I have an iphone 4s ios 6.1.3 my cousin bought it from U.S.A or so he says. He says the carrier is Verizon CDMA. However in the settings I see carrier: virgin 14.0

I am outside the USA so i need a sim unlock, I contacted virgin USA, they said that the IMEI is not registered in the system, i need to contact apple they will unlock it.

I contacted apple USA on the phone, they said they don't unlock phones, they only help with hardware issues, I need to contact virgin to unlock it!

I contacted a local apple store, I asked them how to know whats my carrier? They said virgin 14.0 is nothing, not important, it doesn't mean that my iphone is virgin I gave them the IMEI and they are trying to see if it can be unlocked.

I have some questions:

  • How to know what's the carrier using IMEI? My IMEI is 99 000266 076389 5 I tried to use an online IMEI checker, it only says service expired
  • How to know in which country it was registered? As you know virgin and other carriers are available in many countries, I want to know what support team I should contact.
  • Since the phone seems to be locked to the carrier, is there a way to know what's the iphone phone number was using IMEI?

5 Answers 5


Apple can't unlock your phone. That sort of thing is about carrier networks and it can only be unlocked by the carrier that the device is locked to.


Indeed, Apple cannot provide you such information and they do not either unlock iPhones. This can be done only through the Mobile Network in which your iPhone is locked to, and you need to meet some criteria (I think they are different to every carrier). The number one requirement is to have paid all the monthly fees and you are the owner of that iPhone (That was very obvious). Now, in order to find out the Network that blocks your iPhone, you will have to find an online IMEI Checker, like the one it is mentioned in a previous answer. The free imei checker (unfortunately), are not always accurate (I have checked many times the same imei number, and in some cases [very few] the results were changing). There are some paid IMEI checker services, which are very cheap and in case of false results they will fully refund you. You can check the IMEI Checker I have used, and their results (Until now) are very accurate. I highly recommend to everyone to make those kind of checks before buying an iPhone from an online store. Unfortunately I learn it the hard way, so always double check what you are going to buy! :S


In this case, your best bet is to enroll the help of the carrier you wish to establish service.

I believe Apple when they say that they do not unlock phones. I have never heard of an instance when someone in your position went to Apple and got an unlock. I have much experience asking AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to unlock a device and from what I understand, the carriers jointly maintain a database of IMEI that they (and their contractors) feed IMEI information and unlock status.

Apple sets up iTunes activation software that reads from this database, so in some indirect manner, I suppose a lawyer could argue that "Apple" is doing the unlocking, but in practical terms - they just honor whatever is in the database that the carriers maintain.

  • I did contact a local carrier, they said, they don't unlock phones, i need to unlock it elsewhere and then register my device with them, none of the local phone stores know how to unlock a CDMA phone, therefore I'm trying to contact the carrier that the phone is locked to.
    – Lynob
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 17:27
  • What local carrier has CDMA? Perhaps they want to sell a new device and not just service :( did you make it clear you didn't want them to unlock it, just help you find the carrier that originally enrolled that IMEI into the database? My guess is you need them to work with the MEID and not the IMEI as well.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 17:58
  • Can you even "unlock" a CDMA phone? These phones do not use SIM cards, so it's not possible to change carriers. That is my understanding from this description: pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp
    – ICL1901
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 18:20
  • @bmike I'll contact them tomorrow and update this post, no local carrier supports cdma
    – Lynob
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 18:33
  • @DavidDelMonte CDMA do not use sim card, but you can insert a sim card, so if you manage to talk to the original carrier and unlock it, you can use a sim... alternatives are using gpp cards, which i don't have... or jailbreak, installing furious mode and use GEVEY cards, which i can't do since you can't jailbreak 6.1.3
    – Lynob
    Commented Aug 22, 2013 at 18:37

Apple keep your iPhone information in their server. Basic this information can identify by Serial Number or IMEI number. But Serial number and IMEI number will change if phone replaced by repair.

About iPhone information, Apple record this on database with active carrier (when you make purchase), and current carrier (carrier you are using on your phone) and this information can be change if you request unlock on carrier. Then carrier will request to change on Apple's database.

You can do check this information in some site like imeidata.net, basic they just fetch from apple server. In your case:

iPhone 4S
16GB White

IMEI: 9900026607xxxx
Original Serial: C8PK424Qxxxx
Model Number: A1387
Order Number: MD378
Network: Global
Activated: Yes
Contract Status: Unknown
AppleCare Protection: No
Telephone Technical Support: Expired
Repairs & Service Coverage: Expired
Purchase Country: UNITED STATES
Purchase Date: March 29, 2013
Carrier: US Virgin Mobile (Sprint MVNO) Activation Policy
Factory Simlock: Locked
Carrier Last Update: 2013-11-10 16:55:07
Find My iPhone: OFF
SIM Lock: Locked

Your phone needs to be flashed.

  • Could you perhaps elaborate on the tools and steps needed to flash an iPhone? It's not something that iTunes or Xcode has a menu item to accomplish.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 8, 2014 at 23:25

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