- 1 iPhone Unlocking – Legal or still “shady”?
- 2 How to Unlock your iPhone in 5 steps
- 3 How to Unlock an iPhone through a Network Lock Removal Request
- 4 Our conclusion on “How to Unlock iPhone” solutions:
UPDATED ON: 1st April 2018
In this post we will cover multiple solutions on How to Unlock an iPhone. The focus will be on Network, SIM and Carrier Locks of an iPhone, and the goal to successfully perform/apply an iPhone Unlocking solution.
The good news is that if you purchased an iPhonw within the last year (Or even slightly more), most likely it will be UNLOCKED (You can check if your iPhone is unlocked from HERE).
We will try not to focus much on many details (Since you can read more about SIM Lock – Unlocking services and iPhone Unlock to more deep and detailed articles), but to provide valid and Legal iPhone Unlocking services so you can get your iPhone Unlocked.
If you are interested mostly on the cost of Unlocking an iPhone you can read more on the “How much does it cost to Unlock an iPhone” detailed article.
Many things have changed to the iPhone Unlocking topic in the past few years. Unlocking Methods, Unlock Policies, Legal Complications and iPhone Model incompatibilities. Let us start with the Legality of unlocking an iPhone.
iPhone Unlocking – Legal or still “shady”?
Do not get “very” alarmed with the phrase “still shady” that I used, since nowadays, you can get your iPhone unlocked legally. It is approved by Apple and ALL Mobile Networks worldwide.
There was a period when some countries (Including USA I believe) were against iPhone Unlocking, but those days are long gone.
As a general rule, Mobile Network Subscribers are eligible to unlock their iPhone, as long as they completed their contract and applied for a Network Lock Removal request to their Network.
— Details about how Mobile Networks react to iPhone Unlocking requests —
— You can skip this part if you are too bored to read it —
There is something called “Unlocking Commitment” which is forced to all Mobile Networks. What basically does is to instruct ALL Mobile Networks to develop their devices in such a way, so they can get unlocked if the customer requests it.
Now, this is something that most (if not ALL!) Mobile Networks do not really want, so they have the right to create their own rules and procedures, in order for a subscriber to request a Network Lock Removal. Those rules are complicated and the subscriber has one try per year. The reason behind this complicated and “stupid” procedure is to discourage people from requesting an unlock and increase the chances for a rejection from their side (So the subscriber will stay with their services for one extra year).
How to Unlock your iPhone in 5 steps
- Make sure that your iPhone has a Network/SIM Lock (3 Methods to check if your iPhone is Unlocked)
- Find out WHICH Mobile Network/Carrier is locking your iPhone
- Send a Network Lock Removal request to their Unlocking Department
- Wait a few days for processing your iPhone Unlocking request
- Receive a reply of your request
- If it is positive, proceed with a full iOS Restore through iTunes and receive a Successful Unlock confirmation pop-up
- If it is negative, you need to wait for 1 year and resend a request
Software, Hardware and IMEI Methods – How to Unlock your iPhone
Let’s do a quick summary of all the available iPhone Unlocking methods that were used in the past and the ones that are still being used today.
Software Method – iPhone Unlocking
- Outdated unlocking method
- Supported iPhone models: iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs & iPhone 4 (for iPhone 4 only up to iOS 4.3.5)
- How to Unlock iPhone with Software: Jailbreak, Download from Cydia unlocking tool [yellowsn0w, Ultrasn0w, BootNeuter or blacksn0w] and reboot your iPhone.
How to Unlock iPhone with Hardware Method
- This method is still being used
- Supported iPhone models: All iPhone models, except iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8+
- How it works: Purchase a specially designed SIM-Card and squeeze it with your SIM-Card to the sim tray.
- Dangers: Permanent damage to your SIM-Tray and SIM-Card. Over 65% failure rate. Low voice Quality & sudden call drops.
IMEI iPhone Unlocking method
- This method is active
- Supported iPhone models: All iPhone models
- How to Unlock an iPhone through IMEI: You need to know which network is locking your iPhone, purchase a specific iPhone unlock service for this carrier, provide the IMEI number to a third party iPhone unlock provider and pay this service.
- Dangers: In rare cases, the iPhone might get relocked.
Reasons to Unlock an iPhone
The main problem of a locked iPhone is the restriction of using other SIM-Cards than the one your iPhone is programmed to use.
For instance, if your iPhone is Locked on AT&T USA network, your iPhone is only able to use the AT&T USA network. If you put a different SIM-Card, it will get rejected by all other Mobile networks and one of the following messages will appear to your iPhone’s screen:
- SIM Not Valid
- SIM Locked
- The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported
- SIM Not Supported
- Invalid SIM Card Error
Benefits of an Unlocked iPhone
- Able to use ANY SIM-Card you want
- Travel Abroad and use local SIM-Cards
- Avoid Roaming fees while travelling
- Change between Pay as you Go carriers without any restrictions
- Use your iPhone Contract-FREE
- Increase the resale value of your iPhone
How to Unlock an iPhone through a Network Lock Removal Request
We strongly believe that contacting your Lock carrier and send a Network Lock Removal request should be your first step.
Generally, the Network Lock Removal request is either FREE or has very small fees. The fees will only apply IF the unlock request is accepted by the Mobile Network, so the actual request is free of charge.
Mobile Network’s Unlock Policies
As we explained at the start of this article, the Network Lock removal request procedure is being “sabotaged” by the Mobile Networks, since they want to avoid losing their subscribers (And lose money!). Those policies are constantly change which means that your attempt for a Network Lock removal request will most likely fail.
The best approach will be to Authorize a company with experience on Network Lock Removal requests, in order to be 100% sure that the due process will be followed.
Benefits of using a Network Unlock Request service:
- Be 100% sure that the due process will be followed
- Increase your chances for a successful iPhone Unlocking
- Be part of an Official, Legal and Legitimate procedure
- Get the unlock confirmation from the Mobile Network (Not from a third party company)
- Get your iPhone Unlocked permanently
- Save time since you do not have to get involved at all with the whole procedure
Check the eligibility for unlocking your iPhone
In most cases, if you call the Lock network they will inform you that your iPhone is not eligible for an unlock. This is their policy, so the best way to check if your iPhone is eligible for an unlock is to:
- either perform an iPhone IMEI Check
- OR to send your iPhone’s IMEI number to a Network Unlock Request experts (They automatically check your iPhone’s Unlock eligibility)
Our conclusion on “How to Unlock iPhone” solutions:
- Software iPhone Unlock is for older iPhone models (Up to iPhone 4)
- Hardware iPhone Unlock does not have guaranteed results
- IMEI iPhone Unlock is an expensive solution (Only as a last resort)
- Network Lock Removal Request procedure should be assigned to experts for increasing the success rate
You now know all available iPhone unlocking methods and you know How to unlock your iPhone permanently and legally.
Pick the one that best suits you!
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