Suspicious New Virgin iPhones on US eBay

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Milchschokolade, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. Milchschokolade macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    #1
    Hi All,
    I recently got my phone stolen, and I'm looking for a cheap(er) replacement. I've been looking at new and used iPhones 5 and 5s on the US eBay. One thing I keep popping into is new & unopened phones marked as Virgin Mobile. The sellers themselves don't raise any red flags, but I worry there's something fishy going on.

    1. All phones of this type are well below value
    2. They come with this little card:
    [​IMG]

    What's the deal with these phones? Are they particularly hard (or impossible) to unlock? Can they be used with other carriers? Why are they so cheap? Is this a scam? Please help.

    Sidenote: I'm looking for a GSM phone that will also work in Europe, which is another concern with buying Virgin (although I hear the CDMA iPhones 5s also have GSM capabilities - except for band 7?)
     
  2. tvbi macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    #2
    About 3-4 weeks ago virgin mobile and boost mobile had a sale on new iPhone 5S for $150. Nothing suspicious about it, they are just trying to make some quick bucks.

    Unlock service was about $15-$20 back then but now it's unavailable I believe. Might have something to do with the mass amount of unlock requests by all the 5S buyers.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    Well…maybe not suspicious, but if I were going to buy it would have to be the 5s.

    Virgin Mobile in the US is an MVNO of Sprint. Which means those phones are locked to Sprint. A 5S you can get unlocked from Sprint if you have everything they are asking from you.

    But the 5 is not capable of being unlocked.
     
  4. jetsam, Feb 25, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016

    jetsam macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    #4
    One of the things Virgin Mobile USA requires is:
    "The device has been active on the associated account for at least 12 months with the account active at that time".
    http://www.virginmobileusa.com/unlock/

    OP, it sounds like you are buying from outside the US, so you will not be able to meet that requirement, even if you wanted to. Therefore, you will be at the mercy of third party unlock services.
     
  5. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #5
    I think you mean the OP. In any case, if OP gets the 5 then there won't be anything that will unlock it. A SIM interposer will be required.

    Not sure about a 5c or above (in this case the 5s). They are capable of being unlocked but historically all third party unlocks of Sprint iPhones have failed.
     
  6. jetsam macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    #6
    Yes, I was indeed referring to the OP. I've edited my post to make that clear.

    VM will unlock the 5s, 5c, 6 or 6 Plus, after they have been in service on a VM account for a year. Basically, OP, I would advise you to look elsewhere.
     
  7. Milchschokolade thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    #7
    Thanks so much for the input guys. What I'm gathering is that a 5S from Virgin (which = Sprint) is very unlikely to be unlocked. Indeed, the phone will mainly be used abroad (about 90% of the time) so fulfilling the contract requirement is a no go.

    One thing I'm wondering about is, if Virgin would care that I plan to use it on a Virgin network abroad. I have been a Virgin Mobile customer in Poland (prepaid) for quite some time, and plan to continue to use the service.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2016 ---
    Also, to answer to some questions from above, I am looking at 5S (not 5c, not 5) ... so more of a chance to unlock?
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #8
    In the US, Sprint owns the Virgin Mobile MVNO. They are simply licensing the name. So, other than the name it has zero relation to Virgin Mobile outside of the US.

    Plain and simple, you're dealing with Sprint. And yes, the 5s can receive a DSU from Sprint/Virgin Mobile, but you have to meet their requirements.

    I really don't know if third party unlocks will work now since Sprint changed their unlock policy last year.

    But there is a REASON Sprint/VM/Boost phones are priced much cheaper than phones from other carriers and the difficulty of unlocking them is why.
     
  9. Charadis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #9
    I recently bought one of these 5s 32gb for $150 plus tax through virgin mobile and used one of the "unlock services" you could find on eBay ($32 at the time last month). Took about 4 days, but phone worked with my AT&T sim from my 6s with no problem.

    Phones and unlocking can definitely be legit, just many on eBay taking advantage of the cheap price to make a return.
     

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