If you paid in full for your iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, you can unlock it right now. It does not matter what carrier you chose or what model you purchased. Just follow these steps:
- Turn ON your new iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.
- Plug it into your computer and launch iTunes.
- Follow the carrier activation prompts with the SIM that came with the new iPhone installed.
- You will see an unlocked message confirming that your device is unlocked.
Once you see the unlocked message, you can either continue with a restore via iTunes or you can unplug and restore via iCloud as you normally would.
This has not been the case in previous years in my experience. I always had to request an unlock from AT&T, even if I paid outright. This year, it was a pleasant surprise to plug into iTunes and see an unlocked message right away.
Remember that you must meet these two requirements:
- You must have paid for the device outright, and in full
- You must have purchased it directly from Apple, not a carrier store (if anyone can verify it works on carrier store purchases, we’ll update, but I can’t confirm this)
If you are on the iPhone Upgrade Plan through Apple, your iPhone comes unlocked but you are bound by Apple to fulfill the terms, regardless of carrier. If you signed a two year contract or decided to go with a payment plan via your carrier, your iPhone will not be eligible to be unlocked until you fulfill that commitment. The steps above will only work if you chose the Pay in full option when purchasing your iPhone 6s or 6s Plus.
This iTunes message could just be confirmation and in reality, iPhone 6s’ and 6s Plus models that were paid in full are coming factory unlocked from Apple. I couldn’t verify this before activating. If anyone else has confirmation either way, let me know.
And if any of you experience anything different, please let me know in the comments. I’ve been able to verify this on two different iPhone 6s’ that were purchased outright so far. Let me know how this works for you in the comments!