Need advice: Best way to activate my unlocked iPhone X

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MareLuce, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. MareLuce macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2010
    I want to end out with an unlocked iPhone X. One that I can immediately switch from ATT to Verizon , or ATT to another country's SIM card.

    Here's my situation:

    1) My iPhone X is ready for pickup from Best Buy tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov 7). YAY !!!
    I'm paying full price, not on a plan for their Qualcomm modem version that works with both Verizon and ATT).

    I'm on ATT but want CDMA support since I might move to a location that much better Verizon vs ATT support.
    Plus, I learned the hard way (during a business trip to Dubai) that my iPhone 6+ wasn't really unlocked, even though I went through the ATT unlock process.. So I had to buy a new phone there on the spot in the Dubai airport and wasted precious hours before a big presentation.

    2) After reading the post by Alef_Meem on this thread on Best Buy forums
    I ordered a Verizon / Straight Talk SIM Activation Kit from eBay.

    However, it does not arrive till Saturday-ish.

    The key seems to be, *before* I put in my ATT sim, I must put in a Verizon sim.
    “. If you fail to do this and insert your AT&T SIM for initial activation, the phone will lock to that carrier’s unlock policy”

    Here's what I see as the possibilities. What do you think of Option B and E:

    Option A: Wait for the Verizon / Straight Talk SIM I ordered to arrive.
    (but I can't wait! That means I couldn't use my new iPhone X till the weekend!)

    Option B: After picking the iPhone X up from Best Buy, I'll go to a Verizon Store that's < 5 min away.
    I"ll ask the Verizon sales person if I could use a SIM card to activate my new iPhone to Verizon in the store since I might get a Verizon plan if I move.

    Option C: Go to Walmart. Buy a $49 Straight Talk Wireless card.
    (Nope. Too much. I'd consider this only if the minutes didn't expire. But I only have 30 days to use the minutes.)

    Option D: Activate with my ATT SIM. Then go through the ick ATT unlock process. Even if it works, it would take a lot more time than if I just quickly put in a Verizon sim.
    (If nothing else works, I guess I have to do this…)

    Option E: Find a SIM card that I’ve used on work trips to France (via SFR), Germany (via O2 maybe), or the UK (via Orange).

    Does the SIM have to be Verizon to accomplish the purpose of starting out life with an unlocked phone?

    I might also have an old T-Mobile SIM somewhere...
  2. MacTea macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2014
    Yes, you need a Verizon SIM. I'd avoid activating it first with a AT&T SIM and then rely on them to unlock and hope things work out in the end. It can be done but if you can avoid it....

    That said, you can try to get a Verizon SIM from either someone at Best Buy, Apple Store or at Verizon. Go with option B! If you have Amzn Prime, I think they sell SIM cards too and you can get it in 2 days.
  3. jzafra88 macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2014
    Bought my X from Best buy paid in full. Bought a Verizon Sim from Amazon. Activated the X with the Verizon Sim inside, powered off, put my att sim in, power knu and now have a completely unlocked X for GSM or CDMA

    So I'd go with option B. But whatever you do, make sure you activate with a Verizon Sim card inside first
  4. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2010
    fyi - This is the Sim card i bought on eBay. It was mailed Monday, so I probably won't get it till Friday.

    and this is my second iPhone X which hopefully will support Verizon too.

    How will I know I've fully "activated" it with the Verizon SIM and it's now OK to replace with my ATT SIM?
  5. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Just put your AT&T SIM into the phone and it will work. AT&T can’t lock it through your SIM card. I have the “Verizon” iPhone 7 that I use with AT&T.
  6. prometheus00 macrumors newbie


    Oct 23, 2017
    I would not use that Straight Talk sim to activate the phone. Yes it may use Verizon towers, but the phone won't provision on the activation server as a Verizon phone. Get a postpaid Verizon sim, since these are provisioned as fully unlocked phones. I borrowed a friend's sim, it only takes a couple minutes. One of my coworkers actually just had a best buy employee do it for him when he picked up the phone, so it's worth just asking them if they'll help.
  7. Plut macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2017
    Basically any Verizon post-paid sim will make sure it stays unlocked. it doesn't matter if the sim has active service or not. Do not use a prepaid sim.

    Try asking a friend or family member or just a friendly sales rep if you can use their Verizon sim for literally less then 2 minutes. All it needs is a quick power on and the phone to see Verizon's network. Once it connects to the tower it is unlocked forever. You are then free to swap sims all you like. None of their personal info is going to transfer over to your phone.

    If you do put the AT&T sim in it first it should not lock because its paid in full. However their system seems to glitch out and sometimes lock the device for 60 days. If so, you can do an unlock request online and usually get it approved since its paid in full.
  8. MareLuce thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2010
    SUCCESS !! I used a variation on Option B.

    The Best Buy Mobile Advisor kindly took a Verizon SIM from a demo phone, put it into my freshly unwrapped Best Buy iPhone X, and took it through to activation.
    He then restored to factory settings.

    At home I then installed my ATT SIM from my iPhone 7+. Shazam! Connected to ATT right away.
    Restore from my old iPhone backup was fairly smooth.**

    Best Buy Mobile Advisor did warn me that my phone could lock to Verizon once he activated using the demo Verizon SIM card. That did give me pause. I simply told him he'd have a crying female on his hands if that happened :).

    The Verizon store associate would not help. They said they inventory all their SIMs and they are $19.95.

    If I ever switch to Verizon, I'll go back to that Best Buy store to sign up with them.

    ** 2 things I always forget when restoring from iTunes backup
    1) that my encrypted iPhone backup password is different from my Apple ID password
    2) to turn OFF "Find my Phone" on the old phone BEFORE attempting a restore.

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7 November 6, 2017