Fix with various iOS system issues like recovery mode, white Apple logo, black screen, looping on start, etc.
If you’re an iPhone owner and ‘bad ESN’ or ‘Blacklisted EMI’ reads like technical mumbo-jumbo to you, chances are you’ve never slummed it out in Ebay or Craigslist to get a sweet iPhone for half the prize. But if you have, then you may know one simple fact: not all iPhones bought from these sweet alternatives are acquired in a legal way. Sure, not all devices belong to this category. But the truth is that some of these iPhones are stolen. To prevent misuse, network carriers have started blacklisting EMIs of iPhones that were not paid for by their owners or which were reported stolen, missing. An iPhone with a Blacklisted EMI or a bad ESN means you won’t receive a network signal even after inserting a valid sim. But if you’re a faithful reader, you know that we never discuss a real-life bad scenario without offering a solution. And the solution is iPhoneMei.
But before looking at the solution, let’s explore the gravity of the problem that a lot of us iPhone lovers may run into at least once in our lives. We’ll begin by looking at IMEI number and ESN before finding out how to test if our iPhone is blacklisted. Then we would move on to solutions and discuss the marvel that is iPhoneMei.
IMEI stands for "International Mobile Equipment Identity". It’s a 14 to 16 digits long number and it’s unique for every iPhone and it’s the identification of your device. The IMEI is much like a Social Security Number, but for phones. An iPhone can’t be used with a different SIM card unless you make a visit to the Apple Store or where ever the iPhone was purchased from. The IMEI thus also serves a security purpose.
ESN stands for "Electronic Serial Number" and it’s a unique number for each device that works as a way of identification of a CDMA device. In the U.S. there are some carriers that work on a CDMA network: Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, so if you are with any of these carriers you have an ESN number attached to your device.
You are trying to activate the device with a carrier, but the activation fails. Bad ESN may be one of the reasons why activation fails. A Bad ESN can be due to the below reasons:
Blacklisted IMEI is basically the same thing as Bad ESN but for devices that work on GSM and UMTS networks, like AT&T or T-Mobile. In short, the main reason that a device has a Blacklisted IMEI is so that you as the owner or someone else cannot activate the device on any carrier, not even the original one, thus avoiding selling or stealing the phone.
In order to check if an iPhone is blacklisted, you need to first retrieve your IMEI or ESN number to check if it’s blacklisted.
1. On the original box of the iPhone, usually around the barcode: To locate this, fetch the Box that your iPhone came in. Turn it over, and look near the barcode. You should see a 15-digit number next to the text IMEI/MEID. This is the IMEI number.
2. Alternatively, you can find it on your iPhone by:
dr.fone has a super-slick and efficient online tool wherein you can verify whether your iPhone has a blacklisted IMEI. The tool is simple. You just need to enter the IMEI or ESN, enter your details, and you’ll soon receive all the information you need!
1. Use it as a gaming console or iPod
Before trying the above step, try restoring/reinstalling using iTunes and insert a fresh sim card when the method prompts you to insert one. If this method fails, your phone has a bad ESN or a blacklisted IMEI.
Smartphones have a whole lot of functionality besides being able to place calls. You can install a bunch of different video games in it, you can use it to surf the internet, watch videos on YouTube, download music and videos to it. You can even install apps like Skype and use Skype call as an alternative to phone calling.
2. Ask the seller for a refund
If you bought the device with the bad ESN newly from a retailer or online shop, you might be in luck as they can provide you with a refund or at least a replacement, depending on their policy. For example, Amazon and eBay have refund policies.
With Ebay, you may have to ship it back to the seller, who would have to confirm that the iPhone is in order before eBay could refund your money.
Unfortunately, if you got the phone from someone you found on the street, or from a seller over sources like Craigslist, this might not be possible. Because usually, people use temporary email addresses or phone numbers. But there are still other things you can do. Scroll below for more options!
3. Get the IMEI or ESN Cleaned
Depending on your carrier, you can see if they entertain requests to remove your IMEI from the blacklist.
However, if you have a blacklisted iPhone that’s locked by T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, (UK), EE (UK) and Orange (UK), there may be a way of removing it from the list. Unfortunately, many other network are still not supported.
4. Swap the Logic Board
The thing about a blacklisted IMEI is that it’s only blacklisted in a particular country. An unlocked AT&T iPhone blacklisted in the US would still function in Australia on another network.
If you want to use it in the same country, then you may have to physically replace baseband and chips. While this is possible if you have an iPhone 4 or an earlier model, trying this in later models may cause some possible irreparable damage. This is not a recommended solution.
5. Unlock it and then Sell it
After you unlock your iPhone you can sell it to foreigners at a lowered rate. A lot of foreigners including tourists and students come to America every day. The fact that the IMEIs of iPhones are only blacklisted locally works in your favor. Once they carry the iPhones back to their home countries even iPhones with a bad ESN should work. So foreigners and tourists might be persuaded to buy your iPhone if you throw in a big enough discount.
However, in the interest of honesty, do remember to explain to your potential buyer that iPhone is blacklisted in the current location but will still work fine in their country.
6. Take it apart and sell the spare parts
iPhone is a premium device. This means that most of its hardware components should fetch a good prize should you choose to dismember it and sell its parts.
The back casing, screen, dock connector and even the logic board, can all be sold separately. It may help someone with a broken iPhone and one of the parts may help revive his or her iPhone again. These may be used to help out other broken iPhones.
7. Sell internationally
You can always put your blacklisted iPhone on Ebay, which has a presence in a lot of countries. As mentioned earlier, you can unlock the phone with the blacklisted IMEI. However, since it’s only blacklisted locally, you can sell it internationally where it would still have value. Again, please don’t fail to mention that the phone is blacklisted, but unlocked. This is just to prevent any dispute in the near future.
8. Flash phone to another carrier
This is an ideal option for those who don’t mind changing carriers. You can flash a phone to another carrier, as long as they accept it, and pretty soon you’ll have a functional phone! In some cases, however, you might land with a 3G connection instead of a 4G.
9. Determine Hybrid GSM/CDMA Phones
If your phone cannot activate on a CDMA carrier like Verizon or Sprint, the IMEI can still be used on a GSM network. Most phones manufactured these days come with a GSM standard nano or micro sim card slot and have GSM radio enabling for a GSM network. Most of them also come factory unlocked as well.
Finally, we reach the point where we discuss the premium solution to the problem of bad ESN. iPhoneMei is the leader when it comes to unlocking an iPhone with a blacklisted IMEI. The best aspect of iPhoneMei. Is that you don’t need to download any app or application. All is taken care of in a simple three-step process over WiFi.
Below are the impressive features of iPhoneMei online tool:
Now let’s see the simple three-step process offered by iPhoneMei that will unlock your iPhone!
Step 1: Select Apple brand
Go to the online tool: iPhoneMei. Then select the model of iPhone that you wish to unlock.
Step 2: Select iPhone model and the carrier
Select carrier from a drop-down list that your iPhone is locked to.
Step 3: Click Unlock
Clicking unlock will take you the below screen. The iPhone model will be pre-populated with the choice that you made in the first step. Now all you need to do is enter the IMEI using the steps mentioned earlier and then click Unlock. If the IMEI is valid, you would be directed to pay the amount mentioned. The price varies with the model and the network selected in the first two steps. That’s it. That’s all you need to do to get your precious iPhone unlocked!
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