Received unlocked iPhone 3G by mistake?

gmass

New Member
Jul 15, 2008
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#1
Your opinions on this would be very helpful.

I bought an iPhone 3g on the 11th from a North American Carrier(You can narrow the suspects down pretty easily), and did the usual activation procedure, etc.

On the 14th, I received a package by courier from my carrier, and to my surprise, it contained an iPhone 3g in it, when I had never bought a 2nd phone. It was the exact same color/GB as the one I bought in store.

It is in original plastic wrapping and does not look like it has been opened. Also, I thought that phones could only be bought in store personally or via direct fulfillment for activation purposes.

I am guessing that this is a billing/invoicing error and it was some freak occurrence, of which I am on the lucky receiving end.

So: 1) Do you think that this phone is unlocked
2) If so, can I just put my SIM from a different carrier and it will work?
3) Or do I need to unbrick it via iTunes and then it will work on any carrier.

I really don't need another iPhone 3G, so if I choose to sell it and it is unlocked, I figure I can get a good price on it.

Am I correct to assume that no SIM card comes with the iPhone box so someone buying this could not use my number? If the box has never been opened, is there anything linking this phone to me?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated as I am very confused by this circumstance.
 

Saverino

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Jun 1, 2008
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#2
I don't understand how this is supposedly unlocked just because you received this by mistake...
 

Ace4261991

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Jun 18, 2007
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#3
no its not unlocked. there is no way to unlock the iPhone 3gs yet so that would be impossible for it to be locked...but what are the odds that an iPhone 3g randomly ships to your house... sell it on ebay youll make ALOT of money.
 

gmass

New Member
Jul 15, 2008
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#4
Saverino I was under the impression that when wireless carriers activated it in store, they locked it to their network, so you could only use it with them. Therefore as this has never been opened, I assume it has not been activated, and is thereforee unlocked and can be used on any network. Does Apple ship them unlocked before wireless carriers lock them?

Am I incorrect in my assumptions?

PS. I assume the odds are very slim that an iPhone gets shipped to someone randomly, but this is the situation I am in.
 
Jun 23, 2008
2,387
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Honolulu, Hawaii
#5
Saverino I was under the impression that when wireless carriers activated it in store, they locked it to their network, so you could only use it with them. Therefore as this has never been opened, I assume it has not been activated, and is thereforee unlocked and can be used on any network. Does Apple ship them unlocked before wireless carriers lock them?

Am I incorrect in my assumptions?

PS. I assume the odds are very slim that an iPhone gets shipped to someone randomly, but this is the situation I am in.
If you are in the U.S. then, yes, you are incorrect in your assumptions.

As far as I know, the 3G needs to be unbricked in Apple or AT&T stores. If it came unlocked then employees at both stores would be putting them on eBay. :laugh2:

But you are correct that the odds that someone gets an iPhone 3G shipped to them is very slim.

I think here honesty would be the best policy. This reminds me of a man who got a much BIGGER tax return than he deserved. Apparently, the IRS put an extra zero at the end of his return. The man saw the enormity of the check and went on a spending spree and blew it all. The IRS evidently audited him and came looking for its money. I believe he actually got charged with a crime.

I'm thinking if the company that sent you the extra phone rechecked their papers and realize their people made a mistake, they might make you pay for the extra phone - especially if you SOLD it.
 

styfle

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Mar 31, 2008
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#6
that would suck
whatever u do don't open it
 

aahitman

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Sep 8, 2007
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Denton, TX
#7
I think here honesty would be the best policy. This reminds me of a man who got a much BIGGER tax return than he deserved. Apparently, the IRS put an extra zero at the end of his return. The man saw the enormity of the check and went on a spending spree and blew it all. The IRS evidently audited him and came looking for its money. I believe he actually got charged with a crime.

I'm thinking if the company that sent you the extra phone rechecked their papers and realize their people made a mistake, they might make you pay for the extra phone - especially if you SOLD it.
I agree that honesty is always the best policy but let me remind you that anything received unsolicited in the mail is yours to keep. The key word here is unsolicited. I don't know if the fact that he went to a store and bought one would made this incident unsolicited or not.
 

Marty Mar

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Jul 7, 2008
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#9
im POed man. seriously.

i paid for one and have been waiting a week with nothing. may as well have set my 200 bucks on fire and this dude gets one in the mail for free?!?!?!
 

chazm

Contributor
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May 1, 2008
729
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#12
My friend once got an extra 56" HD Tv once in the mail and he just held on to the tv for about 6 months, unopened. Once he realized that best buy did not notice the errors he sold it...thats what I would do with the phone.

Or, did you sign for the phone when it came in the mail?
If not, they have no evidence that you received it
 

ozzystrong

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Nov 12, 2007
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#14
I think here honesty would be the best policy. This reminds me of a man who got a much BIGGER tax return than he deserved. Apparently, the IRS put an extra zero at the end of his return. The man saw the enormity of the check and went on a spending spree and blew it all. The IRS evidently audited him and came looking for its money. I believe he actually got charged with a crime.

I'm thinking if the company that sent you the extra phone rechecked their papers and realize their people made a mistake, they might make you pay for the extra phone - especially if you SOLD it.[/QUOTE]

Forget honesty and man up a bit. Things like that don't happen often so keep it if anything ever did come of it (which it won't) they'll say "we sent you an extra iPhone" and you answer calmly "no you didn't) then they say "we have papers that you signed for it" and you say "that wasn't me"

ha ha see were i'm going with this unless they got you on video signing for it they can't say a thing!
 

TAEWING59

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Jul 12, 2008
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#15
If you activate it using iTunes, it sets up a line / account with AT&T. AT&T / Apple stores use a "Activate Only" Version of iTunes.
 

bllzll

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Jun 13, 2007
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#16
sell it on ebay or craigslist. they cannot charge you for THEIR mistake. the IRS can do that, because its the government. but whoever sent you the phone couldnt force you to pay for it.

did you sign for the package? or was it just sitting at your door?

if you signed for it, i STILL think you are ok to sell it and nothing could happen to you.

if you didn't sign, and it was just sitting at your door. 110% sell it on ebay, THEY COULD NEVER HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT. you could say you never received it.
 

jackz5o

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Jul 14, 2008
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#17
The IRS and Apple/AT&T are two way different things..

If you get an iPhone mailed to you by accident, legally, you are now the owner of it and there is nothing anybody can do to get it back from you unless you willingly hand it back to them.
 

gmass

New Member
Jul 15, 2008
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#18
Thanks for all the suggestions. Much appreciated.

I think I will just hold onto it for a little bit. I did sign for it. However when I check the serial number for warranty on the Apple website, it says that the product has not yet been registered. So I assume because it has not yet been opened, the registration could not have occurred through iTunes.

If I open it and put a verizon SIM, do you think it will activate to that number? Do you think this is unlocked? If it is unlocked, it could probably sell at a premium on ebay.

Thanks
 

jimmyrules712

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Sep 21, 2007
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#19
Forget honesty and man up a bit.
I don't think taking the route that temptation is telling you to is 'manning up', any child can and does do that.

If you want to 'man up' then you should take the honest route. Manning up means doing the hard thing, and in this case returning an expensive product you weren't supposed to get is definitely the harder choice.

Not trying to dictate your morals or anything...I'm not sure if I would have the will-power to return it. But there is nothing 'manly' about keeping it.
 

atldvd

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Jan 8, 2008
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#20
I think the phones come from the factory locked to ATT (in the US. We are talking US here, right?) but they're just not activated. So, I doubt you could use it with another carrier. I think it's like getting one of the un-subsidized phones at the ATT store. You could activate this phone and not have to sign a 2-year contract. At the ATT store these cost $399/$499 instead of $199/$299, I believe.

BTW, does the rule about unsolicited mail ownership apply to carriers besides USPS? Did this phone come via USPS, UPS, or what? You may want to think about that.