The IMEI is a different thing all together from the iCloud lock.
A.) The iCloud lock is a password based security system, invented by Apple that is activated by the phones owner(end user), it's the owners choice to turn it on or leave it off. If the iCloud lock is turned on and someone steals the phone, the phone is unuseable by that or any other person without the password. Even Apple has no way to bypass the iCloud lock. Apple made the iCloud lock that way so your personal information will remain safe no matter what. The easiest way to understand what iCloud is, is to compare the iCloud lock to a Folder that you created on your desk top that has the phones entire software inside that folder, and you password encrypt the Folder. Plus you add a 2nd Lock out on the encryption. If you don't get the correct password correct within 3 tries it deactivates you from trying the password for a longer period of time after each missed attempt.
The IMEI or is a 15-18 digit number/letter combination that the phones carrier uses to ( Control/lock) the phone to their particular network. The carriers also uses that 15 digit number to activate and deactivate phones when it's new. The IMEI's purpose is away to render the phone 100% useless if you don't pay the carrier the full amount of money stated on the contract you signed with that company. The carrier also has terms unique to each of the different carriers that the carriers specify must be fulfilled before the carrier will allow the phone to be Factory unlocked from their network. The carriers also can Factory unlock the phone from their network using that IMEI. There was a Law passed last Febuary 15th 2015 ( I think that was the date, but I could very well be wrong about the date) but, any phone made after that date must be able to be factory unlocked from the carrier once the phones owner has completed the terms of the carriers phone contract. Factory Unlocking the phone from the carrier using the IMEI allows the phones owner to switch carriers at anytime without signing a long term contract for service.
The IMEI is also used by the carrier for several of reasons.
A.) The carrier can permanently disable the phone if the phones owner calls the carrier and reports the phone has been Lost or Stolen..
B.) If the carrier disables the phone remotely via the IMEI, that phone can never be reactivated by anyone, even by that carrier. That is considered a Blacklisted phone.
C.) A person can go into the carriers store and buy an iPhone for the FULL retail Price, that person will own that iPhone out right & contract free, & Factory unlocked from any carrier,
D.) The type of iPhone you buy has a lot to do with what you can do with that iPhone.
E.) There are several Models of iPhone available to purchase.
The things that I know do work that you can do to get around the iCloud lock, is to buy a complete working motherboard with a good IMEI, or ESN that isn't iCloud locked & swap out the whole board. Partial chip replacement won't do it.
F.) A ESN is basically the same thing as an IMEI.
G.) The different carriers buy different models/versions of the iPhone based on which type of network they are using.
H.) The phones IMEI is located in Settings > General > about > scroll down & you'll see it. The IMEI is different from the phones serial number.
I.) A GSM iPhone sold by AT&T is the most valuable of the different models of iPhone. A. Unlocked GSM iPhone can be switched over by the owner by simply swapping out the (Nano, Micro, SimCard) on this model of iPhone, all the users memory is contained on the Simcard, so all the owner needs to do is to pop in the simcard, and that iphone when turned on, will have all the owners content on the iPhone , except for the iMessage Text, & pictures.
J.) The iMessage content can only be transferred by using a special App from the App . Store.
K.) If you ever buy a used iPhone NEVER, EVER, EVER assume the seller is telling the truth about the iphone. 1.) To buy a used iPhone & to know for 100% sure that the iPhone hasn't been reported stolen, or lost, i.e. -(blacklisted) you must call the carrier and speak with a customer service rep. Provide them the phones IMEI number to them. They will in turn be able to verify if the iPhone has a CLEAN, IMEI, or that the IMEI is bad. 2.) (( ALSO, while you are speaking to the CS rep. Request to have the phone unlocked from the carrier, it's free.
3.) You can also go to the carriers webpage and fill out a unlock request form, which is also free.
4.) There are many websites online that can also tell you the status of the iPhones IMEI , how acurate these services are I am not sure, I ve never had one tell me a IMEI was good, & the phone end up having a bad IMEI. For what that's worth.
KK.) The 2nd. Thing you must check and verify on a iPhone to know for 100% sure that your getting a good clean useable iPhone is you must check to verify that the(( iCloud lock & Find my iPhone )) are both turned off. Or if they are turned on, the Owner must provide you with the following 2 things.
1 st. the *Find my iPhone app. Sign on I.D. & Password. You must sign in and turn off (. Find my iPhone )) this I.D. & password is the same I.D. & password used to sign in to that persons iCloud account.
2nd. You then go to the iCloud lock and they must provide you with the separate Code to turn off the (. ICloud Lock. ))
L.) If your buying a good clean iPhone, the IMEI & the iCloud lock will be turned off . Normally the iPhone the seller will usually have already gone into the settings > General > reset > Erase All Content & Settings & totally erased everything off the iPhone.
M.) You will then be able to pop your SIM card in & go through the set up as a new phone and either input your personal code to activate the iCloud lock using "your" personal code or you can choose to not turn on the-( iCloud lock/find my iPhone) either way, you will be able to finish going through the the iPhone set up mode and you'll end up with a fully activate iPhone.
N.) ****************** PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY*********************
There are some websites that can successfully factory unlock a iPhone from the Carrier for a $$$$ fee if there are issues with the factory locked iPhone. Be aware that there are 2 different types of services that these websites are selling you.
1.) The 1.st. Type of website uses a version of SOFTWARE to BYPASS the Factory unlock. Notice I said BYPASS, & not the same thing as STRAIGHT FACTORY UNLOCKING A Iphone. if you find a webpage that Claims they use software to BYPASS a iPhones lock, that is not the same thing as factory unlocking and, "well,"" my mamma always told me, if you ain't got something good to say about somebody or something, don't say anything at all.
2.) The 2nd type of Factory unlock website that charges a fee they claim to truly factory unlock an iPhone by accessing the Apple servers to find that iPhones IMEI and unlock the iPhone. I have used one of these websites to have a T-Mobile iPhone Factory unlocked, it cost me $39.00 and to me, well worth the money I paid to have them Factory unlock the iphone from T-Mobile. You'll only need to try and Factory unlock a TMobile iPhone "once, " & you will understand why I felt that paying them $39.00 was worth it.
NOTE** if you do try & use one of these services, I strongly suggest you pay with your credit card, that way you'll have the ability to call your CC and dispute the charges if they don't provide you with the services you paid for.
O.) if a seller can't or won't give you a clear answer regarding the (iCloud lock activation, & the carrier factory Unlock, lost, stolen, or blacklisted) status of the iPhone or they won't easily provide you with the IMEI or ESN from the iPhone that your wanting to buy, ( I prefer they provide me with a photo of the IMEI so I know that the IMEI matches & is the same iPhone were talking about. )) but, if they won't , can't, or have some &&^&@@ up, two story explanation, that starts out with; Well, or if's ands, & buts than RUN, RUN really, there's only 200,000 plus iPhones sold everyday on eBay alone, go find a good working iPhone from someone who's not trying to run the game on you. And, if right now, your saying; but what if? NO, there are no what if's in iPhones & it's not a deal., your going to get burnt if you don't follow that straight forward advice.
P.) if your a person that has decided you want try your hand at buying and selling used iPhones to make some money, then I am sure your seeing deals galore on eBay,. All you have to do is just buy the broken phones cheap, repair the problems and then resell them for a healthy profit. Unless your the next coming of Jesus Christ, you might want to take a step back, and before you ever buy your first used iPhone off of eBay, Craigslist, etc........ You have a whole lot more learning to do. I can promise you from the school of Hard Knocks. You'll not make a red cent for a good 6- 9 months. Depending on just how fast it takes before you, "GET IT". It takes a certain type of person to want to play this game. Your going to learn ways of getting screwed by crooked people selling broken iPhones on eBay, that have O morals, NONE. They set out from the get go to screw over whoever buys their piece of $@$* broken iPhone. I can promise you, you will feel that hard pounding sensation in your ass many times before you even get to be a novice at buying & selling used iPhones especially off of eBay. I can give two pieces of advice if you think your that good, and you want to go ahead and start buying a few simple fixes.
1.) Find yourself another way to make yourself some money, I've been doing this for 7 years now, & I can't even imagine trying to start out doing this again, knowing what I know now and making it. you'll go $50k in the hole before you even get to a point in this game that you even think you know what your doing.
2.) Don't do it, what you think your seeing going on, is not what is actually happening. There's 3 major corporations playing the same game, and you'll never have a clue your buying or selling to any of them. And if your buying & their selling,by our screwed. And their buying,& your selling, your screwed. Because their not buying or selling unless their making a certain profit margin.
That's about all I can tell you my friend when it comes to iCloud locks, factory locks, and a few other basic tips hen dealing with broke iPhones. I hope this helps you in some way.