iPad mini Sprint can't activate a VZE rMini

Discussion in 'iPad' started by sTiVo, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. sTiVo macrumors newbie


    May 8, 2005
    I grabbed a VZE rMini because it was locally in stock with the hopes of just walking it into a Sprint store and having them activate it on their netowrk. They wanted to do it and were excited to do it, but after calling in to support, Sprint claims that the VZE rMini cannot be activated on their network because the device is not compatible. I really thought that it would be from what I have read, but I may have missed something. Can someone confirm? Otherwise I am taking this back and will wait in line with everyone else.
  2. EZB macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2013
    The device is the same and compatible, but Sprint has made sure that the devices are not activated on their network if they were not originally purchased for use on their network.
  3. sTiVo thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 8, 2005

    I can tell you this-- Either you all or terribly wrong about the interworkings of the new iPads, or there is a serious lack of understanding by both Apple sales and cell carrier sales people on how these things work. I saw it when I purchased the device in the Apple Store. They told me the technology doesn't support it. Then in the Sprint store they told me that regardless, I needed to call Sprint support to get my IMEI registered in their system. They then gave me their email addresses because they wanted to know how it worked out with the compatibility of the new iPad technology. Sprint phone support was equally miffed and ultimately told me the device just doesn't work cross-platform. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve, yet. Has anyone encountered this? Geez, I'm trying to give Sprint some more service here!
  4. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Sprint support is either CYAing or idiots. Maybe both. Betting they don't realize the iPad is unlocked & confusing it w/ the iPhone.

    Get hold of a Sprint nano SIM & stick it in your Air. Go to Cellular setting & set up acct. It will work. All Airs sold in the US have the same LTE chip & are unlocked. The only difference in the various cellular models is the preinstalled SIM.
  5. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    This likely boils down to corporate policy.

    iPad is unlocked, sure. Sprint's network means Sprint's rules though, and they're not currently allowing any non-whitelisted devices on their network. Even if you put a working iPhone Nano SIM on a non-Sprint iPad, it won't work.

    Asinine? Yes. Sprint's loss since less customers for them.
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    I believe the term in bold applies to most of the carriers anyway.
  7. pocketpenguin macrumors regular

    Nov 29, 2012
    There is a serious lack of understanding by Apple and carrier employees. Why does this come as a surprise?

    Sprint is technically wrong, the new air/rMini iPads are cross platform, it is two of the four carriers making themselves obnoxious that are the problem.

    The ipad models are the same. The equipment is identical for all carriers, the only difference is the SIM card and the iPad serial numbers. Looking at all the other threads on these topics, I believe the consensus is this:

    1) The hardware is the same.
    2) Verizon and sprint record the IMEI (like a serial number) numbers for the models sold with their SIM cards and won't allow an ipad not in their list of registered numbers onto their network. At one point sprint wouldn't even allow some iPad airs shipped with sprint sims on their network because of some IMEI screw up.
    3) Sprint and Verizon are stupid and don't appear to want business from people who purchased an ATT or Tmobile (or Verizon/sprint) iPad Rimini/air even though the hardware will work fine.
    4) older iPads had different hardware for different LTE/4g carriers, and some customer service reps are thinking the same is true with the new iPads, even though this is not the case.
    5) Some people have been successful (on Verizon but not sprint) in using a non-Verizon iPad air on the Verizon network by registering the sim in a different device and then placing it in the iPad air. Others have gotten Verizon to add the non-verizon iPad IMEI into the Verizon database. Your mileage may vary.

    TO HAVE THE MOST FLEXIBILITY...you should get either a Sprint or Verizon iPad air/rMini. Pick the carrier you are most likely to use, Sprint or Verizon. Then if you want to use your ipad on Tmobile or AT&T all you need to do is get a SIM card from AT&T or Tmobile, both of whom seem to have a reasonable "bring your own device" policy. If you buy an AT&T or Tmobile ipad air or rMini then you will have a hard, if not impossible, time getting it to work with Verizon or Sprint.

    Recently people have reported some cross carrier incompatibility with tmobile and AT&T, but later things worked. I believe this is due to folks not rebooting their ipad or powering off when switching SIMs or general slowness on the part of the carrier's registration system.

    Almost every post on the topic reports success when people follow the right procedure and try to use a Verizon or Sprint ipad air/rMini on the Tmoblie and AT&T networks.
  8. shenan1982 macrumors 68040


    Nov 23, 2011
    The more important question is WHY would you want to activate an iPad on Sprint's network? By all accounts they're the last-place player int he LTE market right now, and unlike their smartphone plans, their tablet plans have no competitive benefit... so why would you even want to associate an iPad with their network at this point?
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Wrong on both counts.

    The iPad air and rMini are the same hardware, regardless of carrier. All of them are capable of operating on all the other networks.

    At the same time, Sprint has a policy - however stupid it may be - that they will NOT activate any device brought to them by a consumer whose IMEI is not a database that matches up with their inventory. they MAY sometimes make exceptions, if forced to, by Apple store staff at the time of purchase. But if it's a guy off the street, they will say no, and they will stonewall.

    This is an entirely administrative decision. That decision is enforced by software. But a simple administrative and programmatic change could "magically" make your iPad Air work just fine on Sprint, without modifying any hardware... IF Sprint wanted to. But they don't.

    Many times, staff will tell you there's a hardware-based reason for their inability to activate the iPad, just to get you off their back.

    Unfortunately when it comes to Sprint, you're dealing with a brick wall. If you're insisting on dealing with them due to price, you should probably consider T-Mobile instead. If you're insistence on dealing with them is because of coverage... well, I'm shocked. :) But you should definitely consider other options at this point.

    I think of it this way: why reward bad behavior? You're now going to have to return that iPad and wait for a Sprint model to become available before you can make use of it on their network... OR, you can evaluate all your other options out there, including a competitor who is giving away 200MB of data a month. Granted, their coverage isn't great... but, neither is Sprint's.
  10. sTiVo thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 8, 2005
    Would TMobile activate the VZE rMini?

    It's actually not the most important question, but since you asked, they offer a $15 plan with more than enough data for me and their LTE is strong where I live. I would argue that T mobile would be the last place player in LTE, at least in my area.
  11. deeddawg, Nov 25, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013

    deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Simple to use Tmobile or AT&T with any of the iPads, just get a sim (see the various threads, free or minimal cost). Best not to involve the sales people they'll often try to put you on a postpaid plan.

    Using a Verizon iPad on Sprint or vice versa is a lot more difficult due to the companies not the hardware. (as explained before)
  12. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    Yes. So will AT&T.
  13. bidwalj macrumors 65816

    Feb 16, 2007
    The only solution may be for you to buy a sprint ipad (the air or the normal mini). Activate the sim, swap the sim into your device and return the original device. Not the best way to do it, but sprint makes it that difficult.

    Tmo and att will be easy activations.
  14. blackjackmark macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2010
    Heck, they won't even let me activate one that shipped from Apple with a Sprint sim!
  15. shenan1982 macrumors 68040


    Nov 23, 2011

    You live somewhere that Sprint has LTE but TMO doesn't? That's UTTER BS!
  16. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Yes, they do it every day.

    One thing that most Sprint/Verizon folks tend to overlook is that the 3G network on GSM carriers is far superior to the "3G" on CDMA carriers. As such, the LTE push hasn't been as aggressive. If you have T-Mobile HSPA+ in your area, then as has been demonstrated many times, you're very likely to match or exceed Sprint LTE speeds on that.
  17. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    I would just keep the iPad and use it with tmobile or AT&T. Sprint is terrible and they're too restrictive when it comes to trying to bring your own device to their network.
  18. sTiVo thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 8, 2005
    Thanks everyone for your help. I ordered a free sim from T-Mobile and replaced the Verizon sim. One call to T-Mobile later and I am up and running. I couldn't be happier. I also have the option to run it on VZE later on if I really need to down the road. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

  19. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68020

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    Did this with my iPad air as well. Bought the Verizon version for coverage but installed a T-Mobile SIM. it works great, I'm currently on month 2 of free T-Mobile LTE. :)
  20. sTiVo thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 8, 2005
    I honestly think this should be best practice for cellular iPad buyers. If you want T-mobile (and possibly AT&T), buy Sprint or Verizon so you can opt into their system if you want to later, then bring your device up on T-Mobile.
  21. fanchee macrumors 6502a


    Nov 23, 2009
    I've done the same. Purchased Verizon iPad, took out the Verizon sim and saved it for later use (if necessary) and popped in T-Mobile sim. Easily signed up for the 200mb free service. I'm still in the process of testing it out to see how good it is in my area. I still might go to the AT&T store and get a sim from them to compare service.
  22. jsd79 macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2013
    Yep, I did the same, only I didn't even need to call TMO, I just set up a free account right on the ipad.

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