How is IPHONE4 locked to a carrier if its never been turned on?

Discussion in 'Jailbreaks and iOS Hacks' started by Koobs123, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Koobs123 macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2008
    I got an Iphone from prover FIDO at the apple store.

    he said he needs to activate the phone. but i told him ill just do it at home hoping the following...

    I dont put the sim that came with it in the phone and put ANOTHER PROVIDER.

    do they lock the phone some other way, or does it only get locked when you initially insert a sim and plug into itunes?

    he didnt even take it out of the box how does the phone know who it belongs to provider wise.

    I would test this but i dont have another clean micro-sim
  2. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    the carrier settings (including the software lock) are put on in the factory. The physical device is exactly the same across all providers, but slightly different software settings are put on in the factory to make everything work (and lock the phone)
  3. NathanA macrumors 6502a

    Feb 9, 2008
    I don't know what your box looks like, but here in the States if you look at the outside of the box, it quite clearly has an AT&T logo in miniature on the back label. I would be surprised if yours didn't have something similar.

    This is how I understand it to work (please jump in and correct me where I'm wrong): The SIM lock actually occurs in combination with iTunes and a database that Apple runs on the backend. Apple knows which phone shipments are destined for which providers; ergo, even though the box has never been opened, Apple has that particular iPhone's serial #/IMEI on record in their database as being a phone sold to run on FIDO. When you activate the phone with iTunes, iTunes "phones home" to Apple, and asks for the activation information for that particular phone's serial number. It's already in Apple's database as being locked to FIDO, so that is how iTunes provisions the phone.

    Until activation through iTunes occurs, I believe that the phone baseband will actually not work with ANY SIM; so if you were to "hacktivate" your phone and skip activation entirely, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to make or receive calls even with your FIDO SIM. It needs that activation information from Apple to allow it to work with any carrier. (And the exchange between the iPhone/iTunes and Apple's phone database server is encrypted, so no chance of coming up with a way of "fooling" the phone into unlocking itself; at least, no such method has been discovered by anybody yet.)

    So it doesn't matter who does the activation, or where and when it happens. Your phone is locked to FIDO because Apple already has it set to be locked to FIDO before you take the shrinkwrap off the box.

    If your provider is willing to unlock your phone, those SIM unlock requests by the carrier are handled the same way as the initial phone activation, and have to go through Apple: the service provider sends a request to Apple to unlock the phone that has your phone's serial number, and that phone gets flagged in Apple's database as now being "factory unlocked." The next time you connect the phone to iTunes, that new activation information is pushed to your phone.

    -- Nathan
  4. Bandolier macrumors 6502a

    Aug 2, 2010
    How is a Mexican baby Mexican if it hasn't been born yet?
  5. bella92108 macrumors 68000

    Mar 1, 2006
    HAHAHAHAHA! Great analogy.

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