5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 24, 2013 2:41 PM by wjosten
oakleyangel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I purchased an iPhone 4S off of craigslist and am not able to activate the phone using an AT&T SIM.  When I purchased the phone last week the phone was activated and I could go to settings, apps etc. It didnt have a SIM so I couldnt make a call but everything else looked normal.  As soon as I got home I updated iOS to 6.1.2 and went through the update process as usual.  To my surprise, I got a "SIM Not Valid" error when I tried to activate the phone.  I was using an old ATT micro sim that is not subscribed.  I thought that this was likely the issue, so I borrowed a friends subscribed SIM from his 4S.  I put the sim in my phone and tried to activate it.  BAM.... got the Sim Not Valid error.  Obviously something is wrong since my friends sim came from a 4S that is ATT subscribed and working.

 

What should I do from here?  Call AT&T? Call Apple? 

 

I checked the serial number from the sim tray and Apple's site says it has coverage till the end of September 2013 so its still under warranty.  Is this error something that is hardware related? Or in a worse case, is this phone stolen and cant be activated?

 

As an aside, I contacted the fellow that sold me the phone and he said that he was traveling for the next few weeks and couldn't help me.  I get the feeling that he doesn't want to even try to help.


iPhone 4S, iOS 6.1.2
  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (93,640 points)

    That message usually means your phone is locked to a carrier other than the carrier sim you're trying to use. In your case, that your phone is locked to a carrrier other than AT&T.

  • Carter Stevens Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Adding on to this:

     

    The 4 and 4S iPhones were designed specific to the carrier due to varying types of cell signals. Make sure you didn't purchase a Verizon or Sprint iPhone.

  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (93,640 points)

    You can call AppleCare to determine what carrier your phone is actually locked to, however, if you don't have AppleCare, you'll pay for the call. You can also try calling AT&T, but they may only be able to tell you the phone is not locked to AT&T. An Apple store "may" also be able to tell you.

  • oakleyangel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the quick reply. 

     

    When I select the "i" button from the iPhone activation screen I get the IMEI number of the device.  I copied the number and did a search on imei.info and it reported back its an AT&T phone. 

     

    Is there a better way to check or is that site not reliable?

  • wjosten Level 10 Level 10 (93,640 points)

    My previous post:

     

    You can call AppleCare to determine what carrier your phone is actually locked to, however, if you don't have AppleCare, you'll pay for the call. You can also try calling AT&T, but they may only be able to tell you the phone is not locked to AT&T. An Apple store "may" also be able to tell you.

     

    But again, that message usually means your phone is not locked to AT&T. You can always try going to an AT&T store and see if they can activate the phone.