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Following a recent conversation with my provider's help-line, the Customer Service Rep stated:

CSR: All phones are network-locked.
Me: Not ones bought directly from Apple.
CSR: Even ones from Apple will network lock after the SIM's been in it for a while.

I'm skeptical that Apple would lock all phones in the UK. Are iPhones specifically sold within the UK network locked?

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Bullshit, we had an iPhone 6, only seeing an O2 (UK) card for a year. After that it just accepted a Hungarian card (Telenor HU) without any issues.

But beware with one thing: "unlocked" from Carphone Warehouse in UK means "unlocked for any UK networks", not internationally (that's why it is cheaper). Buy from apple.co.uk if you really want it to be surely unlimitedly unlocked, nowhere else. They are saying it on their own website when you try to order a "sim-free" one:

"iPhone will lock itself to the network of the first SIM card that is used in the phone. Subsequently attempting to use it on any other network, for example by replacing the SIM card, may mean it becomes permanently unusable. SIM free iPhones can only be used with a UK-network SIM card, and will not accept foreign SIM cards.".

But again: this is only Carphone Warehouse UK (and maybe something else I don't know of).

  • So at least that's where this idio...ermmm... CSR may have extracted his mis-information from. (btw, I'd never dream of buying from a non-tied box-shifter, but we actually don't know the provenance of this particular unit, having had it given at only a month old, by someone who no longer wanted it. It was already our own network O2 at the time so there was no issue) – Tetsujin Jan 28 '16 at 19:22
  • The CSR was misled by a Carphone Warehouse "sim-free" iPhone and thought all are the same. That's all. One story, wrong consequences, and teaching them to others. – dszakal Jan 29 '16 at 10:47

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