Cell Phones

How can you tell if iPhone 4 is factory unlocked from the box?

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  • Mar 28th, 2012 4:55 pm
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[OP]
Member
Dec 1, 2005
285 posts

How can you tell if iPhone 4 is factory unlocked from the box?

I like to know if there is a way to tell if the iPhone 4 is factory unlocked from the box alone (that is, without opening it and looking at the settings). I can't find the info on Apple's website.
48 replies
Deal Addict
Aug 15, 2006
2516 posts
91 upvotes
Go to an APPLE STORE and pay FULL PRICE for it. Is it that freaking difficult?
Jr. Member
Jan 14, 2006
145 posts
3 upvotes
New Westminster
^ Maybe the guy is buying it off a guy on craigslist and cant verify if the sellers bullshting him or not. Its replies like yours that really help no one and could be answered by Captain Obvious...
[OP]
Member
Dec 1, 2005
285 posts
You are correct. I am searching for a private sale, and I don't know enough to know if the iPhone is factory unlocked or not (despite the seller's claim). Some of the sellers do not want to provide me with a copy of the sales receipt, understandably, because of privacy concerns.
Deal Addict
Mar 17, 2009
1889 posts
1300 upvotes
Toronto
I don't think it have a way to identify the unlock Iphone because the box look the same whenever lock/unlock.
You have to ask them to let you open the box and put a different sim company to see it.
[OP]
Member
Dec 1, 2005
285 posts
What about the model number or part number? I searched online for this but can't make sense of what others were saying about this to check on unlock status.
Deal Addict
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Nov 4, 2006
2039 posts
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mariokarter wrote:
Aug 3rd, 2010 9:25 pm
Go to an APPLE STORE and pay FULL PRICE for it. Is it that freaking difficult?
Me: I really like that shirt and the price is right. I wonder how the quality is?
mariokarter: Just to the STORE and pay FULL PRICE for it. Is it that freaking difficult?

See where I am getting at?

WOW, the most thoughtless and pointless post of all! What you are answering doesn't address the question in anyway.

Anyway OP here's what you can do:

1. Call Apple and provide them with the IMEI/serial to confirm if this was a store bought fully unlocked unit

2. Put in expired/inactive SIMs of various carriers in the iPhone and see what message you get. In most UNLOCKED non-iphones the message you get when you put in an expired SIM is "Inactive Sim" or similar. In LOCKED phones the message you get when you put in a sim of another carrier is "Emergency calls only" or similar.

3. Borrow active sims of 2 different carriers from your friend(s) or bring a friend with you to test it out.

But I think you should have 100% success with option # 1.
Sr. Member
Jan 13, 2009
775 posts
12 upvotes
It won't show on the packaging because technically all phones that are shipped to retail stores are "factory unlocked". The phone becomes locked when the carrier rep inserts their respective SIM cards into the phone. At least that's what I think, correct me if I'm wrong!
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2009
15357 posts
1585 upvotes
Toronto
The only way to tell is ask the guy for the receipt from apple store, if he payed full price on it, then it is unlocked, if he didn't then he is BSing you.
Deal Addict
Aug 15, 2006
2516 posts
91 upvotes
alright, I'll be more helpfull. According to tnkgrl on the engadget mobile podcast all iphones start out in an unlocked state, and it is only after putting a micro sim in the iphone 4 that it locks to the carrier of that sim. Alternatively, if an iphone 4 is bought full price from an apple store the user can activate it first in itunes (which keeps it unlocked) and then use a sim of their choice. Furthermore, even if you pay full price for an iphone 4 and put a sim in it before activating it in itunes it will become a locked phone. for these reasons the boxes of locked and unlocked iphone 4s are indistinguishible from eachother. Even if the seller can provide a reciept from an apple store showing it was paid full price it can still be a locked phone if the user erroneously put their sim in it before activating it.

heres the source: http://mobile.engadget.com/2010/07/31/e ... 7-31-2010/

Why not simply buy it off apple.ca yourself? If a deal is too good to be true then it probably is. And I doubt you can get it at lower than retail - people could easily sell it with a markup to someone in the states.
Deal Addict
May 13, 2005
2950 posts
2895 upvotes
Montreal
mariokarter wrote:
Aug 3rd, 2010 10:01 pm
alright, I'll be more helpfull. According to tnkgrl on the engadget mobile podcast all iphones start out in an unlocked state, and it is only after putting a micro sim in the iphone 4 that it locks to the carrier of that sim. Alternatively, if an iphone 4 is bought full price from an apple store the user can activate it first in itunes (which keeps it unlocked) and then use a sim of their choice. Furthermore, even if you pay full price for an iphone 4 and put a sim in it before activating it in itunes it will become a locked phone. for these reasons the boxes of locked and unlocked iphone 4s are indistinguishible from eachother. Even if the seller can provide a reciept from an apple store showing it was paid full price it can still be a locked phone if the user erroneously put their sim in it before activating it.

heres the source: http://mobile.engadget.com/2010/07/31/e ... 7-31-2010/

Why not simply buy it off apple.ca yourself? If a deal is too good to be true then it probably is. And I doubt you can get it at lower than retail - people could easily sell it with a markup to someone in the states.
I'm not sure this is correct...

In order to activate in iTunes... You need to put the SIM card in anyway... But according to the above info, if you put SIM card in then it will be locked to the carrier SIM card... and if you don't put the SIM card in iTunes can't activate your phone... Do you see the chicken and egg problem?
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2009
15357 posts
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Toronto
mariokarter wrote:
Aug 3rd, 2010 10:01 pm
alright, I'll be more helpfull. According to tnkgrl on the engadget mobile podcast all iphones start out in an unlocked state, and it is only after putting a micro sim in the iphone 4 that it locks to the carrier of that sim. Alternatively, if an iphone 4 is bought full price from an apple store the user can activate it first in itunes (which keeps it unlocked) and then use a sim of their choice. Furthermore, even if you pay full price for an iphone 4 and put a sim in it before activating it in itunes it will become a locked phone. for these reasons the boxes of locked and unlocked iphone 4s are indistinguishible from eachother. Even if the seller can provide a reciept from an apple store showing it was paid full price it can still be a locked phone if the user erroneously put their sim in it before activating it.

heres the source: http://mobile.engadget.com/2010/07/31/e ... 7-31-2010/

Why not simply buy it off apple.ca yourself? If a deal is too good to be true then it probably is. And I doubt you can get it at lower than retail - people could easily sell it with a markup to someone in the states.
That info is complete BS, I think you didn't read how engadget was stupid, they purchased an iPhone from a carrier thinking it would be unlocked. Anyways its not true because I put my sim the minute i got the iPhone and activated it after, even then I've been able to put fido/bell/telus sims in the phone and they all work fine.
X360 wrote:
Aug 3rd, 2010 11:11 pm
I'm not sure this is correct...

In order to activate in iTunes... You need to put the SIM card in anyway... But according to the above info, if you put SIM card in then it will be locked to the carrier SIM card... and if you don't put the SIM card in iTunes can't activate your phone... Do you see the chicken and egg problem?
The correct information is that at time of sale, if the sim card is scanned at the same time as the iphone, the iPhone locks to the carrier of the sim.
Deal Addict
Dec 21, 2005
1246 posts
105 upvotes
All iPhones are the same in terms of lock status before you purchase them. If you're buying an unlocked one, however, at the point of sale, the Apple rep will enter the phone into Apple's system or whitelist. So I don't think there's really any way you can tell from the box whether or not the phone is unlocked. If the seller is unwilling to show you a receipt due to privacy concerns, you can request that they meet you at an Apple store and have one of the reps verify its status.
Deal Expert
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Sep 3, 2007
15909 posts
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i'm curious, what if you have a locked phone? Can you pay rogers or apple to unlock it for you?
Deal Addict
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Sep 23, 2007
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Scarborough
free willy wrote:
Aug 3rd, 2010 11:26 pm
all iphones are the same in terms of lock status before you purchase them. If you're buying an unlocked one, however, at the point of sale, the apple rep will enter the phone into apple's system or whitelist. So i don't think there's really any way you can tell from the box whether or not the phone is unlocked. If the seller is unwilling to show you a receipt due to privacy concerns, you can request that they meet you at an apple store and have one of the reps verify its status.
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