About legally unlocking an iPhone 3G

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jmmo20, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. jmmo20 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #1
    Hello,

    11 months ago I bought a subsidised iphone from Movistar Spain.
    By spanish law, the carrier has to unlock your phone when the contract reaches 1 year.. So I will soon ask for the unlock.

    HOWEVER;

    Since I bought my iphone in july 2008, I have had two replacement iphones issued by Apple. So the one I have now is *not* the one Movistar sold me.

    How would this work out?
    I would assume Movistar will ask Apple to unlock iphone whose serial number is XXXX but mine is ZZZZ .. will I have to contact Apple? OR do I have an eternally locked iphone? lol.

    thanks :)
     
  2. cap'njack macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    #2
    I think you may have answered your own question. If the law states that the phone has to be unlocked after a year of the contract then it wouldnt matter if you had one or fifty iPhones in that time...the contract has been for a year
     
  3. efp1 macrumors 6502

    efp1

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    I've called Movistar numerous times about unlocking my phone. They've always told me that I had to wait until July (12 months into my contract) so they could unlock it.

    I'm sure they'll unlock the iPhone you currently have, you probably would have to explain to them that Apple replaced it a couple of times, hence the different IMEI (if they ask why it's different). In a previous call, they asked for my IMEI code in order to unlock it, so maybe they don't already have that number with them, instead they ask for it.
     
  4. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #4
    after you unlock it, does it work on any GSM carrier? Or only for the GSM carriers in Spain?
     
  5. coolwater macrumors 6502a

    coolwater

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    #5
    You guys are lucky. We need the same law in US.
     
  6. dccorona macrumors 68020

    dccorona

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #6
    once Apple has the info on what your device is (serial number, etc) they will send a file via iTunes next time you plug in, and that will unlock it (at least, this is my understanding of the process)

    however, you don't need to worry, because whenever your device gets replaced, they update their records so they know that your plan is with the new device and not the old one
     
  7. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #7
    you sure of that?
    this second replacement iphone came with dust under the screen and I called to get it replaced as well (so I would have gotten a FORTH iphone). At the last minute I decided it was stupid and kept the iphone.

    HOWEVER; every time I called Apple I had to give them the serial numbers of my previous iphones (the original, then the first replacement). The guys at the phone said there was some kind of database error or something that kept them for knowing the serial numbers of my previous iphones...
     
  8. wpc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    Has anyone had any luck getting an unlock code from O2?
    I suspect they won't do it for the iPhone but perhaps someone has had some luck getting this done.
     
  9. GreenLightJerky macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #9
    What are the laws in the US?
    I just upgraded to the new 3GS from my 3G. Am I able to legally unlock my no longer contracted 3g?
     
  10. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #10
    You are always legally allowed to unlock the phone, so long as you do it yourself by hacking it. In so doing, you void your warranty, but you won't face prosecution for doing it. (This is true until the DMCA exception allowing it expires later this year.)

    If you want to do it through "official" channels, then it's entirely up to the discretion of the carrier to decide whether or not they want to do it for you. There is no law saying that they must do it, and no law saying that they cannot do it.

    With most phones, AT&T and T-Mobile (the two major companies who carry GSM phones in the USA) will happily unlock your phone upon request after a certain minimum period of time. However, AT&T officially will not unlock an Apple iPhone under any circumstances.
     
  11. samab macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    #11
    No such law exists in Spain, in 1998 Spanish telecom regulator CMT saw that Spanish carriers already provide unlocking codes for fee within the first 12 months and for free after the first 12 months VOLUNTARILY --- so CMT decided NOT to put it into law.

    http://www.cmt.es/es/publicaciones/anexos/Cap-V.pdf
     
  12. GreenLightJerky macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    #12
    I guess JB and Unlocking is in the future for my old phone.
     
  13. chandler99 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Location:
    York, UK
    #13
    its interesting that a possible unlock code could be supplied for an iPhone thus unlocking it. Perhaps this could be the same for all iPhone and a possible future exploit???
     
  14. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #14

    I wasn't aware of this.. thus replace "by spanish law" with "as a common practise in Spain" :)
     
  15. jmmo20 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2006
    #15
    Apple doesn't use unlocking codes.
    It's rather a config file uploaded to the iphone as the iphone syncs with itunes.
     
  16. chandler99 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Location:
    York, UK
    #16
    but still, all that would be need is one config file to figure out the unlock ;)
     
  17. swashy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    #17
    3gs unlock and waive contract ?!

    folks..
    am sorry if i am off the topic but wanted to ask you guys if its possible or if someone has done something like this..
    back in 2007 i bought the edge iphone, unlocked it and offcourse i was not under the contract..
    this year i bought the 3gs in july.. if i use another phone.. will be out of contract?
     
  18. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #18
    Assuming you're a customer in North America (I don't feel comfortable answering for other parts of the world):

    The phone itself is never "under contract" per se. You (ie the person who bought the phone and activated the account) are the thing that's under contract.

    You could do anything you want with the phone - unlock it, hide it under your pillow, disassemble it, give it to a friend (but you'll want to keep the SIM for yourself), or run over it in your car - and as long as you keep on paying AT&T your mutually agreed rate, you'll be fulfilling your obligations to AT&T.
     
  19. efp1 macrumors 6502

    efp1

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #19
    By the way, since this thread has been revived from the dead, I'll post an update to my post.

    Movistar unlocked my iPhone. :)

    They'll unlock it for you after you've been with the contract for 12 months. If you get a customer support representative that won't do it for you, just hang up and call back. I got both mine and my girlfriend's iPhones unlocked.
     
  20. stuffradio macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    #20
    Apple is stupid, it's legal to unlock your phone... so shouldn't it be illegal to void your warranty if you do something that's legal? I don't know if the voiding warranty based on doing something legal could be held in court. Any ideas? (It's legal to unlock your phone in Canada, and I think there is even some sort of law making it so they can't prevent you from doing so)

    This was from 2007.http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/tech/cellphones/unlocking-cellphones.html
     
  21. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #21
    There are loads of things that are legal to do, but could void a contract if you did them.

    For example: Say you are a hockey star who has signed a sponsorship deal to only wear Rbk equipment in public, and in exchange you'll get $2 million per year from Reebok.

    You wouldn't be breaking any laws if you were to work out in public wearing Bauer equipment, but it would still be a breach of the agreement you made with Reebok, and if Reebok got wind of it, they'd be within their rights to void the contract and withhold their $2 million.

    It would be the same deal with unlocking phones and warranties.

    In Canada, I believe that locking (and unlocking) of cell phones is totally unregulated.

    If you have the means to unlock it, you are permitted to do so. But the carriers are permitted to refuse to help you do it. And the manufacturers are permitted to go out of their way to make unlocking as difficult as possible.
     
  22. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    #22
    If all these carriers do is submit the IMEI to apple, I wonder what would happen if you gave one of them the IMEI of a US iphone.
     
  23. efp1 macrumors 6502

    efp1

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #23
    When I got mine unlocked, they already had my IMEI in their system. They just asked me for it again to check if it matches. If you give them a different number, they make you prove to them it's your phone. For example, if you get it exchanged because it broke, you have to prove that it's a replacement phone from Apple.
     
  24. vimconqua macrumors newbie

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    Sep 18, 2009
  25. WhatAmI macrumors 6502a

    WhatAmI

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #25
    On this very topic, for us who have bought 2nd hand iPhones is there any way to know what provider the iPhone was originally locked to?

    For instance, my iPhone reports model number MB500KN and if I google that I get various reference pages but in my case the model number matches like 3 different service providers.

    As Apple reports my iPhone as no longer being eligeble for free service or repair I figure any contract period must have expired as well and have therefore emailed my IMEI number to these 3 providers asking for an unlock code. If they deny my request I need to know which of them I should be extra persistent with :D

    /Fred
     

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