I purchased iPhone 5, 16GB IOS 6.1.4, model A1429 CDMA from a store in the USA, that was stated to be a VERIZON factory unlocked phone.

When I tried to operate it I received a message saying that it cannot be activated and I must insert the original SIM card (which I do not posses, as I reside in Israel).

Does this mean that this phone is not factory unlocked?

What can I do to activate the Iphone?

Many thanks and best regards,

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Contributor - Level 3

There is no such thing as a "factory unlocked" Verizon iPhone (or any unlocked Verizon phone for that matter)

An unlocked phone refers to a phone that is not locked to a given carrier, all true unlocked phones are GSM based

In the US (not roaming) Verizon uses CDMA, CDMA phones have to be locked to a carrier as soon as they are made as CDMA doesn't use SIM cards

Being the iPhone 5 has LTE, it does support an LTE SIM card, but (AFAIK) voice and 3G (when not in an area that has LTE towers) still goes through CDMA (unless you are internationally roaming, otherwise you roam on vodafone's GSM network)

That said, the LTE SIM card in the Verizon iPhone 5 should be locked to Verizon just as the CDMA portion of it would be, and it would be close to impossible to get your hands on a real brand new Verizon iPhone 5 without signing up for or already having a Verizon Wireless service plan

Chances are, if you have a shrink wrapped Verizon iPhone 5 without signing up for a Verizon service plan, the person you bought it from probably bought the iPhone at the subsidized price, sold it, bought another phone at full price, and got the other phone programmed for himself

In which case, you will probably have to wait 2 years for the seller's contract to expire, then call Verizon and ask if they can unlock it for you

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Community Leader

mikedamirault wrote:


In which case, you will probably have to wait 2 years for the seller's contract to expire, then call Verizon and ask if they can unlock it for you

Verizon's SIM unlock policy require the person requesting the unlock be a Verizon Wireless customer and the phone be active on a current Verizon Wireless line of service plus other requirements.

I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.


Years back when the iPhone 5 dropped, I managed to procure one on the cheap. Now I had heard that once Verizon got their hands on it and after they loaded it with their bloatware , they would then lock the device (IMEI) to Verizon. Now the iPhone 5 I had was Verizon branded, had all the Verizon bloat, [Removed], it even had the Verizon logo at boot! but I got to researching it and found out that the version I had was indeed factory unlocked! So at that time I was using straight talk's BYOD sim kit in an HTC One. The SIM I was using was the AT&T SIM. So, after I got the balls up to trim my micro SIM down to a NANO SIM, since the iPhone 5 took Nano, I then placed it in the sim tray and put in the phone. After a few moments I thought to myself "Should I have really done that?" lol but to my surprise and excitement it showed a TFW LTE up in the corner. After checking in the settings menu, it showed it was on the AT&T network and everything worked. For data I had to download a patch for the APN settings from the app store. After that data worked as well as talk and text. Yes dude who answered is half right but a lot of different phones, nowadays anyways, come equipped with both CDMA and GSM radios\technology inside them. Right now I have Galaxy Note 5 that was just on a contract that wasn't paid. I had Verizon prepaid before I got it. After researching online I couldn't get a definite answer if the Note 5 was factory unlocked or not. So I put my prepaid SIM in from my Moto G4 Play that I had it in and it worked just fine. Shows my account under my Verizon. Then I tried an AT&T SIM and although the sim was active, it recognized it as such. Did the same with a T-Mobile and got the same result as the AT&T. Under Settings: Mobile Networks; Network mode I have 3 options. 1)Global 2)LTE/CDMA 3)LTE/GSM/UMTS.

I do believe my Note 5 is factory unlocked. If it wasn't then it would've been locked by Verizon for the bill not being paid but it wasn't. I can run off T-Mobile, AT&T or Verizon. I don't have a Sprint SIM so couldn't try it. Hope this Helps.



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