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Is there a safe way to find out if a used iPhone is intended to work on a particular carrier or is factory unlocked VS. having been unlocked by a third party?

I'm on the Rogers network. I'd want a phone intended to work on the Rogers network, or intended to work on any network, rather than one that might become relocked by a future update. (Also, I had a third party unlocked phone once before, and it liked to spontaneously restart. I don't think that was a coincidence.)

Jailbreaks don't concern me, since I can always revert those. But having a hacked baseband is something I'd want to know about.

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This is not a definite answer--but if it originates from Europe (could be determined by the model number on the box, e.g. MC605B/A for a UK iPhone 4), it has a good chance of being never locked (I think that this should be the correct term, not 'factory unlocked', as it was never locked to be unlocked afterwards). Rogers seems to offer authorized unlocking that is just good as being never locked. If it was originally a Rogers phone, you could ask the person that you are getting it from for a proof that it was unlocked by Rogers (e.g. confirmation email if that's how they do that). –  lupincho Apr 15 '12 at 7:54
    
Thanks! To clarify, I'm not worried about having a factory unlocked phone, as I'm confident Apple builds them with correct baseband software. :) I'm more concerned with it being an AT&T phone that someone's selling as a Rogers phone. I guess what I'm seeking is some way to verify that a phone will stay compatible with the network I'm using. –  Steven Fisher Apr 15 '12 at 15:59
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Check this: international iPhone model numbers listed by country and carrier, it is not very recent, but should work for 3GS. The model number can also be found in Settings -> General -> About. This way you should be able to check if it is AT&T or Rogers –  lupincho Apr 15 '12 at 16:10
    
That's pretty good, lupincho. Thanks! –  Steven Fisher Apr 15 '12 at 16:26
    
@lupincho Please make that a real answer - not only will it no longer be buried here - but it might inspire others to list additional resources or updated ones if they exist. –  bmike Sep 20 '12 at 19:16
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Check this: international iPhone model numbers listed by country and carrier, it is not very recent, but should work for 3GS. The model number can also be found in Settings -> General -> About. This way you should be able to check if it is AT&T or Rogers

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For a 3GS, you need to avoid the 06.15.00 iPad baseband, which is easy to check. As far as I know, all other unlock-related baseband hacks consist of preserving old versions of the baseband - which is easily remedied by updating to (or re-installing) the latest firmware.

You can also match the latest iOS version and baseband for that device, as listed here.

iPhones might also be unlocked with a Gevey sim card interposer, which replaces the SIM tray, and so is easy to check for.

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