How can I tell if 3GS is SIM-locked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by gbmud, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. gbmud macrumors newbie

    Feb 24, 2010
    Hi all, perhaps someone can help?

    Here is the short question: What I really want to know is; can I easily tell just by checking settings or something if the iPhone on OrangeUK is SIM-locked.

    And the longer version full of details which may help:

    My wife works for Orange UK and had something to do with the launch of the 3GS iPhone on Orange after O2 lost it's monopoly. In recognition of the work she did she was given a 3GS iPhone with no SIM, contract or anything as a Christmas bonus. There is no Orange branding on the box. Knowing which side her bread is buttered, she gave the iPhone to me for Christmas along with a separate SIM only PAYM 1-month rolling pack from Orange.

    The phone was DOA and a few days after Christmas, following a number of calls to Orange to no avail, a call to the Apple helpdesk saw us visiting the local Apple Store for an exchange unit. They put the SIM in the new unit, activated the phone via their laptop and it all worked fine and continues to so so. So far so good. I read or heard somewhere that iPhones acquired directly from Apple Stores (as exchanges for example) are NOT SIM-locked - or they would have to keep different stock for each carrier. Could this be true?

    Since the SIM only tarrif is not iPhone specific it does not come with WiFi (The Cloud, Openzone etc) access privalidges which is a PITA sometimes. I also have trouble accessing email while away from home. With this in mind I am thinking of ditching Orange (1 month rolling contract) and going back to T-Mobile or to Vodafone as the Orange signal at home is pretty dire - to the point of being worthless.

    I have a T-Mobile and a Vodafone PAYG SIMs to hand, but each is a few years old. When I put them in the iPhone and connect to iTunes it says 'The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported. Only compatible SIM cards from a supported Carrier may be used to activate iPhone...' Does this suggest that the iPhone is SIM-locked to Orange? Or could it be that my PAYG SIMs are too old to be compatible with the iPhone? Does iPhone need a special type of SIM?

    I know I could probably JB the phone, but I would rather have the reassurance of keeping the warranty intact and being able to do SW updates and the like. I would ask Orange directly about SIM-locking but I will just end up speaking to a 'Customer assistant' who's script will not cover my questions. It is hard enough getting them to understand that the phone was obtained direct from Orange without a contract or PAYG.

    Any other suggestions? What I really want to know is; can I easily tell just by checking settings or something if the phone is SIM-locked.


  2. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Easiest way is to pop in a non-Orange SIM. If it works it's unlocked for sure.
  3. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    no iphone is sold with any branding (which makes it awsome because it is only apple that is allowed to criple the device as they see fit and not the opperator)

    when you got the replacement apple were supposed to carry over the sim free lock they may have just not by accident, the unlocking works just by allowing the IEMI to accept any sim so can be done on any phone.

    just go get a free 3 mobile sim its a better network and cheeper deals than other restrictive networks

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