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Old Nov 23, 2012, 04:07 PM   #1
jumpfrog
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Un activated Verizon iPhone 5 locked?

Hi,
Today I bought an unactivated Verizon iPhone 5 from Best Buy for $700 to use on TMobile's $50 a month no contract plan.

I took the phone straight to the T Mobile store but their sim wouldn't work. They guy told me I needed to plug into iTunes and then it will be unlocked. After this the sim would work.

However, when I plug it in nothing happens. The guy at T Mobile said that it may be locked or that they gave me the wrong phone at Best Buy (maybe they picked up an AT&T one by mistake)
I then went back to Best Buy and they rescanned the phone box and verified that it's Verizon. The girl said that they are not unlocked and that it's just a 'rumour' that Verizon's iPhone 5's are factory unlocked. This is very different to all the rumours and articles online.

Could anyone please offer some advice on what to do?? I'm sitting here with a useless phone at the moment.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 04:35 PM   #2
Applejuiced
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The best buy girl didnt know what she was talking about.
It should activate with any gsm sim.
Hope she didnt give you a Sprint iphone or AT&T.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 04:37 PM   #3
Jades
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Start off by powering up the phone with the Verizon SIM card in it. While the phone is on and at the home screen, pull out the sim and put in the tmobile sim

Do a factory restore if necessary. Very strange
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 04:41 PM   #4
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Make sure its plugged into itunes when you're trying to activate it or connect it to wifi when trying to activate with the new tmobile nanosim.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 04:46 PM   #5
jumpfrog
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Thanks for responding. This is definitely a Verizon iPhone.
Also, the phone did not come with a Verizon sim. It's just an empty iPhone with no sim. I am not a Verizon customer under contract. Could this be the issue?

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Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
Make sure its plugged into itunes when you're trying to activate it or connect it to wifi when trying to activate with the new tmobile nanosim.
Spent 45 mins in T Mobile trying this and various other methods!
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 04:53 PM   #6
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No, I doubt the verizon sim has anything to do with it.
What is the model number in the back plate listed on the iphone 5?
I know everyone that bought verizon iphone 5 models they never had to activate them at all with verizon.
They activate with any sim you put in with no probs.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 04:57 PM   #7
jumpfrog
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Model is A1429
Thanks
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 05:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpfrog View Post
Model is A1429
Thanks
Yes, that's the right one.
When u plug in the Tmobile nano sim what does it display?
Sim not supported or no service?
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:09 PM   #9
marcelo4527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
No, I doubt the verizon sim has anything to do with it.
What is the model number in the back plate listed on the iphone 5?
I know everyone that bought verizon iphone 5 models they never had to activate them at all with verizon.
They activate with any sim you put in with no probs.
That's what I heard and I also just got a verizon iphone 5 at full price from best buy today but i didn't tested with a different sim yet. I hope mine works unlocked, also how can I certify that mine does in fact works with other carriers? I don't have a t-mobile or att sim card :/

I bought because I'm gonna use it in another country
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:17 PM   #10
darster
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Did you turn LTE off? General, celluar. Insert sim card, and then reset network settings. You should not have to turn LTE off, but since you are using it on T mobile, you wont have access to LTE anyways.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcelo4527 View Post
That's what I heard and I also just got a verizon iphone 5 at full price from best buy today but i didn't tested with a different sim yet. I hope mine works unlocked, also how can I certify that mine does in fact works with other carriers? I don't have a t-mobile or att sim card :/

I bought because I'm gonna use it in another country
The only way to really be able to tell you have to get a Tmobile nano sim.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 06:29 PM   #12
marcelo4527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
The only way to really be able to tell you have to get a Tmobile nano sim.
I've been thinking about just getting a cheap t-mobile nano sim or even a regular one and cut it to fit the iphone.. But can I just get an unactivated t-mobile sim, or do I need to activate the sim in order to tell if if my phone is unlocked?
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:21 PM   #13
jumpfrog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
Yes, that's the right one.
When u plug in the Tmobile nano sim what does it display?
Sim not supported or no service?
Hi, I think it said no service in the shop. I haven't bought the sim yet.
Does Verizon need to activate the phone first??
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:26 PM   #14
marcelo4527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpfrog View Post
Hi, I think it said no service in the shop. I haven't bought the sim yet.
Does Verizon need to activate the phone first??
It probably said no service because the sim was still unactivated!! I'm pretty sure that means your phone is unlocked because locked phones say Invalid Sim when you try putting a different carrier's sim!

I'm pretty sure that's how it is but since i haven't tested myself yet i can't confirm to you
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:27 PM   #15
darster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpfrog View Post
Hi, I think it said no service in the shop. I haven't bought the sim yet.
Does Verizon need to activate the phone first??
Buy the sim, take it home and insert in phone, activate via your itunes account. I think the very first time you activate a verizon phone and not using their sim will require activation through intunes with t mobile sim.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:35 PM   #16
jumpfrog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darster View Post
Buy the sim, take it home and insert in phone, activate via your itunes account. I think the very first time you activate a verizon phone and not using their sim will require activation through intunes with t mobile sim.
The problem is that I took my laptop into the T Mobile store and he still couldn't activate it with everything in front of him. We tried with/without sim, disconnecting then connecting etc. Nothing worked I'm really confused.
Could it be that the phone is CDMA rather than GSM??!
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:39 PM   #17
marcelo4527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpfrog View Post
Hi, I think it said no service in the shop. I haven't bought the sim yet.
Does Verizon need to activate the phone first??
If it said no service then your iphone recognized the new sim, but your sim wasn't activated. Buy the sim and activate with a T-mobile plan or buy one of those pre paid cards to activate your sim and then you should be able to get signal.

You do not need to connect to itunes at all to activate your verizon iphone 5, it comes factory unlocked, so you just have to insert an active sim card from any carrier in your phone
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:39 PM   #18
darster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpfrog View Post
The problem is that I took my laptop into the T Mobile store and he still couldn't activate it with everything in front of him. We tried with/without sim, disconnecting then connecting etc. Nothing worked I'm really confused.
Could it be that the phone is CDMA rather than GSM??!
Verizon is CDMA with GSM bands. The CDMA part is locked, it's the GSM bands that are unlocked with the Verizon phone. Which means t mobile should work. Did he try a different sim? It could have been a bad sim.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:46 PM   #19
marcelo4527
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darster View Post
Verizon is CDMA with GSM bands. The CDMA part is locked, it's the GSM bands that are unlocked with the Verizon phone. Which means t mobile should work. Did he try a different sim? It could have been a bad sim.
Like he said it comes unlocked out of the bo for GSM, and it should work.
Locked iPhones say Invalid Sim when you try to put a sim from a different carrier so since your iphone said No Signal it means that it recognized the sim, but you need to try with an active sim, don't expect to get signal from an unactivated sim
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 07:52 PM   #20
darster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marcelo4527 View Post
Like he said it comes unlocked out of the bo for GSM, and it should work.
Locked iPhones say Invalid Sim when you try to put a sim from a different carrier so since your iphone said No Signal it means that it recognized the sim, but you need to try with an active sim, don't expect to get signal from an unactivated sim
Exactly. Me thinks the t mobile guy forgot to actually activate the sim in their system first. You can also do that online via tmobile. Other sim cards require you to enter an activation code during setup. It's more than just putting a sim in the phone and turning on.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 08:05 PM   #21
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Ok thanks guys. I'll give it a try tomorrow and mention how I get on.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 08:31 PM   #22
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My Tmobile sim in the i5 said no service too. After a minute or 2 it connected fine though.
Just leave it inside and it will recognize it and connect eventually.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 11:14 PM   #23
marcelo4527
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Ok thanks guys. I'll give it a try tomorrow and mention how I get on.
Don't forget to let us know how that went
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 03:01 AM   #24
VinegarTasters
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
The only way to really be able to tell you have to get a Tmobile nano sim.
Why? AT&T checks their database of iPhone 5 and only works with their own iPhone 5's? Wouldn't AT&T's SIM work with an unlocked phone that Apple is selling? (The GSM portion that is, I think the LTE wouldn't work because on different band).

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Quote:
Originally Posted by darster View Post
Did you turn LTE off? General, celluar. Insert sim card, and then reset network settings. You should not have to turn LTE off, but since you are using it on T mobile, you wont have access to LTE anyways.

Why is that? The T-Mobile doesn't support LTE? Or it is on a LTE band not supported by the iPhone 5 verizon model? Isn't T-Mobile using the same bands as AT&T?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by darster View Post
Verizon is CDMA with GSM bands. The CDMA part is locked, it's the GSM bands that are unlocked with the Verizon phone. Which means t mobile should work. Did he try a different sim? It could have been a bad sim.
What do you mean CDMA locked? Locked to Verizon (can use any Verizon SIM)? Locked to one CDMA SIM account of Verizon (so they pay off the 2 year plan?)? If it is locked why are people saying that the Verizon iPhone 5 supports CDMA SIM? Meaning they can take out the SIM and put it into another phone and get it to make calls? Would the iPhone 5 Verizon phone be able to make calls on the Verizon CDMA network if the SIM is removed? Or is it only used to make LTE related calls or internet?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
My Tmobile sim in the i5 said no service too. After a minute or 2 it connected fine though.
Just leave it inside and it will recognize it and connect eventually.
Can you take out your Verizon iPhone 5 SIM and see if it still makes calls? Didn't you say the CDMA is burned inside the phone and the SIM is only used to store LTE stuff? I would like to get a verification on this whether the CDMA stuff is attached to the SIM or attached to the iPhone 5 (for Verizon specifically)
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 01:03 PM   #25
jumpfrog
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Ok so here is what happened.
I went back to T Mobile today and the Verizon iPhone simply would not work. Therefore it is either locked to the carrier or only Verizon can activate the actual phone.
I went back to Best Buy and got a full refund.
I then walked down the road to the Apple store and explained to a rep what I wanted to do. He told me to buy an AT&T iPhone 5 which will work fine on T Mobile. He said that I should take the AT&T sim out before powering up and insert the T Mobile one in.
I bought the phone (for $50 less!) and then went straight to T Mobile. The guy put the sim in and activated it, it took about 5 mins. I'm now up and running with T Mobile for $50 a month no contract. I live in Manhattan and the speed is excellent when browsing.

So, I discourage anyone to buy a Verizon iphone 5 from Best Buy if you want to use it on T Mobile. Go straight to the Apple store and tell them what you want to do, Apple reps are far more knowledgeable. The reps in Best Buy are useless and generally do not have a clue.
Thanks for the advice.
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