Trying so hard to re-activate iPhone 5

LOLZpersonok

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 10, 2012
711
14
Calgary, Canada
In December of 2015, I got a Samsung Galaxy S6, replacing my iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 sat for a while, until my brother needed a temporary replacement phone. So, I restored the phone to its factory defaults, which unsurprisingly required the phone to be reactivated, but here's the problem: No SIM cards will work.

The phone wants a SIM card from the carrier that it's locked to (Fido) and when I place my SIM card in, the phone says that it's not supported, which makes absolutely zero sense to me because it's the very same SIM card that came out of it when I upgraded to my Samsung, and I haven't made any changes to my plan or contract that should constitute such an incompatibility.

I took it to the Apple Store and had them look at it. They tried several of their own SIM cards and none of them worked, and they thought that it'd be more expensive than what it was worth to try and properly troubleshoot (the iPhone 7 was just around the corner). Effectively, without spending a bunch of money I neither have nor would want to spend on it, it seems that I'm left on my own.

I don't even want to use my old iPhone 5 as a proper phone, I've already got one. I just want to play around with it and have it usable because it was my first proper smartphone, as I had previously used phones that weren't useful for much more than making phone calls or sending texts. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I'm completely at a loss as to what to do. I don't even know if Fido could unlock the phone, and I don't want to (and can't) pay for that.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,998
14,656
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
In December of 2015, I got a Samsung Galaxy S6, replacing my iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 sat for a while, until my brother needed a temporary replacement phone. So, I restored the phone to its factory defaults, which unsurprisingly required the phone to be reactivated, but here's the problem: No SIM cards will work.

The phone wants a SIM card from the carrier that it's locked to (Fido) and when I place my SIM card in, the phone says that it's not supported, which makes absolutely zero sense to me because it's the very same SIM card that came out of it when I upgraded to my Samsung, and I haven't made any changes to my plan or contract that should constitute such an incompatibility.

I took it to the Apple Store and had them look at it. They tried several of their own SIM cards and none of them worked, and they thought that it'd be more expensive than what it was worth to try and properly troubleshoot (the iPhone 7 was just around the corner). Effectively, without spending a bunch of money I neither have nor would want to spend on it, it seems that I'm left on my own.

I don't even want to use my old iPhone 5 as a proper phone, I've already got one. I just want to play around with it and have it usable because it was my first proper smartphone, as I had previously used phones that weren't useful for much more than making phone calls or sending texts. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I'm completely at a loss as to what to do. I don't even know if Fido could unlock the phone, and I don't want to (and can't) pay for that.
The only suggestion I could say to try would be a different FIDO SIM.

I'd look on eBay for an iPhone 5 FIDO SIM.

Lots of people sell old and/or deactivated SIMs for less than $1 just so people can activate phones.

Why this would be any different than your current SIM I don't know. But it might be worth a shot.
 

LOLZpersonok

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 10, 2012
711
14
Calgary, Canada
The only suggestion I could say to try would be a different FIDO SIM.

I'd look on eBay for an iPhone 5 FIDO SIM.

Lots of people sell old and/or deactivated SIMs for less than $1 just so people can activate phones.

Why this would be any different than your current SIM I don't know. But it might be worth a shot.
I don't think that'd work. Like I said, the Apple Store tried several SIM cards, including Fido SIM cards. These SIM cards not only worked in their own iPhones, but also my Samsung Galaxy. Not a single one worked in my iPhone 5.
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What about trying to activate via iTunes? Is it possible the SIM reader is damaged?
I've tried activating through iTunes, and it gives me the same "Unsupported SIM" message. I was able to get the iPhone updated to the latest version of iOS 10 by putting the phone into recovery mode, but I still get that same annoying message.

I suppose it's possible the SIM reader is damaged, but I don't know how that might have happened. After I got my Samsung, the SIM card was removed from the iPhone normally and it worked with the SIM card prior to that.
 

LOLZpersonok

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 10, 2012
711
14
Calgary, Canada
A damaged sim reader seems to be the issue because everything else works and perfectly good sim cards don't work in the iPhone.
They thought that was a possibility at the Apple Store, and while I'm not sure how it could have happened I also think it's possible. It's disappointing though, because I wouldn't be able to fix it without straight up buying another iPhone and disassembling both, which I don't want to do.
 
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