How to know if your iPhone is unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Chiuy, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Location:
    NorCal, Bay Area
    #1
    I have the iPhone 3GS and was hoping to sell it. How do I know if it is unlocked? (Beside putting in another carrier SIM)
    I jailbroken it before though, not sure if it is unlocked.
    The phone can be used without the SIM card though.

    Can I just also sell it to another ATT user? Will that work too?
     
  2. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #2
    Restore it in iTunes. If iTunes says "This iPhone has been unlocked", it's unlocked. If it is originally an AT&T 3Gs, it iTunes won't say this. Yes, you can sell it to other AT&T users if that is an AT&T 3Gs.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    mexico
    #3
    type in the iPhone model number and I will repply back with the carrier it's locked too...
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    reclusive46

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Location:
    England
    #4
    Thats not true for iPhones that came unlocked. They never say anything. The only way to try is to put another carrier sim in.
     
  5. macrumors G5

    Macman45

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    #5
    This holds true in the UK, not sure about the US though...All my phones have been purchased through Apple and any sim will work...If I don't like my current provider (O2) I ditch them (three month rolling contract) and go elsewhere. I guess we have it better than you guy's what with AT7T, Verizon etc. locking phones down. You are sort of "Buying" a provider with the phone.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    JD92

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    #6
    Unless you explicitly set out to unlock it at some point, it's probably still locked.

    How did you get a three month O2 contract? I know Tesco do them, but Tesco's missing a few features I like - I'd love it if I could get a three month O2 contract.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    chenks

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    you can get 1 month rolling contracts on O2 as well.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #8
    iphone unlock

    While most iPhone users are aware of unofficial unlock methods, you may be surprised to discover that it’s possible to legally unlock your device, courtesy of Apple.
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #9
    ... Only if Apple has received permission, from the carrier through which the iPhone was originally sold, to apply the official unlock.

    The OP owns an iPhone 3GS, and lives in Northern California. That means it was most likely sold through AT&T. So, with overwhelimg probability, it is fairly safe to say that the OP does not own an iPhone that was sold through a carrier that has given Apple permission to apply an official unlock.

    Anyway, even if you don't have Apple's permission to do so, unofficial iPhone unlocks have been ruled "not illegal" in the USA.
     
  10. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
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    #10
    The iPhone model number is not a reliable way to check if the iPhone is unlocked. It is only good for telling which location the iPhone was sold in.

    Even factory unlocked iPhones need to be unlocked via iTunes. By default all iPhones are locked and when they are restored, iTunes checks with Apple to see if that particular iPhone can be unlocked. Apple can lock or relock all iPhones and iPads simply by removing that device from the unlock database.
     
  11. Daveoc64, Mar 7, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012

    macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #11
    Nobody has disagreed with that*, but the "Congratulations, your iPhone is unlocked" message doesn't normally appear if you bought your phone directly from Apple "factory unlocked".

    My iPhone 4 shows that message when I restore in iTunes because I bought it from my old carrier and they unlocked it for me (for free).

    *Except I will now! How can all iPhones be locked by default? Which carrier would they be locked to?

    The real answer is that an iPhone is not locked to any carrier until it is activated. Apple sends an WildcardTicket to the device at the time of activation which tells the device which carrier(s) it is locked to and whether a country lock is in effect (as is the case with Verizon/Sprint unlocks).
     
  12. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #12
    They are not locked to any carrier, just locked.
     
  13. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #13
    In what way?

    The carrier lock is controlled solely by the WildcardTicket. An unactivated device has no WildcardTicket, so it cannot be locked or unlocked in that state.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #14
    No real way to tell except taking it to a Apple store genius or trying a foreign sim.
     
  15. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #15
    It's locked in that the baseband hasn't been set and is in its default state of null.
     
  16. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #16
    Baseband hasn't been set!? That statement is in the state of null! :confused:
     
  17. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #17
    We're both discussing it being in the same state, but we're using different words.
     
  18. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #18
    Ok then.
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2011
    Location:
    mexico
    #19
    true but if it's an iPhone 3GS sold in the UNITED STATES the obvious answer is ATT don't you think?
    same with an iPhone 4 GSM sold in the states...

    sure they can be factory unklocked USA phones but you wouldn't want to know if it belongs to a carrier if the phone is already unlocked...
     
  20. macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
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    #20
    There can be a factory unlocked 3Gs in the US and an AT&T unlocked one. There was this popular service that was able to insert an iPhone unique number into Apple's unlock database. Some people with AT&T iPhones had their numbers added. Thus, the creation of some unlocked AT&T iPhone 3Gs'.

    Apple and AT&T both sell unlocked iPhone 4's in the US. They sometimes have the same model number as the locked ones. Making the model an unreliable way to checking upon a carrier lock.

    If an iPhone is sold factory unlocked by Apple (not AT&T), it is carrier free and being carrier free, it never belonged to any single carrier. Some of these carrier free ones have the same model number as an AT&T locked one.
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #21
    Technically you are somewhat right, but it's wrong to say that all iPhone are locked. All iPhone come unactivated and the activation process determines the lock status of the phone.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Location:
    London, UK
    #22
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
  24. Gib
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta.GA
    #25
    To check if phone is unlocked

    Hmmm... I don't know about giving out your IMEI number to a website. The 2 ways that I'm aware of is to either
    1) Call your service provider and ask them(AT&T, Verizon, etc...)
    -or-
    2) put in a different carriers SIM card (as mentioned earlier in the postings.)

    As far as the UK having the month to month or 3 month contract for iPhones, we also have this now in US. Go to link below for more info

    http://www.mcewenmedia.com/SOLAVEI

    ;)
     

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