Factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by VinegarTasters, Nov 22, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #1
    What is the benefit of a factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5? Is there such a thing? I thought all Verizon iPhone 5 were unlocked for the GSM SIM?

    Does the "factory unlocked" Verizon version of iPhone 5 means that the CDMA is unlocked? So that you can take it into another country and use another CDMA carrier? I think Sprint won't even activate on a Verizon factory unlocked iPhone 5 because the ESN needs to be in Sprint's database.

    So is there such a thing as a factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5? If yes, what is the unlock for? For other countries? Will a Verizon iPhone 5 that is not unlocked mean it won't accept CDMA carriers in other countries? (hence, the "lock") This would not pertain to the GSM SIM, which I know is unlocked whether the Verizon iPhone 5 is factory locked or not.
     
  2. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #2
    No such thing like you said.
    All verizon i5 are fully unlocked for any gsm carrier.
    But you will not be able to use them on other CDMA carriers besides verizon.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #3
    But on ebay I see listings for factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5. I think Verizon offers a month to month plan as opposed to a contract for iPhone 5? Would this have something to do with it?

    I think there ARE factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5, but I don't know what the unlocked features are. I am assuming for other country's CDMA. Has anyone taken a Verizon iPhone 5 from the USA and used it with CDMA of another country? Does it need to be factory unlocked to work? Or will it work without being factory unlocked?
     
  4. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #4
    So you believed the ebay listing? Anyone can list their device as anything they want on ebay.
    I can list my microwave oven as factory unlocked and over clocked:)
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #5
    This can't be right. So are you saying for CDMA iPhone 5, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY and have it work on another carrier's CDMA? EVER? There must be people who purchased unlocked CDMA iPhone 5 in japan and got it to work in USA or China (China Telecom) right? Or purchased a Verizon iPhone 5 in USA and used it in Japan's CDMA or China's CDMA right?

    Now when I say take it outside the country I mean not roaming, but using a foreign country's local carrier's SIM/account, etc.

    There HAS to be a CDMA iPhone 5 factory unlocked that work with other country's CDMA carrier right? Isn't that what the Factory Unlocked USA iPhone 5 from verizon does? Allow you to use it in another country, and use their CDMA?
     
  6. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #6
    No, Apple never made a factory unlocked CDMA iphone. Only GSM versions are sold as factory unlocked by Apple. You are very confused.
    Other carriers will not allow another companies CDMA phones on their network and they will not add the foreign phones ESN to their system in order for you to use it there.
    You can try asking them but doesnt mean they will do it.
    Thus it is not a factory unlocked CDMA iphone. Such thing doesnt exist.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #7

    Yes, asking them to do it is the solution. I searched around, and one guy mentioned he got it to work like so:

    - They change the ESN on my account to the ESN of my iPhone.
    - They push my IMSI to the iPhone through OTA provisioning.
    - They tell me my A-key and I enter this into my iPhone.
    - They add my iPhone's AN-AAA username (<imsi>@vzw.com I believe) to my account, since the username in the iPhone can't be changed.
    - They set my account to accept any AN-AAA password, since the password in the iPhone can't be changed.

    (They, in this case is the CDMA carrier of another country).

    But I am STILL not convinced. There MUST be one unlocked CDMA iPhone 5 that will accept CDMA SIM that works in any country's CDMA right? If not, this is terrible terrible news.
     
  8. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
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    #8
    I have no idea what you're talking about.
    There is no such thing as a CDMA sim. CDMA phones dont use sims.
    Im done responding, you obviously dont get it.
     
  9. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #9
    To me, my factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5 means that when I travel to Hong Kong for work, I can replace the Verizon LTE SIM (note: LTE, not CDMA) with a pre-paid SIM from a local Hong Kong carrier that supports GSM and [UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA/LTE], and I'll get voice and data on my iPhone. When I travel back home, I replace the pre-paid SIM with the Verizon LTE SIM, and everything goes back to normal.

    My Verizon iPhone 4s wasn't factory unlocked, so I had to call Verizon before I left the country and ask them to unlock my iPhone for me.

    There was talk about CDMA phones using a SIM-like card a few years ago, but I don't think much came of it, at least in the US. No US carriers use a SIM for CDMA.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #10
    OK. At least someone knows what I am talking about.

    Here is a CDMA SIM:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Removable_User_Identity_Module

    I know in Japan and China they use them.

    But you mention something that is important. You said the Verizon LTE SIM on the Verizon iPhone 5 only works if you plug in the LTE SIM? Does this mean that the CMDA stuff is coded inside the Verizon iPhone 5? While the LTE stuff is put on the removable LTE SIM? You also mention factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5. Would that mean, if you didn't get it factory unlocked, then, you can't use hong kong's LTE? (I mention LTE only because I know regular UMTS like 3G is unlocked on the Verizon iPhone 5). So the only benefit of a factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5 is to use the LTE of hong kong? and if you didn't unlock it, you can only use 3G and not LTE?

    I am surprised that Verizon didn't code the CDMA stuff in side the LTE SIM. Have you tried hopping a train into China and try a China Telecom on your Verizon iPhone 5? I presume if it is unlocked, then maybe the CDMA portion is also unlocked. (That is if the unlock does not only pertain to LTE SIM, which I am still not sure about).
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #11
    I need to bump this because no one seems to know the answers.

    Someone mentioned that Verizon iPhone 5 now use CDMA sims. So you can switch phones by taking out the SIM and plugging it into another iphone (I think even Android).

    So does Factory Unlock mean LTE unlock? Or CDMA unlock? Or does it mean contract lock? I would suppose if the phone has not been paid for (2 years?) it would want to prevent someone from sticking another Verizon SIM? Until the first one is paid? So it "locks" with the first CDMA SIM?
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Location:
    Jersey/Miami
    #12
    a few years ago I had/have a LG Dare from Verizon and then I stopped paying for it . Long story short I went to MetroPCS and they got it to work on their network the only things which didnt work was the internet and mms. BTW I still got the phone even though I dont use as my main phone.
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    #13
    It means G S M unlocked.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #14

    This is not true. ALL Verizon iPhone 5 are GSM unlocked. There are special Factory Unlocked versions that people are selling on ebay. Now people are saying the phone uses CDMA SIM. But what about people who are on a 2 year plan? Does that mean they can simply take out the CDMA SIM and plug it into another phone? (like Android or another iPhone). Can someone test this? Take out an iPhone 5 Verizon SIM and see if the iPhone still makes calls. And stick that SIM into like an Android phone (that supports CDMA SIM) and see if it makes calls?

    How does the carrier force people to finish paying for the 2 year contract if they simply cancel it and sell the iPhone and let someone else stick a good Verizon plan on it? Or take it to another country and stick in another CDMA SIM card?

    Is there TRULY a Factory Unlocked Verizon iPhone 5? Does it lock to LTE? CDMA? Contract (like the first CDMA SIM of Verizon?). I know there seems to be Verizon IPhone 5 with contract and without contract maybe that has to do with the Factory Unlock, or maybe totally different.
     
  15. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #15
    Correct. CDMA stuff is coded inside of the Verizon iPhone 5, GSM stuff (which includes LTE) is on the removable SIM.

    If a Verizon iPhone isn't unlocked, switching SIMs would generate an "INVALID SIM" message, and none of the GSM side of the phone would function, including: GSM/EDGE; UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA; LTE

    The iPhone 5 does not use a CDMA SIM. I'm not aware of any CDMA carrier in the United States that supports that technology.

    Calls work fine. Verizon doesn't use LTE for voice. When you make a voice call, it uses the CDMA network. Removing the SIM only prevents a Verizon iPhone 5 from accessing their LTE data network.

    You might consider posting your question on the Verizon forum over at HowardForums (which is one of the best forums for asking detailed phone questions like that).

    http://www.howardforums.com/forumdisplay.php/51-Verizon-Wireless
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #16

    OK. Thanks. I will try that forum again in the future. One thing though. You mention Verizon uses LTE information on the SIM. Does Verizon offer sub-LTE connection? Like GSM/EDGE; UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA? Or ONLY LTE?

    And you mention something very important. You said...

    VERIZON LOCKS ON FIRST GSM if it is not FACTORY UNLOCKED!

    Are you saying if a Verizon iPhone 5 is not factory unlocked, and you take it outside of the USA, and use another GSM SIM, it will lock on that first SIM that you plug in? So afterwards, if you take out that foreign SIM and try to plug in again another GSM SIM IT WON'T WORK? So Verizon iPhone 5 is not actually GSM unlocked (forever?)? It locks to the first GSM SIM, UNLESS you bought the phone factory unlocked! I think that is what you are saying. If it says invalid SIM for GSM then that means the iPhone 5 has locked on to the first GSM SIM. (does that mean you can't take it to yet another country and plug in yet another GSM SIM?) We are now talking only GSM now. As you mentioned, Verizon iPhone 5 does not use CDMA SIM (odd. someone just said it does on this forum, maybe he never tried calling without the Verizon LTE SIM).
     
  17. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #17
    No. Verizon offers LTE for fast data. Voice is always CDMA, and non-LTE data is also CDMA-based: 1xRTT (the circle icon) or EVDO (the 3G icon). No GSM EDGE/UMTS/HSPA/HSPA+/DC-HSPDA.

    That wasn't me that said that.

    Have you seen these?

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/21/verizon-iphone-5-unlocked-att-t-mobile-video/

    http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/25/3405610/verizon-iphone-5-unlocked-open-access-fcc
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #18
    "If a Verizon iPhone isn't unlocked, switching SIMs would generate an "INVALID SIM" message, and none of the GSM side of the phone would function, including: GSM/EDGE; UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA; LTE "

    Thanks for the links. It only confirms that Verizon iPhone 5 is unlocked for any GSM SIM. If yes, then did you write the above? If all Verizon iPhone 5 were unlocked for GSM, then how do you get "INVALID SIM" message for switching GSM SIMs? That is why I asked you if the iPhone 5 Verizon model locks on the first GSM SIM, and if you switch it (to another GSM SIM), you will get the "INVALID SIM".


    Also, did you verify that if you take out the Verizon SIM, you can still use CDMA to make calls on your Verizon iPhone 5 in the US? Some people are saying you can't make any more calls. So I am guessing yes, it is a CDMA SIM, but no, the iPhone has some Verizon information (CDMA) burned into the phone preventing other CDMA carriers from using it.

    Have you taken it over to China and tried China Telecom CDMA SIM?
     
  19. macrumors 68040

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #19
    Verizon uses C-SIMs since LTE, YES IN THE UNITED STATES. No iPhone 5 will function without a SIM card! iPhone 5 will use the SIM card to activate both the CDMA and LTE

    Once again, we have a plethora of people who know morning about Verizon's LTE network spouting out crap they don't know.

    Source: Verizon iPhone 5
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    #20
    A verizon IPhone 5 will not function without a SIM card, for data or voice. Your info is incorrect.

    ----------

    Correct.
     
  21. sillywabbit, Nov 24, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    #21
    Dude, like I told you earlier, Verizon iPhone 5 are only factory GSM unlocked, period. Don't worry about the CDMA portion because you are not going to be unable to use that portion anywhere else other than Verizon unless you get it reflashed.

    Bottom line: it is GSM factory unlocked ONLY.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

    VinegarTasters

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #22
    OK. Someone with knowledge. Here are the questions...

    1) If a Verizon iPhone 5 is unlocked for GSM, does it unlock FOREVER? Meaning if lets say you put in a AT&T SIM CARD, activate it. Then take it out and put in a different TMOBILE card, will they both work? Then you go outside the country and plug in that other country's GSM SIM, and then take it out and use ANOTHER GSM SIM in that other country will they still work? Or does the Verizon iPhone 5 has the ability to LOCK on first GSM for a given country?

    2) Does the "factory unlocked" Verizon iPhone 5 allow different Verizon CDMA SIMs to be put in? If yes, are there "non" factory unlocked Verizon iPhone 5 that "lock" to one CDMA SIM? I would presume the "factory unlock" ONLY pertains to CDMA in this case. I think people with 2 years monthly payment plans would have their Verizon SIMs locked to an iPhone 5 so they need to pay off 2 years before Verizon allows them to sell the iPhone to someone else (who may put in another Verizon CDMA SIM). So a "factory unlocked" iPhone 5 would allow you to change Verizon SIMS in that phone and still work, while an iPhone 5 that is normally purchased on contract will prevent you from changing SIMS (it will say INVALID SIM?)
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    aziatiklover

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2011
    Location:
    8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    #23
    OP you need to understand that china, south korea, and japan use a different WCDMA that use sim card! So your verizon CDMA will not work with any other CDMA carriers unless they get the ESN in their system otherwise there is no such thing as a CDMA factory unlocked!
     
  24. Jtludwig, Nov 25, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    #24
    #1. A Verizon IPhone 5 is GSM unlocked forever, for use on as many different GSM networks as you feel like. You can use an AT&T sim on Monday, Tmobile on Tuesday, 3 UK on Wednesday, etc.

    #2. A Verizon IPhone 5 can be used on any Verizon acct, as long as the ESN has not been blacklisted by Verizon (due to nonpayment of fees, reported stolen, etc).

    A Verizon IPhone 5 will not work on any other CDMA carrier without that carrier having added it to their ESN database.

    Even a "locked" AT&T, Verizon, etc iPhone 5 will work with another SIM card from the network that it's locked too as long as it has not been blacklisted. And even if it has been blacklisted, the phone itself would not say Invalid SIM...it would accept the SIM, but just not work to make voice/data calls. You would receive an "unable to make calls" msg when making a call.
     

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