Is this true

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by hoosier1, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #1
    Hi all,

    I bought last week an ATT off-contract iPhone 5 to be used overseas in a few weeks. I started to use my phone with my current ATT account and checked it with a Tmobile sim to make sure it is unlocked.

    However, a friend of mine says that the phone he bought last year from the Apple store was unlocked and worked fine with Tmobile in the US; BUT it would not work overseas after he left the US. He claims if the phone is activated/used (the first use) in the US, it is somehow locked to the US carriers. Can something like this be true? I am now a little bit worried. He said he had to return the phone to Apple ultimately.

    Thank you for your comments.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    VandyChem2009

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Location:
    Houston, Texas
    #2
    I know the Verizon iPhone 5 is unlocked for use overseas by default. I do not know however about the ATT iPhone 5.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    mohsy90

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Yes, this is true. Just insert a foreign sim and restore and the phone will become unlocked again. This is assuming you paid full price for the phone.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #4
    Thank you for your reply. Yes, I paid full price for the phone. So, I can keep the phone right (and it can be unlocked again with a computer)? I will restore (overseas) using iTunes with the foreign sim.

    Thank you.

    PS: Did anyone else on the forum experience something like this before?
     
  5. macrumors 65816

    mohsy90

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    Just to be safe, i would try to do the restore now using a tmobile sim. Your friends phone should not have locked to tmobile. That lock usually happens when using an At&T sim in a AT&T iphone 5 thats been unlocked.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #6
    Moshy thank you for your reply. What do you think: could it be more like a "country" lock? This is strange. The phone works fine in the US with Tmobile but won't work with an international sim card.

    If I do restore now, can I put my data back from the backup? What will be the purpose of the restore in the US bc the phone works with Tmobile as well if you switch sim cards.
     
  7. macrumors 65816

    mohsy90

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    If it works for tmobile then it means that the phone is already unlocked and should work with any other sim. No such thing as a "country" lock. Double check the network provider you're using overseas and make sure the basebands are compatible.
     
  8. macrumors Nehalem

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #8
    I think what your friend is telling you is full of bs.
    You buy a full price unlocked iPhone it will work anywhere in the world with any gsm sim.
    It will not lock in the US or anything like what he's telling you.
     
  9. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #9
    He probably got the sprint iPhone 4s that was unlocked for a while and then it sprint locked them?
     
  10. macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Boulder, CO
    #10
    My AT&T iPhone 5 is unlocked. For the past month+, I've been using solely AT&T, and I used a combination of AT&T and T-Mobile yesterday (I get unlimited data on a prepaid T-Mobile SIM for $3/day). I just tested it and it also works with my Orange Israel SIM card. So according to my experience, everything mohsy90 is saying is false.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    #11
    I know it is not BS because he returned a perfectly fine working phone.

    What I assume is, like moshy indicated, it is possible; but have no idea how and why this happens.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #12
    If he got his last year then he pry got the 4S, and sprint launched them unlocked but after a month or so they locked the phones

    Check this link about sprint 4s
    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/11/11/sprint-to-lock-iphone-4s-sims-starting-november-11th/
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    mohsy90

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2011
    Location:
    New York
    #13
    Maybe you should reread what I said. I have seen forums regarding unlocked At&t iPhone becoming relocked to AT&T after using AT&T sims. It happens, not often but it does. Thats what i assumed was the case with the OPs friend. Which is why I stated that if a tmobile sim is working then the phone is already unlocked.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2012
    #14
    I love it when someone's friend's cousin's brother has some problem and he gets posted on this board without any substantiation.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    LapsangSouchong

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    the burrows
    #15
    I bought an unlocked Iphone 4s. I activated it in the US on AT&T. I used it in Canada, Ireland, England, Portugal.... with no issues. Never had to restore it.
     
  16. macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    上海 (Shanghai)
    #16
    It is not true.
     
  17. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #17
    Nope. Your friend probably didn't fully understand causality and the situation he was in. The details on the situation matter but I doubt we'll be able to get the full picture.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    thewitt

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #18
    If you purchase a factory unlocked phone, it will remain factory unlocked forever.

    If you purchased an AT&T phone that was unlocked because they had not yet locked it, you run the risk of it being locked automatically in the future.

    Yes I've read the experts here state this will never happen, and I've seen it happen on our development phones several times after being used overseas, then having the phone restored with an AT&T SIM card.
     

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