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  • Remote IMEI Unlocks Now Available for iPhone


    Reports have been trickling in the last few hours via my email, IMs, etc that there is a new remote unlocking via IMEI available for all GSM iPhones. There have been a few forum goers mention they can do it, which seems a bit shady (no actual business, no way to get money back other than trust, etc). By far the most reputable we've seen though is Negri Electronics, whom we've known for years. They've been selling unlocked phones for years, and are trustworthy good folks.

    Here's the gist of it - you pay someone $175 (that seems to be the going rate across everyone we've heard from), and send them your iPhone's IMEI. Within 24 hours, they send you an email saying it's unlocked. You then sync with iTunes, and your iPhone is unlocked. That's it. No codes to enter - you're just unlocked. It doesn't work with Verizon iPhones (they don't take a SIM card), and it doesn't work on any iPads. But any GSM iPhone - $175 for an unlock that won't care what firmware, update, or jailbreak status you're on. Just like a factory unlocked iPhone (which it basically then IS), it's unlocked for the life of the phone.

    How does it work? Well - Apple has a database already which they query when you do a sync in iTunes to check your devices lock status. That's how it works if you call your carrier and they unlock the device for you - you sync in iTunes and it is unlocked. There is a source wholesaling remote unlocks, and many in the industry suddenly today picked up the ability to do this. It would seem someone with access to this db is basically selling that access - as far as my research shows, everyone who is selling this is getting it from the same source. This could be totally sanctioned and legit, or this service may just as suddenly stop being available one day (although once you've been unlocked you'll be so forever).

    If you've got a need for this, and your carrier isn't going to do it for you - this is good news. I have not yet personally tested this, although the folks at Negri have, and my IMEI is in the queue to be unlocked, I will update this story tonight with my personal results. I would strongly recommend you stay away from random eBay folks and websites that are popping up to do this, and use Negri Electronics's service (same cost) if you're interested (no, we don't get a cut and we aren't getting anything out of recommending their service over others, ha). They've been around a decade doing this with a solid track record.

    Again, I will update this story with my personal experience sometime tonight.

    UPDATE: I received word back from Negri Electronics that my iPhone was unlocked. I synced in iTunes, and didn't get a "unlocked" message (only 60% of users do though). I am currently trying to find a non-AT&T SIM I can cut and install to verify the unlock. I do not have ultrasn0w installed on this iPhone, nor have I ever. I will update again asap when I can confirm.

    Negri Electronics has also paused the service as they have had a huge response and the source has a queue of thousands of IMEI's. Once those have been processed, the service will reopen.


    UPDATE 2: Success! I have verified my iPhone 4 is unlocked. It wasn't QUITE as simple as advertised - I wound up having to make sure I was updated to 4.3.1, and when I did iTunes told me "Congrats, your iPhone has been unlocked!" But I did no processing other than update to 4.3.1, and have verified the iPhone works on an active T-Mobile SIM. I do not have ultrasn0w installed, nor have I ever on this device. Here's a couple screenshots:

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Remote IMEI Unlocks Now Available for iPhone started by Kyle Matthews View original post
    Comments 1028 Comments
    1. TristianLyons1022's Avatar
      TristianLyons1022 -
      If only the 3G T-Mo service was compatible, I would be sold. Especially with AT&T sending me hate mail for "tethering without a plan".
    1. Stray's Avatar
      Stray -
      I might do this
    1. dabisnit's Avatar
      dabisnit -
      cant Apple do this too if your contract is up?
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      Nice review kyle
    1. WCR46's Avatar
      WCR46 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dabisnit View Post
      cant Apple do this too if your contract is up?
      No - it has to be instigated by the network on which the phone was bought (that's the policy in the UK and I think the USA too)

      When I got my iP4 done - I had to do it via Orange Telecommunications, Apple couldn't do so
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dabisnit View Post
      cant Apple do this too if your contract is up?
      Usually a carrier will unlock your phone once your first years contract is up. That's when iPhone carriers in Ireland unlock iPhones anywho
    1. moon#pie's Avatar
      moon#pie -
      Nice to see you writing more, Kyle.
    1. orozcoj4's Avatar
      orozcoj4 -
      If AT&T does acquire T-Mobile, unlocks, in the US at least, will be unnecessary. There aren't any other GSM carriers in the US with relatively reliable 3G service, so why unlock?
    1. CONVBMW's Avatar
      CONVBMW -
      This is REALLY COOL. I can see the Anarchist "wrong doing" in this and for me, I love the premise and the concept of Anarchy when dealing with Apple. I hold my middle finger up to Apple with pride.

      $175.00 is a heavy price to pay for a "factory UL" but even still there are many that are willing to not have to deal with the issues of having to wait for the UL from Dev. (no disrespect to Dev Team and I am a HUGE supporter of them.

      FTW and Rage Against the Machine.
    1. Kyle Matthews's Avatar
      Kyle Matthews -
      Quote Originally Posted by orozcoj4 View Post
      If AT&T does acquire T-Mobile, unlocks, in the US at least, will be unnecessary. There aren't any other GSM carriers in the US with relatively reliable 3G service, so why unlock?
      Many in the US travel outside it often.
    1. Edrill's Avatar
      Edrill -
      If they can unlock phones remotely, doesn't that also mean that Apple/the carrier could also re-lock your phone remotely? At least in theory?? Negri Electronics's website states that they reserve the right to remotely lock the phone in case of fraud. Which means that Apple/the carrier can also do it. Which also means that if this is being done without the permission of Apple/the carriers, there's still a chance that the phones can be locked in future, maybe while syncing with iTunes in much the same way that it was unlocked.
    1. blkcadi's Avatar
      blkcadi -
      This may be the answer all us that need unlocks have been waiting for. Sure hope it works for you Kyle, I will be one of the first to buy it if it actually works. Unlocked for life, gotta love it.
      Waiting for your review Kyle, give us some good news buddy.
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      Quote Originally Posted by blkcadi View Post
      This may be the answer all us that need unlocks have been waiting for. Sure hope it works for you Kyle, I will be one of the first to buy it if it actually works. Unlocked for life, gotta love it.
      Waiting for your review Kyle, give us some good news buddy.
      +1
    1. ParadoX's Avatar
      ParadoX -
      A friend of mine from work says it's legit. he did his early this morning, through a different website (and alot more money) but once he synced to itunes that was it. put in his tmobile sim and voila. Im going to say that someone has access to apples DB for unlocks. or has cracked their RSA (impossible iirc) either way, someone is holding back some information somewhere along the line. If this is legit the prices will get cheaper the more people have access to it.


      Edit: Im not saying it's legit. I havent had time to look at his phone. So until Kyle replies back with his experience please dont just go buying this.
    1. CONVBMW's Avatar
      CONVBMW -
      "A friend of mine from work says it's legit. he did his early this morning" = RAD

      "someone has access to apples DB for unlocks. or has cracked their RSA" = NEENER NEENER NEENER !!!!!!!
    1. feidhlim1986's Avatar
      feidhlim1986 -
      If this is works and stays available then I might consider it for the next iPhone. Tho it's not a huge inconvenience for me if this little operation gets shut down, but I'd rather it didn't.

      As Edrill said above, could the lock be reinstalled when Apple figures out who should and should not be unlocked, which wouldn't be a terribly difficult thing to do. If the process at the moment is that carriers submit an IMEI to Apple, then Apple could cross reference unlocked IMEI's with submissions from carriers, take out the factory unlocked models, and you have these "unofficially unlocked" IMEI's left. Just a thought...

      It might mean syncing with iTunes offline to be safe.
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      I think this is nice!
    1. ParadoX's Avatar
      ParadoX -
      Once the NCK is applied (through itunes) the unlock is perm. The Seczone (where the lock is stored) is never touched by a baseband update, which would be the only way (that I know of) to re-lock a phone. In all the years iphones have been out, apple has NEVER had a seczone update.
    1. emtee25's Avatar
      emtee25 -
      Here in uk can get it done for about 45 far cheaper than $175
    1. Go Gators's Avatar
      Go Gators -
      Awesome! If my iPhone 4 wasn't already unlocked on 01.59.00 I'd definitely be doing this right now.