New iPhone appears to be locked

Dazo

Novice Member
My dad bought my son a iPhone 4s for his xmas we stuck his Tmobile sim in all appeared to be working fine. I was changing over my sons contract from tmobile to 3 over the festive period and the number change over went through today. Put the 3 sim in the phone but I keep getting a sim is not supported or similar type error when trying to activate. Now I may have wrongly assumed the phone was sim free but my dad would have no idea what network my son was on and I am pretty sure T mobile don't sell payg iPhone 4's.

Parents on holiday so I can't get in touch with them to find out where he got it. I assume the phone is now locked to T Mobile ?
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
Find out where it came from. If it was from Apple it will be SIM Free and there is no reason a Three SIM wont work. If it was from anywhere else and supplied with a networks SIM (TBag in this case) then it will be locked to that network.
 

Dazo

Novice Member
Find out where it came from. If it was from Apple it will be SIM Free and there is no reason a Three SIM wont work. If it was from anywhere else and supplied with a networks SIM (TBag in this case) then it will be locked to that network.
Due to them being being on holiday I won't be able to find out for a fortnight. It didn't actually come with a sim we used his current sim. Only thing I can think off his my old man got lucky with his choice of network but I doubt he would have taken out a new contract to get the phone.
 

gkpm

Novice Member
Maybe he got it on PAYG from the Carphone Warehouse?

CPW says "iPhone will lock itself to the network of the first SIM card that is used in the phone. Subsequently attempting to use it on any other network, for example by replacing the SIM card, may mean it becomes permanently unusable."

http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/mobiles/mobile-phones/APPLE-IPHONE-4S-32GB/HANDSET&clearance=false (near the bottom of the description)

Which seems to match your problem. Not sure how to undo it though, sorry. Hopefully somewhere else here will or failing that try giving CPW and/or Apple a call.
 
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Dazo

Novice Member
Maybe he got it on PAYG from the Carphone Warehouse?

CPW says "iPhone will lock itself to the network of the first SIM card that is used in the phone. Subsequently attempting to use it on any other network, for example by replacing the SIM card, may mean it becomes permanently unusable."

Apple iPhone 4S 32GB | £599.0 | Sim free | The Carphone Warehouse (near the bottom of the description)

Which seems to match your problem. Not sure how to undo it though, sorry. Hopefully somewhere else here will or failing that try giving CPW and/or Apple a call.
Cheers I checked the CPW earlier and noticed they do sell PAYG tmobile iphones so I assume this is what happened. Bit of a schoolboy error on my part assuming it was unlocked since the price is pretty much the same.


So got a brand new phone that won't work with his new contract. :blush:
 

Dazo

Novice Member
Right managed to get in touch with him and he bought the phone Sim Free from the CPW but as gkpm noted above it appears even their sim free iPhones lock to the first sim inserted. Surely this can't be right ? How can they sell a sim free phone that locks to a specific network.
 

gkpm

Novice Member
Right managed to get in touch with him and he bought the phone Sim Free from the CPW but as gkpm noted above it appears even their sim free iPhones lock to the first sim inserted. Surely this can't be right ? How can they sell a sim free phone that locks to a specific network.
Sorry to say but that does seem to be right, even if makes no sense. Only Apple sells truly unlocked sim-free phones.

I think Apple may be able to change the lock to the 3, but you'll need to send them a copy of the receipt showing the sim free purchase from CPW, which I'm thinking you may not be able to get for a few days?

Or maybe even consider returning the phone to CPW and buying from Apple if you still can? But again I suppose you need the receipt.

CPW should really make this clear at the point of sale, not just in small letters on a hidden corner of their website. It's ridiculous.
 
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RobM

Distinguished Member
CPW shouldn't even be advertising iPhones SIM-Free. As gkpm quite rightly says, only Apple can sell them. CPW are just taking PAYG stock and selling them as SIM-Free, which isn't fair to the customer who would rightly expect SIM-Free to mean the same for iPhone as any other phone.
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
CPW shouldn't even be advertising iPhones SIM-Free. As gkpm quite rightly says, only Apple can sell them. CPW are just taking PAYG stock and selling them as SIM-Free, which isn't fair to the customer who would rightly expect SIM-Free to mean the same for iPhone as any other phone.
what I love is that CPW, then shifts the problem to Apple when someone finds out they now have a locked iPhone on their hands, when it's CPW's fault that they are selling in effect locked phones :thumbsdow

 

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bpsmith

Well-known Member
I will never buy from CPW again. They do what they please with PAYG phones and hound you for months when your contract nears or passes completion, despite being asked to remove you from their list to call. 4 calls a day for 3 months waiting for the. 4S to be released is a tad excessive!?!

I refuse to shop with them again and urge you to do the same based on the above?
 

Maggie

Well-known Member
It might be worth checking your network settings first before assuming you have bricked it. I recently completed my Tesco contract and had my iPhone 4 unlocked, I put in a '3' sim in and it said the same as yours did.

I contacted Tesco and they told me it had been unlocked and to contact Apple for further help. I booked a genius appointment and they confirmed it was unlocked, manually entered the correct network settings and Voilla all worked.
 
this stinks and should be passed on to trading standards watchdog etc etc, i have long read about cpw stating iphone will lock to first inserted sim but selling as sim free and thought it was a missprint its so wrong imo
 

Dazo

Novice Member
Thanks for all your replies I am going to speak to apple today and see what they can do. Although it is pretty clear on their website that it will lock to which network is first used they also have Sim Free in a large nice bold font when you purchase the phone. The phone is obviously not sim free. Pretty ****** of with myself for not knowing about this before I went all gung-ho with his sim on Xmas morning.
 

Bennybeanbag

Novice Member
I don't condone in any way what CPW are doing but there's a big difference between an unlocked iPhone and one that is sold sim free. As has been pointed out sim free just means you buy a handset and the first sim you pop in will lock onto that network. In the same way when you buy any sim free or PAYG handset, it's still locked to the network that supplied it.
The only reason you can buy unlocked from Apple is that they are the manufacturer and they sell direct to the public. As far as I know, no other manufacturer does (anyone ever bought an unlocked Nokia from them?).
Just saying before going in all guns blazing at CPW, they sold your dad exactly as described, sim free not unlocked. I'd try and get the money back and buy off Apple but not sure what reason you can give them for a refund.
 

gkpm

Novice Member
Nokia did have retail stores - and a web store - in the UK selling sim-free unlocked handsets until recently. But they've closed almost all now.

http://gadgetcore.co.uk/blog/main/n...but-they-are-closing-along-with-the-web-store

Not been through Heathrow in a while to confirm it, but apparently they still kept that one open.

CPW's interpretation of "sim-free", while technically correct, is very misleading. Just to make matters worse Apple also calls phones you buy from them "SIM-free".

But I guess in CPW's world it's also fine to call a 500MB data plan "unlimited Internet".
 
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Simian Sibling

Distinguished Member
Don't apple offer a no quibble return of something like 30 days? Or is that just direct from them?
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
I don't condone in any way what CPW are doing but there's a big difference between an unlocked iPhone and one that is sold sim free. As has been pointed out sim free just means you buy a handset and the first sim you pop in will lock onto that network. In the same way when you buy any sim free or PAYG handset, it's still locked to the network that supplied it.
That has never, ever been the definition of SIM-Free for as long as SIM-Free phones have been sold. Not ever.
 

Dazo

Novice Member
I don't condone in any way what CPW are doing but there's a big difference between an unlocked iPhone and one that is sold sim free. As has been pointed out sim free just means you buy a handset and the first sim you pop in will lock onto that network. In the same way when you buy any sim free or PAYG handset, it's still locked to the network that supplied it.
The only reason you can buy unlocked from Apple is that they are the manufacturer and they sell direct to the public. As far as I know, no other manufacturer does (anyone ever bought an unlocked Nokia from them?).
Just saying before going in all guns blazing at CPW, they sold your dad exactly as described, sim free not unlocked. I'd try and get the money back and buy off Apple but not sure what reason you can give them for a refund.
You are the only person I have ever heard describe sim free with that definition.

Even on their website I found this.

If a phone is locked to a network, it'll only work with a SIM card on that network e.g. if a phone is locked to O2, it'll only work with an O2 SIM card. If a phone is unlocked you'll be able to use it with a SIM card on any network.

Lots of the phones we sell are unlocked, including all our SIM free phones. To find out about a particular model, ask in store or give us a call on
 

RobM

Distinguished Member
I would be very tempted to take a copy of that along with you to CPW and ask for an explanation. Or contact CPW Customer Services at least.
 

dc8900

Distinguished Member
Dazo said:
You are the only person I have ever heard describe sim free with that definition.
Same here, that is the first time I heard that definition for SIM free

Anyway, It's outrageous that CPW are able to get away with this
 

Dazo

Novice Member
I would be very tempted to take a copy of that along with you to CPW and ask for an explanation. Or contact CPW Customer Services at least.
I will be doing that Rob but I have funny feeling I am in for a bit of a struggle. :rolleyes:

Also anyone know a customer services number for apple ? Seems like everytime I call it is technical support and they don't deal with phone unlocking.
 

gkpm

Novice Member
You can call Apple on freephone 0800 0480408 which leads to everything. From a mobile call any Apple Store during opening hours (e.g. 020 7153 9000) and choose option 2 - or the other numbers RobM mentioned above (but may be more expensive :)

Not sure which department handles this though, you might even have to request to speak to a supervisor. Think even Apple techs are baffled that CPW is selling phones like this.

Also 99% sure they will need to see a copy of the CPW invoice to prove it's wasn't actually purchased as a locked phone.
 
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