Tuesday, 10 April 2012

iPhone 4s Unlock Gevey R-Sim Interposer Sending/Receiving Text SMS and My Number problem

I got hold of an R-SIM Ultra S II interposer SIM for my Sprint US locked CDMA iPhone 4S that I bought off Craigslist when on a business trip to the US and my O2-UK sim worked flawlessly for Calls and Internet, but I struggled with a few aspects:

These were not working.
  • My Number (in Settings > Phone)
  • Sending Texts/SMS
  • iMessage & FaceTime
All of the above problems were really related because my actual SIM phone number was not being recognized correctly. It was still showing as a US number. Due to this my text messages were not being sent and iMessage and Facetime which relied on having a recognisable number (presumably capable of sending out a text message) were not getting activated. I was only able to use my Apple Id to do so.

Not being able to use an iPhone 4S to the fullest was very frustrating!

I tried several things by reading internet posts,
1. Following Gevey/R-Sim instructions to fix sending texts by switching International Assist Off, changing language from English to Chinese and back again. Rebooting iPhone for umpteen times.
2. Setting SMS service centre number **5005*7672*SMSCNUMBER#
3. Inserting 011 in 00101/Unknown Carrier Bundles carrier.plist.
4. Switching SIMs (3 UK & Orange UK)
5. Using SAM (Subscriber Artificial Module) Cydia tweak
6. Using an iPhone 4 to set My Number
7. Using SIM Manager Cydia app attempting to write My Number to the SIM
8. Turning iMessage/Facetime on/off like crazy
9. Dialing ##873283# for a service update
10. Calling Sprint customer support unlock team for international roaming unlock, unsuccessful,  as the phone was not 90 days into contract, and forget about being in good standing, it was not even my contract.

...nothing worked. And to my dismay I felt like throwing my shiny white 4S away...nip the bud...and bid adieu to anymore Apple fan following...(although someone else might have called me a rotten apple).

And oh yes....
11. Waiting for Musclenerd or Chronic-Dev to come up with an UltraSn0w update. Almost forgot about them. Its been months now (as I write). 1 update 4 months ago that the 4S boot rom has been dumped and then nothing so far. No wonder the Chinese companies are doing brisk business with their interposer SIMs.

However back to the reason for my post...

After having spent almost 2 and a half months researching this topic everyday, I have found a solution to this problem.

In my case, my phone was locked by Sprint US and I was using an O2 UK sim. Your case could be different so take care. If you dont have a Carrier Bundle for your SIM carrier then consider creating one by using a Carrier Bundle Generator for the right iOS version.

What is undocumented is that you got to trick iOS by switching carrier bundles. So this is what I did.
1. In folder /var/wireless/Library/ renamed (or delete - safer to rename) the file carrier_*_11.3.plist
so that I got a generic Carrier 11.3 in Settings > About
2. In folder /System/Library/Carrier Bundle/iPhone renamed the bundle folder Sprint_US.bundle to Old_Sprint_US.bundle just to keep a copy.
3. Then copied folder O2_UK.bundle and renamed as Sprint_US.bundle . This is the bit that actually works alongside the interposer SIM and sets all the settings right. Its a bit of hackety trickety but one that sets things right.

Note: If you are using iFile, step 3 could be a 2 step process, doing a copy/paste first and then a rename.

Of course, to do the above your iPhone must be jailbroken (to access the filesystem) and you should have iFile or iFunBox, and you should be aware of what you are doing.

Now everyting works fine!

I would like to hear your comments.

I will continue to invest time in reporting solutions to various iPhone/iOS related problems.

My iDevices:
iPod 4G
iPhone 4G
iPhone 4S
iPad 2


  1. That actually solved your facetime and iMessage to register to your number and not an apple ID? I see that this was posted on 10th of april before the SAM got patched.

    I am running iOS 5.0.1 on an iPhone 4s using a Gevey Ultra S to unlock an AT&T in order to use T-Mobile and I want to try this but I'm a bit skeptical..

    1. Yes you will be able to register your phone number as well with this hack. The patched SAM did not work for me as my phone is locked on Sprint CDMA and it would need an original Sprint SIM for the spoofing process. I have one, but didn't bother as it works just fine with my R-SIM II with the above hack.

    2. I have a US T-Mobile. What carrier bundle should i choose to rename?

  2. It works! Great Solution!
    Iphone 4s 5.0.1 Sprint now fully unlocked using Gevey Ultra S and your solution.

  3. does this work with an AT&T phone?

  4. Hello Swapnil, thank you for all your efforts. Maybe I am being somewhat thick but I can't seem to find any files called "file carrier_*_11.3.plist" under /var/wireless/Library/. All I can see in the directory are folders "CallHistory", "DeliveryReportStore", "Logs" & "Preferences". I am using system 5.1.1. I am desperately need some help and would be forever grateful. Thank You, John

  5. Hi John
    Did you try the other steps ignoring the carrier plist and does it work?
    I am still on 5.0.1 and haven't upgraded yet as it would mean buying another R-SIM/Gevey SIM that works with the later version of iOS. We do have another iPhone 4 with iOS 5.1.1 and will have a look if the carrier plist is in another location. It may be that Apple have moved it around or got rid of it. I would suggest doing a hierarchy search in iFile for a file called "carrier" right from the root directory "/".

    Since this works with iOS 5.0.1. downgrading your iOS may be more challenging if you havent saved your SHSH blob already, there may be resources on the internet which can give you advice on it.

    Post back with your investigation or results.

  6. Hello Swapnil and thank you for getting back. I tried all the other steps and it doesn't work. Under my 'About' menu the carrier status is "not available". As far as downgrading is concerned I believe this doesn't work with baseband 2.0.12. I have also noticed under the "Phone" settings that "My number" is also "unknown". ifile does not seem to be turning up anything.

    Like yourself, I have spent months on this!

    Thanks so much, John

  7. Hi Swapnil, thank you for writing. Unfortunately the other steps, by themselves, do not work. I did a search, with ifile, which bought up over 100 files and I am none the wiser. The files found seemed to be all within the 'Carrier Bundle' section. Unfortunately I can't seem to downgrade the system as my baseband is 2.0.12. Thank you so much for your help.

  8. OMG! I have the same problem right now. Except im using a Heicard Nano Sim for Iphone5 i have an iphone 5 iso 6.0.1 locked to AU Japan. I hear the jailbreak is being released later so im excited. So just like you. My imessage and face-time arnt working because my number isnt being recognized. Was wondering if there are any new firmware or software i can install after i get the jailbreak iso6.1 for this phone which will fix and unofficially unlock my iphone? Or after i jailbreak is my only option to continue using this same heicard sim as an unlock and try to fool the phone just like you succeeded in doing and fixing my facetime imessage problems etc. Is it still possible?

    1. The older iOS 5.x my number fix in the post above will not work with iOS 6.

      From what I have experienced, fortunately iOS 6 iMessage/Facetime allows the registration of the actual SIM number by sending a SMS. However whenever the phone loses signal, that is if you put it in an Airplane mode or travel in and out of reception, the iPhone assumes that the number has changed and attempts sending the activation SMS again. Its okay if you are not bothered with sending an SMS again and again. As for me, I have simply cancelled the phone number based iMessage/Facetime activation and instead use Apple Id/email caller id. It works for me.

  9. i don't know any of this!! can you plz explain a lil more? i don't know what i file or anything is

    1. Have you jailbroken your phone? iFile is available in Cydia/ iFunbox is a free PC based download. Plus please read my earlier comment that "The older iOS 5.x my number fix in the post above will not work with iOS 6."

  10. There's a way to fix the My Number Issue without Jailbreaking the Phone?

    1. There was a fix on iOS 5, but not on iOS6. In fact its not much of a bother on iOS 6 actually based on my previous comments. Here is the extract: "I have simply cancelled the phone number based iMessage/Facetime activation and instead use Apple Id/email caller id. It works for me."

  11. what to do for ios 6.1.3? it does not send texts

    1. Normal text/sms should be allright. Are you referring to iMessage?

  12. Hey,
    I have US Sprint Iphone 5 that is still locked to Sprint. I unlocked it by quicksim. I couldnt send texts and couldnt use data until I see this post. It's great post. According to this instruction, now my texts are working, but I dont think data is working though. Another concern is that my wireless network name status says "no service" even though I am able to make or receive calls and texts? Any ideas?

  13. just follow the steps in the link it works http://www.aio-sim.com/2013/02/solving-smsmms-sending-problem-with-sprint-and-other-similar-problems-in-iphone-5iphone-4s-ios-6-6-0-1-and-6-1/

  14. Swapnil, I had the same problem with my iphone 5 and I have tried all solutions you have mentioned initially in your post. The solution which finally worked for you solved my problem.

    A million thanks to you, for this informative post. Ypu saved my time and anxiety.