Complicated Activation/Unlocking Question w/2 iPhones

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by rockets19, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. rockets19 macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2011
    I've got a question, hopefully someone can help me out.

    I preordered a black iPhone 5 32gb from Apple on AT&T, subsidized for $299.

    I waited in line this morning and picked up a white 32gb also on AT&T for the unsubsidized $750 after thinking I might want the white one instead.

    After seeing them both in the store, I decided I want to keep the white one.

    I called both AT&T and Apple and according to the people I spoke with (who admittedly didn't exactly sound like they knew what they were talking about) I don't have a specific iPhone 5 tied to my account yet. The first iPhone 5 I activate in iTunes will be the one that is locked to AT&T.

    My theory is that if I first try to activate the black one, it will be locked. I can then take the sim card out, put it in the white iPhone and sell the black one.

    I then activate the white one in iTunes, that it WiLL be permanently factory unlocked (I hope)

    Lots of variables, but thats what I'm hoping for. I hadn't planned on this scenario, but the option of maybe getting an unlocked phone for what would effectively be the price of a subsidized one is pretty appealing. Anyone have any idea if I'm right about this?

    Thanks so much!!
  2. amiskell macrumors newbie

    Apr 5, 2010
    Unlock status is tied to the IMEI number of the device, not the SIM card itself. Whichever one was sold at full price will be the one that will receive the unlocked status when activated.
  3. rockets19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2011
    Okay thanks Amiskell. Any idea why the woman who I spoke with at AT&T, who looked up my account, say that the first phone I activate will be the one locked to my account? She didn't see any specific iPhone 5 in my account.
  4. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2008
    Simple the Care rep does not have the complete story.

    What she was trying to say is just not valid. The Black one that you ordered from Apple for AT&T is already carrier locked to AT&T. It's IMEI is also pre-parked on your AT&T account waiting for you to complete the activation steps.

    Once you complete the activation of the Black iPhone 5, you can move your active Nano-SIM to the White iPhone. Yes you can sell the Black iPhone 5 but it will still be locked to AT&T service.

  5. rockets19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2011
    Thanks Dave. Will whomever I sell the black phone have any problems activating it (as long as they are on AT&T)? what about a SIM card for the buyer, can I put the white SIM in the black phone and will the buyer be able to use that?

  6. dave006 macrumors 68020

    Jul 3, 2008
    No problems since you already activated the Black iPhone. Yes you need to tell the buyer that it is locked to AT&T service.

    If you want you can include the unactivated White iPhone's Nano-SIM in the Black iPhone. That way the buyer can activate it on AT&T. Some buyers might whine or complain about the ICCID on the Nano-SIM not matching the information on the Black iPhone 5 box but it will work just fine. Worst case the buyer can always get a new AT&T Nano-SIM from AT&T.

  7. rockets19 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2011
    Thanks Dave, you are a lifesaver. I haven't activated the black one yet...

    Any idea what would happen if I try to activate the white phone first? Both from a locking/unlock standpoint as well as at AT&T standpoint?

    Thanks again.

Share This Page