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Old Dec 29, 2012, 03:50 AM   #1
aphexacid
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Why won't my 4S activate? Help? long story...

When the iphone 5 came out, i handed down my 4S to my fiance. The week prior to the 5 coming out, i did an OTA update of ios6 and had been using it like that without any issues.

After i got my 5, i did a factory reset of my 4S with my fiances sim card on it, and it refused to activate. It gave me a "only compatible sim cards from a supported carrier may be used to activate iphone..." message.

So i assumed she needed a new sim card, even though she had been using an iphone 4. so i got her a new sim. Same problem.

Plug it into itunes, you get ZERO options, it just gives you the same sim card message. So i did a DFU restore. But that didnt help.

I called at&t, and they were clueless. They told me to get new sim, which didn't help. The guy assured me that its the sim. So i went again to get ANOTHER new sim. This did not help.

So i made a genius appointment. Went in to apple, and the genius was stumped. He tried test sim's, even his own sim. will not activate.
So he swapped the phone. He brings out a 4S, that happened to have 5.1.1 on it. Boom, activated no problem. Then, just before we left, i asked "can you please update it to 6.0 for me to save me some time". He obliged. About 5 minutes later he comes back and says "you're not going to believe this". It was stuck on the activation error again after he updated it to 6.0.

He brings out another 4S, thankfully with 5.1.1 still, and i tell him that i'll be keeping it on that firmware until we can figure out the problem. Otherwise, my fiance will be phoneless.

So she used it for a couple months on 5.1.1. And i know those replacements only have 90 days warranty, so i said, i had better see if the problem still persisted.

Sure enough, i updated the phone to 6.0 and a factory reset, and its on the activation error again. Back to apple we go.

I found the same genius, and showed it to him. He hadn't found any solution, and at this point, there are no more replacements with 5.1.1. So he says, let me get you another phone and see what happens.

he brings out another 4S, and it WILL NOT ACTIVATE. At this point, i take the replacement, put it in my pocket, and i tell him to bring me an unlocked iphone 5 for my fiance, because i'm not dealing with this crap anymore.

So i bought her a new iphone 5, which had no activation problems.

But now i have an iphone 4S that just refuses to activate! With ANY sim card, even a tmobile sim.

And heres the kicker...I figured, surely if i unlocked the phone, it would not complain about sim cards because i can use anything at this point. So i tried to buy an unlock code from unlock fusion for the original 4S, and they said they couldnt unlock it. I contacted at&t for an unlock since the contract was over, and they said sure. I get an email 3 days later saying that "we cant unlock the phone because it was at some point reported lost or stolen"

WHAT??? I called at&t about it, they said we don't have a clue why it says that. call apple. Apple support says, lost or stolen? Strange. Go get the phone replaced!

I tried getting the last replacement unlocked that i have currently, with unlock fusion...and again it can't be unlocked.

heres what they said this time "Unfortunately there is no way to unlock your iphone. There could be many reasons (Refurbished, or not a SUPPORTED Provider as specified in our auction)."

What the hell that means, i have no clue.


So i currently have the phone up on ebay for sale. I figured i would ask you guys to see if i can do anything with it. I really wanted to give it to my sister to replace her 3GS, but it doesn't seems possible.

Sorry for the LONG explanation. Its such a complicated story.

Here is a picture of what the phone is saying:

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Old Dec 30, 2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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That's very weird bro.
I never heard of a situation like that before. Works fine and then you update or restore and doesn't recognize any sim at all.
Wonder what's causing that.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:10 PM   #3
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To many holes in your story. I can't see how your situation is possible. Please provide pics of the paperwork you received with each transaction of course blocking any pertinent info.

Sorry if I'm sceptical but I honestly can't see why a new sim, new phone would give you the issue. Not sure if this is an elaborate (I stole this phone and am having trouble activating it so I'm asking for help threads) or you're on the up an up. Either way I'm not sure what can be done..... maybe tiny umbrella?
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:23 PM   #4
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It's not blacklisted or reported lost or stolen right?
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:33 PM   #5
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Its definitely not lost or stolen. what holes are you talking about? I have no problem filling them in if you think it will help you understand better.

the 4S replacement i received with 5.1.1 that my fiance used for about 2 months according to at&t was "reported lost or stolen" when i tried to unlock it. But she was using it just fine, so it wasn't black listed.

The replacement i got for that one, according to unlock fusion, is not an at&t phone.

Thats the one i have currently.

The only other thing i can think of, is maybe i need to call at&t to add the imei/serial to the account i want to use it for?

I never had to do that before, i always used to just take my sim out, erase the phone and hand it down to my fiance.

But honestly, it worked perfectly and activated just fine with 5.1.1. So what is it about 6.0 that wont let it activate??

If you really need paperwork to prove its not stolen, i will produce it.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:35 PM   #6
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The baseband most likely got updated.

Best thing now is sell it and buy a factory unlocked iPhone.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Applejuiced View Post
It's not blacklisted or reported lost or stolen right?
The current one is neither, but the replacement i got that worked (5.1.1) was supposedly "reported lost or stolen" according to at&t. But not blacklisted.

The one i have now, i tried to unlock with unlock fusion as a possible solution, but this time they say its not an at&t iphone.

these could just be blanket type responses though.

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The baseband most likely got updated.

Best thing now is sell it and buy a factory unlocked iPhone.
Why does that mean I can't activate it though?

We have AT&T, I don't need it to be unlocked. I only tried to unlock it as a possible solution to it not accepting AT&T sim cards
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:49 PM   #8
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Baseband is the cellular radios firmware. It'll vary from provider to provider. Try doing a DFU restore to 6.0.2
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by blueroom View Post
Baseband is the cellular radios firmware. It'll vary from provider to provider. Try doing a DFU restore to 6.0.2
DFU is all I can do actually, otherwise iTunes won't let me do anything else.

Which I did, and now it's on 6.01. I don't think 6.02 came out for the 4S
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:02 PM   #10
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I'd take it in to Apple and ask them to check it out. They should have a special hardware diagnostics tool.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:11 PM   #11
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The holes are I don't see how it's possible so basically I'm asking you to prove your story. Not saying you're lying, not saying you're telling the truth, simply wanting to see the transaction paperwork so I can have proof that you're not lying. It's actually not that important, you can tell me to go f myself if you like (mods might not like that though) but I simply can't see how multiple new phones and multiple new sims would give you the same message over and over.
NOW I did have a PC that would not update my phones..... I suspect this had something to do with me re-doing some settings to downgrade a phone and to get it to look at TU before iTunes but who knows. Any way, every time I tried to update FW it would lock up and give me and error. This sounds reasonable if it was only YOUR computer giving you the issue but not so much new phone, sim, and apple computer doing it.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:11 PM   #12
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It sounds like a backend issue either on AT&T or Apple's side. Every time you switch phones, you're getting a different ESN so they can't all be lost or stolen.

What I would do is get another replacement and use someone else's SIM to activate it and unlock it. If that is successful, sell it.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:12 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by blueroom View Post
I'd take it in to Apple and ask them to check it out. They should have a special hardware diagnostics tool.
Yeah I've been back and forth to the apple store about this. I've got 3 or 4 replacements and try all did the same on 6.0. 5.1.1 was ok but I can't keep it on 5.1.1 forever.

All apple wants to do is keep swapping phones and blame AT&T. AT&T blames apple.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:14 PM   #14
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Did Apple confirm it's locked to AT&T? Take the SIM in the store and they should get it to work.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by blueroom View Post
Did Apple confirm it's locked to AT&T? Take the SIM in the store and they should get it to work.
After I got an email from unlock fusion saying its probably not AT&T iPhone, I went to apple to make sure they didn't give me something else, and they said its definitely an AT&T 4S.

If you mean go to an AT&T store, I tried that originally. They're clueless. They just want to keep giving me SIM cards.

So apple can't activate it, and want to keep swapping phones. AT&T can't activate it, and want to keep giving me SIM cards.

Each blame the other party. In fact, I have a hilarious 1 minute voicemail saved from AT&T.

My opinion is that it has to be something with 6.0, since when it was on 5.1.1 it activated no problem.

Sigh...what an annoying problem
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:35 PM   #16
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Since there are millions of happy iPhone 4S AT&T on iOS 6.0.1 customers it's not likely the iPhone (since Apple swapped the hardware).

Does Apple have an unlocked iPhone 4S you could try with your SIM?

There must be a way of telling what service is locked to a particular serial number.

Try getting a new SIM, or have your service reset.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:37 PM   #17
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What's the common problem here? It's your account for whatever reason.

Take your sister with you to the Apple store, have them replace the phone and as soon as they take it out of the box; have your sister put her SIM card in and activate it on her account immediately as long as she is not on the same plan as you are.

Of course since you're already selling it on eBay, does it really matter at this point if you figure out a solution?
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:40 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by aphexacid View Post
My opinion is that it has to be something with 6.0, since when it was on 5.1.1 it activated no problem.

Sigh...what an annoying problem
I doubt it has to do with ios 6.0
Millions of devices updated and activated fine on 6.0.
Yours is the only case I ever heard of such a thing.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 09:47 PM   #19
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I do have it on eBay already. I specified that I can't activate it, and the buyer may not be able to either. So it's just up there for parts. They could go swap it themselves at apple since it has a 90 warranty.

But I did want to see what you guys thought about it it since I really wanted to give it to my sister since I bought my fiancÚ a 5.

Something tells me that if I were to tell AT&T to add the imei #/ serial to my phone # on my account, it might activate. But I don't want it to screw up my account. And my sister has a 3GS so I'd have to take her to get a micro sim an go through the hassle, and I don't even if that would work.

I just don't understand why it would activate on 5.1.1 but then when you update to 6.0, it won't activate anymore.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:01 PM   #20
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I do have it on eBay already. I specified that I can't activate it, and the buyer may not be able to either. So it's just up there for parts. They could go swap it themselves at apple since it has a 90 warranty.

But I did want to see what you guys thought about it it since I really wanted to give it to my sister since I bought my fiancÚ a 5.

Something tells me that if I were to tell AT&T to add the imei #/ serial to my phone # on my account, it might activate. But I don't want it to screw up my account. And my sister has a 3GS so I'd have to take her to get a micro sim an go through the hassle, and I don't even if that would work.

I just don't understand why it would activate on 5.1.1 but then when you update to 6.0, it won't activate anymore.
How much do you want for it?
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:03 PM   #21
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If you don't mind sharing, what's your IMEI? I'm truly interested because you can look up every bit of info about the iPhone from that one number. Or you can look it up yourself. I'll have to find the website for that.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:10 PM   #22
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Your ebay feedback is atrocious dude!
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:20 PM   #23
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Your ebay feedback is atrocious dude!
Me? I have 100% perfect feedback!
I didn't even post my username I don't think

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If you don't mind sharing, what's your IMEI? I'm truly interested because you can look up every bit of info about the iPhone from that one number. Or you can look it up yourself. I'll have to find the website for that.
What kind of info would I get from this?

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Your ebay feedback is atrocious dude!
OMG aphexacid on eBay is definitely not me.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:21 PM   #24
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What kind of info would I get from this?
Well first, what's the iPhone model number? If it has an LL in it, that means AT&T.

I was mistaken, not a lot of info can be taken from the IMEI. Much more can be taken from the serial number.

Try www.appleserialnumberinfo.com
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 10:31 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by aphexacid View Post
[/COLOR]

OMG aphexacid on eBay is definitely not me.
Lol
That ebay handle hasnt been active since 2006 but was still funny as hell
That dude has tons of negative feedback, no wonder he's not using that user ID any more.
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