Apple Activation Lock glitch? New iPhone 7s already linked to strangers' Apple IDs

A peculiar Apple ID issue seems to be ruining the iPhone 7 unboxing experience for some new owners.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer on

Some people are reporting receiving brand-new iPhone 7 devices with Activation Lock already activated.

Image: Apple

A weird glitch is apparently triggering an Activation Lock on newly-unboxed iPhone 7 devices, with buyers finding their new smartphone already linked to another person's Apple ID email address.

Activation Lock is a security feature of Find My iPhone that can be used to prevent others from using an iOS device if it is lost or stolen.

However, some people are receiving brand-new iPhone 7 devices from Apple with Activation Lock already activated and the smartphone's Apple ID linked to another person's email address.

MacRumors reports that an increasing number of iPhone owners are reporting the problem, which prevents the user from completing the setup and using their brand-new device.

The issue affects some newly-purchased iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices. Owners of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus are also reporting Activation Lock occurring after restoring to default settings as part of their process of setting up a new iPhone 7.

One Apple fan who managed to buy a 256GB variant of the supply-constrained Jet Black iPhone 7 wrote that,"It appears someone has already used it as the iPhone is asking for the account used to activate it -- o.....@icloud.com. Apple say it needs replacing [...] Now got to wait for an expedited replacement iPhone once I've returned this one."

Another MacRumors reader said Activation Lock with an unknown account occurred on an unlocked iPhone 6s after activating an iPhone 7 Plus on Verizon.

"I recently purchased an iPhone 7 Plus and after that phone was activated on Verizon's network, the iPhone 6s now indicates that it has an Activation Lock. It is also linked to some unknown iCloud account (not the account I activated it with or have been using it with for close to a full year)."

It's not clear what's causing the mixup with Apple IDs. Apple has not commented on the issue. ZDNet has reached out to Apple's PR team and will provide an update if we receive a response.

According to MacRumors, some affected users have been able to resolve the issue by visiting an Apple store and showing their receipt. The lock can be removed at the Genius Bar or by Apple's phone support.

Whatever the cause, having to head back to Apple for a fix after waiting several weeks for delivery hardly lives up to the experience the company is famed for.

Read more about the Apple iPhone 7

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