Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Natono

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 28, 2011
6
0
Hi guys! I purchased a Verizon iPhone 4s 16GB from Cowboom.com. Cowboom is owned by Best Buy and sells previously owned electronics. I received my iPhone 4s this morning and activated it on Verizon's network. The main reason I purchased the 4s is because it can be unlocked by Verizon. I plan on using it with a third party sim card in Israel next month. According to the representative I spoke with, the iPhone was unlocked but I will not be able to verify it until after I arrive overseas. After unlocking the iPhone 4s, I went to Apple's website to register the device using the serial number and received the following error: "We're sorry, but this is a serial number for a product that has been replaced. Please check your information and re-enter your serial number. If your information is correct, you may need to contact us". I contacted Apple and it appears as if my iPhone 4s is indeed a replaced device and does not qualify for the one year limited warranty. Despite this news, I have decided to keep the iPhone 4s because Cowboom is out of stock and I will be leaving the country soon. Since I was able to activate the phone on Verizon's network and Verizon claims to have unlocked it, do I have anything to worry about when I travel overseas? Would my serial number prevent the phone from actually being unlocked? What would you guys do in this situation? Apple has been unable to help. The representative I spoke with last said that Verizon can't even unlock the 4S:roll eyes: Thanks in advance.
 

rocknblogger

macrumors 68020
Apr 2, 2011
2,346
481
New Jersey
How much did you pay for it? Might it be worth returning it and buying a new one instead?

BTW we will be going to Israel next year. I can't wait it has been too long since I've been there :(
 

Natono

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 28, 2011
6
0
Thai4s- Hopefully it won't come to that.
Rocknblogger- This will be my first time there...! I'll be studying at Tel Aviv University. I can't wait:D I only paid $340, no contract required for the 4s. I am scared that I will get over there and the serial number will interfere with the unlocking process :( I would return the iPhone but I got such a good deal on it...
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,742
9,333
Ventura County
Deal seems too good to be true. And I thought I read somewhere that the CDMA 4S' cannot be unlocked. It's a world phone but that's it.
 

kalex

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2007
1,336
56
thats what he meant by unlock. He can unlock the sim card so that he can use any sim card internationally.
 

Mlrollin91

macrumors G5
Nov 20, 2008
13,742
9,333
Ventura County
thats what he meant by unlock. He can unlock the sim card so that he can use any sim card internationally.

If this was meant for me, a world phone means that it will pick up "world" networks which is essentially roaming. This does not mean you can put a random sim card in and it will work. If you have a GSM unlocked yes, it will work like that. The CDMA won't.

Like I said earlier. This is what I've heard and read. I don't know if things have changed since the release.
 

Natono

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 28, 2011
6
0
Here are the steps that I followed:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1274057/

I didn't run into any issues with Verizon. Again, I plan on using a micro sim card with an Israeli carrier. My main concern is that my serial number will prevent the phone from being unlocked when I arrive in Israel.
 

SporkLover

macrumors 6502
Nov 8, 2011
498
1
Deal seems too good to be true. And I thought I read somewhere that the CDMA 4S' cannot be unlocked. It's a world phone but that's it.

Whatever you read is wrong. For the two big US CDMA carriers, they will unlock the sim slot so you can put in a third party sim when travellingn internationally. There are a few stipulations

However, within the US, CDMA iPhones will only pick CDMA signals (unless you put a foreign sim in), so in that sense, internationally it's unlocked, but domestically it's locked tothecarriers CDMA network.

----------

Here are the steps that I followed:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/1274057/

I didn't run into any issues with Verizon. Again, I plan on using a micro sim card with an Israeli carrier. My main concern is that my serial number will prevent the phone from being unlocked when I arrive in Israel.

If you know someone with a foreign micro-sim, try it before you leave.
 

rocknblogger

macrumors 68020
Apr 2, 2011
2,346
481
New Jersey
Thai4s- Hopefully it won't come to that.
Rocknblogger- This will be my first time there...! I'll be studying at Tel Aviv University. I can't wait:D I only paid $340, no contract required for the 4s. I am scared that I will get over there and the serial number will interfere with the unlocking process :( I would return the iPhone but I got such a good deal on it...

That is a good deal but only if it works. Unfortunately I can't answer your question. Why don't you try calling Apple support and explain the situation.

How long will you be in Israel? It might pay to buy it there and sell it once it's time to come home.

There's someone in these forums who lives in Israel and he was explaining that it's not that expensive to get a 4S because of how the carriers present the monthly plan.

It's a lot different than it is here so it might be worth doing what I suggest. It just seems like you may end up losing your money and not have a usable phone.

Do a search with the keyword Israel and eventually you'll find him. If I remember the thread I'll post it here.

EDIT: I believe this forum member is in Israel https://forums.macrumors.com/members/361809/
 
Last edited:

kalex

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2007
1,336
56
If this was meant for me, a world phone means that it will pick up "world" networks which is essentially roaming. This does not mean you can put a random sim card in and it will work. If you have a GSM unlocked yes, it will work like that. The CDMA won't.

Like I said earlier. This is what I've heard and read. I don't know if things have changed since the release.

Incorrect. Check your facts before posting. GSM part on Verizon 4S can be unlocked by Verizon and then Verizon 4s becomes fully unlocked GSM international phone. It won't work on att and tmobile in usa but it will work with any sim card outside of USA

OP if u followed the guide and verizon told u its unlocked you should be ok in israel. Serial number that apple shows as previously replaced will not prevent it from being unlocked. Easiest thing to do now is go to cell phone stores in your area and ask them if they have international sim cards u can test with. or ask your friends.
 

Natono

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 28, 2011
6
0
Incorrect. Check your facts before posting. GSM part on Verizon 4S can be unlocked by Verizon and then Verizon 4s becomes fully unlocked GSM international phone. It won't work on att and tmobile in usa but it will work with any sim card outside of USA

OP if u followed the guide and verizon told u its unlocked you should be ok in israel. Serial number that apple shows as previously replaced will not prevent it from being unlocked. Easiest thing to do now is go to cell phone stores in your area and ask them if they have international sim cards u can test with. or ask your friends.
Okay, great. Thanks so much! One last question: Which cell phone stores should I go to? My local Verizon store, or someplace like Radio Shack?
 

kalex

macrumors 65816
Oct 1, 2007
1,336
56
Okay, great. Thanks so much! One last question: Which cell phone stores should I go to? My local Verizon store, or someplace like Radio Shack?

I would try small 3rd party shops. Verizon and ratshack are useless when it comes to these things. Try a small stores that sell GSM phones. I'm not sure where you are but in NYC there are loads of them
 

dave006

macrumors 68040
Jul 3, 2008
3,465
728
Just West of East
Thai4s- Hopefully it won't come to that.
Rocknblogger- This will be my first time there...! I'll be studying at Tel Aviv University. I can't wait:D I only paid $340, no contract required for the 4s. I am scared that I will get over there and the serial number will interfere with the unlocking process :( I would return the iPhone but I got such a good deal on it...
The only issue is warranty service from Apple, that's the only issue concerning the warranty status based on the Serial Number in the Apple system. :eek: You did not get a good deal since for $340 you don't have any warranty coverage. :confused:

Since Apple shows it as a replaced device that means it does not have any warranty from Apple. As you indicated it will not have a 1 year warranty or even the remaining warranty from the original date of purchase.

If Verizon unlocked it for overseas usage then it will work while you are out of the country but will not as others have indictated work on AT&T or T-Mobile here in the USA. Again this has nothing to do with the serial number but the MEN number (CDMA) and the IMEI number (GSM).

Dave
 

Natono

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 28, 2011
6
0
The only issue is warranty service from Apple, that's the only issue concerning the warranty status based on the Serial Number in the Apple system. :eek: You did not get a good deal since for $340 you don't have any warranty coverage. :confused:

Since Apple shows it as a replaced device that means it does not have any warranty from Apple. As you indicated it will not have a 1 year warranty or even the remaining warranty from the original date of purchase.

If Verizon unlocked it for overseas usage then it will work while you are out of the country but will not as others have indictated work on AT&T or T-Mobile here in the USA. Again this has nothing to do with the serial number but the MEN number (CDMA) and the IMEI number (GSM).

Dave

Thanks Dave. The serial number being only associated with the warranty is a relief. I purchased a two year warranty with accidental damage protection for $99 from Square Trade so I should be covered if anything were to happen to my phone. This still beats the price of purchasing an unlocked iPhone 4s to use overseas...!
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.