Author Topic: iphone 3G-unlocking  (Read 5376 times)

BrooklineBiker

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iphone 3G-unlocking
« on: July 01, 2014, 07:00:01 PM »
Hi everyone,
I have an iPhone 3G. I have reset the iPhone to factory settings and removed the AT&T SIM card. Is the phone now unlocked and able to accept other carriers besides AT&T? If not, what do I need to do to unlock the phone? Thanks!

gimp

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2014, 07:55:36 PM »
Uh... easier said than done.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1448437

Short version: You might be able to get it working on another network, if it's compatible. It will probably require more work than you've put in so far; it's not just a matter of switching SIM cards.

I'm no expert on this.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2014, 08:18:18 PM »
Uh... easier said than done.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1448437

Short version: You might be able to get it working on another network, if it's compatible. It will probably require more work than you've put in so far; it's not just a matter of switching SIM cards.

I'm no expert on this.
Ugh!!!

gimp

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2014, 08:21:40 PM »
I agree. Phones are bloody computers, except oddly hard to get them to do what you want.

Zombie Burger

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2014, 08:39:20 PM »
Phones generally have radios that are specific to the network they were sold for, but similar networks (like ATT and tmobile) are mostly compatible. It's best to call the network you're interested in and ask.

You still need ATT to unlock your phone, even after pulling the sim. Just follow their instructions:
http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB414532&cv=820#fbid=1e4bj2YuvQX

BrooklineBiker

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2014, 09:33:29 PM »
Phones generally have radios that are specific to the network they were sold for, but similar networks (like ATT and tmobile) are mostly compatible. It's best to call the network you're interested in and ask.

You still need ATT to unlock your phone, even after pulling the sim. Just follow their instructions:
http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB414532&cv=820#fbid=1e4bj2YuvQX
The ATT directions require I obtain my phone's IMEI number. Is there a way to access the IMEI number to send to ATT? I can't access anything on the phone without the SIM Card. I have bought a new iPhone since acquiring the 3G. Is it safe to try to synch the old phone to the same iTunes account I use for my new iPhone to get the number?
« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 05:41:21 AM by BrooklineBiker »

neo von retorch

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2014, 10:33:39 AM »
You don't necessarily need to unlock the phone - you can use an AT&T compatible MVNO with the phone still locked. Say you want to switch to Straight Talk? Just order an AT&T compatible SIM card (and 30 day card) from StraightTalk.com. Pop in that SIM and go through the activation process on the Straight Talk web site.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2014, 11:11:08 AM »
Another option, if your iphone has the right version of IOS, is to jailbreak it (that's what I've done with mine), and then unlock it.  It's not too hard to carry out--just google "jailbreak <ios version>" and you'll find instructions, videos, lots of stuff.

A third option is to pay an unlocking service $5 or $7 to get the phone unlocked.  It sounds super shady, but it's actually completely legit.  You "buy" the unlocking service on eBay, send the seller the IMEI of the phone and the network it was on, and within 24 hours, it's unlocked and you can use it with any compatible carrier.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2014, 06:27:19 AM »
You don't necessarily need to unlock the phone - you can use an AT&T compatible MVNO with the phone still locked. Say you want to switch to Straight Talk? Just order an AT&T compatible SIM card (and 30 day card) from StraightTalk.com. Pop in that SIM and go through the activation process on the Straight Talk web site.
Hi neogodless,
Thanks for the tip. I should emphasize that I am trying to sell an old phone and that buyers want a completely free phone.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2014, 06:35:05 AM »
Another option, if your iphone has the right version of IOS, is to jailbreak it (that's what I've done with mine), and then unlock it.  It's not too hard to carry out--just google "jailbreak <ios version>" and you'll find instructions, videos, lots of stuff.

A third option is to pay an unlocking service $5 or $7 to get the phone unlocked.  It sounds super shady, but it's actually completely legit.  You "buy" the unlocking service on eBay, send the seller the IMEI of the phone and the network it was on, and within 24 hours, it's unlocked and you can use it with any compatible carrier.
Hi zolotiyeruki,
Thanks very much. To reemphasize, because I took out/ disposed of the original SIM card, I am struggling to find ways to access the IMEI number. Is my best bet to get the IMEI number to request help at the Genius Bar? I have a newer iPhone that I use. Is it possible/safe to try and synch the old phone to iTunes to get the IMEI number?

Daley

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2014, 07:54:20 AM »
To reemphasize, because I took out/ disposed of the original SIM card, I am struggling to find ways to access the IMEI number. Is my best bet to get the IMEI number to request help at the Genius Bar? I have a newer iPhone that I use. Is it possible/safe to try and synch the old phone to iTunes to get the IMEI number?

Every GSM phone technically requires the IMEI to be available somewhere on the physical phone itself. In the case of the 3G, it's on the SIM tray (so long as you hadn't lost the original and replaced it with an aftermarket).

Right now, you only have an AT&T carrier locked phone that you've done a factory reset to.

You will need to still have an active AT&T account to actually get the phone carrier unlocked, and cannot use any GSM carrier other than AT&T or an AT&T MVNO until that point on the carrier locked phone, and technically, any AT&T MVNO SIM card placed into the phone will only be able to do straight calling and SMS text messaging, no MMS or moble data services until the phone is carrier unlocked so-as to permit changing the network gateways for both services. To do the carrier unlocking, you will need to have some sort of SIM card available. It doesn't have to be your original AT&T SIM, but it does have to have some sort of GSM SIM card in it (AT&T or T-Mobile or respective MVNOs). The good news is, the SIM doesn't have to be attached to an active account. Even an older deactivated SIM or a new never-activated SIM will work. If you need another SIM card for the unlocking process, hit up Ebay for a Spot Mobile SIM as you can usually buy one for a buck or less with free shipping.

randymarsh

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2014, 08:07:59 AM »
Try keying in: *#06#


Nothlit

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2014, 08:56:52 AM »
Phones generally have radios that are specific to the network they were sold for, but similar networks (like ATT and tmobile) are mostly compatible. It's best to call the network you're interested in and ask.

You still need ATT to unlock your phone, even after pulling the sim. Just follow their instructions:
http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB414532&cv=820#fbid=1e4bj2YuvQX
The ATT directions require I obtain my phone's IMEI number. Is there a way to access the IMEI number to send to ATT? I can't access anything on the phone without the SIM Card.

I'm surprised that you can't access anything on the phone. I've removed the SIM card from my phone before, and I could still access and use the device almost entirely as normal -- just without making any phone calls. (It basically turns it into the equivalent of an iPod touch.) If you can actually still browse around the device and launch apps, go to Settings -> General -> About, and it should list the IMEI there. Otherwise, as I.P. Daley said, the IMEI should be printed in tiny little letters on the SIM tray (assuming you still have the original tray).

If you are stuck at the "Hello" setup wizard, you can tap the little "i" in a circle on the first screen and it will show you the IMEI.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2014, 09:00:15 AM by Nothlit »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2014, 09:40:03 AM »
Another option, if your iphone has the right version of IOS, is to jailbreak it (that's what I've done with mine), and then unlock it.  It's not too hard to carry out--just google "jailbreak <ios version>" and you'll find instructions, videos, lots of stuff.

A third option is to pay an unlocking service $5 or $7 to get the phone unlocked.  It sounds super shady, but it's actually completely legit.  You "buy" the unlocking service on eBay, send the seller the IMEI of the phone and the network it was on, and within 24 hours, it's unlocked and you can use it with any compatible carrier.
Hi zolotiyeruki,
Thanks very much. To reemphasize, because I took out/ disposed of the original SIM card, I am struggling to find ways to access the IMEI number. Is my best bet to get the IMEI number to request help at the Genius Bar? I have a newer iPhone that I use. Is it possible/safe to try and synch the old phone to iTunes to get the IMEI number?
It sounds like you're stuck at the activation screen, and I'm afraid I don't have a ready answer beyond what others have suggested.  The SIM tray is a good place to start, as long as it's the original.

BrooklineBiker

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Re: iphone 3G-unlocking
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2014, 04:28:02 PM »
Hi everyone,
I wish to belatedly thank you all for your responses. (I was offline for the holiday). Some of you sent some very detailed responses and that was really helpful. Here is the "rest of the story." The print showing the IMEI number on the SIM card had faded pretty badly and I was unable to read it. Thus, I was seeking alternate approaches to obtaining it. With a magnifying glass and some guesswork, I was able to eventually figure out the IMEI number and submit an "unlock request" to AT&T. I am waiting to get the unlocking information from AT&T.