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Thread: How to figure out if brand new iPhone 3GS is unlocked (not from carrier)

  1. #1
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    How to figure out if brand new iPhone 3GS is unlocked (not from carrier)

    I will be going overseas soon to Asia and a friend over there is requesting we get him an iPhone 3Gs and he will pay us back when there.

    Now, my friend over here, his sister just received an iPhone 3GS. She does not want it. It was a gift from an admirer and won't take it back. They are now going to just sell it and take the money.

    So my current situation is this, I currently have the iPhone box, sealed at my house. The box displays IMEI and some other information stuff. What I don't know is if the phone was bought from a carrier like Rogers/Fido or from a reseller store or something. The friend overseas would like the phone to be brand new and sealed. Also he would like the phone unlocked so he can use it.

    Problem, is there a way to find out through IMEI or somewhere on box to figure out if the phone was bought from a carrier? I've never bought an iPhone from Rogers/Fido so don't know if there'd be a logo or something somwhere on box. As of now there are no indications somewhere saying it is from a carrier. My friend over here also thinks it was not bought at a carrier. We can't really ask the original guy who bought it because of whatever issues too.

    So yeah, if anyone knows if its really easy to figure this out or something, please let me know.

  2. #2
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    unless bought from australia (or some country that doesn't lock phones) it is locked to A carrier. You need to run software to unlock it.
    The issue you have is you won't know until you open it if it has the correct firmware/baseband to jailbreak then unlock it (since you need to jailbreak in order to unlock).
    If you want a factory unlocked iphone it'll cost $$$.

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    Oh, I see I didn't even know jailbreaking was required for unlocking of iPhones. I just thought that was an additional step for more features and unlocking was just to use with any carrier, hhmmmm.

    So you're saying it IS possible to get it bought factory unlocked. Would the Apple stores carry these unlocked ones? I should really go to an Apple store and see what they say about this. Hopefully I get someone who knows what I'm talking about.

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    If it was bought in Canada, it's locked to a carrier.

    Just as rest easy said, unless the phone was bought in one of these countries from one of these carriers, it's locked.

    * Belgium - Mobistar
    * China - Unicom
    * Czech Republic - O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone
    * Greece - Vodafone, Cosmote
    * Hong Kong - 3
    * Italy - TIM, Vodafone
    * Luxemburg - Vox Mobile, LUXGSM
    * Macau - 3
    * Malaysia - Maxis
    * New Zealand - Vodafone
    * Russia - MegaFon, MTS, Beeline
    * Saudi Arabia - Mobily
    * Singapore - SingTel
    * Slovakia - Orange
    * South Africa - Vodacom
    * Taiwan - Chunghwa Telecom
    * Thailand - TrueMove
    * Turkey - TurkCell
    * United Arab Emirates - Etisalat


    [List may be incomplete, but rest assured that Canada isn't on the list]

    (Via http://www.hackint0sh.org/f203/76047.htm via http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1937)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kagessj
    Oh, I see I didn't even know jailbreaking was required for unlocking of iPhones. I just thought that was an additional step for more features and unlocking was just to use with any carrier, hhmmmm.

    So you're saying it IS possible to get it bought factory unlocked. Would the Apple stores carry these unlocked ones? I should really go to an Apple store and see what they say about this. Hopefully I get someone who knows what I'm talking about.
    no apple stores do not have unlocked phones and won't sell you unlocked phones.
    It seems you're looking for FACTORY unlocked. It'll cost a pretty penny but you can find them on websites and such. Ebay or course will have listings.

    If you are ok with software unlocked (any restoring, upgrading etc. can wipe a software unlock and possibly, especially upgrading, lock the phone for a long time).

  6. #6
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    Jeeze no one gave the simple answer to the OP's question.

    Here's how you check if its unlocked:

    stick another SIM in it from a carrier not supported by that phone and see if it works.

    Since you don't know where it came from maybe its already unlocked from a country that sells them unlocked.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GilbertMark
    Jeeze no one gave the simple answer to the OP's question.

    Here's how you check if its unlocked:

    stick another SIM in it from a carrier not supported by that phone and see if it works.

    Since you don't know where it came from maybe its already unlocked from a country that sells them unlocked.
    geez you didn't read the whole question. He wants to figure it out WITHOUT opening the box.

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