Ordering Unlocked iPhone 3G?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mrcharlie91, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. mrcharlie91 macrumors member

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    Oct 8, 2008
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    United States
    #1
    I was playing around with ebay searching iphone 3gs and saw many posts with legally unlocked version. Is there such iphone 3g??

    Is it scam?

    If this is true, I really want the unlocked one by Apple.

    I have bad credit so I had to deposit $$$ to buy iphone. Rather I wish I can

    buy legally unlocked one and swap my sim.

    Thank you !
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Yes and no....

    - There are a small number of legally (and always) unlocked iPhones that were purchased in the small number of locales where unlocked iPhones are sold by Apple.

    - There is a method of unlocking an iPhone using a product such as a TurboSIM, which is essentially a programmable SIM card that can do some special tricks.

    - There is no method AFAIK that would provide you an iPhone 3G in which you could put your SIM from another provider and have it work.
     
  3. tongteh macrumors 6502

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    Aug 16, 2008
    #3
    i am not sure about this in U.S, but here in australia i am having a legally apple unlocked iphone 3G. all i did was ring up my mobile carrier and say i want it unlock.. then it's all done.. :)
     
  4. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #4
    Austrailia ^^^ That's cool, but I'm yet to see one in the USA, more specifically, California...:confused:
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #5
    When a carrier unlocks an iPhone, how does it work? Must one take it to the store and have it re-flashed, or what is done, exactly?
     
  6. jdylan macrumors regular

    jdylan

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    #6
    Yes, Apple sells unlocked iPhones.

    Actually...there are several countries which sell unlocked iPhones. I bought mine in Hong Kong and it even comes with a SIM ejector pin. I live int he middle-east and put my own SIM card in, as well as several from Asia while I was hiking around. So yes, Apple DOES make unlocked 3G iPhones, and they are legally sold, you just have to find them. If you are looking on eBay, you need to have them prove it is a legally unlocked Phone, not hacked.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    Did you read my post above where I said that I know this exists? :p I know about phones sold in an unlocked state to begin with. I don't know about iPhones sold locked and then later unlocked by the provider... so I was asking how that works!
     
  8. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #8
    +1 ^^^ That's a good question. I know a friend of mine that went to a T-Mobile Store and had his v1 iPhone unlocked at the store, but I'm yet to see a USA 3G iPhone unlocked.:confused:
     
  9. AllieNeko macrumors 6502a

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    #9
  10. mrcharlie91 thread starter macrumors member

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    United States
    #10
    wow

    so is was true that Apple does sells legally unlocked one. I wonder why AT&T USA don't offer such a great deal to us.

    I will happily pay 800 bucks for unlocked one here in U.S.

    unlocked one on ebays are 1000 bucks!!
     
  11. SFStateStudent macrumors 604

    SFStateStudent

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    #11
    These (6) exemptions are only "recommendations" and it would also appear that the exemptions would require submission to Congress for approval and it doesn't look like that has happened. After Congress approves it, then they would become actual exemptions within the DMCA. Just because they announce it, doesn't mean it is in effect. Also, TOS (Terms Of Service) with AT&T doesn't allow the iPhone to be operated on another service carrier in the USA.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #12
    God, this thread is becoming a circus. The legality of unlocking a phone in the US was never a part of the question in this thread until markie brought it up. It was not then and is not now relevant to this thread. :rolleyes:

    Actually, this did intrigue me, though. This is not quite right. This falls under the category of rulemaking. Each of the branches of government have their own way of affecting the way the law is applied. The legislative branch writes the bills that become laws in the first place -- e.g. the DMCA did go through them. But both other branches have their chance to interpret (and sometimes interpret ends up meaning modify) the law after it was passed.

    The judicial branch can modify the law through case law; depending on the type of stance the case law takes, this would be overridden by new laws at various levels of authority (simple bills or constitutional amendments or whatever) by the Congress.

    The executive branch engages in rulemaking. What this means is that after a law is passed, they may promulgate a policy statement explaining how they intend to enforce it. The statement is reviewed by stakeholders and modified, and once the rulemaking is finalized, it instantly goes into effect until it is either superseded by a new rule, the underlying law changes (since the rule is an enforcement of the law), or the court system decides that the rule does not comply with the law, etc.

    So the DMCA exemptions are valid. Here's a more direct source:

    http://www.copyright.gov/1201/

    I had never actually bothered to trace this directly back to the government -- only read it in various electronics news sources... so thanks. I was glad to find out more details myself. :) There are some unanswered things... like what happens in 2009.

    But yes, it's irrelevant to this thread, as is the fact that 2G iPhones can be unlocked. The question is how 3G iPhones may be unlocked or obtained unlocked. So far, we have...

    - You can buy an originally unlocked (meaning it was sold that way by Apple and the service provider) iPhone from one of the regions where this is available (Hong Kong, etc). As for the question of why AT&T doesn't do this, it was primarily done as far as I can understand because of law and/or market pressure in countries where unlocked phones are the standard (in contrast, they are still unfortunately quite rare here in the USA).

    - Apparently there are some regions where an iPhone may be purchased and the service provider will unlock it for you... on Googling, I did not find a lot of supportive evidence for this. It's not that I don't believe it, but again, I'm really curious about what the process for this is. Like in that Australian example, once you call the provider and ask that the phone be unlocked, what happens next?

    - You can use a TurboSIM.

    iPhones unlocked using all these methods are floating around for sale, but yes, you have to be extremely careful if you buy one off eBay, since there's really no way to verify what, if anything, you'll receive from the seller.

    I'd say the situation is much worse for iPhone 3G's because, while any 3G iPhone can be unlocked by TurboSIM, there are not millions and millions of TurboSIMs floating around (and I don't even know ... can someone sell it in such a way that you can buy it and reprogram the TurboSIM to match your account without having to buy a TurboSIM programming module yourself?), and most iPhone 3G's are sold and remain locked. So yeah, not a great situation.
     
  13. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #13
    Under 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(C), the Librarian of Congress has the authority and the obligation to recommend temporary exemptions to the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA.

    17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(D) gives the Librarian's recommendations force of law, for a period of three years, without specific intervention by Congress.

    I just read over AT&T's online copy of its "iPhone Terms and Conditions" and I didn't see that clause. Are you sure it's in the TOS, or is it in some of Apple's documentation? Or maybe somewhere else?

    Anyway, it is true that signing up for a 2-year service contract with AT&T is a necessary precondition of purchasing the iPhone in the first place. Once that contract has expired or has been bought out, does AT&T still have authority to control your actions?
     
  14. Sijmen macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 7, 2005
    #14
    Here in the Netherlands the iPhone comes locked and with a 2-year contract from T-Mobile. If you want to unlock within the first three months, it's € 120. After that, every three months the fee is lowered until after a year, unlocking is free.

    You're still bound by the contract though.
     
  15. iCantwait macrumors 65816

    iCantwait

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    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #15
    clear up any misconceptions


    Australia have almost all the carriers offering iPhones.
    My carrier optus will unlock PAYG iPhones for au$80. And on contract iPhones (me) for FREE.
    All i did was call them up, wait a few days for the IMIE to be registered with apple, i received a text saying unlock complete, please restore your iPhone to complete the process. So after a restore then back up i am fully and legally unlocked...ahh the freedom of local networks when abroad!
     
  16. tongteh macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2008
    #16
    the processes are:
    -got an iphone 3G :) happy.
    -call them about the unlock, they requested for my IMEI.
    -after that wait for a few days, and received a sms saying your iphone is being unlocked! BUT you will need to do a back up and restore it...
    -did what i was being told.
    -then my iphone is capable of using any sim card.. :) works like a magic.. :p

    note: when i ask for a replacement for my old iphone, i even told the apple person that i had an unlocked iphone and after she said alright, i will replace an unlocked iphone 3G.

    hope this helps! :)
     
  17. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    #17
    From what I've gleaned from a Google search (Google is your friend!) of some French and Australian reports, the procedure is this:
    1) Call your carrier's customer service. Inform them you want to unlock your iPhone.
    2) Depending on the carrier, there may be a charge to perform the unlock.
    3) They'll verify the identity of the iPhone and the owner.
    4) They'll forward the iPhone's IMEI to Apple.
    5) Within about 10 days, you'll receive a letter from your carrier instructing you to ensure the original carrier's SIM card is inserted in the phone, plug your iPhone into your home, Internet-connected computer, start iTunes, and perform a "Restore" or "Check For Update".
    6) After the restore is complete, you'll get a message like, "Congratulations, your iPhone is now unlocked" on boot-up.

    http://forums.mactalk.com.au/47/52963-optus-unlocking-procedure.html
    http://sin.wpool.com/forum-replies-archive.cfm/1030764.html
    http://www.suffix.be/blog/iphone-unlock/
     
  18. iboost79 macrumors member

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    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #18
    You should changed the title from "legally unlocked" to "natively unlocked." There's nothing legal or illegal about unlocking phones. It's considered a software hack and will void your warranty.
     
  19. gdoes macrumors newbie

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    Aug 2, 2008
    #19
  20. mrcharlie91 thread starter macrumors member

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    United States
    #20
    Nope!

    They only ship to Hong Kong.

    If they allowed to ship them internationally, why people would buy them from

    ebay? Same thing goes on with Italy and other unlocked available countries.

    By the way, new MacBook Air rocks !! Iam going to get one sooooon!:apple::apple::apple::apple:
     
  21. crazychris3992 macrumors member

    crazychris3992

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    Feb 4, 2008
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    virginia beach, va
    #21
    at first, I opened the web page and said, "I don't see anything different?" then I notice, "wait, it's actual for sale online." I hope this can happen.
     
  22. mrcharlie91 thread starter macrumors member

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    #22
    I tried to order one, I live in U.S.

    It says "Shipping address permitted within Hong Kong only "

    so..
     
  23. gdoes macrumors newbie

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    Aug 2, 2008
    #23
    Where do you see that they only ship to Hong Kong? :confused:

    -Glenn
     
  24. mrcharlie91 thread starter macrumors member

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    United States
    #24
    Check out the comment above you :D
     
  25. jdylan macrumors regular

    jdylan

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    #25
    Also, I can't get AppleCare for my iPhone

    I got it in Hong Kong legally, went back home. I tried to register it with Apple, but they won't sell me an AppleCare package, which is really stupid. They said I would need to have bought it in Hong Kong, and it would only be valid if the address listed was in Hong Kong, and that is where they would ship it to. That, or take it back to the Apple store in HK I bought it from. I think this is stupid, as they all come from the same factory. They are turning into a bunch of a-holes.
     

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