Does Sam´s Club Sell Unlocked iPhones? (Must Read Before)

Does Sams Club Sell unlocked iPhones

Have you ever asked yourself if Sam´s Club sells unlocked iPhones? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.

Sam’s Club is Walmarts major warehouse, and membership branch. It’s Walmart’s competitive resource against Costco and, like Costco, it’s primarily reserved for members and bulk buying. They sell many things, including Apple devices but, more specifically, iPhones. 

So, does Sam´s Club sell unlocked iPhones? Yes, Sam’s Club does sell unlocked iPhones, however, they are unlocked in name only. This version of “unlocked” means that you can choose any provider that you wish, but once you activate your device under that provider, your iPhone will be locked to that provider according to their terms. 

Sam’s Club, which is merely an extension of Walmart to a larger degree, sells its iPhones in accordance with how Walmart sells its iPhones. They are marketed as “unlocked,” although they are anything but. 

A truly unlocked iPhone will allow you to switch SIM cards as often as it pleases you or you can afford to do so. For example, you could have a Verizon SIM card, a T-Mobile SIM card, an AT&T SIM card, and a MINT Mobile SIM card laying on a shelf.

You could switch them out, one each day, and never be the worse for it. 

Why do Sam’s Club iPhones Carrier Lock?

All iPhones that are sold from third-party retailers will either lock to the first carrier that you go with or they are sold already locked to a particular carrier. Sam’s Club, Walmart, Costco, and so many other retailers are able to advertise “unlocked” iPhones because “technically” they are. 

They are not locked to a carrier when you purchase it, unlike buying one directly from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or any other carrier for that matter.

However, the moment you place a SIM card into your new iPhone from Sam’s Club, it will lock to that carrier.

It doesn’t matter that you purchased the iPhone outright from Sam’s Club, though that will help you get it unlocked again quickly.

The point of the matter is the fact that it will lock to the first carrier you decide to go with once you activate the iPhone. 

Fortunately, if you choose to go with Verizon when you purchase your iPhone from Sam’s Club, you can get it unlocked immediately.

All of the other carriers will require you to pass their particular requirements before you can get your iPhone unlocked.

Read Also: What Is Sam´s Club Return Policy on Opened Electronics? (Secrets You´ll Never Imagine)


AT&T has its own requirements for unlocking your iPhone for use anywhere or anyhow you wish. If you activate a fully purchased iPhone from Sam’s Club and you use AT&T as your carrier, the iPhone will be immediately locked to AT&T.

  • Was paid in full when you purchased it
  • Is not on an installment plan
  • Your AT&Taccount is in good standing
  • Hasn’t been reported lost, stolen, or involved with fraud

AT&T may very well unlock your iPhone immediately but you will have to contact AT&T customer service first and request that it be unlocked. It won’t happen automatically in other words. 


T-Mobile is unlock AT&T in that it will not unlock your iPhone immediately and it’s certainly not like Verizon where it is immediate and automatic. 

  • Your device can not be unlocked until it has been on the T-Mobile network for a period of 40 days at a minimum
  • If it is subject to a canceled account, the account must be in good standing
  • T-Mobile may request proof of purchase or additional information

It’s not all terrible as 40 days isn’t the longest time in the world. However, the final line is the one that drives customers away. The fact that T-Mobile may ask you to show them a proof of purchase or require “additional information” may be offputting to some and downright offensive to others. 

This is especially true if you purchased your iPhone in full and merely would like to join the T-Mobile network, only to have your iPhone locked and an adamant refusal to unlock it until you provide “additional information.”

Can You Still Purchase Unlocked iPhones?

You can still purchase an unlocked iPhone any time you wish, however, the only place that you can do so is through Apple.

Apple is the only company that sells unlocked iPhones and you will always know that you are buying from Apple because there will be no stipulations.

All retailers that sell Apple iPhones, including Sam’s Club, are listed as “resellers” since they purchased the iPhones from Apple at bulk costs and are reselling them. Although it is frequently advertised that one company or another sells unlocked iPhones, it is only ever technically true, but not entirely.

When you purchase an iPhone from Apple, it does not come with a SIM card. That means that you can put any SIM card in it that you wish from whatever carrier that you wish to go with. You can only get that from Apple.

Every reseller will sell iPhones with SIM cards, claiming that they are unlocked, until you attempt to activate the iPhone, of course. 

Read Also: Are Samsung Certified Pre Owned Phones Good? (The Truth!)

Is Buying an iPhone from Sam’s Club Worth It?

That would be entirely up to you. If you don’t mind being locked to a carrier or even have a particular carrier in mind, then Sam’s Club is probably one of the best places that you can go to for iPhones.

They offer incredible deals, especially upon new iPhone releases, which is usually when the iPhone buying fervor is at its peak.

Outside of brand new iPhones, Sam’s Club offers all sorts of deals for Sam’Club members only. If you pay attention to their frequent announcements, you’re bound to catch one, especially on Black Friday and Tech Tuesdays. 

Sam’s Club extends these kinds of deals to all of the smartphones that they have in their inventory, so it’s not an exclusively iPhone thing. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for an unlocked iPhone, then your best recourse is to turn to Apple, for they are the only company that will sell you a truly unlocked iPhone.

If you’re looking for the best deals on an iPhone and don’t mind being locked to a carrier then you can hardly find better than a deal at Sam’s Club.

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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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