Apple Using Streamlined Purchase Process for T-Mobile and AT&T iPhone SE Buyers

Apple is streamlining its iPhone purchase process with the launch of the iPhone SE, and has introduced a new buying method that allows customers to purchase T-Mobile and AT&T devices without inputting their current carrier information.

iPhone SE 3 stacked
As outlined by Bloomberg, customers typically need to provide their wireless phone number and social security number when making an ‌iPhone‌ purchase, a process that allows their carrier to do a credit check and approve the transaction to ensure the person receiving the device will pay their cellular phone bill.

With the ‌iPhone SE‌, AT&T and T-Mobile customers will not need to provide their carrier information when checking out, and can instead connect when turning on the ‌iPhone SE‌ for the first time. Customers also do not need to select a network plan at the time of purchase, cutting down on carrier involvement when a person buys an ‌iPhone‌ from Apple.

Apple told retail employees that the new method is called "on-device authentication," and it makes the ‌iPhone‌ checkout process quicker. The purchase process is available online right now and will be implemented in stores on March 29.

Apple already has a "Connect on your own later" option for iPhone 13 buyers who don't want to input their information at the time of purchase, but this is apparently separate from the way the ‌iPhone SE‌ on-device authentication works. Apple also offers unlocked devices that can be purchased without a carrier association.

As of right now, on-device authentication is limited to AT&T and T-Mobile customers who purchase an ‌iPhone SE‌, but Apple is planning to expand it to Verizon and could also implement the feature for flagship ‌iPhone‌ purchases in the future to make the preorder process smoother.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

ratspg Avatar
15 weeks ago
Should always be this way.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
j-beda Avatar
15 weeks ago

“Customers also do not need to select a network plan at the time of purchase, cutting down on carrier involvement when a person buys an iPhone from Apple.”

Does this signal the end of the $30 carrier discount on iPhone 13/13 mini and iPhone 12/12 mini models? I always hated how Apple made you pay more for an unlocked phone.
I don't think that is Apple making you pay more, but rather the carrier providing a discount. I do not love much of the cell phone ecosystem in Canada (pricing is generally awful compared to most other regions of the world), but it is very nice having all cell phones sold in Canada since Dec 2017 required to be unlocked and all carriers being required to unlock your cell phone on request if it was previously locked.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
15 weeks ago
there's a reason why I have bought "unlocked" phones only for the past 8+ years ...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Lamborrari Avatar
15 weeks ago
“Customers also do not need to select a network plan at the time of purchase, cutting down on carrier involvement when a person buys an iPhone from Apple.”

Does this signal the end of the $30 carrier discount on iPhone 13/13 mini and iPhone 12/12 mini models? I always hated how Apple made you pay more for an unlocked phone.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sw1tcher Avatar
15 weeks ago

“Customers also do not need to select a network plan at the time of purchase, cutting down on carrier involvement when a person buys an iPhone from Apple.”

Does this signal the end of the $30 carrier discount on iPhone 13/13 mini and iPhone 12/12 mini models? I always hated how Apple made you pay more for an unlocked phone.
Exactly what I was wondering. I checked and the answer is no. iPhone 12 and 13 are still $30 more if you don't choose a carrier and select "Connect on your own later" which is dumb. Apple only did away with the extra $30 charge for the new iPhone SE and the 11.

And why is Sprint still listed as a carrier? They got bought out by T-Mobile years ago.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ian87w Avatar
15 weeks ago
This US carrier stuff is so confusing and weird. Everybody else in the world doesn't seem to have any problems with people buying phones without anything to do with the carriers.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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