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Thread: Questions on activation, and its role in unlocked phones

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Hi, I'm a little confused as to what activation is and what its effects are (btw, I'm only referring to activation on iOS 6.x and beyond). The reason I want
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    Default Questions on activation, and its role in unlocked phones
    Hi, I'm a little confused as to what activation is and what its effects are (btw, I'm only referring to activation on iOS 6.x and beyond).

    The reason I want to understand this is because I plan on buying a secondhand Verizon iPhone 5 with a bad ESN and I want to have all my facts on activation straight.

    My understanding is that activation is the setup process you go through when you start up your iPhone for the first time, or when you restore/upgrade your firmware, i.e. the part where you specify your region, sign in with your Apple ID, etc (see pic below).

    Questions on activation, and its role in unlocked phones-1.jpg

    Now from what I've gathered online, activation also refers to the process whereby a carrier such as Sprint 'activates' a phone for use on its network, and without which the phone will not be able to make calls, send texts, etc (see pic below).

    Questions on activation, and its role in unlocked phones-2.jpg

    (For clarity, let's call the first type Activation 1, and the second Activation 2 from now on).

    So my questions are:

    1. When people talk about iPhone activation, what are they most often refering to? I'm assuming it's Activation 1.

    2. Is Activation 2 dependent on the Activation 1? (The message in the second picture, which I got from the Sprint website, actually comes up after going through Activation 1. This is the website, which is a tutorial explaining how to activate a Sprint iPhone).

    If not, then is it possible that Activation 2 can somehow start up automatically on an already running iPhone?

    3. If a phone is factory unlocked for international use, do either of the activations still take place? For example, I plan on buying a Verizon iPhone 5 which is SIM unlocked for international use (since apparently this is how Verizon now sells all its new iPhone 5's; refer to this link). Due to the bad ESN, it's blacklisted by Verizon and can't be used on the major US carriers, but that's ok since I only plan to use it abroad.

    Once abroad, I insert the SIM of the international carrier, which doesn't require phones on its network to be activated for use. Will the iPhone then start working on the international carrier automatically, or will it somehow detect that it's no longer on Verizon and attempt to go through Activation 2 again? Or will it prompt me to go through Activation 1?

    4. Continuing with the example above, let's suppose I take the iPhone 5 abroad and it starts working normally on the international carrier without any type of activation. When a new firmware is released by Apple, I upgrade to that and go through Activation 1. Will the phone now detect that it's no longer on Verizon and attempt to go through Activation 2? Obviously the international carrier won't have any blacklist information and won't cause any problems, but does Apple keep any record of blacklisted phones and block them from use while going through Activation 1?

    5. For cases 3 and 4, is it possible that I could receive a 'SIM not valid' lockdown, even though the phone is unlocked, as shown in the following picture?

    Questions on activation, and its role in unlocked phones-3.jpg

    6. And lastly (*phew*), let's suppose that at some point I get stuck on either Activation 1 or 2 and receive a 'SIM not valid' lockdown or some other such restriction. Can I then use a jailbreak method to hacktivate the phone, get to the Springboard and then be good to go with my international SIM? And if this happens while I'm on an unjailbreakable firmware, then I guess I'm stuck?

    I know this was a really long post, but I'd be really grateful for some comprehensive answers by those who have knowledge of these things, and preferably have gone through the same scenarios as described above. I'm sure lots of other people on this forum will also be able to benefit from the answers. Thanks.

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    Bump. Anyone? C'mon guys, I'd really appreciate some help here... and I plan to give it back by posting about my experience in detail when I buy the phone and use it abroad... I'm sure that will be helpful for people like me who use their phones abroad.

    If you can't answer all the questions I've asked, then can you please at least answer this one, which should be enough for now: Does a CDMA iPhone 5 (Sprint or Verizon) with a bad ESN require activation after a firmware upgrade, even if it's factory unlocked? And if it does, then is it sufficient to simply use any non-functional Sprint or Verizon SIM card to activate it, or does it need the original SIM?

    PS: After posting, I realised that this post would probably be better in the Unlocking/Activation sub-forum... so can a mod please move it there.
    Last edited by ammarkr; 02-23-2013 at 11:39 AM.

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    You may want to determine if a bad ESN can be due to the iPhone being stolen. There's a task force working with Apple to locate stolen Apple devices. Once located, the item is repo'd and given back to it's original owner. Just saw an article on Flipboad about this.

    Sorry I'm unable to answer your questions about the activation itself. I personally wouldn't buy a phone with a bad ESN.

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    1-if its unlocked then you dont need to worry about activation. now if its not unlocked then your assed out cause the phone is gonna try to communicate with verizons servers.

    when you upgrade the firmware if it is unlocked dont worry. but if not again your assed out.

    ALSO TRY TO KEEP THE VERIZON SIMCARD

    keep in mind that since the phone has bad esn it will come with problems like dropped calls, internet issues, connection issues, might do reset loops. trust me i haD an iphone 4s from sprint with a gevey sim and i always had problems and the esn was clean, and yes i did test it on other iphone 4s like verizons

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