Activate a Verizon iPhone 5 with a non-Verizon sim?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pickaxe, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. pickaxe, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    pickaxe macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2012
    Has anyone been able to activate a Verizon iPhone 5 with a non-Verizon sim card?

    The iPhone 5 I'm importing is currently deactivated and I want to activate it with my local (non-US!) GSM carrier's sim card. I don't have a Verizon sim.

    It'll work, right? Don't wanna get stuck with an unusable phone.

    edit: changed title
  2. pickaxe thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2012
  3. Bugeyeblue macrumors 6502a


    Mar 27, 2011
    Not a compete answer but here's what I know. I had a Verizon unlocked iPhone 4S. When I reset it to sell it, the buyer couldn't get past the iPhones activation screen with his foreign sim until the phone was plugged back into iTunes to unlock it again. All I'm saying is don't reset the phone until you try this or at least have iTunes available to you.


    Also, I would get a backup Verizon sim from a Verizon store since they're free just in case you need it. Just make sure it's a micro/nano (or whatever its called) iPhone 5 sim.
  4. avanpelt, Nov 29, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012

    avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    The Verizon iPhone 5 is sold unlocked so you shouldn't have any problem inserting a foreign nano-sim into it and having it recognized. I haven't done it personally, but I know the Verizon iPhone 5 is sold unlocked so it should work just like any other unlocked phone.

    I know here in the U.S., people have taken the Verizon nano-sim out of a Verizon iPhone 5 and inserted an AT&T nano-sim and the phone jumped right on either AT&T's 3G GSM or HSPA+ networks (depending on the coverage available in their area). If that works, I don't see why inserting a foreign GSM nano-sim would be any different.

    If you wouldn't mind, please let us know what your experiences are after you get the phone because I'm sure it'll be helpful for others in the future.
  5. Charadis macrumors 6502a

    Jul 3, 2010
    I'm using a Verizon iPhone 5 with my AT&T network. However, I received my phone from the Verizon store after the customer rep dealt with the account, so technically, I guess you could say it was already activated. I have restored the firmware through iTunes, however, and have successfully activated with my AT&T nano sim installed, so I would believe you shouldn't have any problems.

    I still haven't cancelled my Verizon line on my mom's family plan, which I need to do pretty soon. Sent from my iPhone 5.
  6. supertech512 macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2012
    re: Has anyone been able to activate a Verizon iPhone 5 with a non-Verizon sim card?

    Yep....32gig Verizon iPhone 5 running on Straight Talk,everything is working ,except for visual voicemail.
  7. misterjay macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2012
    will that sim work on sprint iphone 5 aswell?
  8. darster Suspended

    Aug 25, 2011
    Sprint locks their iPhone 5.
  9. propalitet macrumors member

    Mar 26, 2011
    But was the first activation done with straight talk sim card or verizon
  10. supertech512 macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2012
    Straight Talk
  11. Cebuano1976 macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2012
    Verrado, Buckeye, Arizona
    T-Mobile on a Verizon iPhone 5. First activation was on T-Mobile.
  12. truelies macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2011
    I bought an Verizon iPhone 5 device only at apple store, it doesn't work after I insert tmobile sim. It shows 'no sim'.

    Anyone has idea what I can do?
  13. Keenanwilliams macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2013

    can you please help me set mines up currently its not getting data i have a verizon iphone 5 on straight talk an only calling and texting work ive done apn changer and still nothing
  14. Marrakas macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2012
    I bought a non-contract Verizon iPhone5 from Bestbuy and I'm using it with a T-Mobile SIM. There's no activation required.
  15. dictoresno macrumors 601


    Apr 30, 2012
    just out of curiosity, the cellular data/apn settings arent listed in my verizon iphones menu. i assume its blocked out by verizons programming. for you users that are using it on other carriers, once you insert the new sim, does this menu setting become available and able to edit?
  16. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah when you put the other carriers SIM card inside the settings are accessible. I've tried it with a tmobile sim.
  17. miniguu macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2005
    I have a Verizon iPhone 5 that I activated using a tmobile sim. Works flawlessly. Beware that you are buying it new and inactivated Verizon can activate it remotely (?) and start billing you once the phone is bought/delivered. That's what happened to me. Received a bill from V even though i never activated with verizon sim
  18. P.rae13 macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2013
    I have a straight talk iphone running on Verizon and I'm having the same problem. I think it was the way it was activated so I'm taking it back to exchange the phone. I've talked to tech support and it still isn't working.

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