Whether you are looking for a new iPhone or want to switch the one you have to a new carrier, you might have come across the US Reseller Flex Policy and want to know all about it.
The most important thing to know about the US Reseller Flex Policy is that phones tied to it are not “unlocked.” Instead, these phones are programmed to lock to the first carrier they happen to connect to.
Our aim in this article is to help you understand everything you should know about the US Reseller Flex Policy.
What Does US Flex Policy Mean?
Buying a smartphone these days means making plenty of decisions. You not only have to compare different brands, models, and price ranges but carriers as well.
While some smartphones are sold as “unlocked” and can be switched between carriers at any time, this is not always the case.
The US Reseller Flex Policy (also known as SIM OUT) lets retailers sell iPhones and other smartphones which are not locked to any one carrier. The catch here is that when a SIM card is put into these smartphones, it immediately locks the device to the carrier in question.
If the SIM card you choose to use for the first time belongs to AT&T, for example, it will be exactly as if you had purchased your smartphone directly from that very carrier.
It is also important to note that the SIM card you insert into these devices has to come from a US cell phone carrier. SIM cards from abroad will fail to activate the device.
Smartphones under the US Reseller Flex Policy cannot be said to be “unlocked” because of how they lock to a specific carrier according to the SIM card inserted in them for the first time.
How to Check if your iPhone is Locked to US Reseller Flex Policy
A lot of consumers fail to understand the difference between unlocked iPhones and iPhones that are locked to the US Reseller Flex Policy.
This can lead to them purchasing a new or used cell phone either physically or from an online marketplace like eBay or Amazon without knowing its status. In many cases, consumers who do this end up not being able to use the carrier of their choice.
To avoid this situation, you have to make sure whether an iPhone is, in fact, locked to this policy or not before handing over any money.
Also, if you are buying a smartphone through the Internet, be wary of sellers who write you the IMEI number for you to check instead of sending a picture or video of it.
When Buying a New iPhone
If you are purchasing a new iPhone, you need to get the IMEI number to check the phone’s status. The ordinary way is to dial *#06# on your iPhone.
IMEI stands for “International Mobile Equipment Identity.” This is a unique number used to identify a specific device. No two mobile devices can use the same IMEI number.
Once you have the IMEI number, you have to use a third-party IMEI checker.
The most reliable and accurate IMEI checker is WipeLock IMEI Check. They will take your iPhone’s IMEI number and inform you about its status, including whether it is locked to the US Reseller Flex Policy or not.
When Buying a Used iPhone
If you are purchasing a used iPhone, it will already have a SIM card inserted and will be working through a specific carrier. So is it locked to the US Reseller Flex Policy or not?
In this case, aside from checking the device’s status with the IMEI number, you can also check with another SIM card or with iOS settings.
Check with Another SIM Card
One of the most reliable ways to check if your iPhone is locked to a specific carrier through the US Reseller Flex Policy is to try using another SIM card with it.
Of course, you have to have another SIM card from a different carrier to try this. Follow these steps to check your iPhone’s status:
Step 1. Power off the iPhone.
Step 2. Remove the SIM card that is currently inserted in your iPhone and insert the new one.
Step 3. Turn your iOS device back on.
Step 4. You will see the carrier’s name displayed in the top left corner of the screen.
If the name corresponds with the new SIM card’s carrier, your iPhone is unlocked. Try making a call to make sure. If you are prompted for an activation code or SIM unlock code, your phone is locked to one carrier.
Check with iOS Settings
Checking whether your iPhone is locked in any way, including to the US Reseller Flex Policy, is not 100% accurate. However, if you want to try this, go to settings. Under settings, look for “Cellular Data” and tap on it.
If you are able to see your device’s cellular data, it is unlocked, otherwise, it is not.
Can I Unlock My iPhone from US Reseller Flex Policy?
Having an iPhone locked to the US Reseller Flex Policy can be very frustrating if you want to use another carrier. It may or may not be possible to unlock your iOS device depending on the carrier it is currently locked to.
First, identify what carrier your phone is locked to. You can do this by going into Settings > General > About > Network. Next to “Network” your current carrier might be listed or might not be.
If your carrier is not listed there, take out the SIM card and you should see their logo printed on it.
Once you know who your iPhone’s carrier is, contact them and ask for the phone to be unlocked from the US Reseller Flex Policy. Depending on the carrier’s policies and unlock rules, they may or may not grant your request.
You may want to check this guide to learn the details of unlocking an iPhone.
Calling Apple to unlock your iPhone will not be of any use as they will only point you to the carrier.
The US Reseller Flex Policy can limit how you are able to use your iPhone so it is important to be aware of it. If your iOS device is locked by this policy, there are some things you can try to unlock it.
However, unlocking your smartphone is not a certainty and your best shot is to contact the current carrier.