How do I know that my iPhone is carrier-free?

If you are going to buy an iPhone for the first time, or you have bought an iPhone in another country, you may be interested in knowing if that phone is blocked, or not, by the telephone operator. This means that, if it is blocked, you will only be able to use a single company to access voice and data services. And in this post we tell you how you can find out.

Is my iPhone locked or is it jailbroken?

Before starting with the procedure, let’s put a little context. In Spain, since 2012, a dispute between users and operators began, alleging that selling telephones blocked by the operator was illegal and abusive. This process concluded in 2013 with a Consumer Cooperation report, which agreed with the users. So, between 2013 and 2015, it was when in Spain they stopped selling phones blocked by operator.

In the US, however, things are different, and that is that there it is legal to sell mobile phones blocked by the telephone operator. In fact, this is a practice that Apple itself uses to sell cheaper iPhones in that territory, since, in this way, the amount that the customer stops paying is financed by the telephone company, in exchange for only You can use that specific company for a certain time, which will vary depending on the contract and the price we decide to pay.

So, if you are in Spain, you can rest easy because if you have bought your iPhone in authorized stores and distributors, such as department stores or Premium Resellers, your iPhone is free. But if you want to remove any kind of doubt, this can be verified in a few steps. We are going to Settings > General > Information. There we will have to go down until we see a box that says Operator blocking.

iphone lock operator

If in that box we see that the phrase appears “No SIM restriction”, then the iPhone is unlocked and can be used with any telephone company, whether it is from Spain or from other countries. This procedure can be done on any iPhone, and if our iPhone is not unlocked, Apple indicates that we will get the following message.

“It seems that the SIM card inserted in the iPhone is not supported. Only compatible SIM cards from a supported carrier can be used to activate iPhone. Insert the SIM card that came with your iPhone or visit a compatible carrier store.” If we see this message in that same section, then it will mean your iPhone has network restriction.

If you have a locked iPhone, Apple can’t unlock it

It may seem contradictory, but if we have bought an iPhone that is blocked by an operator, Apple cannot do anything so that we can use it with another company. So if you need to unlock the carrier of your iPhone You will need to contact the carrier in the country where you purchased the iPhone.

An additional piece of advice when buying an iPhone from a telephone company: ask, in case you have any doubts, if the iPhone you are going to buy is free. In Spain it is very common for iPhones to be sold through an operator, but at a lower price, in exchange for permanence or other clauses that vary depending on the company. Despite the fact that the iPhones sold in Spain are free, asking does not cost anything and can save us more than one headache in the future.