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How to unlock or jailbreak an iPhone: IMEI whitelisting for iPhones, cell phones

Updated on January 7, 2013

Run free and smell the daisies: unlock and jailbreak your phone

What have daisies to do with mobile phones?  A symbol for freedom from the often overpriced unfair mobile phone and iphone contract plan.
What have daisies to do with mobile phones? A symbol for freedom from the often overpriced unfair mobile phone and iphone contract plan. | Source

IMEI whitelisting for iPhones: Free jailbreaking and factory and software unlocking explained

How to run free in the meadow: So some times you want to jailbreak, or unlock a phone from a network and move to new network. Or you may want to sell your phone. An unlocked iPhone also has a better resell value.The cheapest way to use a mobile phone is to buy an unlocked device, second hand and use the cheapest pre-paid network service. For example I cut my bills by about 75 per cent when I got an unlocked phone and switched network from Telstra to Amasyim.

Customer traps to consider appear to favor the seller and trap the buyer:

Run free and smell the daisies: But what if you want to run free and smell the daisies and get off the track, of the Plan? What if your mobile phone gets lost or stolen? You still have to pay for The Plan. What if you have an iPhone and you want to use non-Apple approved apps?

In the USA, AT&T is the only GSM carrier: So the equipment supplier, and Apple and the network supplier (or service supplier or carrier) - that's AT&T - relationship is subject to competition law. Apple and AT&T want avoid breaking the law, while keeping customers. And they are tricky devils, those marketing wizards.
Four traps in the unlockery:

  1. the contract or plan with "free" phone;
  2. the contract with the network-locked phone; and
  3. the "unlocked phone" which is locked;
  4. exclusive apps; that is, you can only use the apps approved by the supplier of the phone.
  5. Maybe the phone - you plan to buy online is barred? Maybe it was stolen. Check here for UK handsets and for international handsets. Some people will try to sell you this IEMI Lookup service - but its free. Look at it here - IEMI Lookup. Search on that term in your area to check if a phone you want to buy is stolen. Note that a stolen phone may not be registered as stolen at the time you buy it, but may be later. So the phone might work when you buy it and you may find it locked 7 days later. There's no compo for this.
  6. SIM superglued to the phone? Lordy, Yes! "In the United Kingdom, mobile phone network providers are not obligated to provide unlocking, even after the end of the contract. Ofcom, UK's telecom regulator, allowed 3 UK to sell a mobile phone with the SIM superglued to the phone".

Devil in the detail:

Sim-locked: Network providers SIM lock their phones in deal where you pay for between one and three years. Vodafone for example offers a 4S "free" with a 2 year network contract

DIck Smith sells factory unlocked iPhones in Australia: Fifty of its stores across Australia will become one of the first retail outlets in the world to offer unlocked iPhone 4 and 4s models. From stores only. 8GB iPhone 4 models will retail for $449, while 16GB 4s versions will cost $679.

What the suppliers want you to do: Most people buy a mobile phone on a Plan or contract, often a two-year contract. In the USA most folk buy an iPhone on an AT&T plan.

How to unlock or jailbreak an iPhone: An iPhone is an Apple brand phone which runs on a GSM network. (Some phones suppliers use a CDMA network). So, you can only switch an iPhone to a carrier or service provider with a GSM network.

How it works: A locked Apple iPhone for example would only operate on an AT&T network, and you can only use Apple approved apps. But times are a changing. Some devilishly clever customers found a few loopholes; the iPhone Dev Team; an internet White Hat mob. (The networks may not think of them so kindly.)

Rocky Racoon sniffs the daisies: All jailbreak tools use the Rocky Racoon untether, by the iPhone Dev Team, a phone cracker team of international volunteers, The iPhone Dev Team has updated jailbreak tools with 5.1.1 Untether compatibly using the Rocky Racoon 5.1.1 Untether. The updates include PwnageTool 5.1.1, Redsn0w 0.9.12b1, cinject 0.5.4, and UltraSn0w 1.2.7. UltraSn0w is only on Cydia after you initially jailbreak your device.

Your personal ID is on the SIM card. It's your phone number . The identity number of the phone is different and called the IEMI

  1. If your phone is locked then the identity number on your phone - the IMEI;
  2. stays locked to one network; the one you bought the plan from;
  3. Your personal identity exists on the SIM card, not the phone.

Jailbreak lets you use non-Apple approved apps

How to escape:
Carriers like AT&T and equipment sellers like Apple can block the use of some Apps.
Not a parallel app store: If you “jailbreak” you get a wider choice of apps and customization of things like ringtone and SMS tones. But it's not at an App Store. Cydia for example is a download, not an App Store. Cydia uses "Jailbreaking" tools, like redsn0w or Absinthe, created by the volunteer crackers of the iPhone Dev Team. These are called cracked Apps.
Yes, Jailbreaking your iPhone voids the Apple warranty: But not to worry, say some of these happy crackers; Just reset your phone, in iTunes, putting it back to its factory settings. .
Bricking: Be warned things can go very wrong and you could end up with a brick.
The survival loophole: Plug your iPhone to your computer, launch iTunes, and click “restore” to factory settings.
Jailbreaking an iPhone: Means you can use apps from other developers than Apple; customizations, and system extensions.
Jailbreaking is FREE: No need to pay. Jailbreaking is where you run some software on your PC or Mac with your iPhone connected, and thus download additional applications, extensions, and stuff not at the official Apple App Store. It is NOT a SIM unlock.
Jailbreaks are free - do not pay for them: Any site selling software to unlock your iPhone may just sell you a how to do it on a “jailbreak”. Some of the scams work this way - You pay and they send you a PDF guide to jailbreak an iPhone.
Jailbreaking now legal in the US: Jailbreaking allows the use of non - Apple Apps - such as the Cydia download center - for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Two ways to unlock an iPhone from a network

  1. Apple help: Look for your firmware version and your iPhone model, then click on the tutorial at the Apple site.
  2. Ramdisk method: If you have a fat iphone widget (full of your heavy-user stuff) use redsn0w - called the ramdisk method. This makes it easier to later sync to iCloud/ But only for the A4 device. Tip: put DFU or Recovery mode before starting redsn0w or it will go to the backup/restore. PwnageTool 5.1.1: applies only to A4+earlier devices. If you unlock your iPhone with ultrasn0w, you must use PwnageTool to avoid updating your baseband. For these, Go to the Dev Downloads page.

It's legal to unlock an iPhone in the USA, UK and Australia. Maybe other places too under Common Law.

In the US the DMCA rule of 27 November 2006 permits unlocking. Also the The Library of Congress granted exemption in October 2010. In 2012, the USA Copyright Office approved unlocking for smartphones. But not for the iPad.

Unlocking essentials list; you need your IEMI

You need this data:

  1. network the phone is locked too
  2. IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number.

How to find your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) or device serial number
Type *#06# and see if it gives you your IMEI number. If that does not work read more here at

Before you unlock:

  • back up your iPhone;
  • erase the contents of your iPhone;
  • swap the old SIM card with the one for the new carrier; then
  • use setup assistant and restore your backup

These places may attempt to charge you money for a free service.

Maybe they are not all scams as sometimse we use an agent - and pay an agent to get a thing done faster.

Scams - or agents - galore?: These sites were reported - not sure if that is correct - as it is a claim - as scam sites;,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Jailbreak Wizard and wizardry: IMEI unlocks are managed by connecting iPhone to iTunes

Agents can do this for you for a fee, or if you are a smartypants you can do it online, using:

  1. Jailbreak Wizard created by for iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch, iPod Touch 1G, iPod Touch 2G, iPod Touch 2G, iPod Touch 3G, iPod Touch 4G, iPod Touch 4G, Apple TV, Apple TV 2G, Apple TV 3G, iPad, iPad 1, iPad 2, iPad 3.
  2. Or the Unlock Wizard for iPhone 2G, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

Be warned: These "non factory unlocks" could turn you phone into a brick if Apple updates the iPhone's baseband, or patches the latest "loophole" or "hack". So say a group which acts as an agent selling "factory unlocks". Meaning approve by the carrier and Apple.

They offer Official Apple Unlock using iTunes - warranty remains valid:"No need to jailbreak - once you've made your purchase you simply connect your iPhone to iTunes to complete the unlock and be able to use any sim card worldwide, It allows you to use your handset on any network worldwide".

How to factory unlock your iPhone without jailbreaking: One solution offered "White list yourr IMEI in the Apple iTunes database". The claim: These IMEI-based sim unlocks "work no matter what country you are in". This firm says it sells official carrier unlocks and not "software hacks" like the Dev wizards above.

Apple finally agrees to sell unlocked iPhones

Where to buy an unlocked iPhone: But as it is in the carrier’s interest to sell it to with a contract plan, they may not advertise unlocked iPhones and may make it hard and costly for you to unlock your phone. That was my experience,
The fine print:
Verification of carrier account is not required in countries in which unlocked iPhones are available for sale.
Where to buy an unlocked iPhone: Apple says Apple Online Store sells unlocked iPhones to Australia, Austria, Belgium (French, Dutch), Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States.


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