iPhone 4 unlock without Jailbreak

I purchased a used iPhone from eBay last week. I had an HTC Desire HD but managed to break it (sweat got under the seal while I was in the gym) and the old iPhone 3G in our house was just too slow. The main reason for the purchase is that my wife also had an iPhone 4 which means FaceTime is a convenient way of seeing the kids when I work away.

The phone was locked to O2 but I didn’t want to Jailbreak it like the 3G, I wanted a network provider unlock to maintain that vanilla/legal feeling.

I got a pay as you go sim from the local O2 shop (has to be a micro to fit in the 4, whereas the 3G takes a mini sim) with £15 credit on it – this is what O2 charge their PAYG customers to perform an unlock. I put it into the phone and got the O2 service. My first attempt to use the unlock online form by O2 resulted required a couple of bits of information, IMEI number, email address and two phone numbers called from the phone. I just dialled the numbers and put down. As a consequence the procedure failed, I got an email from I2 saying that the phone number wasn’t registered to the IMEI number.

I rang the O2 Pay as you go help line and went through to the iPhone help option. They advised that I needed to make a chargeable call to register the phone number to the IMEI and wait for 24 hours. This I did and went through the online form to request an unlock again. This time I got an automated email saying that the information I had provided failed their security checks, so at least the phone was registered.

I rang the same helpdesk again and they advised that the security process can take a little while to action but that they would take me through a separate process which involved texting a verification code to the phone and reading to back to the Agent and telling them the amount of credit on the phone (and the model as apparently 8GB phones have a different procedure). I was told that they would contact Apple to get their registration records updated, I would then receive a confirmation email telling me the process had completed with instructions on what to do next. This would take up to 10 working days but more likely be only 3.

The process only took 3 hours in the end. The email told me to swap in a non O2 sim and connect the phone to iTunes which would tell me the unlock had worked. On doing this iTunes and the phone showed an “Activation Failed” message. So I unplugged the phone and re-connected after which my new network provider service burst into life. Fab!


About Matt Sinfield

Work in the IT industry but have a couple of hobbies, Snowboard, Kitesurf and of course XBox
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