on 20 March 18
To legitimately factory unlock an iPhone on a contract with a carrier, the device should be out of its contract. For most users, this would mean keeping the phone for over two years. However, some carriers allow you to get out of your existing contract if you pay a one-time early termination fee. Your account with the carrier should be in good standing if you want to be eligible for a factory unlock.
Unlocking an iPhone has its own advantages. You can save costs while travelling abroad by using the cost-effective services of local service providers. You can also reduce phone charges by using the GSM network of other carriers providing better schemes. However, there are a few things that you must consider before getting your phone unlocked. Data speed might considerably differ with different carriers. Also, the services of some telecom service providers might be incompatible with factory unlocked iPhones.
Cutting to the chase, if you have an old iPhone lying around that you would like to get unlocked, here is the process for doing so.
Find Out Your Phoneâs IMEI Number
You can find your iPhoneâs IMEI number through the following operation: Open settings -> general settings -> About phone. The number will be listed at the bottom of the screen. In case you purchased the phone as part of a family plan, you will need to enter the last four digits of the social security number of the main account holder to reveal the phoneâs IMEI number.
Contact Your Carrier Via Email, Phone or in Person
Dial the helpline or the user support number of your carrier or go to its online support page, where youâll find a live support chat tool. You can try both of these methods together in order to hasten the process, since we canât tell which of these gets registered first. The IVR system (or the online assistant) will ask you to provide your contact number and other details. You may provide a contact number other than the number of your iPhone that youâre looking to unlock.
You will also need to provide the IMEI number and other relevant information. It might take a while to get a response from your carrier since the company is flooded with hundreds of such requests every day. You need to be patient during the process since putting in another request out of impatience may further delay the process.
Wait for the Carrierâs Email
It takes a while to get a response from the carrier. The average waiting time isnât the same for everyone. Usually the companyâs representative specifies the duration within which you can expect to get a response.
How to Back-Up Data and Restore the Phone On iTunes
Open iTunes on a computer with internet access and after ensuring that your iPhone has an active SIM card inserted in the provided slot, connect it to iTunes. After syncing your phone, right click on its icon under the devices column on the left hand side of the screen and select Backup. Once the backup is complete, right click on the device again and select the option Restore from backup. If everything goes well, you will receive the message Unlock Complete. You will now be able to use another carrierâs services on your iPhone.
Please bear in mind that you lose your iPhoneâs customary insurance cover while carrying it abroad. Statistics indicate that more phones are lost while on a vacation than otherwise. It is therefore advised that you get your phone insured through those iPhone insurance plans, such as Protectyourbubble.com Apple iPhone insurance, that provide cover for a number of scenarios including when you travel overseas.
Laura Ginn is an Apple aficionado that has changed her network provider numerous times in order to get a better deal. She hopes the above article is helpful.