iOS 5 PC Free and Carrier Activation

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Trauma1, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Trauma1 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I'm wondering how the iPhone 4S, with dual GSM/CDMA, is going to activate through the carriers given the "PC Free" feature touted in iOS 5.

    Is it going to be as simple as selecting a carrier and putting in account info on the phone? Or do you think there is more involved?
  2. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    The phone will still be locked to a carrier like normal, you just won't have to plug it in.
  3. Trauma1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I meant select the carrier as in when you purchase it.

    But does anyone know what happens after that?
  4. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    What do you mean select carriers? I'm pretty sure It can do that automatically through checking the serial number/imei number against Apples database.

    Unless you mean buying it in store? I'm sure carriers can still set it up the old fashioned way.

    Am I the only one who doesn't understand this question?
  5. al256 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2001
    No, it's a fair question. Before, if you had a GSM iPhone you just put your SIM in it and that's basically it. If you had a CDMA iPhone, you were stuck with Verizon and knew who to call.

    But now you have an iPhone that out of the box can run all three carriers. What's the method for unlocked iPhone 4S to implement your carrier of choice? And to top that off, once you pick a domestic GSM or CDMA carrier... you can't change from that original selection.
  6. calviin macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    Yea.. I don't really understand how this is a "world" phone if they're not selling it unlocked from the get go. Yea, it's one phone for the world but you still have to pay $600 or $700 for one phone. It's probably cheaper for MOST people, ie. people that don't leave the country every other week. But still... Guess I'm unlocking mine when I get it.
  7. Trauma1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I don't want to do it the old-fashioned way. I want to see how the new method works, in light of new, perhaps more complex factors.

    Presumably one would buy either an AT&T-locked version, a Verizon-locked version, or a Sprint-locked version. That would be true either online or in-store.

    Let's just make things easy and say I order the AT&T locked version and I want to use this "PC Free" activation. How does that work? I assume I will be entering AT&T account info into the phone. Is it the same steps that iTunes previously asked, but on the phone instead of the computer? What information would I need (phone number, account number, last four of social)? Do I have to be on Wi-Fi? How long will it take? etc. Those are the kind of basic questions I had. I know no one knows at this point, but I'm just trying to get a recollection from years' past.

    The more I think about this over the air process, the more questions come to mind, especially with unlocking (if possible), changing from CDMA to GSM, etc.
  8. boss.king macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Ah, I get it now, you're asking about the actual process. Sorry :eek:

    That's the one bit I don't really know about. I'd guess you would need to be on wifi to establish the carrier with Apples database at least, after which it would probably be the pc-setup method but on your phone.

    Hopefully someone else can answer that better than me :)
  9. dontwalkhand macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    The iPhone 4 is available unlocked from Apple right now. The lock is there to make sure you fulfill your contract.
  10. Trauma1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2009
    I don't think anyone knows anything at this point. But I thought these were a few points that would be worth looking out for.

    I remember during the last WWDC they went on about how they wanted to enter the market of (global) users who didn't have a computer, thus the "PC Free" activation. If you really do need Wi-Fi to activate it, I'm sure that will be a problem for some people.

    In theory, you shouldn't need Wi-Fi to activate the phone. The 3G iPads can connect to the networks out of the box, and then you select plans from there. So maybe this will be similar?
  11. calviin macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2008
    The problem is that even after the contract ends, US telephone companies don't unlock the phone. What if I want to use it for a month in a foreign country? I'd still pay ATT/Verizon/Sprint for a service I won't be using during that month. I mean, they already got me to sign a contract for two years, so who cares what I do with my phone as long as I pay the bill? At least, that's how I look at it. I'm sure they just want to bleed me dry.

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