Friday, December 26, 2014

How to Activate your new Unlocked iPhone 6

If you get a new unlocked iPhone 6 directly from Apple's on-line store, there are no obvious instructions for how to activate it. Here they are:

  • If you already have a SIM card for the desired service, simply transfer it to your new phone. You will need a "nano" size SIM card to fit the iPhone 6. You can trim your existing SIM card with scissors if needed, or buy SIM cutter on Amazon.

    To enable data with services like AirVoice, check the iPhone APN Changer at

  • For T-Mobile pre-paid service, have the box your iPhone came in handy and dial 611 for customer service. You will need the ICCID number that begins with "890" from the bottom of the box.

  • For T-Mobile post-paid service, you will need to visit a T-Mobile (or Apple) retail location with a government issued ID card so they can run a credit check before activating your new service.

    The T-Mobile Family Plan in particular is only offered as a post-paid option.

Why Consider T-Mobile?

The only way to order an unlocked iPhone 6 directly from Apple is to choose the T-Mobile configuration. Since T-Mobile is the only US domestic carrier offering WiFi Calling and HD Voice (at this time), you may want to try it. While T-Mobile does not have the extended coverage of Verizon or AT&T, their network coverage is improving rapidly (thanks to the influx of $5 Billion from their failed merger with AT&T). In addition, the iPhone 6 is the first phone to cover 20 LTE bands (including 700 MHz) making it well suited to T-Mobile's expansion plans.

T-Mobile's "un-carrier" moves have also been popular with consumers:

  • Separate cell phone service from buying a phone eliminating expensive 2-year contracts.

  • No overage charges because there is no overage. Unlimited voice or dialup speed is included. High speed LTE data is purchased separately in buckets.

  • No additional charge to use your phone as a WiFi hotspot.

  • Simplified pricing.

I have no connection to T-Mobile other than being a satisfied customer who appreciates their efforts to reform some of the most onerous practices of the cellular industry.