FYI: Contract iPhone 4S phones MUST be activated by original purchaser before resale.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by benguild, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. benguild, Oct 19, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011

    benguild macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2003
    So, I preordered a 4S before launch, got it in the mail, and decided to put it on eBay since I wanted to wait and get an unlocked one.

    Where I messed up:

    ... The guy who bought it almost had to send it back to me because it's impossible to activate the phone through iTunes without being the original purchaser. Even if you swap the SIM card. Even if you call AT&T. Even if you call Apple.

    Stupid, right?
    So, anyone whose iPhone was "stolen" or sold before activation ... it's a paperweight unless it can be jailbroken.

    I wasn't even at home when this happened. I was able to "Screen Share" onto his computer, block out the window and type in my information to activate it for him. Then, poof my phone stopped working and his phone started getting my calls/texts! I should have known better ... but nightmare strikes.

    I called AT&T, asked them to switch the SIM Card back. They couldn't. Because that card had already been permanently deactivated.

    A conference call later I was able to get someone to read the SIM Card number from the AT&T unlocked phone I'd bought days earlier and switch it to that, and had to physically switch it in later.

    A few hours without my phone were very stressful knowing someone across the country had access to it for a few minutes. Jeez!!
  2. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    perhaps forcing the phone into DFU mode and restoring with a clean build of iOS5 would allow you to bypass this?

    Haven't tried it so I can't say for sure
  3. benguild thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 29, 2003
    He said he'd tried everything, including a restore. It has something to do with the phone's IMEI/Serial number ... specifically that iTunes won't activate it. Bummer.
  4. note235 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2007
    I wonder if a sprint version would have the same issue
  5. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Yep. Those come preactivated too.
  6. note235 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2007
    so if i buy it i have to have someone activate it before i go abroad?
  7. kvizzel macrumors 6502a

    Jan 15, 2011
    Why not run to the AT&T store and get a new sim card? Once that is activated the other one is deactivated. No worries.
  8. Purplepear macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2011
    Not possible. I had a complicated upgrade swap (upgrade swap over diff accounts) and it took them an hour to realize they needed to activate the phone under the original sim and then swap the phones.
  9. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Jun 24, 2010
    Wow, def learned something new here.

    Glad everything worked out...I hope the buyer was trustworthy too.
  10. ApplesAndOrangs macrumors regular

    Sep 30, 2011

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