I think the Apple Store just locked my new Verizon iPhone!

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Steve.P.JobsFan, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Steve.P.JobsFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2010
    Hey all,

    I'm currently typing this from the Briarwood Apple Store in Ann Arbor. The Genius Bar just replaced my Verizon iPhone 5, and I'm appalled.

    I know that Verizon says that the Verizon model of the iPhone 5 is NOT SIM locked, and I can use it other U.S./International carriers.

    However, as soon as booted up the replacement, and "slid to setup," BAM. I see "Choose a Carrier" at the top.

    Below, it says "Please select the carrier you wish to use with iPhone. Once you make your selection, you can only use iPhone with the carrier you chose.

    It had two choices. "National Carriers - Verizon Wireless," and "Regional Carriers - StraightTalk."

    Is my device now locked to Verizon's network, and I can't use AT&T or any other international network now?! :eek:

    I'm about to go to the AT&T store, and buy a nano-sim, and activate it to see if it's still locked. I'm fuming right now...
  2. Steve.P.JobsFan thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2010
  3. dontpannic macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2011
    Orpington, Kent, UK
    Isn't Verizon CDMA? I'd assume that the GSM side will still be unlocked...
  4. Steve.P.JobsFan thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2010
    Yeah, Verizon is a CDMA carrier.

    I called 611 on my way home from Michigan (live in OH), and they transferred me to "Global Support." They're the people who deal with international roaming, unlocking devices for international use, etc. According to them, there isn't a specific page in their computer's that will tell them if my device is unlocked or not. There is just a help article that says iPhone 5 is unlocked for use with a 3rd-party domestic or international SIM.

    He said that NOBODY at VZW (he asked a few other reps and supervisors) have EVER heard about the "Select a carrier that you want to be locked to" message.

    He then said that the only way to know for sure would is to do one of the following:

    1.) Go into Settings, General, Cellular, Roaming, turn off International CDMA, Voice Roaming, and Data Roaming. Then, drive 2 hours to Canada and insert a Canadian SIM.

    2.) Go to an AT&T or T-Mobile store, and buy a SIM from AT&T or T-Mobile, and insert it.

    Obviously, I want to do #2. I won't be going to Canada until June. :eek:

    Problem is, I've called six AT&T stores in my area (T-Mobile stores are no where in my area), and the Apple Store, and NONE of them want to give me an AT&T SIM card. They said I have to be an AT&T subscriber to get a SIM. I know I can get one off eBay, but I can't find AT&T Nano SIMs on eBay, and I don't feel comfortable cutting down a Micro SIM.

    I guess I'll have to bribe the AT&T Authorized Retailer, take the Verizon SIM out of my phone, and try to claim my iPhone 5 is an unlocked model and didn't come with a SIM...:rolleyes:
  5. iphone46 macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    It's also on the 4S but the only other options for the CDMA model were a few regional CDMA carriers, Sprint, and Verizon. Also, they wouldn't know about that message because the replacement phone you got isn't made specifically for Verizon(same with the 4S but NOT the 4 16/32GB)

    Also, maybe this will work? You could try typing the IMEI on your iPhone 5 box too to see if your original iPhone 5 displays the same status.
  6. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Oct 21, 2012
    It will be because they setup the phone before putting it through the system/pressing save.

    Until they press save, the phone has no activation profile, and thus doesn't know what it is (it's as if you just took it off the shelf). When they press save, the activation profile (VZW + unlocked) will be copied from your old phone to your new one - so next time it's activated it'll work fine :).

    If you want confirmation, the Apple store can check the unlocked status of an iPhone :).
  7. earlvanze, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013

    earlvanze macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    Either way, it's unlocked

    Both the Verizon iPhone 5 and Straight Talk iPhone 5 are CDMA models and both have the GSM chip unlocked (when you buy them new, they're identical). When you select a carrier, like the reply above said, it will download the carrier profile information (including the unlock information) from Verizon or Straight Talk but you'll be fine either way. However, if the carrier selection menu had Sprint as an option as I've experienced with the iPhone 4, then it will download carrier info from Sprint and the GSM chip will not be unlocked.

    I have tested Straight Talk iPhone 5 with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon nano sims and all work perfectly. I believe the trick with the Straight Talk iPhone 5 out of box is to activate it using a Verizon nano sim inserted so that it is tricked into downloading carrier profile info from Verizon, essentially turning it into a Verizon iPhone 5 unlocked. When you arrive at that carrier selection screen, it also does the same in that it downloads the unlocked profile from Verizon or Straight Talk or Sprint (Sprint in which case locks the GSM).

    Simply choose Verizon and your replacement CDMA model A1429 iPhone 5 will be unlocked.

    Somewhat separately, Straight Talk iPhone 5 from Walmart is also unlocked because they have clean ESN on the Verizon database.

    For things like this, nobody at any customer service ever knows or nobody will tell you. You have to test it yourself as I have.
  8. Steve.P.JobsFan thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2010
    Some of these "IMEI checkers" online say that my IMEI is unlocked, others say they're locked.

    AT&T store busted me trying to buy a SIM without being a subscriber, and refused to sell me one. (Come on! What's the big whoop?!)

    So, I couldn't pop a non-VZW SIM into it.

    Any advice?

    EDIT: iOS is showing the model number as ND097LL/A -- which according to some Google searches and Apple Support threads- is the SPRINT MODEL?!?!? :eek:

    WTF Apple?!
  9. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    What sim card where you using before?
    If its a verizon i5 replacement it will work and activate with any carriers GSM sim.
    You dont need any specific sim.
    If you chose verizon then you should be fine and it should work like before.
    Both verizon and Sprint use the same model number iphone 5 so that dont mean anything.
    Do you have any sims available at all?
    Only way to know for sure is to stick one in, even a tmobile or straight talk etc...
  10. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    My advice is just choose Verizon and set-up your CDMA profile. The GSM portion will still be unlocked. The Apple employee can actually check your phone to verify that it is unlocked.

    As for testing, I used an IMEI checker and even bought a $1 T-Mobile SIM card and cut it down to a nano SIM to verify that my phone was unlocked.
  11. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC

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