Sending oficially unlocked iphones back to Apple

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jmmo20, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #1
    Hello,
    I have a question regarding the way Apple sends refurbished iphones to those who have technical problems with their iphones.

    In some countries, the mobile operators unlock the iphone for a small fee, or for free sometimes.

    If you need to send your unlocked iphone back to Apple, and they send you a new (refurbished) iphone back to you, will it be unlocked or locked to the original carrier?

    Shouldn't they check against their database whether the iphone you send them is oficially unlocked or not?

    Please note that i'm not talking about unltrasn0w or any other software unlocking solutions. I'm talking about the official unlocking procedure in which the operator asks Apple to unlock the iphone.

    thanks!!
     
  2. acfusion29 macrumors 68040

    acfusion29

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    don't you think that would be your responsibility :confused:
     
  3. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #3
    Of course not!

    Apple maintains the database of which network (if any) an iPhone is locked to.

    Customers are not able to check it.

    How would it:

    a) Not be Apple's responsibility to check a database that they maintain and have sole access to?

    AND

    b) Be the responsibility of the customer when they can't check that database?
     
  4. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #4
    Anyways.. I guess that if I ever need to use Apple's CS to get an iphone exchanged, I'll make pretty damn sure that they representative is aware of it's unlock status :)
     
  5. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #5
    What about asking your mobile operator?

    They might be able to help you on the matter.
     
  6. mad-dog-one macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    #6
    Does this mean that Apple and some cell phone carriers have a software unlock for iPhones? Is this just speculation or has this been confirmed?

    When I visit Canada, Europe, Asia or Australia with my AT&T iPhone, can I get it unlocked by a non-AT&T carrier so I can use their SIM and cell system and then switch back to my AT&T SIM when I get home?
     
  7. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #7
    I asked them and apparently they would only unlock me the iPhone I bought from them, because the IMEI of the replacement iphone from Apple is not on their database :(
     
  8. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #8
    Apple does unlock iPhones in a lot of countries.
    Basically the operator requests Apple to unlock an iPhone, and the next time you sync with iTunes the phone is unlocked.

    They don't do it in the US tho, because of AT&T.
    But it's pretty common in Europe.

    Apple has a webpage in which they tell you which operators offer unlocking options. http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1937

    It's not really a software unlock.. basically Apple must have a Seriel number database, when you sync your iphone it's checked against the database. If it appears as unlocked, the server issues an authorization key that turns your iphone's baseband completely unlocked.
     
  9. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #9
    That's full of errors, e.g. in Denmark every carrier offers unlock (it's the law).
     
  10. mcmanus7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #10
    FYI for Canada... the Carrier CANNOT unlock your iPhone... the ONLY way to get it unlocked is to purchase it directly from Apple at the full price.

    So no if you travel to Canada the carriers will not be able to unlock your iPhone.

    As mentioned Apple controls what carrier the iPhone is locked to. I was sent a replacement iPhone from Apple that was locked to Rogers, (I am a Fido customer). They were able to change the lock to Fido.

    Apple does know which phones are factory unlocked as all of your carrier/phone information is stored on their activation server.

    The Key to your question is that if you buy a unlocked iPhone from another country technically Apple only has to honor apple care within that country.
     
  11. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #11
    Uhm No, I bought the iphone in Spain and my operator unlocked it.
    My worry is that if I ever need a replacement, will Apple honour the previous unlock and send me an unlocked iphone?

    my operator says that they unlock the iphone I bought, If Apple send me another iphone and this one is locked, they won't be able to unlock this one too.

    i.e. you cannot buy unlocked iphones in Spain but you can request your carrier to unlock it for you.
     
  12. mcmanus7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #12
    Yes, but your carrier then makes the request to Apple themselves.

    All you have to do is when you get your replacement you just call your carrier again and get them to request it. Apple WILL NOT send you an officially unlocked iPhone because your original iPhone was not technically officially unlocked.

    Carriers DO NOT have the ability to lock or unlock iPhones. They DO have the ability to request an unlock, but apple is who processes it.
     
  13. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #13

    I know that operators do not unlock iphones, they request apple to do it.
    This is what my carrier CS told me

    1) They have a database with all the iphones IMEI sold through that particular carrier

    2) Under the right circumstances you can request unlocking

    3) The carrier then cross-references the IMEI against their database. Then request the unlock to apple. They only do this ONCE for every iphone they sell.

    4) If Apple send me a replacement, it will have a different IMEI and this IMEI will NOT be in the carrier's database

    5) Calling them to request a replacement would only result in them returning my call saying that particular IMEI is not in their database



    so I wonder if Apple shouldn't check their own database and see if the replacement I send them was unlocked per request of the carrier, then send me an iphone that is not locked to that carrier ???

    This really concerns me. I had to pay 100euro+ (like an ETF) just to be able to get them to unlock my iphone.
     
  14. Tozzi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #14
    If you swap an unlocked phone via Apple Store or Apple Care, the replacement unit will be unlocked, too, regardless where.
    I just had my French unlocked unit replaced at a German Apple Store, no problem. Replacement unit is unlocked as well (although that takes half an hour or so to register).
     
  15. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #15
    that's great! thanks.
    only one question tho, was your iphone factory unlocked or you bought it from a carrier then requested it to be unlocked?

    merci :)
     
  16. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #16
    The phone should be associated with a carrier the first time you sync it in iTunes with a valid SIM inserted.

    Here in the UK, it's quite common for people to buy a second hand iPhone that is locked to O2-UK.

    In order to get O2 to unlock the phone, you must put an O2 SIM in the phone and sync it with iTunes - this registers the phone as belonging to their network and you can then fill out a form on their website to get it unlocked.

    I would assume that the situation would be the same in your country.

    NOTE: Associating a phone with a network does not equal locking the phone to the network. Within Apple's systems, a carrier must "own" each phone. The owner will simply be determined by the SIM that was in the phone when it was last synced to iTunes. If the phone is locked, then the only SIM that would be recognised is that of the carrier it is locked to e.g. AT&T.
     
  17. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #17
    You said it: within Apple's systems.
    Not my carrier's.

    Basically my carrier says that If I ever get a replacement for the iPhone they unlocked me, that new phone will not be in the carrier's system. Therefore if it comes locked to that carrier, they will not be able to request it to be unlocked.

    so two scenarios here

    a) Apple sends an unlocked iphone to replace my unlocked iphone. Everyone is happy

    b) Apple send me a locked iphone to Movistar. This iPhone has a different IMEI to the one I bought from Movistar. Movistar will not recognise this new iPhone as one of theirs. So, they will not unlock it at all. I'm sad because I paid to unlock my iphone and now I have a locked iphone.
     
  18. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #18
    In that scenario they are likely to send you an unlocked phone.

    These phones aren't locked to a specific carrier when coming out of the factory.
     
  19. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #19
    I should be clearer.

    The system that your carrier is accessing is merely Apple's system.

    Apple only lets each carrier see phones that are associated with that carrier.

    When you sync your phone with iTunes, your carrier should then be able to unlock it again.
     
  20. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #20


    you're missing the intrinsic bureaucracy of Spanish businesses.
    Before the support ticket reaches the guy that accesses Apple's system, the petition goes through a process in which they check the IMEI you're giving them. And they check it against their own systems, which tells them whether the IMEI has been sold through Movistar. If it hasn't, they won't pass the ticket onto the first guy. Moreover, if you've unlocked a phone already they won't unlock another one.

    The CS of my carrier were pretty clear: if the phone's IMEI is not on their database, they won't unlock it. period.
     

Share This Page