(Last Updated On: August 12, 2020)
If you have an iPhone with Next Tether Policy: US GSM/VZW N61/N56 Service and unsure what network does the iPhone locked to, you can find out here.
Introduction on Activation Policy
Apple implements “next tether policy” for every iPhone that’s produced.
That basically means the network that the phone is locked to. There are two policies which are tied to an iPhone:
- Initial Activation Policy
- Next Tether Activation Policy
Before any iPhone can be used, they need to be activated through Apple’s database.
What is Initial Activation Policy?
Once an iPhone has left the factory, it will be sent to resellers or carriers from around the world.
An iPhone will be assigned to certain carriers most of time.
The first assignment is called the initial activation policy.
For example, if it’s set as AT&T as the activation policy, the iPhone can only be activated with an AT&T SIM card.
What is Next Tether Activation Policy?
Since the iPhone can change carrier or its locked/unlocked status during its lifetime.
The activation policy can change as well.
An easy example would be an iPhone that’s bought from AT&T may change to T-Mobile for whatever reason.
In this case the Next Tether Policy indicates the next carrier it is locked to.
The next time it’s being restored on iTunes, you can only use a T-Mobile SIM card to activate it.
More explanation of Next Tether Activation Policy ID here.
What is Next Tether Policy: US GSM/VZW N61/N56?
This is a special case whereby an iPhone is not tied to any carrier.
That means it cannot be activated with any carrier SIM card and you will get invalid SIM message.
If you have an iPhone with this policy, you may need to contact Apple to check for its history as it may be a replacement phone or has been fixed before.
Normally, this is caused by iPhone that’s replaced at Apple store and no carrier was assigned to it.
If you do an IMEI check on Apple database, it will return with status: ‘IMEI has a replacement information’ or similar.
How to Unlock iPhone with US GSM/VZW N61/N56 Policy?
If Apple is unable to change the activation policy for you, the only way is to unlock your iPhone using this service – US GSM/VZW N61/N56 Unlock Service.
The next time when you encounter similar situation, then it’s best to check the activation policy to find out whether it can be unlocked not.