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  • O2 to Unlock iPhones After Contracts Expire


    O2 will allow its customers to unlock their iPhones after their current contracts expire, according to Matthew Key, chairman and CEO of O2's parent company, Telefónica.

    In an interview held as part of Times Online's "Ask the Boss" feature, Key left open the question of whether O2 would unlock the phones for their customers, or merely not object if they chose to do so:
    Once the iPhone becomes available on other UK networks, we will allow O2 customers to unlock their iPhones, although of course they will still need to honor any outstanding contract period they have. At the end of their contract period, they are entirely free to move to another operator
    .
    A reader had asked Key to comment on a rumor that O2 would "not allow people to unlock their iPhone, even if they are out of their contract period." Unlocking phones after contracts expire is much more common in the UK than it is in the US and other markets, so any move by O2 to restrict that ability would be poorly received.

    O2 also offers the so-called "Pay & Go" option for users without a contract, that offers 12 months of unlimited (using the UK definition of that term) web and WiFi, though without Visual Voicemail, call merging or Internet tethering. These users will also be able to unlock after paying a fee of £15.

    As exclusive-carrier arrangements in many countries are increasingly coming to an end, it will be interesting to see which service providers go O2's direction and which don't. O2 clearly thinks that they can hold on to customers by offering low prices, so this move should spur healthy competition in the UK market.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: O2 to Unlock iPhones After Contracts Expire started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 107 Comments
    1. zYxMa's Avatar
      zYxMa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hitone View Post
      Well I've followed this thread with interest.

      I have a 2 month old 3Gs on O2 payg sim which I only used to set up the phone and then unlocked with Blackra1n.

      I followed the unlock page at O2 and had the stumbling block with date of top uo, 2 favourite numbers etc.

      So I did an online top up for £20 and then using the O2 sim made calls to 2 numbers - one my home address and the other my Orange number

      Less than a week later I put the O2 sim back in and saw the credit had fallen and I then got the text saying phone was unlocked.

      Never expected that at all and was prepared to push them a bit....

      So to reiterate - My phone was payg 2 months old and NEVER used any credit time at all on the O2 sim - unlocked and VERY happy
      I registered on o2 unlocking website few days ago. I got mine from o2 pay as you go and had something like £8 credit.

      I just got a SMS from o2 saying that it is now unlocked and I need to conect it to itunes as usual. I have blackra1n installed and blacksn0w as well.

      I didn't have any info in itunes saying that it was unlocked.

      How does it work? It is really unlocked or what?

      I don't want to restore my iphone and get error or something.

      What's your thoughts about this guys?

      F*ck it, i'm restoring it now ;]
    1. Hitone's Avatar
      Hitone -
      Quote Originally Posted by zYxMa View Post
      I registered on o2 unlocking website few days ago. I got mine from o2 pay as you go and had something like £8 credit.

      I just got a SMS from o2 saying that it is now unlocked and I need to conect it to itunes as usual. I have blackra1n installed and blacksn0w as well.

      I didn't have any info in itunes saying that it was unlocked.

      How does it work? It is really unlocked or what?

      I don't want to restore my iphone and get error or something.

      What's your thoughts about this guys?

      F*ck it, i'm restoring it now ;]
      Go into Cydia and add Blackra1n.com to repo
      Install Blacksn0w (over top of Blackra1n version)
      Reboot
      Go into Cydia & delete Blacksn0w
      Reboot phone again
      Put none O2 sim in and sync with iTunes

      I had to syc a couple of times before it gave me the unlock message

      All hunky dorey now
    1. zYxMa's Avatar
      zYxMa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hitone View Post
      Go into Cydia and add Blackra1n.com to repo
      Install Blacksn0w (over top of Blackra1n version)
      Reboot
      Go into Cydia & delete Blacksn0w
      Reboot phone again
      Put none O2 sim in and sync with iTunes

      I had to syc a couple of times before it gave me the unlock message

      All hunky dorey now
      Oh well it's too late ;p

      I am starting from scratch, but my signal is still very unstable don't know why
    1. fluffer's Avatar
      fluffer -
      o2 unlocked my 3g on contract within 24 hours!!
      i'm so surprised.
      ebay here i come with apple unlocked phone. show me the money!!
      btw, my contract ends next month.
      either 3gs or wait for summer? it's a hard decision.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I bought my iPhone off eBay. Tried using my daughter's O2 PAYG number but it had never been used in my iPhone - no reply.
      Tried saying it was a contract phone (It was but not mine) used my T-Mob number. Got a text saying they could not unlock it.
      Tried with a PAYG SIM I got 8 months ago (I put it in my phone and it sait I was on month 8 of my free data) and it worked
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      I notice that those with blacksn0w are having to uninstall it in order to get the official unlock. Anyone had any experience with getting the official unlock with ultrasn0w previously installed.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      I did a clean restore. It's a lot safer.I would certainly recommend uninstalling UltraSn0w, if only to check to see if it's worked.
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      Had my text saying to connect to I tunes as my phone is unlocked, Removed ultrasn0w but not getting the magic message in i tunes. Any one any ideas. Tried syncing and downloaded latest version of i tunes all to no avail. I dont raelly want to do a full restore due to time and effort. Will the unlock remain an option if I dont take it up for a month or two if and when I get problems and am forced to a restore. I dont want to upgrade the baseband if i can help it and i want to keep my phone unlocked. Not sure best thing to do really.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Why do you not want to upgrade the BB?
      I did a clean restore and iTunes just confirmed my phone was unlocked - it's a one off pain but once it's done, it's done if you want but I just upgraded and used BlackRa1n to JB.
      You could restore to a FW3.01 or a custom FW
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      Confucious
      The scenario I have is this. Please bare with me. My last restore was through a custom FW created by pwnage and created as activated for other carriers as I didnt have an official contract. Then unlocked with ultrasn0w. Everything works fine. Ihave now received an official unlock notification.
      However going into I tunes does not activate it, so I tried uninstalling Ultra. Once I do that no sim card registers on the i phone , even the original one, and I am not receiving the official unlock notification. I am thinking perhaps I need to create a custom firmware not activated for other carriers and restore from that. Then my official sim card would be recognised. However I have files on Sauriks server and have amended the host file as he suggested and am not sure if that will make a difference.
      Finally if I restore through I tunes and upgrade the BB I obvioulsy cant downgrade in the future, although am I likely to want to.Also I understand that blackrain is a tethered jailbreak, which I believe means it has to be reinstalled if the phone is turned off or battery goes flat. Is that right. But once I have used it perhaps for example to install "Terminal" does it need to be on the phone to use "Terminal" or can I just reinstall BlackRa1n only if and when I want to add a program{Does all that make sense!!!!!}
      Thanks for your help
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      You can just restore to a stock FW in iTunes. If you have your 3.0 files on Cydia you could restore to that if you really want to preserve your BB, but with an official unlock you shouldn't need to.
      BlackRa1n is only tethered on the latest 3Gs (after week 40)it's untethered for all other iPhones. If you have an iPhone with the latest iBoot then your phone will not boot without running BlackRa1n.
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      How do i know which week my phone is!!! Are there any probs with BlackRa1n untethered.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      what are the first 5 digits of your serial number?
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      87925. Am thinking that custom firmware restore might be best first to ensure unlock activates. Then I can update baseband after if need be. Dont want to risk bb update straightaway just in case.
      Do you think my previous restore might be why the unlock isnt working at present and that i need the alternative custom firmware.
      Many thanks fr your help
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Just restore to stock 3.0 if you don't want to update you BB.
      Yours is week 25 so untethered.
    1. rgch999's Avatar
      rgch999 -
      Just to update you. Phone is now updated to latest BB and JB with BlackRa1n. All working fine even the tethering seems to function. Thanks for your help.
    1. adgp's Avatar
      adgp -
      but i just want to ask, if I do unlock via O2, does it threaten my jailbreak i.e. force me to update to 3.1.3?
    1. RickyO's Avatar
      RickyO -
      as a UK customer (first time forum poster) this is great news but with the iPhone contracts start at 18 months so its rejoice for people who are a year and above into their contract.

      but honestly o2 have had exclusivity for the first 2 year of the iPhone UK realease (multi-million exclusivity) and its only the past few months the other mobile companies are getting them in and their contracts are not as good as o2 offer overall so you might as well stick with o2 for the present.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by adgp View Post
      but i just want to ask, if I do unlock via O2, does it threaten my jailbreak i.e. force me to update to 3.1.3?
      It doesn't force you to restore to 3.13 - but if your phone is hactivated you need to remove the hactivation and the only way I know of doing that is to restore.

      Quote Originally Posted by RickyO View Post
      as a UK customer (first time forum poster) this is great news but with the iPhone contracts start at 18 months so its rejoice for people who are a year and above into their contract.

      but honestly o2 have had exclusivity for the first 2 year of the iPhone UK realease (multi-million exclusivity) and its only the past few months the other mobile companies are getting them in and their contracts are not as good as o2 offer overall so you might as well stick with o2 for the present.
      It's good news for anyone on an O2 contract that goes abroad and want's to use a different SIM or anyone who just wants to use a different SIM.

      Not sure why you think O2 are better than the others - the contracts are all fairly similar (but O2 have just changed their pricing making them less competitive) but reception has as much to do with which network people use as price.Where I live O2's 3G is appalling so I use T-Mobile.
    1. RickyO's Avatar
      RickyO -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      Not sure why you think O2 are better than the others - the contracts are all fairly similar (but O2 have just changed their pricing making them less competitive) but reception has as much to do with which network people use as price.Where I live O2's 3G is appalling so I use T-Mobile.
      I wasnt sure T-Mobile sold the iPhone as i thought the main companies that were now selling them were Orange and Vodafone.

      i did hear they were selling on the quiet re-comissioned (2nd hand) phones but i wasnt sure what the contract was like?
      I am coming up to the point where i can change and get a 3gs or maybe wait and see about these 4g rumours but theres nothing really official on that is there?