Hi guys, This is my first post, so please forgive me if it's in the wrong place etc. I have a question about unlocking iPhones (all models). Maybe I'm being totally stupid, and the answer is obvious, but I'd just like to see if there is someone out there who knows FOR SURE what the correct information is. My current understanding of unlocking iPhones is that there are two methods. Firstly, there's jailbreaking and the consequential ability to unlock (well, hack) the software using this jailbreak. I have never jailbroken or unlocked an iPhone before, so I've got no idea how this works or what to do. The second method is the factory (or "official") unlock, where the iPhone's IMEI is sent to the main Apple database and the iPhone is then unlocked when next connected to iTunes. Now, as far as I was aware, the ONLY way you can factory unlock an iPhone is to contact your network provider (O2, Vodafone, Orange etc. in the UK, or AT&T in the US) and pay them a certain fee (about £25 from what I've heard) and they will contact the Apple database and get it unlocked for you. Obviously, you have to be a current customer of theirs, and be the owner of the iPhone, in order to register your iPhone's IMEI for unlocking. This is all well and good, BUT... I have seen on eBay recently sellers who are offering the ability to FACTORY unlock your iPhone JUST by sending THEM your IMEI. They then apparently "work their magic" and your iPhone will be unlocked in a few days after connecting it to iTunes. It appears to be the official method, from the screenshots they provide - it's unlocked by connecting it to iTunes once they've contacted the Apple database. But, hang on a minute, I thought the only people who had ACCESS to this database were the network operators, and Apple themselves! So, how is it that I am able to pay Joe Bloggs £25-£35 on eBay, who clearly can't have legitimate access to the Apple database by himself (surely?), and then have my iPhone unlocked in the seemingly official way? They say you don't even need to have a current contract with the network operator - as long as you have an iPhone and know it's IMEI number, you can unlock it officially using them! This totally contradicts my understanding of the two unlocking methods. And before you ask - it's NOT a scam. All these eBay sellers have 100% positive feedback and hundreds of people using them every month to factory unlock their iPhones. So HOW do they do it? Do they REALLY have access to the Apple IMEI database, and can they REALLY submit your IMEI for unlocking? If they do, just how did they gain that access? Is it legal? From what I can see on eBay, it's exactly the same process as you would use with a network operator, except you DON'T have to be a current customer of theirs to use the service. So who are these people? How do they factory unlock iPhones using ONLY the IMEI and nothing else, without being a customer of a network, to use that method? You don't need to give them any other details apart from your IMEI. Sorry for the long-winded post, but I though't I'd better explain everything so I can get an accurate answer. For reference, here's an example of such a listing... http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/iPhone-4-3GS-...oftware_RL&hash=item3a64313437#ht_2060wt_1141 The reason I ask is because I am currently selling an iPhone 3G (on O2 in the UK) and would like to get it factory unlocked to be able to sell it for more, but the thing is it wasn't originally mine, and so I obviously can't call up O2 and ask them to unlock it, because I'm not a customer, let alone with this particular iPhone! This is exactly why I am so confused by the process. Any help would be really appreciated! Thanks a bunch, number1golfer.