Sim not valid when trying to activate iPhone 4s at&t.

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by AbyssImpact, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #1
    So I got my iPhone 4s replaced today and now I am having trouble activating the phone. I tried using an empty at&t sim card and even a go phone at&t sim card. Both methods fail and says "sim not valid. Only compatible SIM cards from a supported carrier may be used to activate iPhone."

    Help?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    #2
    there is nothing to activate all you do is swap sims and you will be cooking with gas
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #3
    what do you mean swap sims?
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #4
    I just got an iPhone and activated it through AT&T online. You have to enter the iPhone serial number and SIM card number. Alternately, take it to an AT&T store and let them do it.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #5
    how do you activate it online?
     
  6. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    #6
    Can't guarantee it'll work for you, but I had the same message.

    What I did was hold the power button and the home button down, and continued holding them past when the 'Power' slider shows up, right up until the phone turns off and then turns back on.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #7
    didnt work. still says sim not valid (using a go phone sim).
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    #8
    take your sim card that was working in your other 4s and put it into the new 4S there is nothing to activate
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #9
    I did that. It won't activate. It is a go phone micro sim.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    #10
    is the new phone unlocked ?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #11
    No as I just got it replaced today under warranty. I activated it with my AT&T go phone sim when I got the phone. For some reason, it is not working anymore. I also tried another at&t sim and it also does not activate. :confused:
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    aphexacid

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #12
    Finally someone else with the problem. I made a thread about this on the Iphone 5 launch.

    I believe this to be an activation bug that only affects iphone 4S on ios6.

    Here is my story:

    Bought iphone 5 on launch day. Took my 4S which was updated with ios6, and did a factory reset on the device through settings. I hand down my iphones to my fiance when i get the new one.

    I took the sim out of her iphone 4, put in in the 4S. Went through the set up process. When it got to the 'activation' screen, i got an error message that i needed to insert a sim card that corresponds to the carrier, or visit my carrier for a new sim.

    This made no sense, since my fiances sim was of course an at&t sim, and this was an at&t 4S.

    I tried turning off/on the phone a million times. Tried my old, deactivated sim. Nothing. I plugged it into itunes to re flash io6. Itunes gave me the same message and didn't let me do ANYTHING whatsoever. Not even restore.

    I had to do a dfu restore to re flash. That did absolutely nothing to fix the problem. I did this 3 more times.

    Finally i went to the at&t store and got her a brand new sim. This also didn't help. WTF!

    At this point, i'm pretty pissed off, thinking....what the HELL kind of sim card does this damn phone want if not an at&t sim?? I had a t mobile micro sim i used in her old 4 which was factory unlocked. that didnt work either.

    I called at&t tech support. The guy told me that i had to have a 4G micro sim to activate. This made no sense to me whatsoever. But i kind of went along with it since the my micro sim i had in the 4S while i was using it looked a little different than the brand new one i just got my fiance.

    Meanwhile, i can't find ANYTHING on the internet about this problem.

    The next morning, i went to an at&t store, explained what happened, and was told that there is no such thing as a 4G micro sim. He said they're all the same. But, issued me a new one anyway. We tried activating it there at the store. Nothing. He took his sim out of his 4S, and tried to activate mine. NOTHING.

    Finally, a couple hours later, i went to the apple store. Explained the deal. And the genius was totally dumbfounded. He tried numerous "test" sims, did a dfu re flash, NOOOOOOTHING.

    So he swapped my 4S. The one he brought out still had ios5 on it. It activated immediately.

    Right before i was about to leave, i asked him if he could flash ios6 on it for me so that i didn't have to. He said sure.

    He flashed it and then turned around and said, "you're not going to believe this". it didn't want to activate again.

    I guess since it was new, it had to go through the setup/activation process.

    He called more techs over, and they were all mystified.

    i told them it's got to be a bug in ios6. they all agreed.

    I got ANOTHER replacement. This one also had ios5 on it. Activated no problem.

    And thats where i left it.

    I'm sure if i were to go into settings and do the over the air update like i did when i was using the phone, ios6 would be fine. But she doesn't care about that anyways, I'm buying her the galaxy note 2 when it comes out lol.

    Moral of the story, there is definitely something up with the 4S + ios 6 + setting up as a new phone and activating.

    i didn't have any problem with her old 4 that i reset a zillion times on ios6 trying to duplicate the problem. even with an inactivate sim.

    Major pain in the ass problem.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #13
    What happens if your iPhone is out of warranty for replacements? :confused:
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    aphexacid

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #14
    Well i didn't have a problem since i had about 1 month left on the warranty.

    But out of warranty replacement for a 4S is $150 or $199, can't remember which.

    However, since this problem manifests itself though no fault of your own, i fully believe apple would take care of it even out of warranty.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #15
    I'm going to try replacing it tomorrow. Thanks.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    Turnpike

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Location:
    New York City!
    #16
    this happened to me too, I was activating the phone, it's an ATT phone at Tmobile with the limited dataplan... they told me that because of that "sim not valid..." note that it meant the phone was a locked phone. I'm new to this and paid someone on Craiglist $50 to unlock it, but I'm thinking that it wasn't locked after all.

    But after the unlock-guy did his "thing", it worked, so maybe whatever he did got it restarted somehow?

    Just my experience, since it's exactly relevent (ATT phone, just got it, activating and got that message) in case it helps anyone else- if I had seen this thread before I dont think I'd have paid him to do the unlocking thing....
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    aphexacid

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #17
    Unlocking the phone would definitely fix the problem since it would know that its allowed to accept any sim card.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #18
    This is a very real problem and all of the support people (AT&T, Apple) are clueless about it but they have seen it.

    I've had it happen twice now with AT&T, iPhone 4S, and some flavor of iOS 6. Today I was prepping my 4S to sell it and I got that error. Went to the Apple store, tried the dummy sims/etc. Put my sim in a replacement phone and it worked fine proving that the sim is not the problem.

    If you run into this I think the only way aside from unlocking it is to work the Apple store into a new one... shouldn't cost anything.
     

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