Most proud owners of iPhones had them signed up with Apple’s exclusive carrier in the USA; the AT&T during activation. This means that the iPhone identifies itself to AT&T’s network using the AT&T sim-card. Why then would anyone want to unlock their iPhone?
a) To switch carriers/ SIM cards
The iPhone is by default locked to the current provider e.g. AT&T. Unlocking the iPhone allows the free use of any SIM card in any country.
b) Save money on Travelling
Since an unlocked iPhone can use any SIM card, a person accustomed to a lot of travelling can embrace the advantage of using cheaper local SIM card rates.
c) Increase the value of the iPhone
Unlocked iPhones prove more valuable in the second hand markets since they can use any network.
d) To stay unlocked Forever
IMEI based factory unlocks are forever, keeping the iPhone safe from damage without voiding the Apple warranty. Some other software unlocks however only work for a while until Apple releases a new iPhone iOS update and the iPhone locks again.
How to unlock an iPhone
Disable the iTunes application and ensure that you have your iPhone, data cable and Wi-Fi connection to the internet.
I) Install AppTapp
With AppTapp one can install third party applications necessary during unlocking the iPhone. This program is important since Apple does not support installation of third party applications in the iPhone.
Run the AppTapp program on downloading and installing. The program requests to know the version of firmware you are using.
Select firmware 1.0.2 if you have just updated your iPhone.
Click on Continue. A new application called Installer appears on the iPhone’s home screen.
Launch the Installer program. A long list of applications that can be installed appears
Scroll down, select and install-in order-Community Sources, BSD Subsystem and OpenSSH.
II)Contact your Carrier
O2 requires the filling out of a form online to unlock your iPhone
Three Mobile: fill out a form online or call 333 from the iPhone or 0843 3733 3333 from a landline.
Virgin Mobile: call 789 from the iPhone or 0845 6000 789 from any other phone
Tesco: Call 0800 0321 320. This is availed only to those who have been carriers for six months and above and or those who have completed their contract.
Vodafone: fill out an online form or call 08700 77 66 55 or 191 from the iPhone. Vodafone charges a fee of 19.99 Euros to unlock an iPhone. This could take 7-10 days.
EE (including T-Mobile and Orange): the account must have been open for at least six months and all the bills paid up to date. It can take up to 20days to unlock the iPhone at a charge of 20.42 Euros.
For T-Mobile, call 0845 412 5000 and request a Network Subsidy Code. For Orange, call 450 (Pay As You Go customers) or 150 (Pay monthly).
Once the unlocking is done, replace the old SIM card with the new one while the iPhone is turned off. Reset the device in case the original carrier unlocks the iPhone in the absence of the original SIM-card.