Finding how to unlock your iPhone?
Well, you are in luck because this guide explains everything you need to know to do successfully IMEI unlock your iPhone
2017 Updated: After spending hours in research & testing the top 13 unlocking services, we found that the best unlocking service for iPhone is provided by Official iPhone Unlock.
It supports 80+ countries including carriers from USA, UK & Canada.
Basically, there are 3 ways to unlock your iPhone:
|1. Software unlocking||This is a scam - We highly advise to stay away from this!||5%|
|2. Hardware unlocking||It can potentially damage your phone & may even void warranty!||30%|
|3. IMEI unlocking ( Factory Unlock )||This is the only safe & secure method to unlock your iPhone.||100%|
List of Models That can be Unlocked Using the Service:
- iPhone 7 / Plus
- iPhone 6/s/ s Plus
- iPhone 6/ Plus
- iPhone 5/s/c
- iPhone 4/s
Now Read the In-depth Guide below:
The two iPhone unlock providers that provide the most reliable unlocking services for your iPhone are iPhoneIMEI.net and OfficialiPhoneUnlock. The location of your iPhone will determine which iPhone unlock provider you will choose to unlock your iPhone.
- If your iPhone is locked by an iPhone service carrier that is located inside the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada, you should choose iPhoneIMEI. The iPhone unlock services provided by iPhoneIMEI are inexpensive enough to fit into anyone’s budget. They provide a quick turnaround and great support. iPhoneIMEI is able to unlock iPhones with iPhone service carriers outside of the United States and outside of the United Kingdom, but their range is limited. iPhoneIMEI is a reliable iPhone unlock provider, whose services have been tried and tested. Their unlock services do not end with the iPhone unlocks they provide. iPhoneIMEI provides follow-up and the support their customers need.
- If your iPhone is locked by an iPhone service carrier located outside the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada, you should use the services of OfficialiPhoneUnlock. They have the ability to unlock almost any iPhone, regardless of where the iPhone service carrier is located. The cost of the service is slightly higher than iPhoneIMEI, which one would expect, due to their wide capabilities. It is one of the most reliable iPhone unlock providers on the market. They provide their customers with great support.
You will be more than satisfied with either iPhoneIMEI or OfficialiPhoneUnlock.
Related: How to Unlock iCloud Account
The Main Methods of Unlocking – (Explained)
1. Software Unlocking
Software unlocking is when you download a set of instructions that is installed on your device. Those instructions tell the device how to perform a particular function. Software used to unlock an iPhone was the acceptable method of unlocking iPhones when they first came on the market.
Among the first iPhones unlocked with software was the iPhone 3G. The software unlocking method worked because there was a loophole on the iPhone. It wasn’t long before Apple manufacturers discovered the loophole and corrected it.
The software unlocking method did not work with the 4G iPhone. Now that Apple has produced the iPhone 7, the software unlocking method is basically obsolete. It is only mentioned here, because there may be someone who might still have a 3G iPhone.
For the majority, the software unlocking method is not feasible.
2. Hardware Unlocking
Hardware unlocking is when the physical hardware of the iPhone is altered to redirect calls. This is done through an alternate route inside the phone. When the change is made inside the iPhone, the owner of the phone is able to use the phone with the sim card of a different service carrier.
The change in the configuration of the hardware must be done by someone who is knowledgeable about the inter-workings of the iPhone. Once the phone is opened, there is the risk of dust and dirt getting inside the iPhone and causing damage to the internal components.
In addition to the risk of the phone being damaged, if the original carrier discovers that the hardware has been changed, the warranty of the iPhone will be voided. Since most people do not have this knowledge, the person who does this work often charges a high fee to the owner.
3. IMEI Unlocking
The most effective method of unlocking the iPhone is IMEI unlocking. Every Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) mobile cellular phone has an International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. The
IMEI number is a unique code found on all mobile devices, such as an iPhone, tablet, or dongle.
The IMEI is normally between 15 and 17 digits long. The IMEI number is similar to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) on an automobile. The IMEI contains details about the iPhone, which includes the year it was made.
It also contains information on the amount of memory, the color, the model number and whether or not the iPhone is locked. Networks use the IMEI number to identify iPhones that are legitimate from those that are stolen or blacklisted. Only iPhones with a valid IMEI will be allowed access to the network.
There are several ways to locate the IMEI on your device. The IMEI can be found by the following:
- Entering *#06# on the call screen. You can also find it in your phone’s settings;
- Looking for the battery of a tablet to locate the number;
- Looking into the tablet’s settings for the number;
- Checking inside the dongle or Mobile Broadband dashboard;
- Looking inside the MiFi’s battery compartment, and
- Looking on the Mobile Broadband dashboard.
The IMEI number will also be on the outside of the box the device came in when it was purchased. In some instances, it will be printed on the receipt.
IMEI Unlocking is when someone changes the status of the iPhone from locked to unlocked, utilizing the IMEI. When this method is used, the iPhone is basically being reset. Resetting the IMEI allows it to be used with any carrier.
The IMEI unlocking method is the recommended method of unlocking the iPhone. With this method, no software is downloaded and there is no tampering with the internal mechanics of the iPhone. The status of the iPhone is simply changed from locked to unlocked by the IMEI.
How To Choose An IMEI Unlock Provider
There are several iPhone unlock providers that offer IMEI unlocking services. Some are better than others. Just because an iPhone unlock provider charges more does not mean that it is the best company to use. Likewise, just because the iPhone unlock provider is the least expensive does not mean it is the least reliable.
The best way to determine the right iPhone unlock provider to choose is to evaluate each company using an established set of criteria. Several iPhone unlock providers were vetted through our testing process and the results are shown below in the iPhone Unlock data comparison table.
iPhone Unlock Provider Comparison
Category 1: Range of unlocks
The range of unlocks refers to amount of iPhone service carriers that the iPhone unlock provider has the ability to unlock. No iPhone unlock provider is expected to have the ability to unlock every phone from every iPhone service carrier. Some start out with a limited range and as their range of unlocks improve as the acquisition of more carriers.
Some iPhone unlock providers have an extensive list of iPhone service carriers in the United States. These iPhone service carriers may include AT&T, Sprint and Telus. However, those same iPhone unlock providers may be unable to unlock iPhones in Australia.
Some of the common Australian iPhone service carriers are Vodaphone, Telstra and Optus. Other iPhone unlock providers may do great work in the United Kingdom, unlocking the iPhones of iPhone service carriers like O2, Orang and T-Mobile. Those same iPhone unlock providers would not be able to unlock Japan’s KDDI and Softbank iPhones.
A proven reliable iPhone unlock provider will have the capability to unlock the iPhones from a wide range of iPhone service carriers.
Category 2: Price
The price range between the iPhone unlock providers vary greatly. The services of some iPhone unlock providers were cheap while other iPhone unlock providers charged a significantly higher amount. The price charged by the iPhone unlock provider was considered in the review.
The price charged by the iPhone unlock provider was only as a factor in the comparison. The most important review factors were success, support and speed.
Category 3: Payment Methods
The method of payment was considered as well as the amount. It did not matter if the iPhone unlock provider offered a great service rate, if the customer had to pay by Western Union bank transfer or other methods, which charged expensive fees for conducting the transaction. Every iPhone unlock provider tested had enough different payment options available.
Category 4: Customer Service
Customer service should be very high on any company’s list of priorities. It is no different for iPhone unlock providers. They may not see their customers face-to-face, but they customer will get a picture of them by the customer service they provide.
The first impression is a good impression. It begins with the customer service. Each iPhone unlock provider was tested on three different occasions in the area of customer service.
The first time was prior to the order being placed. The second test occurred after the order was placed and prior to the completion of the unlock. The third test was after the unlock was completed by the iPhone unlock provider.
Category 5: Success
The most critical category tested was how successful the iPhone unlock provider was in unlocking the iPhone. As with any company, they should be rated on their ability to do what they are in business to do.
Sadly, the review discovered there are a great number of iPhone unlock providers that advertise services that they are unable to deliver.
Category 6: Speed
The final factor compared was speed. The longer the customer is without their iPhone the more the customer is inconvenienced. The whole point in having the iPhone unlocked is to be able to use it.
Therefore, the turn-around time for the iPhone unlock provider was an important factor.
iPhone Unlocking Test Methods
The testing of the iPhone unlock providers was not a difficult process. It began with obtaining a list of iPhone unlock providers by using the Google search forum and blog search. A list was created of all of the available iPhone 7 Unlock providers available.
Utilizing the list, an extensive online review was conducted. To ensure that only the most reliable iPhone unlock providers were tested, a check was conducted to find out if any of them were listed on sites like Trust Pilot, Rip-off Report and Trustmark Reviews. This helped to reduce the list to only those that were legitimate and reliable.
The next step in the process was the actual testing of the companies. Through email, anyone who had an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s, or 7 was solicited to participate in the test. Almost 70 responses were received.
Nine of the responders, who wanted their iPhone 7 unlocked, were chosen. Others who had some of the other models were also selected. Although others were tested, the main focus of the review was the ability of the iPhone unlock provider to unlock iPhone 7.
The nine iPhone 7’s selected for the test represented the different unlock categories of the iPhone carrier services. To be selected for the test, the iPhones had to fall into one of the categories listed below:
- No contract- zero balance
- Active contract-zero balance
- Active contract-Balance owed
The iPhone unlock providers were also tested for their ability to unlock the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus, as well as the iPhone 7.
IPHONE UNLOCK PROVIDER RESULTS
After 2 weeks of collecting, reviewing data and testing the iPhone unlock providers, the results were revealed. The top three iPhone unlock providers were iPhoneIMEI, OfficialiPhoneUnlock and IMEICodes.
Analysis of iPhone Unlock Service Providers
#1 Official iPhone Unlock – 100 % Success Rating
Just like iPhoneIMEI (reviewed below), Official iPhone Unlock was also able to unlock all three iPhone 7’s that were sent to them.
Just like their competitors, iPhoneIMEI, Official iPhone Unlock received high marks in a lot of the areas tested.
Official iPhone Unlock has the largest range of unlocks in the industry. If your iPhone is locked to a service carrier in Softbank in Japan, it is not a problem for this iPhone unlock provider.
They will get the job done for you. Their range of unlocks is extremely impressive. They are able to conduct iPhone unlocks that no other iPhone unlock provider can offer.
Official iPhone Unlock also has excellent customer support. Their customer service representatives have the ability to respond to your questions by telephone as well as via email. That truly gives them the ability to respond to whatever concerns you may have any time, both day and night.
They give you the option of speaking with a live person for a more personal touch as opposed to just getting an answer via email. The pre-sale question was asked of one of Official iPhone Unlock’s representatives was answered within an unprecedented seven minutes. The response received from the post-sale, but prior to unlocking question and the question asked after the unlock was completed took less than 2 ½ hours.
Both questions were answered verbally and followed up by an email that was sent within minutes of the call.
The last factor that caused them to receive such high marks on the evaluation was the speed of their service. Most of their iPhone unlock were completed within 24 to 72 hours of the request. Of the unlocks that took longer, the time was not much more than that.
There were two negative factors that caused Official iPhone Unlock to rank behind iPhoneIMEI. The first factor is that Official iPhone Unlock is slightly more expensive than iPhoneIMEI. Their iPhone unlock services cost about 15%-20% more than iPhoneIMEI.
Although that may not be a huge difference in price, at the end of the day it makes a difference in the bank account of the person paying for the services.
The second reason for the difference in the review is the method of payment. This may not seem like a big deal, but the needs of the customer’s services have to be considered over the convenience of the service provider when they are depending upon customers to pay for their services.
Customers are able to pay for Official iPhone Unlock services by credit card, but the prices are all expressed in British pounds. (It may be more of a pet peeve than anything else.) For those who are not familiar with the British pound, they do not actually know how much the service will cost until their credit card is charged.
Official iPhone Unlock is able to provide them with a ballpark figure, but that’s still only an estimate. The amount is not final until the bank determines the rate that will be charged.
It’s possible that Official iPhone Unlock may view this as a small price for someone to pay to be able to have their iPhone unlocked from just about every iPhone carrier service in existence.
If you need your iPhone 7 or any other iPhone unlocked, Official iPhone Unlock will be able to get the job done for you. You will not be disappointed with their service. Considering the fact that they have such a wide range of unlocks available, their services cost a slight bit more than iPhoneIMEI.
Even though the price quoted are in British pounds, it is worth it because of the service they provide. The bottom line is that if you’re located outside of the United States, United Kingdom or Canada and need your iPhone unlocked, you should contact Official iPhone Unlock to unlock your iPhone.
#2. iPhoneIMEI – 100 % Success Rating
The iPhoneIMEI unlock provider scored number 2 on the review.
This is the recommended iPhone unlock provider to use to unlock iPhone 7. They advertise how to unlock iPhone and that is exactly what they do, and they do it well.
iPhoneIMEI was able to unlock all nine iPhones and all three of the iPhone 7’s. They did it no time at all. Those two factors alone separated them from the competition.
Anyone who has ever had to get their iPhone unlocked can appreciate the professional quality of the service provided by IPhoneIMEI. When you consider the service that iPhoneIMEI provides, their prices are very reasonable. There are other iPhone unlock providers who prices are comparable to iPhoneIMEI, but they were able to deliver on their promise of being able to unlock the iPhone provided to them.
The price of the unlocks by iPhoneIMEI began at $29.90. The prices increase depending upon how involved the unlock might be and a number of resources it takes. The steps that must be taken to unlock the iPhone and the information needed will vary depending on the iPhone service carrier.
The method of payment was an important factor in the evaluation of the iPhone unlocks by the iPhone unlock providers. iPhoneIMEI conveniently accepts payment by credit card. There are no hidden costs and fees.
Last, in the list of considerations, their customer service is excellent. You can each iPhoneIMEI unlock provider’s representatives by email at any time, both day and night. The response is always fast.
The questions asked of iPhoneIMEI during the pre-sale were answered within 2 hours and 11 minutes. The post-sale but pre-unlock question was answered within 3 hours and 18 minutes. The response to the post-sale question was received within 3 hours and 9 minutes.
The only negative mark with iPhoneIMEI is their limited range of unlocks. Customers who live in the United States, United Kingdom or Canada, will find their iPhone service carrier on their list of phone that they unlock. Some of the other less unknown iPhone service carriers are not listed on their site as being serviced by them.
Therefore, if you do not have one of the service carriers listed, it is not certain that they will be able to unlock the iPhone. Customers who have an iPhone that is locked by a service carrier not listed should check with the iPhoneIMEI customer service representatives.
iPhoneIMEI is the undisputed choice for conducting iPhone unlocks. They have the ability to deliver the services they advertise. Their prices are reasonable.
Their team of knowledgeable customer service representatives is available to answer your questions when you need them. That’s what anyone would expect of a top rated iPhone unlock provider. They stand out head and shoulders above the others in the industry.
If you are inside the United States, United Kingdom or Canada, your choice for iPhone unlocks providers should be iPhoneIMEI.
#3. IMEI Codes – 50 % Success Rating
The last iPhone unlock provider picked on the list is IMEI Codes. The result of this review causes one to question the validity of some of the information on their online reviews. It appears that some of the online reviews might not be valid, which is quite disturbing for the type of business they provide.
iPhone unlocks providers must be companies that can be trusted. Because customers usually have a lot of sensitive information on their phones, there’s no room for dishonesty.
Also, IMEI failed to unlock two out of three of the iPhones they were given to unlock. Chargebacks had to be filed to get the money refunded for the service that was not provided. IMEI Codes did not make a good impression on the customer and did not score very high in the review.
This review was conducted as fairly as possible, with every iPhone unlock provider being given every opportunity to receive favorable marks. Everyone involved in the process had a positive approach to the review that was being conducted. However, there is not much very positive that can be said about IMEI codes.
They did unlock one of the iPhone that was sent to them, but they failed miserably in almost every other area.
To begin with, IMEI Codes are very expensive. Compared to the prices of the other two companies, their prices, the price charged for iPhone unlocks by IMEI Codes were 50% more than the price charged by Official iPhone Unlock.
Their prices were 70% more than the prices charged by iPhone IMEI.
Considering that they were not able to unlock two of the three iPhones, this increase in price over their competitors does not appear to be justified. IMEI Codes has nothing else to offer their customers to justify the higher prices. It can only be assumed that they must charge a higher price because they get fewer business opportunities in unlocking iPhones.
They could increase their business by providing better reliable service, not raising their prices. The customer support of IMEI Codes is sloppy, to say the least. The company representative eagerly and enthusiastically responded to the presale question.
It is obvious that they do have a well-trained sales team. There was no response from anyone at IMEI Codes on the post-sale but pre-unlock question until till 4 days after the iPhone unlock was due to be completed.
When they finally responded, the person spoke terrible English and was difficult to understand. The question asked was not answered and the person was very rude. That’s not the type of customer service you would expect to receive from a company that charges a premium for its services.
The most telling factor of the rating is the fact that IMEI Codes was only able to unlock one if the three iPhones they were provided. In addition, with the poor customer service, the only resolution was a chargeback to obtain a refund for the service that wasn’t provided. As a result of this review, IMEI Codes is not recommended for anyone.
The overall review for IMEI Codes is buyer beware. If you are in a desperate situation and can’t find your service carrier unlock on iPhoneIMEI or Official iPhone Unlock, then you can see if it is a carrier serviced by IMEI Codes. They should only be used as a last resort and then only if you are in an emergency situation. Otherwise, I cannot recommend them at all.
iPhone Unlock Providers Test Method Recap
There are three different kinds of 7 unlocks available. They are software unlocking, hardware unlocking, and factory unlocking. If you see an advertised iPhone 7 software unlocking service, know that it is simply a scam.
The software unlocking method has not been valid method since the 3G iPhone.
The iPhone 7 hardware unlocking method will work occasionally, but if it is done by someone who is not an expert in the field, they can destroy your iPhone and cause your warranty to be invalid.
The iPhone 7 IMEI or network unlocking method is the only sure reliable method of unlocking your iPhone and keeping your warranty intact.
This review was conducted of five of the IMEI iPhone unlock providers. Three of the iPhone unlock providers were given three iPhones to test. The test results showed the following:
If you are inside the United States, United Kingdom or Canada, your choice for iPhone unlocks providers should be iPhoneIMEI. They are reasonably prices and have excellent customer service.
If you’re located outside of the United States, United Kingdom or Canada and need your iPhone unlocked, you should contact Official iPhone Unlock to unlock your iPhone.
If your iPhone is locked by a service carrier that is not serviced by iPhoneIMEI or Official iPhone Unlock, and you are in an emergency situation, and then only as a last result, you can contact IMEI Codes to see if they can unlock your iPhone. Otherwise, do not utilize the services of this company.
The google results for “iPhone Unlock” it will show several companies that claim to have the ability to unlock your iPhone and show you how to unlock iPhone. There are also a variety of YouTube videos and other forms of media available that claim to give instruction on unlocking iPhones.
You only take your chances by taking the advice of these companies that claim to have knowledge but haven’t been proven. We discovered many of these companies listed on the websites we checked for fake companies and scams.
The information of these websites revealed that many of these companies have unscrupulous practices and are only there to rip off unsuspecting customers.
Some of them offer no information about them other than the amount of money that they want to provide you with the service they claim to provide.
To be safe, if you find that you are unable to use your iPhone because the iPhone carrier service has it locked, you should use the options available to you listed in our review. For iPhones from inside the United States, United Kingdom or Canada, your choice for iPhone unlocks providers should be iPhoneIMEI.
Their costs are reasonable and they are good at what they do. If you are being serviced by a carrier that is in the United States, United Kingdom or Canada, use Official iPhone Unlock to unlock your phone.
Although they cost a little more than iPhoneIMEI their services are unlimited. You will not mind paying a little more for their expert services and unlimited support.
Important: Record your IMEI Number!
The IMEI number can be used for more than just unlocking your iPhone. If your iPhone is ever stolen, you will be able to identify your phone by the IMEI number. Therefore, it is important to note that if your IMEI is ever changed due an unlock, you should make a note of the new IMEI.
This will enable you to be able to claim you iPhone if it is ever stolen.
What Makes me an expert on this topic?
As you read this review, you might have asked why you should believe any of the information that has been given or relies on any of the advice offered. After all, there are no formal schools or qualifications for iPhone unlock providers, nor any related fields.
The reason you should listen to the advice I’m given is because I have been unlocking iPhone for the last 8 years. I am qualified because of my experience and the knowledge I have gained over the years. I remember what it was like to go through the experience I had of trying to get my I phone unlocked.
The iPhone carrier service would not cooperate with me. My questions were not answered. There was no one for me to call.
I had to learn this all on my own. It was such a horrifying ordeal that I do not wish for anyone else to have that type of experience. Therefore, I offer everything that I have learned to you.
In 2008, I purchased the iPhone 3G and soon regretted signing up with the carrier service, which was AT&T. They offered lousy service and even practically no customer service. I researched iPhone unlocking on my on through the internet.
From that point on, I was the go-to guy for my family and friends. Whenever they needed about getting their iPhone unlocked, I would be able to help them out. So I do have a degree in iPhone unlocking.
I learned about hardware unlocking the hard way. In 2011 I lost an iPhone 4 due to hardware unlocking. Since learning about IMEI unlocking, I have been sold on it ever since.
Anyone who would tell you that they have such a degree would not be telling the truth. I have gained knowledge and experience by learning from the mistakes I have made. My goal is to keep you from making some of the same mistakes.
Iphone Unlock Provider Summary:
The two companies that provide unlocking services for your iPhone are iPhoneIMEI.net and OfficialiPhoneUnlock. Depending upon where you are when you use your iPhone will determine which company to choose to unlock the iPhone. Both companies provide excellent support.
If your iPhone is locked to a carrier that is located inside the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada, you should choose iPhoneIMEI. The services provided by iPhoneIMEI are inexpensive enough to fit into anyone’s budget. They are able to unlock iPhones with service carriers outside of the United States and the United Kingdom, but the range is limited.
iPhoneIMEI is a reliable company, whose services have been tried and tested. They provide quick turnaround and great support. Their services do not end with the unlocks they provide.
They provide the support their customers need.
If your iPhone is locked to a carrier that is located outside the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada, you should use the services of OfficialiPhoneUnlock. They have the ability to unlock almost any iPhone, regardless of where the carrier is located. The cost of OfficialiPhoneUnlock’s service is slightly higher than iPhoneIMEI, which one would expect, due to their wide capabilities.
OfficialiPhoneUnlock is one of the most reliable unlock services on the market. They provide their customers with great support. You will be more than satisfied with either of these companies.
All of these iPhones can be unlocked pretty easily, in 80+ regions:
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6 Plus
- iPhone 6
- iPhone SE
- iPhone 5c
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 5
- iPhone 4s
- iPhone 4
To get the best results and successfully IMEI unlock your iPhone, use: Official iPhone Unlock
- Now Read the In-depth Guide below:
- The Main Methods of Unlocking – (Explained)
- How To Choose An IMEI Unlock Provider
- iPhone Unlock Provider Comparison
- iPhone Unlocking Test Methods
- IPHONE UNLOCK PROVIDER RESULTS
- Analysis of iPhone Unlock Service Providers
- iPhone Unlock Providers Test Method Recap
- Important: Record your IMEI Number!
- What Makes me an expert on this topic?
- Iphone Unlock Provider Summary:
- Final Words