GSM Droid 4 Unlocking.
September 20, 2014 7:00 PM   Subscribe

How do I do a full "Subsidy" and "Carrier" unlock for a GSM/LTE Verizon Droid 4?

I have a second hand, free and clear IMEI Verizon-branded Droid 4 I'm trying to unlock for a T-Mobile prepaid GSM phone.

Of course I'm getting the run-around from both Verizon and T-Mobile who won't do it. The rep I talked to at a Verizon store tells me they don't do subsidy unlocking. The T-Mobile store rep says it's difficult and/or impossible. A few searches say that the web disagrees and says that full (domestic/international) unlocking is possible, but provides no solutions or utilities to unlock the phone.

I've also tried the mototools 6.2 unlocking tool, but the host server for the app appears to be defunct or down.

There also appears to be some shady websites that offer unlock codes based on the IMEI for a small fee, which is doable, but I have no idea which are trustworthy if any.

Any suggestions?
posted by loquacious to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Contact Cell Unlocker, which I've used to unlock several phones. They're cheap, and I've had good experiences. That said, while they don't mention the Droid 4, they do note that the Verizon Droid 2 and Droid 3 can only be unlocked for international use, so I'd message and ask if they're able to unlock the Droid 4 for use on different domestic carriers. If they can't, it's probably not something you're going to have a lot of luck with elsewhere, either.
posted by MeghanC at 7:50 PM on September 20, 2014

Best answer: a quick note: I am this phone's former owner and can confirm it has never been reported stolen, nor was it obtained through black market channels, and that it was used through the end of its subsidized contract period. I'm willing to make some calls or stop by a store if being the original purchaser and former contract-holder gives me any special powers in terms of getting Verizon to release their cursed hold on it, though I would not be able to bring the phone with me.
posted by contraption at 10:34 AM on September 21, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks contraption. After doing more research it looks like the droid 4 can only work with verizon domestically. Annoying but whatever.
posted by loquacious at 2:25 PM on September 21, 2014

This appears to be impossible, on a baseband level(!). This means it's not your android image, but the actual radio chip firmware that cockblocks this.

This is really fucking stupid, but i've dealt with it before on verizon phones that had a sim slot prior to like, the iphone 4s/5. It really shows how much carriers used to completely control phones in the US.

I was going to link to a site i know is 100% for sure legit that offers an unlock of any motorola smartphone, but it appears that even if you "unlock" the SIM slot, it will not work on any US GSM carrier. Unlocking it would, at most, make it work on prepaid CDMA carriers.

Very dumb, but oh well.

note: i am only like, 80% sure on this. But from everything i've seen it's one of those phones where verizon strongarmed the manufacturer into doing this. There are quite a few of those.
posted by emptythought at 3:41 PM on September 21, 2014

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