Replaced iphone 4 factory unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jakura, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. jakura macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    #1
    I had an iPhone 4 16Gb with model "mc608ll" that had been bought from at&t which recently had a problem and was replaced by the apple store.

    The replacement model that i got is "mc318ll". I did not activate this iphone in the apple store but instead came home and activated it on my laptop.

    I recently read somewhere that this is the model number (mc318ll) that apple uses as replacement iphone 4 all around the world, even with factory unlocked iphone 4.

    I was wondering if since this is the exact model used worldwide for replacement, that it may be factory unlocked and locked by apple store at the time of replacement, so is it possible that my iphone 4 is unlocked since I did not activate it in the Apple Store?

    Has anybody had such an experience or received this same model number in some other country other than US as unlocked?
     
  2. kingdLo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    #2
    I have one with the 318 number, it's a new non refurbished replacement. Activated in iTunes without a sim card at the apple store.
     
  3. jakura thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    #3
    is it unlocked or locked? thats the main thing i need to know
     
  4. chrisperro macrumors 6502

    chrisperro

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    Oct 24, 2009
    Location:
    canada
    #4
    those numbers don't mean anything here in canada, (probably same in the usa) why just put a different sim card in?
     
  5. kingdLo macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2009
    #5
    Locked I'm sure. The process takes place in iTunes and I've never tried a different sim. I think yours is locked too
     
  6. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #6
    iTunes would have told you that it was unlocked when you activated it.
     
  7. jakura thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2010
    Location:
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
    #7
    not necessarily, my mother recently got her iphone officially unlocked from her carrier (she's not in the US) and itunes never told her that its unlocked, but she can use any gsm sim, i tried a lot of different carrier cards when i had visited her.
     
  8. romeo0119 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    #8
    Well if u have like 20 bucks to spare, why not go get a prepaid sim card from tmobile or whoever and try it...?
     
  9. ajgvalex macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #9
    Unlocked MC318LL

    I have an iPhone 4 MC318LL that works with any sim on iOS 4.0 with bb 1.59.00 but I hadn't upgraded it cause I don't know if apple will lock on the upgrade.
     
  10. aziatiklover macrumors 68030

    aziatiklover

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    Jul 12, 2011
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    #10
    most likely locked to att again. The fact is your att iphone 4 imei locked status got transfer to the replacement. Before a genius swap/replace you a new refurbished iphones 3g/3gs/4/4s they have to enter the current imei and see if it's an unlocked status or not then it will transfer to the replacement iphones. You can swap change replace any model numbers it does not matter. Wat matter is the unlocked status in apple system data base.

    ----------

    and? Anyways your baseband is unlockable. Is your iphone originally an att iphone or factory unlocked?
     
  11. NathanA macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    #11
    Apple has this weird habit of generating multiple part numbers for what is essentially the same device, probably to track sales and service through different channels (retail, carrier, direct, etc.).

    If you had purchased an AT&T iPhone 4 (Black) from Apple at launch in the U.S., you would have received either MC318LL (16GB), or MC319LL (32GB). However, if you had purchased the same phone from AT&T directly, you would have received either MC608LL (16GB), or MC610LL (32GB).

    They are the exact same phone. The different part numbers just indicate whether it was sold by Apple or by AT&T. And Apple has been doing this since at least the iPhone 3G.

    If you have your AT&T iPhone replaced by Apple under warranty, you will receive an MC318LL or MC319LL as your replacement, regardless of the original part number, because Apple only carries the "direct sale" part numbers on-hand; all of the AT&T-specific parts are allocated to AT&T's sales channels. But -- again -- it doesn't matter, since it's the same phone.

    The unlock status of your phone also has virtually nothing to do with the phone's part number. Phones are marked locked or unlocked by Apple based on the IMEI of the phone, in a master database they maintain that iTunes has access to. When you activate an iPhone either through iTunes or through the new iOS5 on-device activation, that IMEI database is checked, and the phone baseband is locked to whatever carrier that database says to lock it to, OR if the database says that IMEI is unlocked, then the baseband is unlocked. That's actually a very simplified explanation of the process as it's not just a matter of "locked or unlocked"...the lock status is protected by Apple cryptographically, so you can't just "fake out" iTunes and trick it into unlocking your phone for you. Also, unactivated phones are not (contrary to some rumors) unlocked until they are locked by the activation process...the baseband is a blank slate until activation, which means that it will accept NO SIM until it is told what it is allowed to accept. So you can't buy a subsidized phone, try to avoid the activation or "hacktivate" it instead, and expect to come out on the other side with a fully-unlocked phone.

    So when you get a warranty replacement from Apple, Apple looks up the lock status of your old phone and applies that same status to your new replacement phone; the model number of the replacement has no bearing on things at this point. Apple does it this way because even phones that were originally purchased as locked can be unlocked at a later date: the carrier that sold the phone merely has to authorize the unlock, and Apple will change their master IMEI database to reflect that request. And if one of those locked-then-officially-unlocked phones needs warranty service, the unlocked status should follow it (and it does).

    When a "factory-unlocked" iPhone 4 model was finally introduced in the U.S. this past June (sold, as far as I know, only directly by Apple through their online store or retail stores), the black models were given the part numbers MC603LL (16GB) and MC605LL (32GB). I don't know what Apple would give you in its place if you had purchased one of these unlocked SKUs and then you found a few months' time later that there is a warrantable issue -- would they give you another phone of the same SKU, or one of the sold-by-Apple-but-locked-to-AT&T SKUs? -- but it really doesn't matter because there is absolutely no physical or software difference between ANY of these phones. Everything is controlled by the activation process and that IMEI database.

    -- Nathan
     
  12. leftheaded macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    #12
    i just had my unlocked 16GB iPhone 4 replaced at an apple store. it was the same store where i bought the phone the week they started selling unlocked versions in the US, in june 2010.

    they gave me an iPhone 4 with the model MC318LL, and popped in the ATT sim that was in the defective, unlocked phone.

    does this mean my replacement is unlocked? dont know, but i will test it if someone tells me what to do.
     
  13. reclusive46 macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    It will be unlocked, the unlock carries over. You can check at IMEI.info though.
     
  14. matthewt24 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    #14
    Sorry to hijack this thread, but I see you "replaced" an unlocked iPhone. What is Apple's policy if your factory unlocked iPhone were to get damaged (or lost or stolen)? Is it similar to the carrier versions, where there a $200 replacement fee? Or would it be the full cost: $650+?
     
  15. leftheaded macrumors member

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    May 10, 2010
    #15
    mine was covered under the 1yr warranty from apple... no fees or costs in my situation.
     
  16. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #16
    If the phone wasn't unlocked when you brought it in, the replacement won't be unlocked either. The model number has no relevance when it comes to replacement phones.
     
  17. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #17
    The warranty is the same for ALL iPhones, no matter how or where they were purchased.
     

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