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Speculation Regarding Replacement iPhone Setup


nahum365

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As you all know, Sprint phones are sold with their GSM "parts" locked. Today I had an Apple Store appointment, and my iPhone was replaced for a broken power button. When the Genius set up the new phone, the first screen (before the "Hi, Hola, Bonjour, Konichiwa, etc" screen) asked what carrier the phone should use. The choices were all CDMA carriers I believe, with Verizon and Sprint at the top, and regional carriers below them. So theoretically, if the Genius had chosen Verizon, I would have an unlocked phone that runs on Verizon?

 

I know that CDMA carriers use ESN databases, but these replacement iPhones are given out regardless of your carrier. So these iPhones are added to the ESN databases when the geniuses set them up? I'm confused as to how this works.

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Here's how it works, at least on the Sprint end of things. Sprint will not activate any ESN/MEID that is not in their database of phones. However, every single iPhone MEID is listed as available for activation, as there is, like you found out, only one CDMA model of each iPhone. You can put any CDMA iPhone on your Sprint account. If the device is programmed for another carrier, however, it won't activate properly.

 

I found this out recently, as Asurion received a batch of iPhone 5's that were programmed for Cricket, but shipped out to Sprint customers. They will attach to the account, but will not activate. Similarly, I had a situation where a woman brought in an iPhone 4S to be activated, and we only found out after it was already on her account that it was programmed for VZW, and it couldn't be used.

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However, every single iPhone MEID is listed as available for activation, as there is, like you found out, only one CDMA model of each iPhone. You can put any CDMA iPhone on your Sprint account. If the device is programmed for another carrier, however, it won't activate properly.

 

...we only found out after it was already on her account that it was programmed for VZW, and it couldn't be used.

 

Are you saying that a virgin / new iphone, becomes locked to a carrier once a choice for carrier selection is made at the initial screen?  Is something written to the phones software that says only Verizon from now on?  it would seem to me that if this can be done over the air during activation that it could then be undone and over written during activation on say, Sprint.  Would simply be over writing the parameters set at activation.

 

Are the MEIDs pulled from the "Master List" during provisioning to verizon / sprint so the other wont see it as being able to be activated?

 

This comes off as an absolute CF to be honest.

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Are you saying that a virgin / new iphone, becomes locked to a carrier once a choice for carrier selection is made at the initial screen?  Is something written to the phones software that says only Verizon from now on?  it would seem to me that if this can be done over the air during activation that it could then be undone and over written during activation on say, Sprint.  Would simply be over writing the parameters set at activation.

 

Are the MEIDs pulled from the "Master List" during provisioning to verizon / sprint so the other wont see it as being able to be activated?

 

This comes off as an absolute CF to be honest.

 

My understanding is the initial carrier the phone is activated on determines the carrier it is locked to on Apple's activation end. Even if you reload the software to the phone, when it connects to Apple's servers to verify activation, the server will send the carrier file for whatever carrier it is "activated" on at Apple's end.

 

Correcting this is virtually impossible from a retail and end-user standpoint. The only group that can remove this activation information is Apple, and they don't really have any incentive to do so unless they are refurbishing the device to send back out potentially to another carrier instead.

 

This is why Sprint stores are required to activate every iPhone sold before it leaves the store per corporate policy. Granted, the activation policy has been in place even before iPhones, probably to allow Sprint to track potentially fraudulent claims and phones if the need arose. It's just the iPhone has a more direct reason for this requirement.

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This just sounds all wrong.. Geniuses.. Sounds like saying a nascar driver working at a Kia dealership.

If I was AJ I would totally have a Youtube clip of Big Bang Theory making fun of the Apple Genius Bar attached to this reply...

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Here's how it works, at least on the Sprint end of things. Sprint will not activate any ESN/MEID that is not in their database of phones. However, every single iPhone MEID is listed as available for activation, as there is, like you found out, only one CDMA model of each iPhone. You can put any CDMA iPhone on your Sprint account. If the device is programmed for another carrier, however, it won't activate properly.

 

I found this out recently, as Asurion received a batch of iPhone 5's that were programmed for Cricket, but shipped out to Sprint customers. They will attach to the account, but will not activate. Similarly, I had a situation where a woman brought in an iPhone 4S to be activated, and we only found out after it was already on her account that it was programmed for VZW, and it couldn't be used.

But the replacement device I was given is definitely not a new phone. Theoretically, if we got access to the software the Genius Bar uses to wipe a phone before giving it to a customer, we could use it to unlock a sprint iPhone, correct?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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But the replacement device I was given is definitely not a new phone. Theoretically, if we got access to the software the Genius Bar uses to wipe a phone before giving it to a customer, we could use it to unlock a sprint iPhone, correct?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Perhaps - however I don't think they are refurbishing phones at the Genius Bar, I think that's done in the 7th sub-basement of some lab in Cupertino...

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Perhaps - however I don't think they are refurbishing phones at the Genius Bar, I think that's done in the 7th sub-basement of some lab in Cupertino...

Actually, they do some repairs in the store. More complicated repairs are shipped to regional facilities and are repaired and wiped there, then distributed to stores.
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Actually, they do some repairs in the store. More complicated repairs are shipped to regional facilities and are repaired and wiped there, then distributed to stores.

 

Repairing and refurbishing are not the same.

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Repairing and refurbishing are not the same.

I thought they repaired the phones, then refurbished them and shipped them back to stores for replacements?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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I thought they repaired the phones, then refurbished them and shipped them back to stores for replacements?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

 

Refurbishment is always done from a remote location. A store can do field repairs on some hardware, but that is limited. The stores do not have all of the equipment, applications, and training to fully refurbish a damaged device back to factory-new condition. This isn't specific for iPhones, that goes for just about any phone. Most of the parts are simply too small or fragile to work on in the field.

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Ha.

 

I want to go to the Apple store to replace my phone because the power button isn't working either... But I don't want to lose my jailbreak. I'm pretty sure the newer phones come with at least 6.1.3.

Mine came with 6.1.4. My old phone was on iOS 7 anyway. I didn't tell the tech (you're welcome digi), and he came back and said "I don't know how you got iOS 7, and I'm not going to ask, but I am inclined to tell you that you will not be able to restore your backup without doing whatever you did to get iOS 7 again, because iOS 7 is beta software and has not been released." I thought to myself "Tell me something I don't know." :P

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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Ha. I want to go to the Apple store to replace my phone because the power button isn't working either... But I don't want to lose my jailbreak. I'm pretty sure the newer phones come with at least 6.1.3.
Mine came with 6.1.4. My old phone was on iOS 7 anyway. I didn't tell the tech (you're welcome digi), and he came back and said "I don't know how you got iOS 7, and I'm not going to ask, but I am inclined to tell you that you will not be able to restore your backup without doing whatever you did to get iOS 7 again, because iOS 7 is beta software and has not been released." I thought to myself "Tell me something I don't know." :P

 

Refurbishment is always done from a remote location. A store can do field repairs on some hardware, but that is limited. The stores do not have all of the equipment, applications, and training to fully refurbish a damaged device back to factory-new condition. This isn't specific for iPhones, that goes for just about any phone. Most of the parts are simply too small or fragile to work on in the field.
Read:

 

Actually, they do some repairs in the store. More complicated repairs are shipped to regional facilities and are repaired and wiped there, then distributed to stores.
EDIT: I failed that multi-quote. Ignore my previous post.
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