4 month ago I purchased a factory unlocked iPhone 4S in a France Apple Store (about 630 euros). I´m from Argentina and the fact that the phone is factory unlocked was necessary for me to use it in my country.
After my trip to France, I arrived to Argentina and inserted my micro-sim into the new iPhone. It showed the "Activate iPhone" screen, went through the steps and the phone worked perfectly with my Carrier.
Yesterday I wanted to change of carrier, so I inserted the new micro-sim (brand new, never used) into the phone. It showed the same "Activate iPhone" screen BUT it won’t activate. It says "SIM not valid" and "Only compatible SIM cards from a supported carrier may be used to activate iPhone. Please insert the SIM card that came with your iPhone or visit a supported carrier´s store to receive a replacement SIM card” I inserted my old micro-sim and it worked correctly... Inserted the new one again and wont activate, showing me the error mentioned. The phone catches signal and the 3G icon also appears, so it seems the iPhone and the sim card are working.
This is an image of the error (not my phone, found it in the web): http://i40.tinypic.com/55fcxy.jpg
I tried restoring the iPhone to fix this and things got worse: Now I can’t activate even my old and new micro-sim, leaving my iPhone 4S useless (can’t pass the activate screen).
What I have done:
-Tested both micro-sims in another iPhone 4S (factory unlocked) bought the same day and in the same Apple Store and they worked correctly.
-Tested both micro-sims in another phone, the work OK.
-Tried restoring into DFU mode. Same error, can’t pass the activate screen.
-Called Apple Support in the US. After 20 minutes we couldn’t find a solution, they suggested me to go to an Apple Store and change my iPhone for a new one (223 warranty days left).
In my country we don’t have Apple Stores and i can´t have access to one, so now i have an iPhone 4S i cant not eve use as an iPod, leaving it totally useless.
For me it seems a software issue, like if Apple detected my iPhone as "not factory-unlocked" and tells me to insert the one of the original carrier. I DONT HAVE AN ORGINAL CARRIER SIM CARD AS THE PHONE DIND´T CAME WITH ONE (FACTORY UNLOCKED).
About my iPhone:
iOS 6.0 (restored twice from iTunes)
No "soft unlocks" or "Gevey unlock" was used (it was unlocked and didn´t need it).
I will greatly appreciate any help!!
Apple Support Team: If you need the IMEI or Serial Number please ask me.
Thanks in advanced,