The iPhone is tricky this way in that it doesn't have a removable battery - which means you cannot readily find an ESN to call Verizon with and check.
I'm not completely familiar with the iPhone 4 but hopefully someone else will chime in and answer whether or not there is a way to get the ESN or something similar from the iPhone.
I can tell you, however, that it has to be activated through iTunes. I don't believe the *228 method works for it.
I haven't yet but am looking to purchase a used Verizon iPhone from a buy and sell meet. I need details on how to activate it so I can make sure the phone is clear to be activated. Can I call *228 and do it directly like any other phone? I already have a data plan so that isn't going to be a problem. I just want to make sure I don't get scammed. Can anyone help me?
The phone will work, all you need to do is plug it into iTunes and follow the on screen instructions.
Then dial the *228 option 1 to program the phone to the network
Re dial *228 option 2 to update your signal
An iTunes activation is needed only the first time that the iPhone is used. Since this iPhone has already been activated using iTunes, to activate the device, please first make sure that the device you are using is turned off. Please also note that you will lose any voice mails you have saved in your voice mail, since the iPhone uses a different voice mail platform.
When you are ready, please dial *228 and SEND from the iPhone and press option 1 to activate. Then follow the prompts to complete the activation.
You can also make this change online. Below I have provided you with the steps:
Sign in to My Verizon Express at http://www.vzw.com.
Under the Device column, select Activate a Device.
Select which device to change, if a multi-line account.
Enter the ESN/MEID of the new device in the appropriate field.
TheReview Your Changes screen displays.
The Plan Feature Changes Required screen displays if any current features are incompatible with the new device.
Select the features for the new device by selecting the drop down arrows to view the options.
The Review Your Changes screen displays.
Note: The customer must dial *228/option 1 to complete the activation.
Thank you for your posting and have a good weekend!