint.

If you don’t like T-Mobile’s new data limitations, pop out your SIM card and jump on a more reasonable data plan with Verizon.

It’s really that simple, not to mention the fact that when you purchase your iPhone directly from Apple, the iPhone belongs to you and you alone. 

Apple iPhones are Truly Unlocked iPhones

Many third-party retailers will sell you on the idea that they have unlocked iPhones for sale. Then you purchase the iPhone, place your Verizon SIM card in there and, lo and behold, you’re iPhone is now carrier locked to Verizon.

Read Also: Apple Case Replacement (Silicone, Peeling Warranty, Magsafe)

Now, the “unlocked” nature of the iPhone that you buy from Walmart, Costco, or wherever, means that you can put any SIM card in it from any provider. What it doesn’t mean, is that you can switch to another carrier whenever you wish. You can’t bounce around; you don’t have the freedom to choose. 

Buying your iPhone from Apple means you get to eschew all of the lockdowns that carriers rope you in with. Your iPhone is truly yours.

The only drawback, of course, is that you have to spend a lot of money upfront because Apple iPhones are far from cheap. 

The good news is, you don’t have to buy the latest and greatest Apple iPhone either. Buying from Apple means that you get to choose from the full range of Apple iPhones that Apple still supports through their firmware upgrades. 

The only iPhones that Apple no longer sells are iPhones that they no longer support. Also, the same “freedom” standard apple to any Apple products you purchase directly through Apple, such as the Apple Watch or an iPad. 

Oftentimes, carriers will sell Apple Watches and iPads and those devices are forever shackled to the carrier that you purchase them from. 

Advantages of Buying Directly from Apple

There are more advantages to buying directly from the source than just escaping specific carriers. In fact, if you have the upfront money, you should always make your purchases directly from Apple, whether it’s an iPhone, an iPad, or an Apple Watch. 

  • You own it, pure and simple
  • You can switch carriers anytime you want
  • Apple has a better return policy than most carriers
  • You can combine your purchases with additional Apple perks
  • Better capability when it comes to international travel
  • Apple’s iPhone upgrade program

Owning Your Apple iPhone

When you purchase an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch directly from Apple, you own the device forever. It’s not like buying through contracts or monthly payments that you get from carriers, where you are locked in with them until you pay off the phones or finish your contract. 

Apple does offer payments, however, those payment programs are directly linked to carriers, so if you go with that option, then you might as well just go down to your local carrier and purchase from them.

Switching Carriers

We touched on this a bit above, but with an owned iPhone, purchased directly from Apple, you are free to switch carriers anytime that you want. If you go from Verizon Wireless to AT&T, simply remove the old SIM card and insert the new. 

If you purchase your iPhone through a third party, inserting their SIM card will often lock you to that provider. Not so when you buy from Apple. 

Apple’s Return Policy

Apple gives you 14-days to decide whether or not you like your new iPhone. That may not seem like a very long time, but if you can’t decide whether you like your phone or not in two weeks, you may as well just keep it. 

With Apple, you can return your iPhone at any time during those 14-days and you will be refunded instantly. Apple won’t even ask you why. 

Read Also: Apple Battery Replacement Policy (Warranty – Secrets Nobody Is Talking About)

Apple iPhones and Apple Card

This is where you can take full advantage of your Apple Card with the cashback rewards that you get from buying directly from Apple. You may get some perks going with third-party retail iPhones, but you’ll get more directly from the source. 

Most credit cards don’t reward you much when it comes to purchasing tech, however, Apple Card owners will get 3% cash back on purchases from Apple. 

International Travel

A truly unlocked iPhone is the best way to travel internationally. Carriers will charge you enormous fees for using your iPhone internationally.

Fortunately, with an unlocked iPhone, you can grab a local SIM card wherever you go and that’s that. 

Apple’s Upgrade Program

Most carriers offer an upgrade program but you can take advantage of Apple’s similar program and continue your streak of completely unlocked iPhones at huge discounts when you turn in your last generation iPhone. 

Twelve payments and a monthly subscription to Apple Care+ are all you need to get started. Sure, it will cost around $40 a month but your iPhone is always protected 100% and at the end of the month, you simply jump to Apple’s latest and greatest iPhone. 

For instance, if you purchased the iPhone 13 on its release date, you will be able to trade it in in about 7 months for an iPhone 14 and never pay more than you are paying monthly right now. 

Final Thoughts

All Apple iPhones that are purchased through Apple are truly unlocked iPhones, unless you purchase with a monthly payment, through a carrier. 

This gives you the ultimate freedom of choice with your carriers and plans, along with expanding the savings and benefits that you can take advantage of with Apple’s many programs and offers. 

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There are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I´ll earn a small commission. But in all honesty, these are the exact what I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family.

To see all my of most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource that I made for you!



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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