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How to Unlock iPhone 4 without Original Sim Card

Updated on June 27, 2016
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Alfred is a long-time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.


The latest exploit against iPhone sim lock, is a big bonus in the jailbreak community. Created by a Chinese hacker, called Loktar Sun, the exploit is called SAM, for Subscriber Artificial Module. SAM unlocks all iPhone models, but is apparently limited to only IOS 5 and above.

iPhone jailbreak in progress
iPhone jailbreak in progress

The excitement in the jailbreaking community is about the ability of SAM to hack into all iPhone basebands (BB). It works with the latest BB 04.12.01, the notorious 4.11.08 and all previous basebands.

Another kudos for this unlock is the sheer speed at which the process is done. As long as your iPhone is already jailbroken, the entire process can go for less than ten minutes, depending on how accurate you are.

Note: When you decide to jailbreak your precious iPhone, avoid upgrading your IOS (iPhone Operating System ) to the current 5.1.

The newest IOS does not support an un-tethered jailbreak. This simply means that whenever you want to reboot your jailbroken iPhone running IOS 5.1, it will need to be connected (tethered ) to the PC and a reboot done via a tool like Redsnow.

The hacker community is still looking for a way around this, and it is only a matter of time.

The unlock dilemma

The only catch in the unlocking process is that the user must have the original sim card in order to make a successful unlock. SAM replaces the IMSI id in the new sim with the code provided by the original carrier. It basically spoofs Apple and iTunes into accepting the old ISMI and ICCID into the new sim.

The problem here is that not everyone has the original sim card with which to complete the process above. Some users purchased their iPhones off eBay or through other sources online. Still, others who travel overseas find themselves stuck with a brick when the new sims they purchase away from home do not work.

Know the iPhone original carrier

If you are faced with this dilemma you could possibly make a few phone calls and inquire from your retailer as to where and from which network carrier your phone was purchased, hoping that you get the correct answers. If you actually get that information then you can go ahead and unlock your iPhone using the instructions in the above links.

There is a possibility that you may get to know the country where the iPhone was purchased and not the carrier. Your options may include toggling through all carriers in the country: I hope your country does not have countless carriers! I know someone who did this successfully.

If however you cannot get the above information; and let us also hope that your iPhone has not gone through numerous hacks and jailbreaks before, then there is an alternative hack which perfectly worked for me. (NOTE: Numerous exploits may sometimes make the desired data fail to appear in the next hack below!)

The first step is to download iTools file and unzip the setup onto your desktop. With your iPhone plugged into the PC run the executable iTools.exe file. Plug in your iPhone and iTools should promptly load an info page, as shown in the illustration inset. This first page has basic information about your iPhone. Important here are:

  • The status of your iPhone; whether jailbroken or not. remember you must first jailbreak your iPhone before attempting to unlock it using SAM!
  • And the region where the iPhone was purchased.

Unlock without original sim?

iTools, a great tool that knows your iPhone too well
iTools, a great tool that knows your iPhone too well

Additional details will be shown if you click on View Details tab at the bottom. Important here include:

  • Again, the region where the iPhone was purchased,
  • Second, the original carrier of your iPhone.

Armed with this information, you should be able to feed the correct data under country and carrier in the Methods option in SAM.

iTools spots the original country and carrier
iTools spots the original country and carrier

The details here include;

  • Name of the country, where the iPhone was purchased,
  • Name of the network provider,
  • Then the sim-ID. iTools may not have the sim-ID but fortunately for you, there are always a few of them under the list. You can always toggle between them until one of them works for you.

After the above process, simply navigate to SAM Details, where you copy the now generated IMSI string. You must do this before clicking on Spoof Real SIM to SAM. After spoofing Apple, you can then paste the string that you have copied over the IMSI string under Subscriber Artificial Module tab. See below:


As of 27th April 2012, Apple began patching all server holes and as of now any new exploits via SAM cannot unlock the iPhone.

Follow this link for additional information.


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      Luke 3 years ago

      Great job. I really liked that.

    • profile image

      Arnold Palmer 3 years ago

      Great article man but when I tried to unlock with that Sam thingy my phone stucked at Apple mode any way I found this way to unlock

    • profile image

      Lathika 4 years ago

      i have iphone 4 Tmobile lock my IMEI.

    • profile image

      Romi 4 years ago

      Hi i have i phone 4 from Germany with Telecom SIM Lock

    • amuno profile image

      Alfred Amuno 4 years ago from Kampala

      Thanks Sobhi.

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      sobhi 4 years ago

      Great article !!!!

    • amuno profile image

      Alfred Amuno 4 years ago from Kampala

    • profile image

      Ricardo 4 years ago

      Can anyone gelo me out?

      i've got An. iPhone 4 from canada, i need to unlock to portuguese network. iOS 6

      Version mc605 v6.0.1.

    • profile image

      audreyy 5 years ago

      Good Post!!Useful post for those who is in need of unlocking iPhone 4!! My sister unlocked her iPhone at using Remote unlocking service!!At wickedunlock the unlocking service is affordable and the unlocking process is simple to do!!