Unlocked iPhone 5 (3rd party unlock) lost unlock

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by TB07-NJ, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. TB07-NJ, Jun 7, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014

    TB07-NJ macrumors 68020

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    #1
    Back when the iPhone 5 (not 5s) first came out I had it unlocked by a 3rd party. It's a T-Mobile model. It worked fine on T-Mo for months then I switched to ATT and it's been working fine on ATT for almost a year. I needed to do a restore and after restore it lost it's unlock. When I put the AT&T SIM in it all I get is the "SIM IS NOT VALID" for this carrier long message and can't even access anything. When I put an old "dead" T-Mo sim in it it comes back but obviously it is of no use.

    I called T-Mo and they won't unlock it since it was purchased direct from Apple (and I no longer have an account with T-Mo).

    Am I dead in the water with this? Any way around it. Again, it's a T-Mobile phone purchased from Apple direct for full price.

    Edit: The restore was done from iCloud recent backup because there was no computer backup.

    It's my wife's phone.
     
  2. P A U L macrumors member

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    Jun 5, 2014
    #2
    Have you checked the IMEI?
    If it's 'factory unlocked' then it will show once you enter the IMEI online.
     
  3. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #3

    Like the original message stated:

    It was purchased as a T-Mobile phone (not unlocked).
    It was unlocked by a 3rd party over a year ago when still on T-Mo.
    I switched to AT&T 8 months ago where it has been working fine (so it WAS unlocked).
    I just did a restore and now it is NO LONGER UNLOCKED (or so the message says).
     
  4. P A U L macrumors member

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    #4
    I know you said by 3rd party.
    But once its unlocked, it's permanently unlocked unless it was a software unlock (older days when you needed to jailbreak to unlock).
    You can check online by typing in your IMEI and seeing if its permanently unlocked.
     
  5. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #5
    I just called Apple. They say it is NOT unlocked and there is nothing they can do, I have to call T-Mo.

    I just called T-Mo and they say it is NOT unlocked and there is nothing they can do since I'm not with T-Mo any longer.

    It was NOT a software unlock. I paid $15 for the unlock back July 2013 from someone off this forum (not that it matters). When, I plugged it into iTunes at that time it said "congratulations your phone is now unlocked."

    I switched to AT&T Sept 2013 and it worked fine on ATT up until tonight after I did a restore (tried both iTunes and from iCloud).

    I tried my SIM from my 5S and get same message. Both SIMs work in my 5S so it isn't a SIM problem.

    The message is:
    The sim card that you currently have installed in this iPhone is from a carrier that is not supported under the activation policy that is currently assigned by the activation server. This is not a hardware issue with the iphone. Please insert another sim from a supported carrier .... blah blah blah.
     
  6. P A U L macrumors member

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    #6
    That is strange...very strange.
    Each time I've factory unlocked it, its been permanent.
    Know anyone that has T-Mobile?
    Maybe a friend can put his sim card in and get it unlocked via T-Mobile.
     
  7. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Where do I check online? I just tried IMEI.INFO and they say I have to pay. Any other suggestions? However obviously it is NOT unlocked or else the sim would work. :).
     
  8. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #8
    Did you use the same sim card?

    If so, then your issue is back with T-Mobile. ATT isn't going to recognize the card as being one of theirs to be activated (like the message says). You'll need to take the long road on this: activate the card again with t-mobile, unlock it with the code that you have, then take it back to ATT. Simply put, regardless of whatever party did it, ATT isn't going to unlock a T-Mobile phone.

    BL.
     
  9. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Yes, I used the same SIM and I also tried the SIM from MY 5S. Hers works in my phone so the SIM is fine.

    I am well aware the issue is with T-Mobile. However there was no "code" to unlock it. It was done by activation server as has been done for well over a year with iPhones. No codes are used. Unless I sign up for an account with T-Mo and wait 3 or 4 or whatever months they won't unlock it. That doesn't help my wife now. The fact is, it has been working fine since September of last year ON ATT.
     
  10. 617aircav Suspended

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    #10
    Your only resort is to sell it and buy an unlocked one.
     
  11. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

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    #11
    There is no such thing as an Unlock Code for an Iphone. The phone is either in the unlock database or not. It sounds like it was in that database at one time and it dropped out for some reason. If it is possible, I think he should contact the person who originally did the unlock for him.
     
  12. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #12
    What I ended up doing was:

    Putting her phone on a T-Mo $30/mo plan so she has a phone to use (albeit with a different number) and requesting an unlock from T-Mo. Hopefully the fact I put it BACK on T-Mo won't screw up the fact I am requesting an unlock. Worse case I will port her number out of ATT temporarily until it is all resolved.

    I still can't understand how a phone can lose an unlock.
     
  13. 617aircav Suspended

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    #13
    Probably a freak incident.
     
  14. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #14
    This happened after I did a complete restore. I've done other restores in the past without issue (even IOS updates do a restore IIRC).

    I looked at HOSTS file and nothing is blocking the Apple servers IP's and don't see anything in Windows firewall. It seems from the message I get from iTunes and on the phone when i have the ATT sim installed means the Apple Verification server doesn't see it as unlocked which it always did. Maybe I will try a restore 1 more time with the firewall and anti-virus software disabled.
     
  15. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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    #15
    You might need to buy another unlock for it then.
    I know Tmobile unlocks are expensive though.
     
  16. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Before I do that I'd sell it and get an ATT version. The 5 is pretty reasonable now but first I put in an "official" request with T-Mo. According to their website (http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-1588) they should still do it even though I'm not with them any more.
     
  17. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere

    Applejuiced

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  18. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Plus, anyone who advertises they can do T-Mo unlocks always say it can take "up to a month."

    In the meantime I put her phone on the cheap T-Mo prepaid plan and forwarded any calls to the new temp number. Texts will be an issue though. Too bad they can't be forwarded as well.
     
  19. apollo1444 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    try restoring without an att sim , do it simless
     
  20. dextr3k macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I have had the same thing happen with my iphone 4 as well. It was 'relocked' but I am aware exactly what happened.

    1) unlocks for iphones (read jailbreak forum) works through an activation server, so when it first activates, it gets the 'unlock bit' or whatever flag that designates it as unlocked or locked.

    2) I bought my iphone 4 launchday, but could not be bothered to wait for activation servers, so I bought it factory unlocked

    3) I "returned" the phone, and signed up with exact same phone on my carrier's plan, I was supposed to be using a locked phone, but since my phone was already activated before, it stayed unlocked

    4) I restored my iphone to the new ios (i think 6?) and it had to activate through the servers, so it relocked itself, even though I have been using an unlocked phone for a little over a year. :mad:

    5) booooooooooooooo phone locks.
     
  21. TB07-NJ thread starter macrumors 68020

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    #21
    In my case the phone was updated and restored through multiple versions of IOS with no issue, the most recent being 7.1.1. A simple "restore" killed the lock this past weekend.

    Anyway, T-Mobile sent me a new unlock even though I am not with them any longer and I am just waiting out the 24-72 hours until it reaches Apple's servers.

    As of last night it still wouldn't unlock even with the new unlock but sometimes you have to give it a day or 2. Worse case I'll just sell it as a locked T-Mobile phone and buy a used AT&T model for just about (or less than) what I sell it for. This is an iPhone 5.
     
  22. 617aircav Suspended

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    #22
    That could be a clever way to get an unlocked phone while signing up for a contract.
     
  23. dextr3k macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Well, if you can stand never updating. It was a restore that killed my phone, but I am not sure if even simple updates will kill it. That would just suck. But I had that work so I am not sure.
     
  24. ig888 macrumors newbie

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    #24
    This is correct. There is nothing on iPhone itself that would tell you it is locked/unlocked.
    When you start iPhone with a new SIM card - your iPhone will connect (WiFi) to Apple server and check if phone’s IMEI is locked.
    Did you move to another region by any chance? Apple's servers are region specific.
     
  25. Merkie macrumors 68020

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    #25
    I'm surprised some dinosaur carriers in the US still lock their phones. In Europe it hardly happens anymore. I also don't see the added value for carriers. In the modern day, carriers are not able to differentiate by phones anymore (every carrier has the same Galaxy and iPhone), so all they are really doing is generating unhappy customers. It also costs them a lot of trouble.

    I don't understand it.
     

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