Factory Unlocked iPhone 4S replacement not factory unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Aboo, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Aboo macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Hi Folks,

    I purchased a factory unlocked 4s phone back in November and using it without issues until about a week ago when the backlight malfunctioned. Apple replaced the phone (mail-in-replacement) without issues. The replacement phone that was received however doesn't appear to be factory unlocked. Here's what happens:

    1. The replacement iPhone came with an AT&T sim card pre-installed in it. My original factory unlocked phone did not.

    2. I can activate the phone without any problem using the AT&T sim card provided, however, when I insert my foreign sim card, the apple logo splash screen comes up and states that activation is required. I tried activating through iTunes, through WiFi on the device, and using the cellular data connection and on all three occasions the device states that activation cannot occur because the sim card is not supported (or something to that extent).

    Did I actually get an AT&T locked phone as a replacement or did I mess up on the activation somehow?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Ksizzle9 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2011
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Appears you got a AT&T locked replacement.
  3. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Sounds like you did. Question for you though. Did you buy the phone originally on ATT off contract which they then unlocked for you? That is the easiest way I can think of for this mistake to have happened. I recommend you take it into Apple sooner rather than later.
  4. Aboo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 7, 2008
    Thanks for the quick responses. I bought it directly from Apple for the 849 + tax price and was shipped to my home. Im really surprised how they screwed this up. I am currently on a medical trip abroad and the phone is pretty much a paperweight since I can't use my foreign sim card. Anyways when I get back I have to call up Apple and ask for a replacement.

    I thought that all of Apple's replacement phones were unlocked, and only locked to a specific carrier when activated in iTunes. I guess this is no longer the case?
  5. MattMJB0188 macrumors 68000

    Dec 28, 2009
    Please stop spamming threads with this. I'm sure this is against the forum rules.
  6. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    No, all replacements should carry the same properties as the iphone you turned in to be replaced. The replacements are not all unlocked.
    When you bring it in to Apple make sure you mention 10 times that this is a factory unlocked iphone and to make sure you get the same in return. I'd even bring in with me a Tmobile sim to test it before I leave cause mistakes do happen and if they dont pay attention then you end up stuck.
  7. reclusive46 macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2011
    Go back to the Apple Store or call Apple Care. AppleCare Tier 2 can get it unlocked.

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