iPhone 4s ATT not activating, even with ATT sim

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by gd6, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. gd6 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    #1
    Hi, My brother bought 2 iphone 4s 32gb's off of someone (craigslist). Both with box and all accessories and it seemed legit. The one 4s works great. The other one is stuck at the activation screen. I have plenty of non-active ATT sims that have always worked for activating iphones...but it will not work in this phone. It says SIM NOT COMPATIBLE. I also tried my active straight talk sim and it says the same thing, and I've activated 4s's before with that sim as well.

    So, I called ATT. They checked the IMEI blacklist database and said the phone was not blacklisted. But then they said the IMEI doesn't look like its in there database at all. They refused to acknowledge that it was an ATT iphone, and even said it must be a different carrier. I called Apple and they said that it was indeed an ATT iphone, but I tried to explain that to ATT and they didn't seem to get it.

    Finally, I tried unlocking the IMEI via unlockfusion (ebay), and they say the phone is not an ATT phone (but it IS an ATT phone, apple themself acknowledges this, but for some reason the IMEI is not in there database).

    I won't have my car back for a few days, but I do plan on taking this into an ATT store, then into the apple store. I just wanted to ask if anybody had any advice. I do believe that this phone has been used on ATT before, but can't confirm that, but it does have some wear.

    Thanks a lot for any help!
     
  2. Fredvs79 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    #2
    Hrm, being used its questionable what is going on. Is the ImEi you are reading on the case or the settings/about screen?

    If its on the case, it's possible that the internal board is not from that case, and the internal board IMEI is blacklisted???

    Check to make sure settings/about/IMEI matches what you are asking AT&T to check. Short of that, I'm guessing that either
    1) the SIM card slot is messed up (maybe from a hack job with Gevi SIM unlock?) and can't detect your SIM to connect to the network to activate itself.
    2) the IMEI number isn't in the AT&T database, but IS in the Verizon database.
     
  3. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #3
    Why do you believe that the phone was used on AT&T before or its an AT&T iphone?
    You bought it off someone on craigslist.
    It could be locked on any carrier in the world.
    And obviously if AT&T is telling you its not in their database and it cant be unlocked by IMEI ebay unlocks then its not an AT&T phone.
    If it was it would have activated fine with any AT&T sim like the other phone did.
    Sounds like someone pulled a fast one on you wether you'd like to admit it or not.
    Could be locked to a canadian carrier,or a cdma iphone 4S from Verizon or Sprint or one from south America etc...
    Your guess is as good as anyones.
     
  4. gd6 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    #4
    TinyUmbrella told me the IMEI, because its the only way I could see it without having the phone activated. the IMEI is the same on the back of the sim tray.

    The IMEI number looks the same as other ATT IMEI's (starts with 01, verizon and sprint start with 99, I'm aware that other GSM providers can start with 01 as well).

    Like I said, I told apple the IMEI that I found in tiny umbrella, which is identical to the one on the sim tray, and they said ATT, yet this phone rejects all sims that Ive tried (att, sprint, verizon, straight talk).

    Its wierd, like it somehow got deleted off att's system completely.

    ----------

    Ya I assumed that was the case, until confirming the IMEI with tiny umbrella, and having apple tell me it IS an ATT iphone.
     
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #5
    I dont know what someone at apple told you but if AT&T says its not in their system and unlock fusion cannot unlock it and its not activating with AT&T sims either then something is not right.
    And IMEI's are random and could be for any carrier in the world.
    There's no such thing as IMEI number looks like AT&T imei.
     
  6. gd6 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    #6
    I meant it looks like a GSM IMEI, because all verizon and sprint are distinct by starting with 99 if I remember correctly.

    I entered the IMEI number in a website and it told me it was locked to ATT as well, but I didn't beleive the website and called Apple and they told me the same thing, yet ATT has no record of this IMEI.
     
  7. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #7
    The IMEI numbers are random and could be from any carrier in the world.
    Its not all Sprint and verizon start with 99 or anything specific like that.
    It could be locked to Rogers, Fido, vodafone etc.. you name it.
    Those IMEI websites are very unreliable so I wouldnt trust anything on them either.
    If Apple told you its locked to AT&T then it should work and activate fine with AT&T. If not then bring it to an Apple store and see why it wont activate or work with AT&T.
    Maybe you will get lucky and they will just replace it with an AT&T model just to get rid of you and make you happy:D
    Cant hurt to try.
     
  8. gd6 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    #8
    I've gone through the activation process with spare ATT sims before (not currently active) and also with my straight talk sim before (on ATT iphones, not yet unlocked). Would the above work even on an att phone that was never activated before?

    I am going to stop by an ATT store, then the Apple store, cause if this is listed by Apple as an ATT phone, it seems very likely that they would do something about it, as it is reading sims just fine and shows searching.
     
  9. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #9
    Yes, I activated many AT&T iphones with old inactive/deactivated AT&T sims before.
    If its really an AT&T phone it will activate fine with any AT&T sim. Even if it wasnt activated before it wont matter. As long as its locked to AT&T it will activate with straight talk, h20, AT&T prepaid sims etc...
    They all use the same network.
    Let us know how it went.
     
  10. gd6 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    #10
    So just a little update. ATT refused to believe this was an att iphone even though I told them I confirmed multiple times with Apple that it was. Then I went to the apple store and they said its up to ATT to activate the phone, and since its out of warranty that there really is not much they can do.

    I did take a picture at the Apple store of the genuis's iPad, which displayed the IMEI and clearly stated that the phones carrier was "AT&T USA". I was hoping they could print me something out but they wouldnt.

    I might try visiting ATT again (didn't have time) now that I have visual proof from the Apple store stating the phone is ATT. I still don't understand what is up with this phone or how it got like this.
     
  11. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    #11
    Very weird situation man.
    Never heard of such thing before.
     

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