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 7wrote 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.