School me on buying a used Sprint iPhone 5C

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by ben824, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. ben824 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Location:
    GA
    #1
    Ok so the girl I'm dating has a sprint iPhone 4 that has the usual broken lock button and its just slow and the data is slow. I have bought and sold GSM iPhones before but never dealt with CDMA Sprint or Verizon iPhones.

    I have heard stuff about good and bad ESNs.

    Basically I need help understanding what I need to know to buy a good one to activate on Sprint's network. Now I don't mind a little effort to make it work if getting a bad ESN to work so I can get one at a cheaper price. Just need to know how I would do that.

    So help educate me!
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Well, first off…if it has a bad Sprint ESN you won't ever get it activated on Sprint. That comes down to Sprint's unlock policy.

    Because Sprint's unlock policy is draconian (they will NEVER unlock for domestic use) there does not exist any third party unlocks. I don't even know if you could do it with a Gevey or an interposer, but maybe.

    So, there's that.

    Basically, you want one with a clean ESN. What Sprint does is they use the IMEI/ESN to create what they call a MEID. All Sprint IMEIs are blocked from Apple's unlock database and Sprint ties your IMEI/ESN to the phone. It's paired. Take the SIM card out and you have no service because the SIM card is paired and locked to the phone.

    Because of all this you cannot swap SIM cards and go. You have to use the one paired with the device and that of course means you can only get service on Sprint's network.
     
  3. ben824 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Location:
    GA
    #3
    Ok so does Sprint ever release the Phone's ESN so that another customer can purchase the phone and pair their number with it?

    If so, how could I check and verify that the phone indeed does have a good ESN before I fork over my money?
     
  4. NoCleverSNForMe macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    #4
    Yes, if the previous customer simply swapped phones or just closed their account and paid the ETF, the phone and ESN can be used on another account.

    There are two ways: the hard way is calling Sprint at 1-888-211-4727 or the easy way is to go to Sprint.com, log in, and click "Activate a Phone". If you type it in and it says "bad ESN", then it's a bad one.

    If you're buying from someone on Craigslist, ask them for the ESN before you waste your time. On eBay, a lot of sellers guarantee a clean ESN for Sprint devices. Make sure you read the listing for this. If it says bad ESN or does not list this information, do not buy it.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    That I cannot answer. You could probably call them, but I don't know if they would tell you anything or not.

    I do know though that if the ESN is good there won't be an issue with another person activating it. I sent my wife's old phone and my old phone to two different people and neither of them had problems getting those old phones activated because the ESNs were clean.
     
  6. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #6
    I know this is a bit forthcoming, but if your gf is a student or you're a student, if you buy the 5c through best buy's student program you get a year of free service with sprint.

    That might be a better option. :)
     
  7. ben824 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Location:
    GA
    #7
    Well I graduated already and she is not currently enrolled in classes. SO unfortunately that won't be an option for us. Her dad works for Sprint so the service is cheap and paid for anyways. She just isn't quite due for an upgrade quite yet. As her birthday gets closer I will probably ask her Dad what it would take to upgrade her early if at all possible. Because then I would only be out $100 instead of $250-$300 like they are going for on Craigslist in my area. I was just curious as to what it takes to get a used Sprint phone working. Thanks for all the help!
     

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