What's the deal with O2 unlocking iPhones?!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by londoner888, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. londoner888 macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2010
    Tottenham, London
    I am definetly going to buy the 4 as soon as it hits the stores and because I'm quite happy with T-Mobile (3G seems much quicker than my friends on O2 and Voda) I don't really want to sign up a new contract.

    So my other option is to buy Pay as You Go O2.

    Can someone tell me exactly what the deal is with O2 unlocking iPhones?
    I've heard different things, someone said they unlock them once you haved topped up monthly over a 12 month period. Someone else said they will unlock it for you the day you buy the phone for a fee of £15.
  2. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    They will unlock a pay n go iPhone immediately for £15 but you lose the unlimited wifi/data deal straight away
  3. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    If you're on contract they'll unlock it anytime. If you're on PAYG, it'll cost £15 which comes from your credit.

    Extra caveat on PAYG: But if you unlock your iPhone less than 12 months after you bought it, O2 take off the free Web & Wi-Fi Bolt On (that they added for the first 12 months).
  4. JudasBlitzkrieg macrumors member

    Jun 11, 2010
    I recently unlocked my, previously jailbroken and unlocked, 3G and they were happy to just take a random PAYG o2 SIM card and my hard (ish) earned £15. It took them 3 days, rather than the quoted 14.
  5. Nermal Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2002
    New Zealand
    Here's the official information. It looks like you can pay the £15 immediately if you're on prepaid.
  6. londoner888 thread starter macrumors regular


    Jun 9, 2010
    Tottenham, London
    Thanks for the swift replies guys.

    Ok so if I top up £20, then they'll unlock it for me the day I buy it then?
    I was just reading on the O2 website that you have to fill in a form and it can take up to 14 days to get the unlocked code...
    Can anyone who has had theirs unlocked confirm whether its instant or not.

    Not bothered about losing the free internet as I wont be using that sim anyhows. Plus got web n walk on t-mob.

    Am happy I wont need to fly to Hong Kong to get an officially locked iPhone like I did with my 3GS:)

    Oh, one more thing, does it have to be at an O2 store or can I do it at an Apple store as well.

    Sorry for all the Qs, just majorly excited :D
  7. ct2k7 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2008
    London or Florida
    My unlock was instant, however, I must stress that it costs at least £15, the other £5 magically disappeared from my balance.
  8. CD3660 macrumors 68040


    Jun 6, 2007
    Cheshire, United Kingdom.
    I think it is premature to assume that O2 will take the same approach to unlocking with iPhone 4 as they did (and are continuing to do) with the 3GS.

    I hope that they do, but we'll have to see.
  9. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    It's not guaranteed to be instant and can take up to 14 days. There is no code, you get a text message from O2 telling you it's unlocked. You then have to insert a non-O2 sim card and connect to iTunes.

    It doesn't matter where you buy the phone.
  10. MightyFlub macrumors member

    May 15, 2010
    North-East England
    I have a question. I'm on pay monthly with O2. I've unlocked my own phone but I've heard I can use my sim card to unlock other iPhones too. If I wanted to unlock my mum's would I need to leave my sim in there until I got the text message saying it had been done?
  11. April Dancer macrumors regular

    April Dancer

    Apr 11, 2006
    Surrey, UK
    OK, stupid question...if I put in a request now for my 3Gs to be unlocked (which is being given to my husband) and then put in another request to have my 4 unlocked as and when, will that throw up any issues?

    We're going to Ireland next month and I want to put Irish sims in them so we're not massively stung on the data.

    Thanks :)
  12. iSimon macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2008
    It's certainly not instant - it is generally of the order of a few days.

    You can get round this bit by using just any old O2 PAYG SIM (you can probably pick one up for free from an O2 shop). The benefit of doing this is that you can then sell the iPhone PAYG SIM on ebay or similar for a fair amount as people will value the 12 months of data it comes with - especially if the SIM hasn't yet been used.

    You can buy it from anywhere - as long as it as O2 iPhone, O2 will unlock it. You can't unlock it in the shop though - it has to be done via their website.

    I agree with this - I'm cautiously optimistic that they won't treat it any differently though, as it was only when the other networks started selling the iPhone that they introduced the official unlock, and this time round even more networks are selling it.

    You shouldn't need to leave it in there to receive the text (the text is purely for information) - but it will be an idea to have at least put your SIM in her iPhone and made a couple of calls to register it as having been used in the phone.

    No shouldn't be any problem - you can use one SIM to unlock as many iPhones as you like. As above though, it's worth at least using your SIM in the phone before you put the request in, just so O2 can see that it's been used in it.
  13. MightyFlub macrumors member

    May 15, 2010
    North-East England
    Thanks for the help iSimon. I thought the text was just for info given how I understood how the unlocking works.

    Londoner888. When I unlocked my 3gs a couple of weeks ago it took about three days.
  14. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    Let me get this straight -- The tone of the two questions above make it sound as though a prepaid O2 customer can pay their $15 unlocking fee once, and that one-time payment entitles them to unlock an unlimited number of other peoples' iPhones simply by inserting their SIM card for a few minutes and placing a few calls -- no further action or communication with O2 required.

    Is that correct? I feel as though there must be more to it, because it seems too good to be true.

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