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Thread: Is this really how you unlock an iPhone? How do I know it's unlocked?

  1. #1
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    Is this really how you unlock an iPhone? How do I know it's unlocked?

    Okay, so I bought a locked SE to save money, since it's less than half the price.

    I've been using it for over 6 months on AT&T, so decided to unlock it. Go to their page, request an unlock, and within minutes I get an email saying it's approved.

    What I didn't guess would happen and don't understand, is they say:

    Unlock instructions:


    Using a Non-AT&T SIM Card:

    1. Remove your SIM card and insert the new SIM card.

    2. Complete the setup process.

    Using an AT&T SIM Card:

    1. Back up your iPhone.

    2. When you have a backup, erase your iPhone.

    3. Restore your iPhone from the backup you just made.



    I'm the later camp, I'm not leaving AT&T...but what does erasing and restoring your iPhone have to do with unlocking it?

    And how do I know it actually is unlocked?

    I just backed it up, and I'll go ahead and do this, and hope I don't have to re-set up anything, but this seems weird.

  2. #2
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    The simplest thing to do is to obtain a SIM card from another carrier instead of AT&T. You do not have to switch to that carrier after the unlocking is done. You will also have an immediate indicator that the telephone is unlocked.
    Earl F. Parrish

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    In that case, just plug your phone in a computer and sync with iTunes. You’ll have a prompt saying “Congratulations! Your iPhone is now unlocked!”


    Sent from my iPhone X on Fido’s network using Tapatalk Beta.

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    Quote Originally Posted by efparri View Post
    The simplest thing to do is to obtain a SIM card from another carrier instead of AT&T. You do not have to switch to that carrier after the unlocking is done. You will also have an immediate indicator that the telephone is unlocked.
    Yeah! No SIM activation or account creation required. Buy a cheap one on eBay or borrow one from a family member or friend.


    Sent from my iPhone X on Fido’s network using Tapatalk Beta.

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    Huh...so I wiped it from the phone, went back to iTunes on my PC, and iTunes was displaying a clear message about it being unlocked and giving me the choice to set it up as a new phone, or restore from backup.

    I did the later, and a few minutes later it was finished and then iTunes syncing and copying my podcasts back.

    So maybe it's actually Apple that has to ultimately do it, after AT&T tells them to?

    I don't get why you have to wipe the phone...but at least it seems to be done and wasn'ty horribly complicated! Nuts that it had to pull all my programs back down though

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    Thanks guys!

    So weird how this works, but at least it works!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigerwolf View Post
    Huh...so I wiped it from the phone, went back to iTunes on my PC, and iTunes was displaying a clear message about it being unlocked and giving me the choice to set it up as a new phone, or restore from backup.

    I did the later, and a few minutes later it was finished and then iTunes syncing and copying my podcasts back.

    So maybe it's actually Apple that has to ultimately do it, after AT&T tells them to?

    I don't get why you have to wipe the phone...but at least it seems to be done and wasn'ty horribly complicated! Nuts that it had to pull all my programs back down though
    ATT flags it unlocked in Apple's database. Apple holds the lock status.

  8. #8
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    Next time no need to erase if you don't have a sim. Just connect to itunes and it will unlock
    Cheap calling cards now available! Click here!

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    Quote Originally Posted by blacksurfer View Post
    Next time no need to erase if you don't have a sim. Just connect to itunes and it will unlock
    Ugh, wish I'd known that.

    Well thanks guys! I guess I'm set back up more or less! At least the process actually works!

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    I just unlocked an SE for a family member a few weeks back and all I had to do was wait a minute then put in a SIM from another carrier to verify that it worked. No reboot, wipe, sync, nothing.
    iPhone 7, 128GB, matte black: Sept. 14, 2017 - VIRGIN
    iPhone 6, 64GB, space grey: Nov. 3, 2014 - BELL / Nov. 13, 2015 - VIRGIN
    iPhone 5, 32GB, white: Nov. 21, 2012 - BELL
    iPhone 4, 32GB, black: Sept. 2, 2010 - ROGERS

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabohn View Post
    I just unlocked an SE for a family member a few weeks back and all I had to do was wait a minute then put in a SIM from another carrier to verify that it worked. No reboot, wipe, sync, nothing.
    This has also been my experiences with about a dozen iPhones over the years. The iTunes feedback will give you confirmation of unlock status, but it does nothing to actually enable it.

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