unlock no jailbreak
June 27, 2011 3:37 PM   Subscribe

What is the current feasability of unlocking iPhones?

Is this article still valid?

I did see this recent AskMe but it appears to rely on some assumed knowledge I don't follow.

To clarify, all I want to accomplish is sim swappability for an upcoming European trip. I don't care about, and don't want to bother with, jailbreaking.

Haven't I heard about direct-sale Apple unlocked handsets lately?
posted by mwhybark to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I take it from your profile that you are in the US.

The gist of it is that if you already own an iPhone and have upgraded it to the most recent software, it is a total pain in the ass if not impossible to unlock it.

The Apple Store will now sell unlocked phones in the US, but they're quite expensive (think over $600). If you've purchased a carrier-locked phone in the US, that means you're using AT&T. AT&T refuses to unlock phones, although Apple would allow them to and other carriers around the world will do so for a fee, or at the end of a contract. Other carriers will not unlock your AT&T-locked phone. For a brief period, several websites were offering unlock services, but it appeared that it was just an employee of a carrier elsewhere in the world that allowed unlocks. This loophole has been closed.

In other words, you can buy an unlocked phone directly from the Apple Store, or you can buy one while abroad from a carrier that will unlock it.
posted by mikeh at 4:06 PM on June 27, 2011

The only way I've ever heard of to unlock an iPhone is through ultrasn0w, but you'd have to jailbreak first. Plus, there are other issues. But yeah, you can also buy one (they're cheaper on eBay of course).
posted by eunoia at 4:06 PM on June 27, 2011

What is the current feasability of unlocking iPhones?

Poor to sketchy.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:16 PM on June 27, 2011

The current baseband for iPhone can't be unlocked. There's currently a hack called Gevey where you buy a SIM card from Gevey, whittle your AT&T or other carrier SIM down, allows you to unlock. You have to repeat the process every time you reboot your phone. Apple has closed this loophole with iOS 5 beta 2.

You can buy an unlocked iPhone for $649 from apple.com. No jailbreaking and no worries about it becoming locked again.
posted by birdherder at 4:16 PM on June 27, 2011

/shakes fist at Uncle Steve
posted by mwhybark at 5:00 PM on June 27, 2011

I would shake my fist at AT&T a lot more. In a lot of countries, you can simply request that your carrier unlock your phone at the end of contract or they charge something like $50 for the privilege.
posted by mikeh at 9:46 AM on June 28, 2011

yeah well, it was Uncle Steve what got my lettuces, my cabbages. My long green.
posted by mwhybark at 7:22 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

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