Apple refurbished iPhone locked to a dif't carrier than what I have? Help, please :)


macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 21, 2006
Hi all! So, yeah... jumped in feet first to the iOS7 beta. Figured it may not work because of my own failings; but it seems I've run into something unexpected.

I have an AT&T account, and purchased an iPhone 5 through when it came out. A few months later, the sleep button was giving me issue. I brought it in, they exchanged it with a refurbished unit right then and there. Great.

Fast forward to tonight, and I'm getting a "This iPhone is not currently setup to work with carrier you're attempting to use..." error. I'm stumped. I've never jailbroken. I have AT&T. I have an AT&T sim. It worked fine on iOS6 earlier today.

So, I do some digging. End up paying a dollar to some site to email me phone details based on the IMEI: I get this:

First Activation Date: 10/11/12
Last Activation Date: 10/11/12
CTN: 18168081158
Carrier/Next Tether: Canada Fido N41.
SIM LOCK: Locked

Pretty sure October 11th is when I got the refurb... and it says SIM locked to "Canada Fido N41" ... whatever the heck that is, lol.

Any tips or tricks to solve the issue, or am I screwed right now?

I've set up a genius bar appointment for 10am tomorrow; I imagine they'll end up working some magic on their end, or hooking me up with a new phone?



macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 21, 2006
Very weird.
So Apple USA gave you a Canadian fido locked iPhone?
Yeah, that seems to be the case. Very strange... it doesn't really make any sense at all. Maybe it's common? Maybe Apple gets phone in, unlocks it on their end, gives it out as a refurb... but doesn't carrier unlock it. So it could, potentially, cause issues like it just did for me? I don't know... strikes me as very weird.


macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2012
Townsville, Australia
Maybe all those phones from different places are sent to the same factory to get refurbished and they forgot to unlock yours before sending it out. Lol


macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2011
its a sad situation but this exact thing happened to me..I purchased a Factory unlocked iPhone 5 from someone in Canada back in November 2012 (Called Apple to Verify its lock status and they said it was UNLOCKED) and I used it with Koodo Mobile (owned by Telus) - Then I moved over to Virgin Mobile (Owned by Bell Canada) and then lastly I moved to Fido....after using it with Fido for 2 months I came to USA in Feb 2013...only to find out my iPhone has been locked to Fido, after taking it up with Apple they insisted the iPhone was never unlocked and would not help me, I ended up paying Fido $50+Tax to have my iPhone unlocked.

This iphone was 100% Factory unlocked as I had used it on Bell and Telus prior to using Fido (I now do unlocks and know networks inside out and its not possible for a Telus iPhone without being unlocked to work on any network and vice versa - only their MVNO's can use them much like AT&T iPhone working on Net10, H2O etc)

btw when iPhones are purchased new from Rogers or Fido (Rogers owns Fido but they are not 100% compatible when it comes to lock status as the phone locks to one or the other as Fido once was its own company before being bought out) and have the Fido Rogers Canada Flex - Policy where which ever SIM is inserted, the phone will lock to that network and in the meantime you cannot just insert any other SIM and start using it.

in this case I dont know who to blame...Apple, Rogers/Fido or both...

PS if i were you, I would go find the receipt or take it up with Apple at the store that you got the replacement at...because Fido unlocks from 3rd party are $100+....without an account I doubt Fido will unlock it for you for $50+Tax
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macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2012
Same issue - locked to Rogers, but I'm AT&T

I just received my second replacement iPhone 5 for a broken lock button. It says that the device is locked to Rogers, but it is working currently on my AT&T.

My account will be satisfied soon, and I wanted to use an official AT&T unlock to give the phone to a family member. But now, I'm locked to a carrier that I've never used????? Please help. How do I get an AT&T locked or unlocked phone?