iPhone and iPad

Everything You Need To Know About Unlocking iPhones

Tim Brookes 17-05-2014

If you bought your iPhone direct from Apple, you’ve got an unlocked phone that’s good for use with any carrier. But what if you bought it second-hand, through a network provider or on a contract?


There’s a good chance your carrier wants to limit what you can do with the hardware they have supplied you, and that means keeping you as a customer by simply denying access to other networks. Don’t stand for this telco nonsense – take the power back.

iPhones & Unlocking

Back in the good old days, mobile phones were pretty easy to unlock. All you needed was the right unlock code to be entered in some strange cryptographic-esque sequence, or a slightly riskier (but reliable nonetheless) firmware flash. These methods involved either a quick web search or visiting a shady guy in the market, and the process took a matter of minutes. Unfortunately; iPhones aren’t that simple and we no longer live in the good old days.

Everything You Need To Know About Unlocking iPhones iphone5

The smartphone age has brought with it advancements in mobile security, particularly from manufacturers like Apple who are keen on maintaining a tight grip on the ecosystem. It’s not within Apple’s interests to restrict which network your phone can access, but when such technology is so closely tied to the phone’s firmware, unlocking your phone becomes quite difficult.

What that means for you and me is that the carrier must authorise the unlock, which prompts Apple to then add the IMEI number to the official unlocked iPhone database. The difficulty in getting your iPhone unlocked differs massively depending on where you live, and who your carrier is. Providers like O2 and Orange in the UK are notorious for creating their own unlock policies, and making it as difficult as possible for users to unlock their iPhones.


Everything You Need To Know About Unlocking iPhones 2iphones

Conversely some carriers will sell you a locked phone (like Vodafone Australia), but you can unlock it yourself when you get home without even having to contact them. The only way to know for sure is to research your carrier’s policies.

Methods of Unlocking

You’ll know your iPhone is locked to a different carrier if you insert another SIM and get a message telling you something along the lines of “The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported” – or more obvious still, you’ll get no usable signal save for some SOS Only access. At this stage you might want to do a little research.

Everything You Need To Know About Unlocking iPhones unlocklist


You can check Apple’s official carrier unlock checklist under your country to see whether they offer the service. If they do, you’re in luck – chances are you either simply need to contact them to authorise the unlock; or better still run a web search to see if they have the topic covered in help documentation. AT&T have an online guide, Vodafone Australia produced a video and the UK’s Everything Everywhere are just plain difficult.

It really depends on the laws and policies set by carriers in your region. The process can take some time, may require an additional fee (usually no more than $30) and in many cases you might find small clauses that make it difficult, or impossible. In this case you do have another option – services that charge a premium.

Everything You Need To Know About Unlocking iPhones chronicunlocks

MakeUseOf has no affiliation with an of these companies, nor do we necessarily recommend you use them – but they do exist, and many claim they work just fine. Services like ChronicUnlocks [Broken URL Removed] and Official iPhone Unlock (two I randomly plucked from a Google search) seem legitimate, but their methods of operation are still enough to warrant some “buyer beware” discretion before going down this route. They also charge a considerable fee for unlocking, in some cases nearly 50% of the phone’s value – which is nothing near what your carrier will ask for.


The Process

Once you have either been granted an unlock from your carrier, or taken your chances and brute forced it through an unlock vendor, you should attempt to replace the SIM card with one from another network and see what happens. You may be prompted to complete a setup, or your device may still appear locked. In this case:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC via USB cable and launch iTunes.
  2. Select your phone under the Devices menu, click the Summary tab and choose Backup. iTunes may warn you that you have apps that aren’t backed up, so back these up too if offered.
  3. Once the backup has completed, click Restore.
  4. Input your Apple ID password (if prompted), read the warning about all data being deleted then click Restore one last time.
  5. Wait for the process to complete, then when your phone reboots follow the on-screen prompts to restore the backup you just made.

Once complete, your unlock should hopefully have been applied. If it still isn’t working, then your mobile carrier or the unlock vendor you have used has yet to apply the unlock and you should contact them for further assistance.

What About Jailbreaking?

Personally I’d never recommend someone jailbreak their iPhone for the sole purpose of unlocking. There are so many factors that can affect whether the device can be jailbroken in the first place, let alone being unlocked thereafter. The main problem with this method is that the unlock will only last for as long as the jailbreak lasts – so if you update or have to restore your iPhone, you will lose both your jailbreak and your unlock. At this point, your phone is useless on the cellular network unless you are able to or prepared to switch to the carrier to which the phone is locked.

Everything You Need To Know About Unlocking iPhones restore


It’s also a bad idea to keep outdated software on your device for the sole purpose of maintaining your jailbreak – you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to security threats (like the recent TLS vulnerability addressed in iOS 7.1.1). Major software updates (like the upcoming leap from iOS 7 to iOS 8) won’t be jailbroken for weeks, usually months. Even if you do update and manage to downgrade successfully, permanent baseband upgrades applied with every iOS update mean you won’t be able to unlock thereafter anyway.

At present the only unlock that works with iOS 7 (up to 7.0.6) is available via evasi0n, though there’s little information online (anywhere, and I’ve looked) about whether there’s a working unlock yet. According to unloc.kr – there’s not, but there’s no evidence as to how often that website is updated. This is how it goes in the jailbreak world – things move and change so quickly that one set of instructions quickly becomes redundant in the constant game of cat and mouse.

To ensure that you don’t have to deal with a locked device, consider buying your next iPhone from Apple Should You Buy Your iPhone From Apple or Your Carrier? When it's time to buy an iPhone, does your carrier or Apple provide a better deal? Let's compare them and find out. Read More .

Image credits: iPhone 5s (K?rlis Dambr?ns), iPhone 5S white vs. black/slate (Morid1n)

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Chinwe
    October 22, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    I got a used iPhone 6 Plus.i live in Nigeria.when it came,I unlocked it,after some days of workin,it showed searching at the top till now and I cannot connect to network.whats the issue?

  2. andrew
    May 24, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    It is always the best to buy it directly from Apple - an international version of the iPhone or an unlocked used version if you want the freedom of using it on different networks.

  3. Kid Cosmo
    March 26, 2017 at 1:03 am

    My Iphone is "Retail Unlock" Iphone 4 ios 7.1.2. Not locked to any network
    Please help

  4. Corey wells
    August 1, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Myself Corey wells from UK, i unlocked my IPhone from unlockingiphone.co.uk within 2 days in very reasonable rates. I recommend this iphone unlock service to the other iphone users. Please visit today!

  5. Hollie Jones
    June 1, 2016 at 3:12 am

    If anyone is having a problem with their code or is looking for a place to get a code to unlock their phone, I would suggest giving unlockyoursim.com a go. It doesn’t cost at all, you just need to complete a short survey (I know, one of those!) but it worked for me so.. it’s worth trying out.

  6. Ronald
    April 12, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Vanessa,

    It should not as far as I know... recently I unlocked iPhone with mobile unlocked com, they have incredible customer support service give them shout they will guide you through.

  7. Anonymous
    June 18, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    I am a Canadian, who is planning to move to Australia on a work travel visa as of November. My iPhone 4s is finally on it's way out, and I know I need to get an unlocked phone to use in Australia once I move there. Any suggestions of where I can purchase and unlocked iPhone6 outright without a contract, that will be unlocked and usable in Australia once I move there?

  8. Cos
    May 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I have an iPhone under contract and this contract is the 5th.year..... always I paid my bills no troubles whatsoever But this year I want to use my phone abroad and so , I requested the unlocking process... Purely I was refused for the simple fact that the phone is under contract and when this will finish, then I can ask for unlocking code. Doesn't matter that I am an old customer... This is a disgrace !.... Once the contract finishes, no more 3three network (IRELAND)

    • Tim Brookes
      May 26, 2015 at 1:49 am

      This sounds bogus to me... and by bogus I mean, as a UK national living abroad in Australia, I'd be very surprised if there isn't some sort of legislation which means they have to unlock your phone for you... didn't the EU pass something similar not so long ago? I'm not an expert on Irish law or anything, but I'd recommend you look into it. The phone has nothing to do with your contract as an entity... it's your property. Also you've been on contract for 5 years? How many new phones have you had in that time? How old is the phone itself?

  9. rox
    May 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I bought a phone from a friend and he got it from another guy I don't know , well he said it was unlocked for any company but when I got the SIM card from T-mobile and put it in , it said it won't accept it because its from a different carrier. Does that mean its still locked? What can I do? I think its AT&T.

  10. Lea
    May 14, 2015 at 10:10 am

    Hi I would like to ask an advice on how to unlock my iPhone from the carrier in the phillipines . Any advise please ?

    • Jake
      March 11, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      Lea when I was in Thailand I have used company mobileunlocked Google them they can unlock phones remotely does not matter where you are, very easy

  11. Jay
    May 10, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I have just purchased a Samsung Galaxy A5 off ebay (unlocked) ,haven't paid for it yet,it says O2 on start up,does this mean it is still locked? If it is unlocked,how can i get the O2 off when it starts up?

    Appreciate any help!

  12. Nicki
    May 7, 2015 at 2:08 am

    If I get an unlock code, where do I type it in at? People say theres no where to type it in, but does that mean I bought the unlock code for no reason???

  13. jflhod
    April 19, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    I am buying a phone from a friend and she has just filled out Vodafone unlock form. They will send code in 48 hours. Her new phone arrives tomorrow so she will be putting in new sim and transferring number and the sim in her current phone (that I am buying) will become dead. Does this affect the unlocking process?? Does the phone need to stay active with her sim until code comes through??

    • Tim Brookes
      April 20, 2015 at 1:28 am


      Check out Vodafone's official instructions, as these can differ. Generally you'll need to connect the phone to iTunes after the carrier has sent the unlock request, and iTunes will do its thing and tell you the phone is now unlocked.

      Again, you'll need to check what Vodafone says though. As an example, Vodafone in Australia sell locked phones but when you go home and connect them to iTunes they unlock without the need to make a request.


  14. Achim Titus
    April 17, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    Hey... i am from Romania and i go to a store here and talk wit a guy and i paid to him 60 $ to unlock my iphone. He said to me to wait until he will call me to said that is unlocked but i try every day to see that its work. My question is how i know when my iphone 55 is unlock? i recive an message on it or something diffrent? because he sad that my iphne can be unloked and after a day he recive an email that my iphone is unlock. I need to use my iphone urgent that is why i need to know.

  15. Cam
    April 12, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    I am interested in buying an iphone Iphone 5s of 64gb maybe from BestBuy but almost all the ones i have taken into consideration, because of the price, come with a contract from either At&t, Sprint or Verizon. So, if i were to buy one and have it sent here where I live, outside of the US, i would not be able to have my courrier unlock it, right?

    Meaning that in order to have it unlocked i'd have to talk to the company i chose to buy the phone from first, get the code after paying a fee, unlock my iphone using that code and THEN take it to my courrier to get my Sim card, right?

    But does that mean I have to be in the US to get my code or can i have my phone sent first and request the code over the internet, and that is considering I do not have an accout open with ANY of the courriers?

    There are so many answers out there but since i have all these specific questions i thought it best i asked you. Thank you in advance.

    • Tim Brookes
      April 14, 2015 at 12:45 am

      Hi Cam,

      You're basically right in your assumptions — you'll need to buy the phone on contract then request an unlock from the carrier. The problem you may have is that you'll need to set up terms of contract with the carrier (e.g. AT&T), and for that you may very well need to be a US resident with a US postal address and bank card. So if you're outside of the states, you may not be able to buy the phone at all.

      Once you've got the phone you'll have to contact the carrier in order to authorise the unlock, which can take some time. If you do go ahead with your plan I strongly urge you to pick a carrier based on ease of unlock — some make it as difficult as possible to leave their network, others make it surprisingly easy.

      At the end of the day your best (but most expensive) bet is always going to be purchasing an unlocked iPhone outright from a retailer (like the Apple Store) as this will give you the least resistance when it comes to actually using the device.

      Though it seems more expensive, it's generally the same or cheaper than choosing a contract and using a pre-paid plan. Personally I'd never buy a phone on a contract ever again as pre-paid makes more sense from a financial and freedom standpoint.

      Good luck, feel free to ask any more questions or advice.

    • Asif
      May 25, 2015 at 9:51 am

      I have a locked iphon4s my friend was using that with a GSM jacket and insert the SIM card that was working but after some day I bought that iphon from him as I was changing my sim I could not run my sim and no network is showing on my phone so shoul I do now it does not accept any sim or not working suggestion please

    April 11, 2015 at 4:51 am

    When I unlock the Iphone should the same phone number from before still be registered on the iPhone ?


  17. Owie
    April 10, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Will resetting an unlocked iPhone5 from USA to factory setting, while in South Africa undo the unlocking of the iPhone?

    • Tim Brookes
      April 10, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      If it's already unlocked (i.e. you bought it unlocked, or you asked your carrier to unlock it and everything went ok) then everything will be fine and your unlock will be unaffected.

      You should be fine unless you rely on a jailbreak for an unlock (unlikely).

  18. ThomasG
    April 3, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    I recently sold my AT&T iPhone 4s to someone via ebay. That person has contacted me asking for the phone's previous phone number... says he needs it to unlock the phone for use as a 'Straight Talk' phone.

    I've never heard this before and am hesitant to give him the phone number. (I'm still using that phone number on a new ATT iPhone) Sound legitimate / safe to do? Thanks!

    • Tim Brookes
      April 6, 2015 at 1:22 am

      Hmmm seems odd? Maybe that person is trying to pose as you in order to get the phone unlocked? I can't see why the phone number would be important though.

      Whether you think giving them your phone number is disclosing too much information (it's possible this was disclosed via eBay already maybe?) or not is up to you.

  19. vikram
    March 31, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    I am in india bought iphone 3GS sometime back with Airtel Service provider here.
    Now I moved to different carrier but they refuse to unlock the phone due to no resources availability infact they don't know how to do it. Now I'm confused what to do?

    What they say is earlier they sold locked phones but they don't do it anymore.

  20. Cabu
    March 30, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Hi, I am in the U.S. and am moving to Australia shortly. If I bought a "no contract" phone from verizon or similar, which are generally cheaper than buying the phone unlocked outright, would I then be able to pay an internet unlock provider to unlock the phone and then use it in Australia?

    • Tim Brookes
      April 1, 2015 at 3:25 am

      From my experience, this isn't really worth it — you're better off getting an unlocked phone from the beginning.

      If your phone is locked to a carrier, the only (reliable) way of getting it unlocked is to get the carrier themselves to do so. Some charge, some take a month, some do it for free — but it's always easier if you're in the right country when trying to do so.

      I moved to Australia from the UK with a phone locked to Orange and they made it as difficult as possible to unlock the phone. I ended up buying a new phone anyway and sending the old one back to family because I couldn't be bothered with the headache. Don't make that mistake!

    • Tim Brookes
      April 1, 2015 at 3:29 am

      Oh and by difficult I mean requiring you have a certain balance of pre-paid credit on the SIM card (a really awkward amount, like £31 when you can only top up in £10 increments), hour-long phonecalls to a call centre in India and finally being told it would be unlocked and everything was fine... only for nothing to happen. No unlock, no follow-up, they basically wasted a lot of time, and I could only call them at horrible hours of the night to sort it out.

      I can't stress it enough — get your unlocked phone sorted before you leave! There's so many other things you'll want to do when you get here and playing unlock ping pong with these awful companies isn't one of them.

  21. Mas
    March 28, 2015 at 9:10 am

    My friend wants to buy a second hand blacklisted iPhone 5s for me from Canada, the guy who wanted to sell it said that: the phone would work perfectly in another country, which is not my concern at the moment.
    The matter is that he putted two SIM cards and the phone showed their carrier names but with no signals and he stated that no signal is because its blacklisted, and this (showing both carriers names) means it is unlocked.
    Is that correct?

    • Tim Brookes
      March 30, 2015 at 1:03 am

      Honestly, I have no way of saying for sure. My experience with blacklisted iPhones is virtually non-existent, so here's what I know.

      When you put a SIM card for say AT&T in an iPhone that's locked to T-Mobile, it should simply say "No Service". The fact that your friend showed you the carrier logos means that it is likely to be unlocked, yes.

      However (and that's a pretty big however) I would never recommend buying a blacklisted phone. To start with, there's no guarantee the phone will work in your country, and even if it does work for now it may be blacklisted at a later date. You're also handling blatantly stolen goods and funding a black market.

      I'd leave it. Get yourself a legitimate second-hand phone from eBay or something!


  22. Karen
    March 5, 2015 at 8:41 am

    I mean. My phone is still lock! And i cant unlock it. But my phone is in jailbreak. And they said that if im gonna update my ios. My phone will not turn on. Because the update needs a sim. I dont know how to unlock my phone.

  23. karen
    March 4, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    My iphone 4 is still in ios 5 because im too scared to update it on ios7. my iphone is jailbroken and still unlock. some people says that if im gonna update my ios my phone will not turn on. But i really want to update it but im scared it wont turn on again. what should i do? any suggestions?

    • Tim Brookes
      March 4, 2015 at 11:18 pm

      Did you jailbreak for the unlock? If your unlock relies on a jailbreak and you update your phone, your phone will no longer be unlocked. This could mean that your SIM no longer works (as your phone would be tied to another network).

      Aside from this, following the instructions above (in the article) to restore your phone to stock shouldn't cause any major issues – especially not turning on. Even if that was the case you could use the instructions for DFU mode (section above titled "Help my iPhone won't turn on") to restore it.

      But do check your unlock – you may be left with a phone you can't really use if you remove the unlock!


  24. Angie
    February 26, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Hi I want to purchase an iphone 5 from a friend, she is getting it unlocked but she says the next simI put Iin the phone will automatically be lockedto that nnetwork. ...is this true?

    • Tim Brookes
      February 27, 2015 at 2:41 am

      No, this is not true. Once an iPhone has been unlocked, it will be unlocked forever. If the iPhone is locked once you have put your SIM in, it was never unlocked in the first place.

      Be careful buying second hand iPhones :)

  25. Anonymous
    January 27, 2015 at 2:22 am

    I have brought iphone 5s from US and I unlocked it in India it is working nice my question is can I updated my ios 7 to ios 8 is it safe or not

  26. Kuldeep
    January 21, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I purchased the used Iphone 5 in India which was originally purchased from UK and carrier locked to O2. I am using R-sim to use other SIM cards in India. I tried to fill online form on O2's website for unlock but it is asking for the phone number and I dont have that :X. Please suggest me that how can I contact O2 and what should i tell them (coz I am not the original owner). Or please some other website/service which is offering legit factory unlock. I do have original purchased invoice. I also dont know how to check if my phone is blacklisted by carrier or not. Please help me out.

  27. Lungile
    January 20, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Got my iphone 4s from the State and is Sprint amd still battling now to have it unlocked, please help.

  28. salman
    January 15, 2015 at 5:43 am

    can i unlock my iphone6 which is blacklisted by t-mobile usa

  29. ralphcoxbox
    January 13, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    We are the best third-party unlocking team for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint or T-mobile devices, our site URL is Mobile Unlox, come and take a peek, you will discover the fastest service you ever had over here.

  30. Kim
    January 8, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I brought my iPhone 6plus new on a voda phone contract, never put the sim in, then I try to put an Australian vodka phone sim in but it read that the phone was locked to another network I rang vodaphone uk but they said it wasn't locked to them I paid £2 for a network check and it said the network was '399 - UK Reseller Flex Policy' so now I'm lost! I have a new iphone6 plus I can't use because I can't find out which network it's locked to?! But it's a brand new phone I opened the box! No sim even entered the phone.... Need help :(

    • UniqueLo
      February 18, 2015 at 6:40 am

      Was It Activated When Purchasd If Not That Is The Problem

  31. HELP
    December 30, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    I recently restored my iPhone 4s however, I do not have the previous owners apple ID password or his email, I have no contact with him. So I have no apple ID password and I don't no what to do?

  32. Cocoa
    December 10, 2014 at 3:40 am

    if i restore my iphone will I lose straight talk service

  33. Teza
    June 14, 2014 at 5:50 am

    When i was using my iphone 5 of ATT postpaid, i wanted to unlock my iphone 5 to use it on overseas...I called ATT but they said they will not do it.. then i found ATT unlock service in ebay.. believe it or not they priced $1.50 and it was IMEI unlock.. I wanted to give a try since it was $1.50 and to my surprise after a week or so i got a mail saying my phone was unlocked and i can test it by inserting other carrier SIM. After a month i was on my vacation to INDIA and used a local SIM, it worked without any problems...

    Now I wanted to unlock my iphone5S and i checked with the same service provider, they said now it is much expensive and they are charging $60 - $100.. Not sure what went wrong after a year...

    • Tim B
      June 16, 2014 at 3:23 am

      That's interesting. I doubt much had changed over the year, just that they saw dollar signs and realised how much everyone else was charging for the same service?

    • David
      October 27, 2014 at 7:10 am

      Hi Teza! Many unlock service proposal unlock for iPhone 5S AT&T locked but the price may be significantly overstated. I spend $25 to unlock my iPhone 5S AT&T. The cheapest price I find here att-iphone-unlock.com/att-iphone-5s-5c-unlock-premium-service/ - may be it can hepl you.

  34. mahesh
    June 9, 2014 at 7:26 am

    do not use official iphoneunlock.com, those people are not helpful , they will ask for more money once you applied for unlock.

  35. Ahm3D
    May 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    I am 6.1.2 JailBroke but hope Vodacom South Africa is easy

    • Tim B
      May 20, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      My experiences with Vodacom in RSA involved lots of patience!

      According to Apple's list, they do not support unlocking of iPhones... but you should always check to make sure.

  36. Chas Dwyer
    May 20, 2014 at 6:04 am

    My wife bought an "Apple IPhone" here in Australia, not knowing it was locked to AT& T in the USA, well I rang Apple USA, they said, "it's not us, it's AT&T", I rang AT&T USA, they said, "it's not us it's Apple". This was the run around I got.
    It took about four to six months for "ApplenBerry USA" to develop a code, I paid for and got the code, I installed the code, no more problems.
    I was not impressed with either AT&T or Apple.

    Chas D Australia

    • Tim B
      May 20, 2014 at 7:13 am

      I don't want to sound like I'm defending Apple, but it really is AT&T's responsibility. They clearly mis-informed you, the unlock procedure actually has little to do with Apple in this case.

      Think of it this way: Apple don't care which carrier you use, they don't benefit from selling locked phones. This is why they sell all iPhones unlocked in their stores, and why I'd always recommend users buy directly from an Apple Store.

      It's all down to local laws and policies set in place by the carriers, who do care which service you use, and try to limit your choices so you'll keep spending money on them and not their rivals.

      Basically, all carriers suck. I'm in Australia too so I can't really comment on AT&T but I think they may have made the process easier of late. Orange in the UK are horrendous, fob you off with excuses and generally are the least helpful carrier I've ever had the misfortune of paying money to. Vodafone here in Australia suck for service, but they sell you a phone that you can go home and plug into the computer and use with any carrier.

      Swings and roundabouts, do your research first, buyer beware, and all the other cliches in the book :)

  37. P. Racicot
    May 20, 2014 at 1:14 am

    "The main problem with this method is that the unlock will only last for as long as the jailbreak lasts – so if you update or have to restore your iPhone, you will lose both your jailbreak and your unlock. At this point, your phone (missing verb) useless on the cellular network."

    What is the missing operative verb in the last sentence quoted from the article? The verb would definitely help in any decision making process on whether to proceed with the process or to take other steps toward freedom.

    Thanks for your prompt response.

    • Tim B
      May 20, 2014 at 1:23 am

      Thanks for pointing out that mistake, I've fixed it. The word was a simple "is", but I've made it more clear in the text what I originally meant:

      "The main problem with this method is that the unlock will only last for as long as the jailbreak lasts – so if you update or have to restore your iPhone, you will lose both your jailbreak and your unlock. At this point, your phone is useless on the cellular network unless you are able to or prepared to switch to the carrier to which the phone is locked."

      Here's a scenario: you're on contract, and there's plenty of time left (say 6 months at least). You get hold of an iPhone (second hand maybe), but it's locked to a carrier other than the one you use with your contract. You decide to jailbreak, run the unlock and everything seems to work – except one day you either have to restore the phone as it stops working, or you accidentally update the software.

      At this stage, your jailbreak is lost. And because your unlock relies on the jailbreak, your unlock is lost too. You're still sitting on a 6 month contract you have to pay for, except you can't use it with the iPhone without unlocking the phone using legitimate methods or switching carriers.

      Basically – it's better to unlock the phone using the carrier method first, then perhaps try the unlock services, before putting your eggs in the jailbreak basket.

  38. Leo
    May 19, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    If you have a friend that has at&t you can borrow their sim card if the at&t sim is needed to unlock your iPhone.

    My iPhone was unlocked through T-Mobile as I requested the unlock after I paid off the iPhone in full. After T-mobile sends you an email you simply connect your iPhone to iTunes and the iPhone will be unlocked. Completely free of charge.

  39. Rajat_bhatt
    May 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I had AT and T service, unlocked my phone threw away the SIM card before confirming it worked . I had also discontinued AT and T service. It did not recognize other carrier SIM. I contacted AT and T which merely says to sync to i tunes and insert SIM. Now how do I get an At and T SIm to complete unlock without having A T and T SIm ?

    • Tim B
      May 19, 2014 at 1:06 am

      Hmmm... you need AT&T to authorise the unlock, over the air. Did you try restoring the phone in iTunes, as mentioned in the article above?

      If not it seems you might need that SIM to be inserted so that AT&T can authorise the unlock over the air. Can't you just get a new (pre-paid?) SIM from AT&T? Otherwise contact them and ask them what to do, seeing as they are partly responsible for the unlock.

      Good luck, let us know how it goes!

  40. Saajan S
    May 17, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Once my brother sent me an iPhone from UK which was carrier locked by O2. Here in India in order to get it unlocked i paid $90 and it took 3-4 days.

    • Tim B
      May 19, 2014 at 1:08 am

      $90 isn't bad! O2 are terrible for authorising unlocks (as are Orange/EE), but it is always better to get the phone unlocked in the country of origin before sending it over, it's cheaper for starters (about £25 in the UK) and you can contact the carrier if things don't quite work.

      Enjoy your iPhone :)