european phone broken (under applecare), new phone in US unlocked: what happened?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by miguelroboso, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. miguelroboso macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2010
    I would really like to know what happened here.
    I bought my 3GS in Italy, unlocked. When I came in the U.S. I could use the phone on t-mobile, no problems (only the 3G is not working).
    My battery suddenly died, and I am under applecare warranty, so I went to the store, where I was given a new 3GS. Only thing, I was told to restore the phone with my Italian SIM, so that I could have the phone unlocked.
    That worked, and I can use my new phone with t-mobile now.
    I don't understand, the new phones are unlocked and then they become locked after activation? Are they locked and I have the mighty power to unlock any device now?
    What happened?
  2. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Jan 16, 2008
    Bristol, UK
    Part of the activation process in iTunes involves establishing whether the phone should be locked or not and if so, which network that should be to.

    Apple maintains a database of all iPhones and their lock state. When you buy an iPhone (or get one as a replacement) the carrier/retailer will set the lock state in Apple's database.

    As your original iPhone was unlocked, Apple set the replacement to be unlocked in their system. When you activated the phone in iTunes, the phone was activated in that unlocked state.

    If an American customer had taken a US iPhone (locked to AT&T) into the Apple Store, the replacement would have a lock applied in Apple's system.
  3. miguelroboso thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2010

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