Overseas and need Xmas Present for Son. What is "Really" Factory Unlocked?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Atodamadre, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. Atodamadre macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Location:
    U.K.
    #1
    Hello, we are military stationed overseas and I am looking to buy a Iphone 4s for my son. We are limited on what we can get locally, so I have been looking on ebay in the U.S.

    I thought I had educated myself on what "Factory Unlocked", "Jailbroken" etc. all mean, but I guess I'm still confused. I thought Factory Unlocked meant it was either purchased from Apple unlocked, or a carrier like AT&T provided a previous customer with the code to do so. I thought this would allow for any software upgrades or phone resets without changing the unlock condition. I understood Jailbroken to be a software hack to get around all this for people who didn't want to pay for a Factory unlocked phone.

    Today I looked on ebay and saw a phone that said Factory unlocked, but also said jailbroken. Why would I need to jailbrake something that was factory unlocked? Also, I see some say factory unlocked through itunes. Why would I need Itunes if I purchased it from Apple or had it unlocked through the carrier.

    I'm sure you've heard these questions a million times, and I've really tried to figure this out on my own but can't seem to do so. As I said we are military stationed overseas and we pretty much have one chance to get this right before Christmas. I don't want to buy something he can't use.

    Any tips or help would be appreciated. Ebay do's and don'ts when buying Iphones online would be a help as well.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. PsstGreek macrumors 68040

    PsstGreek

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    #2
    Factory unlocked could be the person got the iPhone unlocked through AT&T (contract or was or paid ETF), bought an IMEI unlock off of eBay or just bought the iPhone factory unlocked when they were released.

    If the iPhone is jailbroken it might be unlocked with ultrasn0w. But the 4S has never been able to be unlocked with ultrasn0w (after jailbreaking). Jailbreaking your device lets you free from the grasp of Apple and you can install/download 3rd party apps to customize your iPhone.

    The term "factory unlocked" and "unlocked" have been really loose lately. But in the end mean the same thing. The thing you want to look for on the listings, is if, the iPhone comes with a Gevey Turbo Sim. You don't want that. The turbo sim needs to stay in the phone to remain "unlocked"
     
  3. Atodamadre thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2012
    Location:
    U.K.
    #3
    Thanks for this information. If someone says factory unlocked through ITunes, does that mean it will work anywhere? Can it be reset or upgraded? thx
     
  4. PsstGreek macrumors 68040

    PsstGreek

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    #4
    They say it's unlocked through iTunes because once the imei/factory unlock completely processes you have to restore in iTunes. Once the iPhone is done restoring you'll get the "Congratulations your iPhone is unlocked" message.

    Yes, you can upgrade freely to each new iOS. The unlock is permanent.
     
  5. jmunlocks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2012
    #5
  6. SenseiPhone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
    #6
    It will just work like factory unlocked iPhone bought from Apple Store.
     

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