Status Report: Carrier-Unlocked Devices in Canada

Thanks to the CRTC, come this December 1st your Canadian carrier will no longer be able to sell phones locked to its own network. It’s great news for consumers in this country; even better, some carriers are getting ahead of the deadline and have begun unlocking their hardware for free!

I’ve cobbled together a quick list of who is currently selling unlocked smartphones (and also LTE-connected tablets). It’s by no means complete, so please feel free to add to it. And it doesn’t include your local Apple Store or pop-up Samsung shop—because we already knew about those, right?

Bell and Virgin Mobile

Both Bell and its subsidiary Virgin Mobile have begun selling a considerable portion of their device portfolios without any carrier locks:

Alcatel GoFlip and Pixi 5
All Google devices
All iPhones and iPads
BlackBerry KEYOne (requires software update)
Motorola Z2 Play
Samsung Note 8
ZTE Grand X View 2 Tablet

Best Buy Canada

All iPhones for all carriers are now sold unlocked, even the ones with subsidies.


“Some” devices are now sold unlocked… That’s super-helpful </s>.

Freedom Mobile

There are anecdotal reports of users getting unlocking fees waived. Your mileage may vary; I asked about unlocking a phone when activating a line on Freedom and was told I’d have to wait thirty days.

Rogers and Fido

Both are waiving unlocking fees, but only for devices bought outright.

Staples Canada

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are now available unlocked for outright purchase, and also on an in-house 24-month payment plan.

TELUS and Koodo

Again, anecdotal evidence of unlocking fees being waived. YMMV.

If you’ve anything to add to this list, please help your fellow readers out!

Sources: iPhone in Canada, Mobile Syrup (1), (2), (3)

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