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Thread: Complicated iPhone 5 Unlocking/Activation Scenario

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I've got a question, hopefully someone can help me out. I preordered a black iPhone 5 32gb from Apple on AT&T, subsidized for $299. I waited in line this morning
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  1. #1
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    Default Complicated iPhone 5 Unlocking/Activation Scenario
    I've got a question, hopefully someone can help me out.

    I preordered a black iPhone 5 32gb from Apple on AT&T, subsidized for $299.

    I waited in line this morning and picked up a white 32gb also on AT&T for the unsubsidized $750 after thinking I might want the white one instead.

    After seeing them both in the store, I decided I want to keep the white one.

    I called both AT&T and Apple and according to the people I spoke with (who admittedly didn't exactly sound like they knew what they were talking about) I don't have a specific iPhone 5 tied to my account yet. The first iPhone 5 I activate in iTunes will be the one that is locked to AT&T.

    My theory is that if I first try to activate the black one, it will be locked. I can then take the sim card out, put it in the white iPhone and sell the black one.

    I then activate the white one in iTunes, that it WiLL be permanently factory unlocked (I hope)

    Lots of variables, but thats what I'm hoping for. I hadn't planned on this scenario, but the option of maybe getting an unlocked phone for what would effectively be the price of a subsidized one is pretty appealing. Anyone have any idea if I'm right about this?

    Thanks so much!!

  2. #2
    iPhoneaholic
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    You are right they don't know what they are talking about. You bought an unlocked iPhone 5 from Apple, it stays that way no matter what. AT&T can't lock it to their network when you put in a sim. The only one that will be locked is the black iPhone 5. If you don't want the black one just return it. You won't be locked and your contract shouldn't extend. Now I don't know their return policy but if you want you can sell the black one and still be clear of a carrier lock on the white one. Your contract though will still be extended as you used your upgrade for the black one.

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  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by piston597 View Post
    You are right they don't know what they are talking about. You bought an unlocked iPhone 5 from Apple, it stays that way no matter what. AT&T can't lock it to their network when you put in a sim. The only one that will be locked is the black iPhone 5. If you don't want the black one just return it. You won't be locked and your contract shouldn't extend. Now I don't know their return policy but if you want you can sell the black one and still be clear of a carrier lock on the white one. Your contract though will still be extended as you used your upgrade for the black one.

    Thanks Piston, thats makes more sense to me. What about a SIM card for the white one though? How can I get that activated? And as for the black one, can I sell that one without opening it to do anything with a SIM? Will whoever I sell that to have a problem activating because that was purchased as my upgrade phone?

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    That is a tough one. When I bought my iPhone 4 it came with the sim preinstalled (I bought as upgrade through Apple.com on preorder) I just had to plug it in and it activated. You might have to open it up and transfer the sim card to your new phone and then sell the black one. I think it shouldn't be a problem for whoever to activate it, when I sold my 3GS still under contract I just took out my sim and the person inserted their sim card into it and that was that.

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    Strange, I posted a response to your last post, but it seems to have not gone though...

    In any case, so sounds to me like I should activate the black one to 'turn on the SIM' card and then put that card in the white one.

    Then take the white SIM and put the SIM with the black one to sell?

    I suppose another option would be to call AT&T and have them activate the white SIM card to my account. Is that an option?

  7. #6
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    Ya I was about to say that but my internet died out. Try calling AT&T to hook the sim to your account and deactivate/null the sim in your black iPhone. This way you don't have to open it and the sim inside it should be useless.

  8. #7
    My iPhone is a Part of Me
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    ATT will unlock the IMEI of the phone which was purchased out of contract

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