- Why the iPhone is locked?
- Which Carrier is locking it?
- Is it stolen?
- Is there really a service for my situation?
What is iPhone ESN?
ESN stands for electronic serial number and is used by CDMA networks instead of SIM cards (that GSM networks use) to verify the status of each iPhone which is activated with them.
Without getting into technical details, there are differences between GSM and CDMA Networks, but make no mistake, ESN is exactly the same with the IMEI number of an iPhone.
It is a 15-digit numerical code, unique for each cellphone and all of them are stored in GSMA databases. Additionally, Apple uses GSX databases for iCloud Lock Status and hardware or device replacements.
So far so good, but why the hell is iPhone ESN so important?
CLEAN ESN VS BAD ESN
What matters to us is whether we are able to use the SIM card we already have and, by extension, whichever we want in any part of the planet earth. After all, this is the biggest advantage of having an unlocked iPhone.
Especially in the case of used iPhone purchase, the description is often fake and can very easily lead to completely wrong choices. For the second time.
SIM Lock is the most obvious obstacle (and not the only) but removing it depends entirely on the ESN status.
As far as iPhones are concerned, clean ESN means:
- The device is NOT BLACKLISTED (stolen, lost, fraud, replaced)
- There is NO OUTSTANDING FINANCIAL BALANCE
- The device is NOT ACTIVE ON ANOTHER ACCOUNT
As soon as one of the above applies, the iPhone ESN becomes bad which complicates any SIM unlock attempt. As ESN Check prior to any purchase would save you from trouble but even now it will determine our next moves.
ESN Check is the key to iPhone Unlock success
This is why you came and this is how to get it.
iPhone ESN Check providers can access GSMA and GSX databases and reveal the true status of your device.
- SIM Lock Status
- ESN Status
- iCloud Lock Status
With this information, you can safely choose the appropriate service if it is available at the given time.
In fact, you don’t have to do it yourself because several companies will explain your options in detail.
One of my favorites because they provide instant ESN Check results something that makes them perfect for checking a used iPhone before buying it.
Moreover, you can go on and choose any service you want based on the report. While everything is purely automated, you can always ask them how to proceed if you have further questions.
Perfect when you have no previous experience with locked iPhones. It might take them 24 hours to send your ESN Check Report but when they do, you will have a definitive answer on how to unlock it.
Swappa is a nice place to buy a used iPhone because you can check ESN free before you make your purchase. However, it will only show the cellphone blacklist status.
Can you check ESN free of charge?
Ok, swappa and a few government sites (in Canada & Australia) offer a free ESN Check but it’s not a full check because it’s only about the device’s lost/stolen status. Anything else, as well as iPhone Unlock help, is out of the question.
Now there are numerous imposters out there who claim to check an ESN for free but make no mistake: They don’t.
A Full ESN Check requires GSMA and GSX access and it doesn’t come free. Some companies use free as click-bait and charge you later on while others rely on private??? databases and have darker purposes.
Bottom line: Free ESN Check is not possible at least not a full version.
Checking ESN and iPhone Unlock
If it turns out that your iPhone has a clean ESN then you probably won’t have the slightest issue unlocking it.
On the other hand, there are several solutions for bad ESN but the help of a specialist is invaluable.
Needless to say, bad or clean, ESN comes second if the iPhone is iCloud locked since removing the SIM Lock or unblacklisting it won’t let you use it. But even in this case, the full ESN Check will verify the iCloud Status which in turn will determine if you can use an iCloud IMEI Unlock Service.