Unlocking a UK iPhone
June 23, 2010 2:02 AM   Subscribe

Unlocking an out of contract UK iPhone

I've got an iPhone in my lost property box (version = 2.1 (5F136) model = MB489B). The person it belongs to was contacted when it was handed in but she had already cancelled her phone and never collected it. So it has been sat here for a year. I was reminded of this doing some admin recently and it seems a waste to just leave it there. However, when I took it to my local unlocking shop they said they could only unlock iPhones that were still under contract.

So my questions are, is there any reason I shouldn't get it unlocked? It seems like it is in everyone's best interests: I get a phone, Apple get an app and accessories customer and a mobile provider gets another phone customer. Am I missing anything? If not, how do I actually get it unlocked? I've seen various suggestions online but they all seem to be of the dubious "buy these secret codes off me" variety. I've also had a look at other AskMeta questions but they all seem to relate to unlocking phones that are currently under contract.
posted by ninebelow to Technology (4 answers total)
I just did it through the O2 website. Since I was on a contract which had run out it was free.
posted by salmacis at 2:21 AM on June 23, 2010

Best answer: If it was reported as lost or stolen then it was placed on the UK-wide blacklist, and will not connect to any UK network.

You should hand it into the police, since it is now the property of an insurance company.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:56 AM on June 23, 2010

Best answer: It seems like it is in everyone's best interests
It's not in the interests of the insurance company who paid for the phone, is the thing. Like Mwongozi says, it'll now have been blacklisted, and will be useless in the UK (and a lot of Europe, I think).

That said, you might be able to turn it into an iPod Touch.
posted by bonaldi at 7:14 AM on June 23, 2010

Response by poster: Yeah, I already use it as an iPod Touch. I hadn't considered the insurance, I'd just thought of the phone as written off. I guess I'll hand it to the police (although I really don't know what they would do with it apart from stick it in their own lost property bin).
posted by ninebelow at 7:53 AM on June 23, 2010

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