Official Method to Unlock iPhone

Unlock iPhone Officially

We know the unofficial method to unlock iPhone. iPhone Dev Team have released tools like RedSn0w and UltraSn0w, which make it very easy for users to jailbreak and unlock their iPhone.

But Olly Farshi of TheAppleBlog has described a method, which is less painful if you are not technically inclined but can be expensive.

It’s legal and users don’t need to hack their iPhone to unlock it.

I’m sure many of you already know about it but this article is for those who didn’t know such a system exists.

Please note that this article is also not about the factory unlocked iPhones that are available in countries like Hong Kong, Italy etc, which come unlocked out of the box and can be used with any GSM carrier.

Olly Farshi describes how he managed to officially unlock his iPhone:

“When upgrading to the iPhone 3GS, those same customers are given the option to pay off the remainder of their original 3G contract. Paying off the contract, and thus completing the two years prematurely, entitles the customer to have their iPhone 3G unlocked.

The helpful assistant at the Sonera store made a note of my IMEI number and then passed it onto his boss — after that there’s a special piece of software that only his boss is authorized to use. This mystical application submits the IMEI to Apple, which in turn authorizes the device for unlocking.

I was advised that when the iPhone 3G was next synced with iTunes, it would be unlocked. Minutes later, back at home, I connected the iPhone 3G to iTunes and received a new carrier settings update. After downloading and installing the update, Apple’s official iPhone unlock screen appeared.”

Screenshot that shows iPhone was unlocked in iTunes:

Unlock iPhone Officially

It is important to note that Olly had to pay off the contract to officially unlock his iPhone, so this method can be expensive.

And Finland is not the only country where this is allowed (mostly due to regulations enforced by Telecom authorities in those countries).

Sophie, TAB reader from France comments:

I have an Iphone 3G contract with orange. In France, it is possible to unlock any phone (including the iphone) after 6 months of contract, legally, with Itunes. We don’t have to wait until the end of the contract to get the unlocking code.

Reader Zoo from Sweden points out:

TeliaSonera in Sweden states on it’s website that they will unlock iPhone after 12 months for a fee of SEK 300 (~EUR 30). Telenor does the same for SEK 350:-. (no mention what happens if there is time left on the contract).

Ervin comments from Singapore:

Actually in Singapore, the laws states that all phones sold must be unlocked. So purchasing an iPhone, and then terminating the contract at an additional SGD850, you can have an unlocked phone, without a contract.

You can checkout this Apple Knowledge Base article to find out the list of carriers that allow authorized unlocking for an additional fee (though as per the link, Olly’s carrier Sonera doesn’t support authorized unlocking).

Note: You should look for the tick under the column “Carrier offers authorized unlocking” to find out if the carrier in your country offers authorized unlocking. No tick under the column “Locked to Carrier” means that you can buy a factory unlocked iPhone from the carrier.

If you are interested, here is some more information on how it works (courtesy Hackint0sh forums):

"To unlock an iPhone you need the NCK which is a unique 15 digit key. Those keys for unlocking are sitting on Apples servers and send to the iPhone via iTunes while the iPhone is connected to the Mac/PC.

Each iPhone has a unique HWID, NORID, CHIPID, (id's embedded in the iPhone hardware/chips and unique to each phone), the NCK is only working with the one iPhone where the above are matching. The NCK does not unlock any other iPhone.

Trying to bruteforce the NCK would take years even on high-end computers (NCK Brute Force – The iPhone Wiki).

Trying to guess the NCK is limited as well, After 5 or so unsuccessful attempts, the iPhone becomes permanently locked to the carrier – unless you're feeling really, really lucky, I wouldn't try it.

Apple has HWID, NORID, CHIPID… of all iPhones sold in countries, where the iPhone has to be sold unlocked. So once a phone of those is connected via iTunes, the apple servers check HWID, NORID, CHIPID and compare it to their database. If the matching iPhone is marked "factory unlocked" the Apple servers send the unique NCK for this iPhone."

Some might argue that iPhone Dev Team’s method to unlock iPhone is very easy but this official method could be useful for users who are not technically inclined to hack their iPhone.

We would love to know if you have unlocked your iPhone in a similar way and how much did it cost you.

We would also like to know if you would be interested in unlocking your iPhone, if your carrier started allowing authorized unlocking.

[via TheAppleBlog]

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  • miles

    here in australia, if you buy an iphone on a contract you can have it unlocked immediately at no cost regardless of which carrier you bought it from (there are five)…they don't care because either way you're bound to pay out your contract. still, most of the time it's cheaper to just buy an unlocked iphone from an apple store than it is to sign a contract then pay it out.

  • john

    the software used by the person requires a user account that apple tracks.
    i met someone in houston who has the software. he unlocks iphones all day long.
    i asked if he could give me the software as much as he was willing to, it would come back to him he said because it ties into his username and if apple sees its being missused then most likely they will freeze his account and loose that ability.
    but the software is very real, apple provides it to cell fone companies that sell. he has it because his company works in trinidad where unlocked iphones are expected and needed.

    • Jeff marmur

      Helo I am desperate need of unlock my iPhone for travel can you give me the number of the guy who does this I can give him good bis I u can my phone number is 2676327095

    • Robert

      Can u pliz send me his contact I need to unlock my iphone 4

  • In due time, this software will be out there !

    "The Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules."

  • Thay

    Miles are you sure its is OZ?
    almost every service provider will unlock it for a small fee………….

  • Aron

    I unlocked mine officially, after my contract expired (6 months), it didn't cost anything to get it unlocked.
    I live in Denmark.

  • miles

    well i can't speak for other countries…but yeah, in oz your provider will unlock it free of charge (at least optus and three do, haven't had experience with the rest) if you've signed up to a contract with them. this is because the total minimum cost of the contract is more than the iphone's RRP. however this doesn't apply to prepaid iphones, their prices are usually subsidised when you purchase them and so you must pay a fee to unlock them.

    but regardless, the cheapest way overall to get an iphone in oz is to buy one directly from an apple store. they're unlocked of course. check out this link to see apple's online store..:

  • hxclos

    I'm assuming AT&T has once again decided not to offer this. I also paid off my old 3G to upgrade to the 3GS but what csr is going do this for me?

    That code sounds complicated. Any hacker out there up for the challenge?

  • Vishal Sheth

    I'm in India. I've paid full price for the phone still it's not unlocked.

  • Nono

    And as per the Apple Knowledge Base article, our cheap-ass carriers Rogers/Fido in Canada do not offer this service… Not surprised at all, I must say…

  • i wonder if someone in denmark could call up with my iphone info and get it unlocked lol

  • duston

    anwyays, nono.. i contacted rogers paid off my contract and they did unlock my phone without a hassle, so your information was incorrent second off if I was someone who was not technically inclided I'd just pay someone 20 or so dollars to do the job for me instead of the whole pay off the contract im sure many people agree

  • Here Lot of features and nice phone I like very much this phone is expensive but very helpful for our us.

  • karl

    I have order an unlock today.
    I have bought my Iphone 3Gs in Sweden with no subscription but it is locked to Hi3G (tre).
    I just called the customer service, confirmed my IMEI no. and it will cost 350SEK.

    They said it will takes a few weeks until I got my phone unlocked in Itunes.

    // Karl

  • brent

    i want unlocked iphone 3g for t-mobile in the US 🙁

  • TTERminal

    paid 36.5 K in india yet not unlocked

  • It has become very to unluck or jailbreak apple iphones apart from 3gs

  • jay

    so looks like we brits are getting SHAFTED again WTF we aint made of money

  • vu

    cant unlock my gs 3.1 any help thanks english pool

  • shane

    john do you know how i can get ahold of this guy?

  • shane

    please drop me a line i live in canada and no one unlocks iphones an since the upgrade of the firmware to 3.1.3 i have an iphone that needs alot of help. willing to pay of course to have permanently unlocked via itunes.

  • restrictions

    use Blackra1n and save your money

  • friik

    blackra1n does not unlock the newest firmware 3.1.3. The modem firmware hasn't been cracked yet, so once you've updated to 3.1.3 you're basically fucked, until you either pay up your carrier to unlock you or wait for the dev-team to send out a new jailbreak unlock.

  • xtian

    You can add my yahho and ill teach you how to unlock all versions of


    I am Australian also , and have been told that telstra will unlock my iPhone 4 for no charge. But, what I am wondering is if I will need to update from 4.1 to 4.2 when doing this as 4.2, just came out today unfortunately. I want to keep 4.1 so that I can jailbreak. Any thoughts?

  • Bassam

    is there any unlock for the ihpone 4 ios 4.1 ??

  • mohit

    i have got o2 uk direct source any one have orange to tmobile here

  • Ashraf Allam

    hi i live in Egypt and i have an iphone 4 locked o AT&T and i want to unlock it by this method does any one knows how much it will cost me and how to do it?

  • I have big problem i upgrade my iphone3gs 3.1 to 5.X now thats gone locked, in itune one message displayed
    “The SIM card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported
    Only compatible SIM cards from a supported carrier may be used to activate iPhone. Please insert the SIM that came with your iPhone or visit a supported carrier store to receive a replacement SIM.”
    and now please give me solution how can i fix it this problem may i need AT&T sim card or i can fix this problem with any sim card.

  • Grostire

    Fido, 50$ to unlock iphone 3gs

  • Steve

    Someone with access to this tool could sure make some money unlocking iPhones on the side. Admittedly it’d probably be a big risk for them if Apple’s tarcking, but I know I’d pay as I’m sure would many others.

  • I would do this if i could. I bought an used 3gs from Finland. Had to do the baseband upgrade and got the gps course… If you can pay to factory unlock your phone, do it! You wont regret! It even doubles the price of it and you will have your gps workin for life…

  • Kunal

    Friends , factory unlock any apple iphone in India..

    Any carrier contact me..

    • chathuka

      how do we contact u kunal?

    • meansai

      Hi Kunal
      Pl. le me know your coordinate, i need to unlock my iphone4 with bb 4.11.8

    • Dunant

      Please let me know your Contact, I need to factory unlock my iphone 3GS with new bootrom. Presently it is line unlock with iOS 4.1(8B117), Model MC 131B.My contact 9895037554

    • joe

      please let me know if you can unlock 4s 5.1

    • francisco

      kunal contact me please i need to factory unlock many iphones cause i work reparing computers and people ask me all the times. ASAP!!


  • Sugam

    Hey kunal ……. I want to factory unlock my iphone 3gs 32 gb … can i contact u ….give me ur contact no etc etc

  • Sugam

    Hey kunal ……. I want to factory unlock my iphone 3gs 32 gb … can i contact u ….give me ur contact no etc etc asap………

  • Peter Nagy

    I live in Hungary, after the time of contract run out need to ask the service provider (T-Mobile) to unlock the iPhone, it costs 10.160 (40USD) HUF if contracted client and 20.800 (80USD) HUF if prepaid.

  • Apple King

    for any factory unlocks mail me on iphone.service11 at gmail.

  • Praik Shah

    Dear All of You I cant unlock the iphone 4 and 4s factory unlock its server was at&t

  • ricardo


    I can PAY!!!!!