Here’s the Latest iPhone Unlocking Information for US Carriers (2020 Guide)

(Last Updated On: January 4, 2020)

We’ve got the latest information on how to unlock iPhone that’s locked AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and other smaller US carriers including blocked, lost, stolen or blacklisted.


With the vast amount of information on the internet, it gets really confusing on how to unlock your iPhone especially if it’s purchased from US carriers.

Some information you found on the internet may no longer be valid due to rapid change in the iPhone unlocking industry.

However, we’ve done our best to compile the following information and is valid as at April 2018 and can be used as reference over the next few months.

This article covers all the information on unlocking iPhone that’s locked to the following carrier:

  • AT&T
  • Sprint
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon
  • All other carriers such as Xenon, StraightTalk etc.

For those who have been using the iPhone from the beginning, the method to unlock it was simply by hacking it using a jailbreaking software.

This is no longer working since the iPhone 5 so if you’re looking for a software method that’s free you can really forget about it and stop searching for a solution.

The explanation below also covers from iPhone 4 and above only since the earlier models are really obsolete as listed below:

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8+
  • iPhone 8,
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7+
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6S+
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4

Additional details such as blacklisted or blocked iPhone will also be provided since unlocking it and the blocked status are very much interrelated.

Unlocking and Un-blacklisting iPhone

AT&T was the first US carrier to offer the iPhone and the unlocking method goes a long way back.

Hackers used to develop methods to unlock it which is no longer applicable.

However, the most iPhone can be unlocked using the official method which essentially means your iPhone is officially marked as ‘unlocked’ on the Apple database.

Around three years ago, all US carriers implemented blacklisting iPhone if the device is lost, stolen or has unpaid bills.

This limits any iPhone from being used on other carriers.

Current Ranking of Unlocking US Carrier iPhone

The ranking below is based on reliability, speed and price to unlock iPhone from the following carriers.

1. T-Mobile iPhone

T-Mobile is the best option if you would like to purchase an iPhone right now due the affordability to unlock it and also the possibility of removing any blockage or blacklist associated with the T-Mobile iPhone.

Services to unlock T-Mobile iPhone is available here and to remove any blacklist is available here.

The service to unlock it is amazingly fast at the moment with the typical completion time if 24-48 hours.

2. AT&T iPhone

Unlocking the AT&T iPhone has the best pricing but only if the device is clean which means the bills have been paid, out-of-contract and not blacklisted in any way.

Even if the device is still under contract or has unpaid bills, it can be cleared using this service. Once it’s cleared, you have the option to unlock it.

There are many AT&T iPhones which have been reported lost or stolen and this is by far the costliest to unlock it, which is currently priced above $100. This is usually known as premium AT&T unlock.

There is also a huge backlog right now which causes delay of up to 3 weeks.

Services to unlock AT&T iPhone is available here and to remove any blacklist is available here.

3. Verizon iPhone

Most Verizon iPhones especially the later models are usually unlocked unless if specified otherwise on the carrier or Apple database.

The most common issue with getting a used Verizon iPhone is the blockage by carrier which makes it impossible for you to use on other carriers even if unlocked.

This can be fixed using the remote Verizon ESN clearing or cleaning service.

4. Sprint iPhone

What used to be the best option has now became the worst due to stricter policy on Sprint.

If you’re lucky enough to get a Sprint device that has unpaid bills, the status can be fixed using the service here.

Getting a lost/stolen Sprint is bad at this stage because of the possible delays to unlock or to remove any blockage on it.

Most sellers who don’t have direct access to the source may not even able to unlock it.

5. Other Carriers

How about other smaller carriers such as StraightTalk, Cricket etc? It is still possible to unlock them for as long as they’re not blacklisted. Currently, there’s no way to remove the blockage for these carriers.


It is rather confusing on all the different requirements to unlock US iPhones. The blockage and blacklisting of iPhones add another layer of complexity.

Before getting a used iPhone, the article above should give you some adequate guideline to let you choose the best option based on your budget and your willingness to wait for any possible delay.

[photo credit: daily dot]

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Order Completed