Resolved How to tell if an unlocked iPhone 5 was originally Verizon or AT&T

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jeringeorge, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. jeringeorge, Sep 14, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013

    jeringeorge macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2012
    Just bought an unlocked iPhone 5 from ebay. Is there a way to tell if the phone was originally AT&T, Verizon or Factory unlocked?
  2. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    Something like that you need to know before hand. ATT and Verizon work on completely different networks. If your iPhone is on the GSM network it has to be used on ATT or TMO. If your iPhone is on the CDMA network it has to be used on VZ or Sprint.
  3. user-name-here macrumors 65816

    Aug 31, 2013
  4. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    You're not completely accurate. An unlocked Verizon iPhone 5 (which is every Verizon iPhone 5 out of the box) works just fine on AT&T or T-Mobile's GSM networks. It will also work on AT&T's HSPA+ (faux 4G) network. It will not work on AT&T or T-Mobile's LTE networks.

    An unlocked AT&T or carrier independent, factory unlocked iPhone 5 will not work on Verizon's network at all. Verizon only allows phones that they sell to be used on their network.

    I'm not sure if Sprint iPhone 5 handsets are unlocked out of the box but my gut feeling is that they're probably not. IIRC from other MR threads, the Verizon iPhone 5 is the only one that's unlocked out of the box even when purchased on contract.
  5. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    What's the model number of the phone you purchased? That will tell you if the phone has both CDMA and GSM radios in it or if it only has a GSM radio in it. See this page on Apple's site for more info:

    If you have the serial number of the phone, and it's the GSM and CDMA model, you might be able to call Verizon and Sprint, give them the serial number, and find out which carrier the phone belongs to on the CDMA side of things. Or maybe you could call Apple support, give them the serial number if it's the CDMA/GSM model, and they can tell you.
  6. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Here's the easy way just from looking at the settings

    A Verizon iPhone will have an MEID and an IMEI listed in the settings.

    An AT&T or GSM unlocked iPhone will only have the IMEI listed.
  7. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    I think I read somewhere that a Verizon/Sprint model has the ESN stamped into the SIM tray, instead of the IMEI. Take that with a grain of salt though.
  8. jeringeorge thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2012

    I think you're right. I see both the IMEI and MEID listed in the settings.

    I also confirmed with the seller, it was originally Verizon.

    Thanks Everyone for your responses.

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