Buying used (Verizon) iPhone...can I still use it?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by THEAnonymous, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. THEAnonymous macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2008
    My scenario:

    I'm (thinking about) purchasing a used Verizon iPhone 4 from a former co-worker with a bad ESN (he didn't pay his last bill because of undisputed charges, yada yada)

    Since he's offering at a very good price, I'm planning to use it as a glorified iPod Touch (no interest in flashing it and using it on another network)

    But my concern is with actually plugging it into my computer. I used to own a iPhone 4 before (GSM version), and I had to purchase a dummy SIM card and put it into the phone before I could activate it on iTunes - I hadn't purchased cell phone service at the time.
    But given that this phone was already activated & used on another computer, when I plug the iPhone (with no cell phone service/connection) into my computer , will I still be able to sync it with my Mac......or not?

    Clarification would be appreciated.
  2. mulo macrumors 68020


    Aug 22, 2010
    Behind you
    youll have to jailbreak it to get it activated
  3. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I'm not really sure, I'd suggest you try it out and see.
    And that sucks? Verizon can blacklist the ESN if you don't pay your bill? I think I'll stick with my GSM iPhone for now :p :D
  4. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Maybe calling Verizon to ask? And report back
  5. THEAnonymous thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2008
    I just learned about this ESN thing a few days ago - but yup, if you leave your bill unpaid for X amount of time, apparently your phone can get blacklisted and you can't reactivate the phone until you pay the bill

  6. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    JBing isn't hard. So why the reaction?:confused:
  7. acfusion29 macrumors 68040


    Nov 8, 2007

    if the ESN is blocked from a CDMA network there is absolutely nothing that you can do with a jailbreak to activate it on that network (you would have to change the ESN, which is illegal. but that can't be done on the iPhone yet AFAIK)
  8. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    This is correct. A bad ESN means Verizon has blacklisted that particular phone, and it CAN NOT be activated on Verizon. Period. Jailbreaking will not help... there is simply nothing you can do. The only way to get it activated is to clear the account (i.e. pay the bill).

    You can activate bad ESN phones other carriers, such as Cricket I believe, but you will have to flash a custom firmware to do that. I'm not sure if one has been done for iPhone 4 yet, so you'd have to look into that.
  9. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    How much is he selling it for?

    You might want to see how much he owes on his bill, plus the cost of the phone you're buying from him... then just pay the bill, activate the phone... and maybe it would still end up being cheaper than buying a good phone?

    Depends on how much he owes though, of course.
  10. bwrairen macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010

    Re-read the original post. He isn't trying to get Verizon to activate it. He just wants to activate it through itunes to be able to use the phone as an ipod. Jailbreaking (hacktivating) will work fine for that.
  11. THEAnonymous thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2008
    Yeah sorry....I've just never gone through the JB process, so another thing for me to learn I guess!

    But yeah, I ONLY want to use this as an iPod Touch-type device...absolutely no plans to use this as a cell phone (since I live in Canada, for this phone would be useless as a "phone").

    (And for the person who asked, apparently the bill on this cell phone is $850 (for disputed data charges), so I don't think I can afford to pay that :eek: )
  12. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    That CDMA iPhone won't be useful at all in Canada as a phone. :D
    You should try to see if your friend can tell you if you'll need an active Verizon number to bypass iTunes or not. But JB isn't that hard and there are some fantastic guides (and MacRumors) which should make the process fairly easy.

    It sucks, but I see why Verizon is doing it. Just a bit annoying knowing the fact that Verizon can make your phone a paperweight right from their office. lol
  13. DDustiNN macrumors 68000


    Jan 27, 2011
    Ah, somehow I completely missed that sentence from your original post. My mistake :cool:

    I would say just have him let you try it. Plug it in and see what happens. Since it's already been activated, it should still be on... Just unable to make phone calls. So I'm thinking you can just plug it in and do a restore to new...? I guess I don't know if you'll have to link it to anything though, but since a phone number is already assigned to the phone, maybe it will bypass the account setup... Then just log in with your iTunes account.

    That's my guess... really all you can do is try, I guess. Just tell him the sale depends on whether or not that works.
  14. aphexacid macrumors 6502a


    Jul 31, 2007
    You can just jailbreak it to use it as an iPod touch.

    There are ways to change esn and imei. But it's illegal...

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