iPhone unlocked before activation?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DanBurns91, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Location:
    West Midlands, England
    #1
    Hi,
    My friend has offered to swap me his brand new iPhone 4s for my 2 week old 4s as we both prefer the other phones colour (stupid i know). However, mines factory unlocked and his came from a network im not on. He THINKS because the phone is still sealed and hasnt had a sim card in it yet that there isnt a network lock on the phone, therefore my sim card should workout without fault.

    Can anybody confirm if this is true?

    Thanks,
    Dan
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Arnezie

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2011
    #2
    No it won't workbut try it anyway :D
     
  3. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2010
    Location:
    New Mexico
    #3
    Don't Swap, Because....

    His information is incorrect. Even if a carrier locked iPhone has never had a sim activated in it, it will still be locked to the carrier's network. Only factory unlocked iPhones can simply swap SIMs to switch between GSM networks.

    Also, if he's on Sprint or Verizon he won't be able to use the factory unlocked iPhone on either network anyway, no matter what. The unlocked iPhone can only be used on AT&T and T-Mobile, in the U.S.

    Hope this helps...

    Edit: Oh, right, just noticed you're not Stateside....
    This information holds true for the U.K., with the exception that you can get the carriers there to unlock the iPhone by requesting it and/or paying a fee.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Far East
    #4
    Why would you want to swap your unlocked phone, which is worth much more than a phone that is locked and worth much less?
     
  5. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    To clarify, the carrier lock doesn't happen when you pop the sim in. If it's locked, it's locked out of the box, regardless of whether or not you turned it on with a sim inside yet. I would have him call and check. There are carriers that sell unlocked phones, and others that sell them locked but are willing to unlock them for you for free, or perhaps a small fee.

    ----------

    I don;t think the OP is clear about how carriers lock phones. He is hoping that the phone he is looking to trade for is unlocked as well. He doesn't want to trade his unlocked phone for a locked one.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    #6
    If your phone is factory unlocked, and his/her/it's phone isn't factory unlocked.

    Don't do the trade.
    Your loss is his/her/it's gain.

    The difference between locked and unlocked phones are a few hundred american monies.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Jordan921

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #7
    Not worth the trade for just the color seeing as his phone will be carrier locked. His info is incorrect.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Location:
    West Midlands, England
    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I wouldn't mind swapping if his phone would have accepted my sim. I don't sell my phones after I upgrade... The girlfriend gets a free upgrade via me ;-)

    I'm quite gutted it won't work tho!
    Thanks for the replies guys
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Confuzzzed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2011
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    #9
    You are in the UK and you are receiving US centric advice. I would advice you not to give up. Why? Because essentially network locked phones are borderline anti-competitive to the point of perhaps being illegal. I would try your SIM card on your friend's phone WHILST you have the phone hooked up to your iTunes and may even have to try it a couple of times for it to work. If that doesn't work, ring the network with the two IMEI numbers and explain the situation. The network SHOULD help you unlock.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #10
    An iPhone isn't anything until it's activated - the lock status is determined by iTunes at the point of Activation (or by the device itself with iOS 5.0+)

    If you take an iPhone out of the box and try and put a SIM in, the device wont work immediately. It'll tell you to connect to iTunes (or a Wi-Fi network) so that it can be activated.

    When you connect it to iTunes/a Wi-Fi network, the iTunes Device Activation server will check the lock status in Apple's database and the phone will be activated - with or without a SIM lock. If Apple's database says that the phone is locked to carrier X and you're using a SIM from carrier Y then the phone wont be activated and iTunes will give you an error.

    ----------

    All five of the main carriers in the UK will unlock the iPhone - although there is a fee (except on O2) and there are some requirements you must meet before they'll unlock the device. Usually they'll only let the person who bought the phone unlock it (so your friend would need to do it on your behalf).
     
  11. macrumors 604

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #11


    I understand all this. It is still locked out of the box, however, which is my point. One that is not locked will be able to take any sim, regardless of carrier, and activate with or without iTunes over a wifi connection. It is not iTunes which determines whether the phone is locked or not. This is predetermined prior to purchase. Itunes is able to push permanent unlock codes, however, if the carrier it was locked to allows this.
     
  12. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #12
    Dont let him full you.
    Its not about the color, yours is factory unlocked and a lot more valuable.
    Be smart.
     
  13. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2012
    #13
    I am someone, from the UK who has done this- it is not complicated.

    I am unsure on fees for anyone other than Vodafone or O2, but I have unlocked 2x iPhones, one that I had used on vodafone & one fresh out of the box from O2. Both were locked it appears- from the second they left dispatch, irrelevant of whether they had been activated or not.

    But unlocking them, although not immediate, was simple. A simple email to the supplier (ie, Vodafone if bought with Vodafone sim etc.) and it took a week or so. If you google (Vodafone or relevant supplier) 'unlock request form', it takes you directly to the request form for completion. The registered mobile number and contact details are required- so the person who initially purchased the phone needs to do it to ensure the correct details are used- and the IMEI number, which can be found on the box or through settings>general>about>IMEI and the request is complete. I have done it with both suppliers, it was free, took about a week & the supplier then emailed to say complete. I now have 2 different iphones, using different sims ti which they were initially locked.

    So in your case, you both have unlocked phones & they are worth the same. In fact if anything, you will be better off as your new (swapped) phone is newer! Result!
     
  14. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #14
    The retailer or supplier sets the lock status (in Apple's database) before the device is sold to the end user. The device cannot tell by itself what its lock status is - this must be obtained from Apple's servers.
     
  15. ArtChe, Dec 13, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012

    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    #15
    i can activate not activatable iphone
    http://vk.com/iphonecouldnotactivate
     

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