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iPhone IMEI Unlock, How Do They Do it?

dieanotherday 20 January 24, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Hi guys, I was wondering if any of you know how IMEI unlock on iphones are done.

Do those people on ebay have access to ATT servers?

Are they employees trying to make a few bucks?

Are they hackers?



I wan't to know so I can figure out if there is any possibility of my phone getting relocked.

13 Comments

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#2
Quote from dieanotherday View Post :
Hi guys, I was wondering if any of you know how IMEI unlock on iphones are done.

Do those people on ebay have access to ATT servers?

Are they employees trying to make a few bucks?

Are they hackers?



I wan't to know so I can figure out if there is any possibility of my phone getting relocked.
a.) I don't think this is a real thing.
b.) Why would you want to anyway?
c.) Not hackers.
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#3
It's pretty much b)

Have you ever seen a phone relocked?
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#4
Too late now... new law that says unlocking is illegal now... not sure if for all phones or phones bought after today...
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#5
SCAM ALERT!

No, the folks hawking "IMEI unlocks" are NOT LEGIT. They are people who are out to make a quick buck. Here's how you can legally unlock a full-price AT&T iPhone for free:

1. Plug your iPhone into iTunes.
2. Do a restore of the iPhone software from within iTunes.
3. Upon completion, you should get a message saying that "Congratulations, your iPhone has been successfully unlocked."
4. Plug in your SIM card and activate it as usual.
5. Hurray! You've got an equivalent to a factory unlocked iPhone 5!

Please make sure to REPORT or FLAG those listings on eBay etc. and do all of us a favor.
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#6
Quote from chickenortheegg View Post :
SCAM ALERT!

No, the folks hawking "IMEI unlocks" are NOT LEGIT. They are people who are out to make a quick buck. Here's how you can legally unlock a full-price AT&T iPhone for free:

1. Plug your iPhone into iTunes.
2. Do a restore of the iPhone software from within iTunes.
3. Upon completion, you should get a message saying that "Congratulations, your iPhone has been successfully unlocked."
4. Plug in your SIM card and activate it as usual.
5. Hurray! You've got an equivalent to a factory unlocked iPhone 5!

Please make sure to REPORT or FLAG those listings on eBay etc. and do all of us a favor.
Restoring an iPhone in iTunes will not unlock it, and there are legit unlocking services on eBay.

Source: restored my iPhone 5 yesterday in preparation for the upcoming jailbreak, and it's still SIM locked.
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#7
Quote from prozac4312 View Post :
Restoring an iPhone in iTunes will not unlock it, and there are legit unlocking services on eBay.

Source: restored my iPhone 5 yesterday in preparation for the upcoming jailbreak, and it's still SIM locked.
Actually, if you have an AT&T iPhone, as you postulated in your first post, and you bought it at full price, restoring it WILL work. I promise.

If you have a Verizon iPhone 5, it is already unlocked.

If you have any other iPhone from any carrier, you're SOL with nonquestionable methods.

In my experience, many of the eBay services are scams, as these articles and SD discussion show: Article [techcrunch.com], and Thread (for Samsung phones, but for iPhone it's much the same).
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#8
Quote from chickenortheegg View Post :
Actually, if you have an AT&T iPhone, as you postulated in your first post, and you bought it at full price, restoring it WILL work. I promise.

If you have a Verizon iPhone 5, it is already unlocked.

If you have any other iPhone from any carrier, you're SOL with nonquestionable methods.

In my experience, many of the eBay services are scams, as these articles and SD discussion show: Article [techcrunch.com], and Thread (for Samsung phones, but for iPhone it's much the same).
If you are paying full price, then you are buying an unlocked phone, but most people are buying a subsidized phone for they pay over the 2 year contract. This unlocking cell phone being made illegal is ridiculous.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/20...k.nl_today

http://www.pcworld.com/article/20...k.nl_today

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/...l/1g9KhZG7
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#9
As much as I don't like it, it's not ridiculous.

By keeping the phone locked to the carrier, the carrier is able to offer you a lower upfront price for the device in exchange for a contract locked (and technology locked) time frame to recoup the investment.

It's hard to find data sources, but the best I can find (Feb 2012 data [cnn.com]) is that a place like AT&T will "lose" about $400 on the subsidized price of an iphone (e.g. the difference between what they charge you and what they pay Apple). Also due to the unique pricing structure, they must pay Apple [cnet.com] something like $11-18/month per phone, in addition to the sale price. So, once you look at these numbers, it becomes very easy to see why a carrier subsidy lock is necessary to make iphones worth it to the carriers to sell - over the course of a 2 year contract, these numbers indicate AT&T would need to pull in $27-$34 per iphone per month just to break even on the sale and royalties on the phone itself (not taking into account network, overhead, blah blah).

I am not saying it's a good business model, but there is justification behind it.

I am not sure if this is done with iphones but carriers will usually unlock phones when they are at/near contract expiration anyway.
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#10
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
As much as I don't like it, it's not ridiculous.

By keeping the phone locked to the carrier, the carrier is able to offer you a lower upfront price for the device in exchange for a contract locked (and technology locked) time frame to recoup the investment.

It's hard to find data sources, but the best I can find (Feb 2012 data [cnn.com]) is that a place like AT&T will "lose" about $400 on the subsidized price of an iphone (e.g. the difference between what they charge you and what they pay Apple). Also due to the unique pricing structure, they must pay Apple [cnet.com] something like $11-18/month per phone, in addition to the sale price. So, once you look at these numbers, it becomes very easy to see why a carrier subsidy lock is necessary to make iphones worth it to the carriers to sell - over the course of a 2 year contract, these numbers indicate AT&T would need to pull in $27-$34 per iphone per month just to break even on the sale and royalties on the phone itself (not taking into account network, overhead, blah blah).

I am not saying it's a good business model, but there is justification behind it.

I am not sure if this is done with iphones but carriers will usually unlock phones when they are at/near contract expiration anyway.

Whatever the cost/margins are...I don't see any of them reducing the plan price after the contract period.
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#11
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
As much as I don't like it, it's not ridiculous.

By keeping the phone locked to the carrier, the carrier is able to offer you a lower upfront price for the device in exchange for a contract locked (and technology locked) time frame to recoup the investment.

It's hard to find data sources, but the best I can find (Feb 2012 data [cnn.com]) is that a place like AT&T will "lose" about $400 on the subsidized price of an iphone (e.g. the difference between what they charge you and what they pay Apple). Also due to the unique pricing structure, they must pay Apple [cnet.com] something like $11-18/month per phone, in addition to the sale price. So, once you look at these numbers, it becomes very easy to see why a carrier subsidy lock is necessary to make iphones worth it to the carriers to sell - over the course of a 2 year contract, these numbers indicate AT&T would need to pull in $27-$34 per iphone per month just to break even on the sale and royalties on the phone itself (not taking into account network, overhead, blah blah).

I am not saying it's a good business model, but there is justification behind it.

I am not sure if this is done with iphones but carriers will usually unlock phones when they are at/near contract expiration anyway.
yeah, but like, its a win win for the carrier and a lose lose for the consumer... If the consumer breaks their contract, they still have to pay a cost to get out of it... either way, the carrier will always get their money back...

Most people who travel would love to use their phones overseas... AT&T wont even unlock it even though i upgraded all my lines... i had to wait till the end of my contract despite already upgrading, lol.
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#12
When the contract is over you are free to leave.

Again I am not saying that I like it, but there is a reason for subsidy locks. Would you rather, for example, have a carrier charge you cost+ for an iphone - according to Apple they want $650 for a 16GB (e.g. cheapest phone they have) - then pay a lower rate monthly?

It makes sense from an economic perspective, obviously, but you need that money up front, which not many people have.

Odd that AT&T won't unlock your phones - I haven't owned an iphone but have owned several smartphones and a simple call/online chat and they will give me the unlock codes.
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#13
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
When the contract is over you are free to leave.

Again I am not saying that I like it, but there is a reason for subsidy locks. Would you rather, for example, have a carrier charge you cost+ for an iphone - according to Apple they want $650 for a 16GB (e.g. cheapest phone they have) - then pay a lower rate monthly?

It makes sense from an economic perspective, obviously, but you need that money up front, which not many people have.

Odd that AT&T won't unlock your phones - I haven't owned an iphone but have owned several smartphones and a simple call/online chat and they will give me the unlock codes.
AT&T or any of the other carriers are not in the business to give people free or low-cost phones, the consumer is paying full price (probably more) after completing their two year contract. Also these carriers are not paying full retail for the iPhone (or any other phone). They are in business to make money and are making huge profits which is great and I have no problem with it. Its when they get greedy and want to buy a new device when switching carriers. They already have clause in contract for paying the difference for the phone if you break the contract. As long as one completes the contract or pays ETF then the phone belongs to the user and should be able to do whatever they want with. Huge fines and long jail terms makes this law joke. I'd really be interested in see a carrier bring some to court for this.
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#14
Quote from jbloggs View Post :
AT&T or any of the other carriers are not in the business to give people free or low-cost phones, the consumer is paying full price (probably more) after completing their two year contract. Also these carriers are not paying full retail for the iPhone (or any other phone). They are in business to make money and are making huge profits which is great and I have no problem with it. Its when they get greedy and want to buy a new device when switching carriers. They already have clause in contract for paying the difference for the phone if you break the contract. As long as one completes the contract or pays ETF then the phone belongs to the user and should be able to do whatever they want with. Huge fines and long jail terms makes this law joke. I'd really be interested in see a carrier bring some to court for this.
with the iphone specifically, carriers do infact pay a set price to apple.
there's no "discount" really on the iphone from apple, which is why carriers make up their $$ with tiered share data plans.

I know last summer there was a memo sent to AT&T & Verizon employees to try not to sell too many iphone 4S as verizon claimed to lose $$ everytime someone bought an iphone from them.
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