HELP first time user - activating my iPhone 4 for the first time

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by tSygna, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. tSygna macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #1
    How can I activate my iPhone 4 for the first time?

    I replied to a post in this thread, but I think this is a more appropriate place for my inquiry so I'm posting here for more visibility and hopefully some more help.

    Here's my problem. I need to activate my iPhone 4 for the first time, but I can't. I'm currently living in South Korea and I bought an iPhone 4 on ebay. The seller says they bought it at AT&T and "activated" it there. However, I think the seller might be ignorant in that maybe all they did was activate the SIM card and not the phone itself. They removed the SIM card and then shipped it to me. When I turn it on, it says "No SIM card installed" with the connect to iTunes picture in the back, and I can't do anything. I can do absolutely nothing...it's not even an iPod...it's just a piece of metal and glass. So I'm pretty frustrated whew and I've been scouring these forums for answers.

    I tried cutting down a Korean uSIM to micro SIM size and the iPhone accepts the card just fine, but iTunes says it's not a supported SIM card. I also tried cutting down an old AT&T card from the cell I used last year in the USA, and the iPhone doesn't even recognize the it - it says "No SIM card installed" just there wasn't a SIM in the phone. So Korean SIM = card recognized by phone, but not recognized by iTunes. Old AT&T SIM = card not even recognized by phone.

    How can I activate my phone for the first time? Do I need the original card that the seller used when they activated the SIM? Can I use a new unactivated pay as you go AT&T SIM?

    Any help is greatly appreciated. This is my first Apple product, so I really want it to be a good experience but it's been pretty frustrating so far. Thanks!
     
  2. tSygna thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #2
    /bump

    If I have the original SIM card am I able to activate? Will I need to enter the person's SSN etc too? If I restore at a later point in time, do I need the original SIM or at that time could I use any SIM?
     
  3. DaveAmbler macrumors member

    DaveAmbler

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    You can't just buy an iPhone and put whatever sim card you want in it. The iPhone will be tied to AT&T and to a specific sim card serial number. So you pretty much have an expensive paperweight (until someone figures out how to unlock it). You would have been better off buying one of the phones that came direct from Apple in an unlocked state.
     
  4. tSygna thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #4
    Thanks Dave!

    However, quoting from another member:

    "There are 2 kinds of Iphone 4's in the USA, one that is bought through Apple and one that is bought through another party like AT&T or Bestbuy. The iPhone 4's that come direct from any Apple store are locked to the original account holders ID (SS# etc), the other kind are not locked in the same way.

    So if you bought an iPhone 4 that was purchased from ATT or Bestbuy it would be easier to activate and can be use with any ATT sim card."


    So basically you two are saying the exact opposite things. Who is correct?

    Also, I may be able to get the original SIM. If I have the original SIM, will I be able to activate my iPhone? And after the initial activation, will I need it in the future? Thanks again.
     
  5. CSMchris376 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    #5
    If the phone that you purchased was originally purchased in the USA it is locked to AT&T. There are no iPhones purchased in the USA that are unlocked, no matter who you purchase it from, AT&T, Apple, Wal-Mart, etc. While the original purchaser may have activated the phone with the original SIM, it is still carrier locked to AT&T. There is no way you would be able to active the phone with a Korean SIM. Even trying to use an old AT&T SIM wouldn't work, as you would need to be on their network to activate, and you cannot access their network from Korea. Even if you had the original SIM from the phone, the previous would apply, no access to the AT&T network.

    As a previous poster stated, you pretty much have a VERY expensive paperweight until there is a JB and unlock available. You are best off trying to re-sell the phone and purchasing one from a country that sells unlocked phones. Apple will not ship phones to countries the iPhone is not released in, so that is not an option. The only problem with purchasing one from a country that sells unlocked phones is the warranty is locked to that country, and if you need service you would have to take the phone back there for service.

    I'm sorry this happened to you, however I hope you don't think this is the way Apple works. Being it is your first Apple product, it is the way you went about purchasing it that is producing the frustrations for you, not the device itself.
     
  6. tSygna thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #6
    Chris,

    Thank you very much for the response.

    Just to clarify, I don't want to unlock the phone just yet, I simply want to activate it so I can use it to listen to music and connect to wifi etc. But to do that, I have to get past the emergency phone number screen. Now that's where my phone is stuck, I can't access anything.

    Are you saying that it's impossible to get past the emergency phone number screen, even if I have the original SIM card? To activate the phone (not unlock) I need the original SIM + have access to the AT&T network, or it won't work? I just don't understand why I can't access other parts of the phone.

    If the above is true, then even if a jailbreak comes out, I won't be able to download the jailbreak to my iPhone because I can't get past the emergency number screen to the home screen.

    Please let me know, thanks again for all the helpful information.
     
  7. tSygna thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #7
    I guess I don't understand why I would need to reactivate the phone if the seller already activated it in the USA. I asked them and they said they already activated the phone via iTunes with the original SIM and got past the emergency phone number screen to the actual home screen. Then they removed the SIM and sent it to me in South Korea. Yet now it says no SIM, and when I put a SIM in it won't go past the emergency phone number screen and I have to activate it again.

    Why would I need to reactivate it if it was already activated? Am I missing something?
     
  8. esadb macrumors 65816

    esadb

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    #8
    He probably restored it before he sent it to you... once you do a restore you gotta reactivate the thing.

    You cant access any other features on the phone unless its activated.

    Id say just keep the phone put it away, and wait until the jailbreak is released and youll be good to go atleast than you can use other features like Ipod,, wifi..

    And then hopefully soon to follow will be a unlock with redsn0w
     
  9. tSygna thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #9
    But if a jailbreak is released, I won't even be able to download and install the jailbreak unless my phone is first activated, right? Because I can't even access anything on the entire phone, so how could I jailbreak it. Is this true?

    Also, if I get the original AT&T SIM card, will I be able to activate it? Will I need the seller's account information to do that since the seller say's it's already been activated? Thanks!
     
  10. tSygna thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #10
    Hm yes I just found out the original buyer activated the phone with AT&T, then restored it, removed the SIM, and canceled their contract. That's how I got the phone.

    Arg so frustrating...I've been researching this for about 9 hours now. Is there anyway I can activate my iPhone4 in this situation?
     
  11. esadb macrumors 65816

    esadb

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    #11
    You will be able to jailbreak it once the jailbreak is out.

    As some jailbreaks involve hacktivation.. exactly what you will need.

    So just be patient and put that phone away until jb is released or sell it back to someone in USA
     
  12. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #12
    Sounds like the seller never activated it using his legit AT&T account.
    That screen where it asks for the last four of your social and your zip only come up once and then you can activate with any AT&T sim without answering those questions again.
     
  13. tamitnagpal1985 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    #13
    please help - same situation

    hi, i am in the EXACT same situation. I from india and i bought an iphone 4 from canada that is carrier locked, a friend got it for me and when i opened it, it didint have a sim card. It has firmware 4.2.1 for which the jailbreak is out but unlock is not so i just want to use it as an ipod touch for a while.

    But the problem is that it wont even activate, I tried using redsnow to jailbreak it but it gets stuck at reboot after everything is over. Do i need an orignal sim to activate the phone for the first time? because it hasnt been activated even once as far as i know.
     
  14. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #14
    No, you need to use redsnow every time the phone reboots or loses power in order for it to start up.
    Just select "Just boot tethered right now" on redsnow.
     

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