Although it seems like a great deal, buying a cheap iPhone directly from a network, what it does mean is it can only use it on that one network. The networks make some hefty profits from the customers they lock into a 24 or 36 month contract. To ensure as many customers as possible are enticed into signing on the line, they offer really cheap, sometimes free, iPhones. It is common practice for the big cellular network companies to provide their customers with iPhones at massively discounted prices. And in order to make these contracts seem even more appealing, the major carriers have got together and encouraged Apple to keep the price of their unlocked handsets exceptionally high. It has been known for networks to offer the latest iPhone models at up to 5 times less expensive that the exact same model, but in an IMEI unlocked state.
Unlock iphone? – Things to bear in mind
Unlock iPhone 4/3GS Using Ultrasnow On iOS 5 Tomorrow
The Unlock iPhone Services Systems Technologies
Tips On How To Unlock iPhone 4
Who wouldn’t want to get an iPhone for virtually nothing? The reality might be that a discounted, but locked, iPhone may not be the ideal scenario for you looking towards the future. Perhaps you move to a new apartment block and you can’t seem to get a signal using your current service provider. You won’t be able to swap SIM cards and hope the new carrier you have chosen will work – it won’t! If you go to the effort of buying a pay-as-you-go SIM from a different carrier, you will soon discover that it won’t work in your phone. If you want your phone to work with another carrier, you are going to have to get it unlocked.
Technically there are two ways you can unlock your iPhone, either using an iPhone software unlock, or via the iPhone IMEI unlock method, often referred to as official iPhone unlocking, or an iPhone factory unlock. The software unlock is now useless as it only works on jailbroken iPhone 4 & 4s running iOS 5.1.1. A software unlock can only be applied to a jailbroken handset. Jailbreaking is a very risky procedure that involves hacking the operating system of an iPhone so software that Apple has banned can be installed on it. By installing this software it is possible to trick the phone into thinking it is unlocked so if you put a SIM card from another network in it, it will work as if it were unlocked.
Not only did the software unlock become obsolete back in July 2011 when Apple successfully closed the loophole in the iOS that hackers had exploited to make it work, but many people that used this method of unlocking didn’t realize that in doing so they had invalidated their iPhones warranty. Theoretically some iPhones can still be unlocked using the software method, but they are limited to specific models, namely the iPhone 4s or earlier, and they have to be running iOS 5.1.1 or earlier, which was superseded in July of 2011.
The second method of unlocking is known as an iPhone IMEI unlock, and works on any model of iPhone running any level of firmware or baseband. Unlocking your iPhone via this method does not void your warranty and enables the unlocked iPhone to be updated via iTunes without it ever being relocked (the same cannot be said for software unlocking). Although it has been possible for the networks themselves to offer this kind of unlocking in the past, it hasn’t been until very recently that third party companies have been able to. It has never been possible to have Apple unlock your iPhone.
But a new development has transpired – there are now several third party companies that can offer a permanent iPhone unlocking service, identical to that offered by the carriers, but without the need to adhere to the many requirements stipulated by the networks before they will even consider an unlocking request. The service offered is identical in every way to the official method provided by the main carriers, so the handset can be updated in iTunes at any time, and once unlocked, the phone can be used on any network, anywhere in the world.
Author: Niek Henry