In most cases an iPhone is locked to a network or not, however there is also an intermediate lock status which is defined as US GSM COUNTRY DEFAULT POLICY.
US GSM COUNTRY DEFAULT POLICY – Which Network is hiding behind it?
It is not really just one lock policy but three different ones with the same outcome.
- Next Tether Policy ID: 51 Next Tether Activation Policy
Description: US GSM Country Default Policy
- Next Tether Policy ID: 52 Next Tether Activation Policy
Description: US GSM Service Policy
- Next Tether Policy ID: 2320 Next Tether Activation Policy
Description: US GSM / VZW N61 / N56 Service Policy
Let me give you a small piece of some Complete IMEI Unlock Check Reports and explain step by step all the details.
For obvious reasons I “masked” the IMEI and Serial number, but they have nothing to do with the results’ accuracy.
MODEL: Model: iPhone XR 64GB Black Cellular [A1984] [iPhone11,8] IMEI: 35xxxx00796xxxx SERIAL: DX3xxxxxxKN PRODUCT SOLD BY: APPLE STORE PURCHASE COUNTRY: UNITED STATES Next Policy ID: 51 SIM LOCK STATUS: LOCKED LOCKED CARRIER: US GSM COUNTRY DEFAULT POLICY
MODEL: IPHONE X 256GB SPACE GRAY CELLULAR [A1901] [IPHONE10,6] IMEI: 35xxxx58135xxxx SERIAL: GHKxxxxxxL8 PRODUCT SOLD BY: APPLE STORE
PURCHASE COUNTRY: UNITED STATES Next Policy ID: 52 SIM LOCK STATUS: LOCKED LOCKED CARRIER: US GSM Service Policy
MODEL: iPhone 6S Plus Space Gray 64GB IMEI: 35xxxx40743xxxx SERIAL: FTHxxxxxxWZ PRODUCT SOLD BY: APPLE STORE
PURCHASE COUNTRY: UNITED STATES Next Policy ID: 2320 SIM LOCK STATUS: LOCKED LOCKED CARRIER: US GSM / VZW N61 / N56 Service Policy
What are these network policies?
The easy part is recognizing the country, which is USA. The problem is obviously to figure out which Carrier is behind US GSM COUNTRY DEFAULT POLICY, US GSM Service Policy or US GSM / VZW N61 / N56 Service Policy.
But there is no need to do so!
You see, these iPhones are not locked by any particular network and can accept all SIMs within the States. The problem arises when the owner decides to travel abroad or sell the iDevice to another country.
In other words, an iPhone under any kind of US GSM Country Default Policy can be used ONLY with all compatible networks in the US, so it is regionally locked.
It is worth noting that the owner often ignores the problem until he suddenly has to solve it.
Although US GSM / VZW N61 / N56 Service Policy is technically similar, these iPhones come from Verizon but are regionally locked as before. The problem in this case lies in the synchronization inability between Verizon IMEI databases and Apple servers.
What role US GSM Service Policy does play when trying to unlock an iPhone?
Let’s first try to unlock such an iPhone for free. I would usually recommend doing an SIM unlock request from the respective lock network but unfortunately in all 3 cases this is not possible.
The only free alternative is possibly for US GSM / VZW N61 / N56 Service Policy and replaced iPhones through Apple itself. Unfortunately, you have to be the original owner to give it a shot.
Of course, Apple can’t SIM unlock any iDevice (only Carriers do), but you can request a new replacement.
Unfortunately, most support staff are unaware of this issue and you will probably need to be very persistent to work your way through them.
- Let the employee know that your phone is unlocked (in accordance with FCC regulations) and has no active contract with any network.
- Ask for a second-level support technician or better yet a top-level employee who is authorized to approve the replacement on behalf of Apple.
- You must be able to provide the order number, necessary documents confirming the replacement as well as proof of original purchase. According to this data, the employee will be able to confirm that the replaced phone has the same activation policy as the original one.
Generally the only way to unlock a regionally locked iPhone is through the IMEI Network Unlock method. However, you need to be absolutely sure that the iPhone is subject to one of these policies as well as the next tether policies and other IMEI info.
In addition, such services are not always available and no one can say for sure when they will be reactivated.
Which is why I, therefore, think it advisable to fully IMEI check your iPhone before ordering IMEI Network Unlock for US Country default, US GSM / VZW N61 / N56 & US GSM service policy.
The easy part is to identify the country, which is USA. The problem obviously is to figure out which Carrier hides behind the US GSM COUNTRY DEFAULT POLICY, US GSM Service Policy or US GSM / VZW N61 / N56 Service Policy.