Trouble activating a "Universally Unlocked" iPhone

GPSpilotGPSpilot Posts: 6FreedomPop Newbie
According to this official FreedomPop support web page,
https://support.freedompop.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3308/~/what-kind-of-phone-can-i-activate-as-byod

the iPhone 5S is "Universally Unlocked," and therefore it will work with a FreedomPop SIM card.

So I ordered a SIM card and bought this used iPhone 5S: https://www.ebay.com/itm/292486417929

I am unable to activate it. (During the activation process, a cryptic iTunes logo appeared on the screen. When I connected the phone to my Mac, iTunes opened up and said "iTunes was unable to verify your device.")

The guy at the Apple Genius Bar examined the phone and told me, "It's locked to the Straight Talk carrier. Maybe that's why it's not working with FreedomPop."

So here are my questions:
  • How can a "Universally Unlocked" phone be locked to any carrier? Was FreedomPop wrong to say that the iPhone 5S is "Universally Unlocked"?
  • Is there any way to get this to work with my FreedomPop SIM?

Thanks

Answers

  • Jeffrey BurgerJeffrey Burger Posts: 319FreedomPop Newbie ✭✭✭
    I would suggest using the LTE SIM and starting here: https://support.freedompop.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3265/

    You appear to be confused about the two different services that are offered by FreedomPop. The BYOD page is for activating a Sprint CDMA phone (uses Sprint network), while the LTE SIM is for GSM phone with the service that uses the ATT network.

    The LTE SIM from FreedomPop is shipped already activated with instructions as to how to get your phone working. If the phone is actually locked to StraightTalk you will probably have to contact them and see if it can be unlocked. An unlocked iPhone 5S should work with the FreedomPop LTE SIM. My daughter has a 5s, she doesn't use FP but does have service on the ATT network that FP uses.

    BTW, your first link says: "...for BYOD activation with FreedomPop, we will need for that device to remained locked to the Sprint network." and "The following devices are universally unlocked! ... For devices like these, there is no way for Sprint to lock it to their network."

    So it is saying the opposite of what you think. An unlocked phone can not be activated as BYOD. So for that the phone has to be locked to Sprint. In contrast, for the LTE SIM, the phone needs to be unlocked.
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