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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there, I'll try and keep it concise. I finally received my unlocked iPhone 4 from Apple.ca on Tuesday. I understand "unlocked" to mean that I can choose any compatible carrier, and change carriers at any time.

My preferred carrier is SaskTel - I currently have 1 year left on my Blackberry contract with them, but they said they can switch me over no problem. But they do not have micro-sim cards in stock yet.

Anyway, I kinda hoped I could use my non-activated unlocked iPhone 4 as an iPod Touch in the meantime until I can activate it with SaskTel. However, the phone says on its screen:

"No SIM card installed. Install a valid SIM with no PIN lock to activate iPhone." When I plug it into iTunes, I get a similar message, and there doesn't appear to be anyway to bypass it. So I can't do anything with it. Which is fine, I knew the risk when I bought it, that I might have to just wait until SaskTel has the cards.

But, my question is can I buy a Rogers' micro-sim, pop it in, use it to bypass the iTunes SIM warning screen without activating it on Rogers, and then just pop it out again?

Here's where it gets complicated...

When a friend of mine bought two unlocked iPhone 4's from an Apple Store in Ottawa on launch day, the Apple sales person told him that if these unlocked phones are activated at home through iTunes, they will become "locked" to whatever carrier the card is from. That isn't correct, is it? EDIT: He said they have to activated "the right way" so that they remain unlocked, and then he unlocked those two iPhones, presumably in "the right way", and then activated them on Rogers for my friend.

I phoned Apple Tech Support this morning, and their guy said the same thing. He said unlocked iPhone's "become locked to the carrier" when activated, and if you want to move to a different carrier, you have to get the current carrier to unlock the phone again first...?

I'm no expert, but I was under the impression that "unlocked" means just that...you can swap in SIM cards from different providers as you please. Apple's own website says you can change carriers as you please.

It was an American tech guy I was speaking to, so perhaps he wasn't familiar with the situation in Canada (multiple carriers, buying unlocked, etc).

Thanks for any ideas. Basically I just wanna know if using a Rogers' micro-sim will somehow lock my unlocked phone? Cause I don't think it should.
 

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AFAIK, this is how the iPhone 3G / 3GS units were handled at the Apple store in Canada (at least the Bell & Telus handsets). In the box they are technically unlocked, but the store would only sell you one once you specified which carrier you wanted. At that point, they would activate it and the phone would be locked on that network. These units were never promoted as being "unlocked" so it was perfectly fine for them to do this.

With the iPhone 4, Apple is marketing it as an unlocked handset (and even mentioning the phone can be used with SIM cards from International carriers). As such, if the phone did end up getting locked to the first carrier it was used with, there would be an uproar.

Bottom line: the phone is unlocked and you would be able to use it with any carrier - and switch when needed.
 

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as far as sasktel not having micro sim cards, you can cutdown a sim card to microsim size. maclife magazine had pictorials on it lst month and it should be easy to find online
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses, appreciate it!

I think I'll call SaskTel again and see what the odds are of getting them to sell me a regular SIM I can cut down to micro-size. I understand they can't support it, not all features may work, etc. Worth a shot. I think I read of someone else on SaskTel doing that, but it was the SIM from his other SaskTel 3G phone, not a new SIM in that case.

Thanks for the input, I'll see where it goes.
 

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Just out of curiosity any reason you aren't considering Telus a carrier? They have a wireless agreement in place with Sasktel, so it would be the same network.

Telus has the iPhone 4s and would also have the micro-sims available.
 

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Yeah, just buy a normal SIM card and cut it, if they don't have a micro SIM. Or ask a friend with a working iPhone 4 to lend you his microSIM card, regardless which carrier it is on - you will need it just to activate the phone in iTunes and give it back.
 

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I understand they can't support it, not all features may work, etc. Worth a shot. I think I read of someone else on SaskTel doing that, but it was the SIM from his other SaskTel 3G phone, not a new SIM in that case.
Cutting the SIM does not take any features (it either works or doesn't) , and there's nothing to "support" on a SIM card. You just need to activate the SIM - I suspect, coming from a CDMA device, you will need a whole new 3G plan etc. - the activation of the SIM can be done even online on Rogers/Bell, don't know about SaskTel. Then you cut it and use it with your new phone and 3G data plan.
 

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Success!

Thanks for all the replies folks...I am now up and running on SaskTel's 3G network with my iPhone 4! :D

Found a Jump.ca right near my workplace this morning. At first the girl said iPhone 4's don't work on their network, only 3G's and 3GS's...?! But then she phoned HQ, and they said iPhone 4's will work, they just don't have any micro-sim cards.

So I asked if she could sell me a regular SIM and I'll cut it down to fit, and she said she could, just need to change my plan first of course. She changed my CDMA plan to 3G, added a data plan and found a comparable voice plan, etc. I took the SIM to my work, did some cutting (had to have a few goes at it), and eventually made it fit. :cool:

Then I plugged it into my Mac Pro at work and iTunes found it, hit a couple "ok" buttons, and then it said congrats, your "iPhone is now unlocked." :D

I chose SaskTel because I still have another year on my contract from when I got my BlackBerry 2 years ago. I could have switched carriers, but I'd then have two phones, or have to pay the cancellation fee. And I haven't had any issues with SaskTel.

I don't think they're set up to activate iPhone's at home over iTunes...probably can't do that until they start selling iPhones for real.

Thanks for all the answers everyone...there's so much mis-information out there, and even less Sask-specific stuff. Digital Home FTW!
 

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If you purchased the phone unlocked direct from Apple and the Activation Process ends up locking it to the carrier, you can always call the carrier and demand they return it to the unlocked state since it is not a subsidized phone. After all, You paid full price for it. It's yours.

Also, thanks to recent Government intervention on subsidized phones - once your contract has come to an end (IE: your 3 years are up) you can phone your carrier and demand they unlock your phone since you have fulfilled your terms of the subsidy. I would imagine even if you cancel your contract and thus pay your early cancellation fee (which covers the balance of the subsidy), you can have the carrier unlock the phone so you can take it to another carrier.
 

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If you purchased the phone unlocked direct from Apple and the Activation Process ends up locking it to the carrier, you can always call the carrier and demand they return it to the unlocked state since it is not a subsidized phone. After all, You paid full price for it. It's yours.
I don't think it works like that. The phone is marked to be locked at the sales point at Apple - when they make the sale of a subsidized phone, they enter in the Apple centralized database that this particular phone must be locked to a certain provider. The actual locking takes place through iTunes when you activate, restore, or upgrade the iOS of the phone (every time you perform one of those). If your purchased as unlocked phone gets locked, the fault is all with Apple, and you should ask them to fix the problem. From what I have read, they fix it by exchanging the phone. Also, these accidents happen only if a salesperson from an Apple store by mistake scans your phone as "locked" to a certain provider. Haven't heard complaints about phones from apple.ca.
Anyway, if iTunes says that "your phone is unlocked, it will be forever unlocked, and carriers can't lock it - by accident or otherwise. Neither can they unlock a locked phone - they need to contact Apple about that.

Also, thanks to recent Government intervention on subsidized phones - once your contract has come to an end (IE: your 3 years are up) you can phone your carrier and demand they unlock your phone since you have fulfilled your terms of the subsidy. I would imagine even if you cancel your contract and thus pay your early cancellation fee (which covers the balance of the subsidy), you can have the carrier unlock the phone so you can take it to another carrier.
I don't think that has happened yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Been a few days now, I'm loving this device. Only thing that doesn't seem to work is the much-touted "FaceTime" video chat feature. There's a toggle switch to turn it on in the Settings, but when I toggle it, it warns me about SMS charges to initiate FaceTime calls, I click ok, and then the toggle turns off again. Or, I'll toggle the switch, and it'll stay ON, but it says "Waiting for activation...".

No big deal at the moment. Googling the issue seems to show tons of people with the same problem, multiple carriers, etc. so I don't think it's something SaskTel needs to fix, as it just uses SMS or a voice call to start the FaceTime call, and wi-fi after that. Might be something Apple needs to fix.
 

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Gov intervention, fulfilling terms, unlocking

Hi folks,
I'm in Saskatchewan, currently an iPhone 3Gs user on Rogers - liking the iPhone, really disliking Rogers (so much I won't get into it!). I read above about government interventions and phones... an also about paying the cancellation fee and demanding my phone be "unlocked"? Could someone point me in the direction of how to find these so-called "government interventions"? I REALLY want to py out my Rogers cancellation fee and switch back to Sasktel (should not have tried Rogers in the first place). Has anyone heard of someone paying their cancellation fee and actually getting Rogers to unlock their iPhone?
 

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No. I don't know where the previous poster who mentioned it got that info. I haven't heard of a single case yet of a phone being voluntarily unlocked by a Canadian carrier after the term expires.
 

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The so called government intervention is referring to a bill put forward by the NDP requiring providers to unlock phones at the end of a contract. To the best of my knowledge this bill has not yet passed, though I don't know if it was defeated or is still in limbo.

Even if Rogers wanted to they cannot unlock an iPhone. Only Apple can do that (and they won't).
 

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Hmm, thats disappointing. Does Apple expect us to be chained to the carrier even after our contracts are up? Sasktels initial release of their 3G network is already providing 10 times the coverage of Rogers. How can apple expect me to pay the same for somewhat less per contract and significantly less coverage? Surely they have to see the bind Rogers has us in here in saskatchewan
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Apple just wants to sell devices...what the carriers do, especially in a province of less than 1 million people, are far from their concern. For true freedom, buy an unlocked one from Apple.ca, or jailbreak your current iPhone, at your own risk, if possible. Those are the options at this point. :)
 

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There's no actual risk in jailbreaking. You can always restore it to the standard Apple software through iTunes, if something goes wrong. You guys make it sound like it's a big deal. In fact, unlocking the iPhone is much easier than Motorola Razr, for example.
Unfortunately, jailbreaking for now is the only option to unlock a locked iPhone in Canada.
 
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