AT&T and T-Mobile Share the Same iPhone (Smartphones) IMEI Blacklist Database

If you have an AT&T iPhone that’s already blacklisted, you should know that you won’t be able to use it on T-Mobile because both companies are sharing the same blacklist database.

Smartphones revolutionized on how we live, work and play. They become an absolute necessity for most people no matter where they are on this planet. As the demand increases, smartphones are now one of the primary targets for thieves. If an iPhone is stolen or gone missing, the owner can report it to their service provider or carrier and the device can be disabled simply by blacklisting the IMEI. I wrote a post a few months ago specifically about What Ever Happens to IMEI Blacklisted iPhones or Other Popular Smartphones?

AT&T started their IMEI blacklist database in July 2012 while T-Mobile did it just about 3 months after that. In order to prevent missing devices to be used on another network, AT&T and T-Mobile started sharing the blacklist database.

A few months before this initiative, if an AT&T iPhone was blacklisted, it’s still possible to use it on T-Mobile. Of course this doesn’t deter thefts or such therefore this is one of the primary reasons why sharing a blacklist database was the way to go.

IMEI blacklisting is usually localized to the country’s service providers. For example, if an iPhone is blacklisted in USA, it can still be used in Australia because the service providers in both countries don’t share the same database. This is why we offer logic board swap for our customers.

When the first generation iPhone was launched, there’s a method to change or spoof the IMEI using ZiPhone. The exploit was patched by Apple a long time ago so it is no longer possible. IMEI spoofing is illegal in many countries especially European countries. It was possible to do it on older mobile phones, but there’s no way to do it on the iPhone without physically replacing the baseband chips on the logic board.

If you have an T-Mobile device, here are two simple ways on how you can check if the IMEI is blacklisted.

How to Check if a T-Mobile iPhone or Device is Blacklisted (US-Based Customers)

Method 1: The easiest method would be going to your nearest T-Mobile store and speak to a customer service representative. They have access to T-Mobile’s IMEI blacklist database and they should be able to check it right away.

Method 2: Another method is to purchase a prepaid T-Mobile SIM card. During the process of activating the SIM card, the IVR (interactive voice response) system will ask for your device’s IMEI. If the IMEI is not blacklisted (or clean), it will let you proceed with activation. However, if the IMEI is blacklisted you won’t be able to proceed and it will tell you that the IMEI is blocked. You can use this method of checking over and over again until the SIM card is activated.

Currently there is no real practical solution if you got yourself a blacklisted iPhone. However, the most ideal solution for now is to clean/clear the IMEI from blacklist. Our team is able to clear the blacklist for the following network:

Unfortunately there will always be people buying devices with blacklisted IMEI. If you plan to buy a used iPhone or any device at all, please be sure to read my blog post on 5 Tips on Buying Used iPhone Online on eBay or Craigslist to Avoid Scam or do an IMEI blacklist check.

Related Post: What can you do to track your stolen or missing iPhone

How to Legally Unlock AT&T iPhone Made or Purchased After January 26th 2013

There are many options available if you need to legally unlock your AT&T iPhone. Here are some free tips.

It was around this time last year when AT&T officially announced that they can officially unlock AT&T iPhone for eligible customers. This was good news to many, as AT&T had never officially unlocked AT&T iPhone prior to that.

iPhone owners have to resort to jailbreaking in order to unlock their iPhones. Hackers admitted that finding new exploits to allow unlocking becomes more difficult every time Apple releases a new iOS update. To-date, there’s no hack or software available to unlock either the iPhone 4S or iPhone 5. The only possible unlocking alternative to unlock them for now is to use an interposer SIM such as an R-SIM or X-SIM.

In the blog post I wrote about a year ago:

“Beginning Sunday, April 8, we will offer qualifying customers the ability to unlock their AT&T iPhones. The only requirements are that a customer’s account must be in good standing, their device cannot be associated with a current and active term commitment on an AT&T customer account, and they need to have fulfilled their contract term, upgraded under one of our upgrade policies or paid an early termination fee.”

If you have an AT&T iPhone that you wish to unlock, you can contact AT&T support to check if you are eligible to get a free unlock. I was able to unlock my AT&T iPhone 4 in about 48 hours after contacting AT&T. The whole process was easy and painless.

If you managed to talk with the folks at AT&T, sometimes they won’t give you a straight answer whether you’re eligible or not. If that’s the case, then you may want to double check if you have fulfilled AT&T’s unlocking policies.

One thing for sure is that US Military folks can unlock their AT&T iPhones with almost no restrictions based on AT&T’s unlocking policies:

AT&T will unlock an iPhone for an active and deployed member of the military who is a current AT&T customer in good standing and is able to provide AT&T with deployment verification; and for a person who purchased the iPhone from an authorized location at the ‘no commitment’ price and can provide proof of purchase.

While this brought joy to many, DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) announced early this year that it will be illegal in the USA to unlock phones that were made or purchased after January 26, 2013. There was a petition signed and potentially unlocking will be made legal again in the near future.

Since our business is located outside of USA, we are not bound by the law above and can legally unlock any AT&T iPhone or any US mobile phones. Beware of unlocking your iPhone with US-based vendors such as this one as there is a risk that you may be prosecuted! (They also charge at an over inflated price!)

If you have no other alternatives then get your AT&T iPhone unlocked with us – and it can be done really fast and more than 3,500+ AT&T iPhones have been unlocked since we started offering this service.

The Price to Drink Coffee with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is Now US$125,000 (and counting)

This is your chance to meet Tim Cook in person and have coffee with him for a good 30-60 minutes.

Meeting Apple’s CEO Tim Cook might sound impossible but not anymore. Charity Buzz now gives you a chance to meet Tim Cook in person.

The estimated value was $50,000 for this coffee drinking session, but the response is simply too overwhelming which has driven the price up to $125,000 as I’m writing this blog. Proceeds will go to RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, and you’ll probably get a chance to tour Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino as well.

If you win this auction, you can bring another person with you. The Legal Terms mentioned:

Valid for 2 people. Experience will be 30min – 1 hour. Cannot be resold or re-auctioned. Expires 1 year from the close of auction. To be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon date. Travel and accommodations are not included. Winning bidder and guest(s) subject to security screening. We expect all winning bidders and their guests to conduct themselves appropriately when attending an experience won at Charitybuzz. Polite manners and respect for the generous donor and adherence to any rules or parameters are a must.

No other specific terms and conditions mentioned, so perhaps you can talk practically about anything with Tim.

Got that extra cash to burn and always dream to meet the most powerful person at Apple? Start your bid now.

You can follow us on Twitter, or like our Facebook page to keep yourself up-to-date on all things Apple and everything.

Download Photoshop-like Free App ‘FX Photo Studio HD’ for iPhone and iPad

This no non-sense free photo editing app is a great substitute for Photoshop at any day. It’s easy to use and comes with a bunch of amazing features.

If you constantly need to edit photos while on the field or on the run, FX Photo Studio HS will be your great companion. The latest version 5.0 comes with an impressive collection of photo effects and filters. The photo above was taken near my hometown in North Borneo, Malaysia.

This free app is currently available for free for the iPhone and iPad, and it definitely works better on an iPad after trying it on both.

There are a collection of 190 effects that you can use such as Lomo, Sketch, Vintage, Art, Grunge, 3-D, B&W, ColorStrokes, Cross processed, Textures and many more. If you need to bring your creativity to another level, you cal try mixing the effects to create unique combinations. You also have the option to apply filters to the whole photo or just part of it.

The developer MacPhun LLC, also mentioned the following features on the App Store:

  • Powerful editing toolbox: adjust gamma, saturation, contrast, hues, exposure and more.
  • Smart Color Splash tool: make your pictures pop with colors
  • One click image sharing: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, E-mail
  • Postcards: order your photos or postcards and ship anywhere in the world

If you haven’t got any photo editing app installed on your iPhone or iPad, I’d suggest that you get it now while it’s free!