iPhone 4 Bad ESN

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by taptic, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. taptic macrumors 65816

    taptic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I know that a bad esn means that a phone has been stolen or lost and can't be activated. There is a lady on craigslist offering to sell an iPhone 4 16 gb for a very low price (around $50). What can I do with the phone? Is it permanently unusable? can I use it with other carriers? would I have to get it unlocked to use it? is there a way to clear the ESN?
     
  2. mattopotamus macrumors G4

    mattopotamus

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    #2
    Pretty sure you could use it like an iPod, but that is all.
     
  3. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #3
    so if a phone has a bad ESN no carrier will hook it up? or only the carrier the phone was bought for? If I were to get it unlocked would it work normally?
     
  4. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #4
    You can flash it to another CDMA network like Cricket or Page Plus but it won't get data. Otherwise it can be used as an iPod touch. You can also sell it on eBay. People pay around $120 for them.
     
  5. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Sorry, I am an official noob. What is flashing it to another CDMA mean? :confused:
     
  6. allthatjazz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #6
    flashing it just means unlocking it to another CDMA carrier. just like an ATT iphone unlocked to another GSM carrier.
     
  7. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Ok, so if it's a Verizon phone I can flash it to, say, ATT? How does one go about this? It's probably costly, huh?
     
  8. allthatjazz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    #8
    no, you can only flash most Verizon phones to other CDMA carriers (like Pageplus, Cricket, etc). AT&T is a GSM carrier.
     
  9. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Ohhh, ok. I'm getting it now. I looked this up-->

    " Five of the top seven carriers in the U.S. use CDMA: Verizon Wireless, Sprint, MetroPCS, Cricket, and U.S. Cellular. AT&T and T-Mobile use GSM. "

    Does this mean that I could also flash it to Sprint if it were Verizon? Not just cricket? Also, if it were an AT&T phone, are GSMs able to be changed or not?
     
  10. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #10
    Sprint won't allow you to flash phones from other networks to their network. You're only options in the US are Cricket or Page Plus.

    If it were GSM all you would have to do is get it unlocked and you could put a sim card from AT&T or T-Mobile inside for service.
     
  11. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #11
    Alright. Thanks all of you for your help! Just one more thing:

    If it is sprint, can I go from them to Verizon?
     
  12. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #12
    Nope
     
  13. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #13
    First, consider the fact that "bad esn" likely does mean that it is stolen. Do you want to be buying a stolen phone to save a couple bucks? You can get an iPhone 4 used LEGIT for under $150 if you look hard enough.

    As far as flashing, Verizon and Sprint will not allow this on their networks. The phone has to have originally been sold for their carrier and have a clean ESN for them to activate it. To be clear, a CDMA phone with a bad ESN will not work on Sprint or Verizon no matter what you do. Also, being that you are completely new to this, you are probably going to pay someone to flash the phone for you. Your options are pretty much pay as you go carriers, such as cricket.
     
  14. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #14
    Yeah, I actually do repairs to cracked iPhones and someone wanted to sell me an iPhone with a bad esn. I'd probably just re-sell it on eBay... but I am questioning whether or not I should buy it.
     
  15. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #15
    If you do repairs you could possibly use parts from it for repairs or just sell it as is on ebay or CL and easy double your money or more.
     
  16. macingman, Mar 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2013

    macingman macrumors 68020

    macingman

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #16
    Not worth it. It would likely be knowingly buying, possessing and selling stolen property in my opinion.
     
  17. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #17
    Don't buy stolen device. If police comes to claim it you'll lose the device.
     
  18. Givmeabrek macrumors 68030

    Givmeabrek

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    #18
    I would never buy a probable stolen phone. It's only encouraging the thieves. You could end up involved in some illicit activity..... :mad:
     
  19. AutoUnion39 macrumors 601

    AutoUnion39

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #19
    OP, I would not buy the phone because you really don't know what you're doing with it. There are people out there who can flash it, but it is still a stolen phone.
     
  20. taptic thread starter macrumors 65816

    taptic

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #20
    Yeah, I am requesting the ESN number before looking into it further. I'll check to see if it's stolen or lost.
     
  21. ItBeMe22 macrumors 6502

    ItBeMe22

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2013
    Location:
    On planet earth & in Hotlanta Ga.
    #21
    I have a iPhone 4 that IS NOT stolen, It was a Verizon and got it flashed to MetroPCS and I have everything on it. Metro does not offer a iPhone. So now I have a iPhone with the whole 9 yards for $40. a month. You can flash a sprint phone also to 4 or 5 carriers. And yes you can flash a stolen phone. Hello why do you think they are stealing iphones. And from what I hear a ton of them are getting shipped oversees for big bucks. Just go to Craigslist in Atlanta to cell phones and search flashing and you will get everything you want to know. :p
     
  22. Breaking Good macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2012
    #22
    PagePlus Cellular is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) that uses Verizon's network. You will not be able to flash or provision a Verizon phone with a bad ESN with PagePlus. Verizon will block its operation.

    I have read postings in other forums of people having success flashing Sprint iPhones onto PagePlus. I have not read of anyone flashing a Verizon phone, good or bad ESN, onto Sprint or onto one of Sprint's MVNO's.

    Flashing a CDMA smartphone from one carrier's network to another requires some fairly advanced programming knowledge. I think it is possible as long as the radios operate on the correct frequencies. However, you are going to have a fairly steep learning curve if you decide to attempt it yourself. Or, you are going to have to pay someone else to do it.
     

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