Unlocked AT&T iPhone 5, is it possible?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 2, 2014
I don't live in the US but in Europe, so I 'd like to ask the US iphone5 users' help, because I am now considering to buy an iphone 5 64GB from Ebay. The seller has described it "as new" and "unlocked (AT&T)", although she doesn't say how the iphone got unlocked or if it was unlocked from the start, on the contrary the most details she has given are the following:
"I had it (the iphone 5 64GB) for one day bought it two weeks ago. there is a 3 mth warrenty i bought with phone i can use but i do believe a standard 1 yr warrenty and depends on your service you have. we didnt want it for the simple fact you had to have the apple itunes and credit card and i didnt want to add a credit card to my daughter account."

When I asked for the IMEI number in order to check if the iphone's still locked or not, she answered "I am unable to find this out unless the phone is activated which it is not. u cant get on it without putting a sim in it and logging it in to wifi and havent paid for anyyhing."

To me all this seems suspicious and I know "if it walks like a duck...", but I don't want to prejudge people without giving them the benefit of the doubt, so I would like to ask for the opinion of US iphone5 users and AT&T customers:

1) Does what she says or any of it make sense to you? Is it possible that she bought the iphone5 64GB 2 weeks ago / that she bought a 3 month warranty with the phone / 1 year (apple?) warranty"???

2) AT&T does not lock iphones by IMEI as Sprint does??
Does AT&T sell iphones5 unlocked now or you should first sign a 6 month/1 or 2 year contract and then AT&T will unlock your iphone upon request if you have complied with all terms of the contract?

3) Is it true you cannot see the IMEI number on the iphone 5 unless it is activated? Isn't there any other way to find out the IMEI number? Since this was an AT&T iphone5 64GB, the contract/receipt with AT&T would not mention it, AT&T wouldn't know?

Many thanks in advance! :)
Last edited:


macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
Sounds very suspicious to me. The Imei number is on the Box for a start.
If the phone was purchased from ATT and not activated you may need the original purchaser social security number to be able to activate the phone.

ATT normally sells their phones locked and will unlock them for you at the end of the two year contract.

There are unlockers who sell IMEI unlocks but the market is very unstable at the moment and an unlock could cost up to $150.

All phones purchased new come with a 12 month warranty not 3 months.

I would be say stay away from this.


macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2008
West Suburban Boston Ma
It seems like every day we find yet another eBay auction for an iPhone with dubious provenance.

Everyone wants to believe they are getting an iPhone cheap and will be able to use it with no problems. Sometimes it's a stolen phone, other times it's someone who started a contract with a phone for $ 100, then wants to skip out on the contract and sell the phone for $ 500, netting a profit of $ 400. Unfortunately the carriers will block the phone and the buyer is SOL.


macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2008
St. Louis
They sound mentally challenged.

If you do end up with a locked AT&T iPhone 5 (and I wouldn't buy from this idiot), you can pay $130 to get it unlocked.


Jul 2, 2012
Why would you hear a thing like that OP and not immediately disconnect from that person.
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