5 Easy Tips to Make Your iPhone IMEI Factory Unlock Process Successful

You’re ready to make your iPhone officially unlocked. Read these tips to make the whole process efficient and painless.

Getting your iPhone officially unlocked is probably the best thing you can do for yourself and your iPhone. You no longer need to worry about upcoming software updates, hacking or jailbreaking it, you can save on roaming by switching carriers and even increase its resale value. In order for that to happen, read my tips below that will make your iPhone unlocking process successful.

1. Check and confirm which network your iPhone is locked to

It’s extremely important for you to know about your iPhone’s original carrier. This is fairly easy if you’re the original owner of the phone. If you bought the iPhone from someone, be sure to ask the seller which network is the iPhone locked to. A locked iPhone can only be activated with a SIM card of the original carrier. However, once unlocked, you can activate it with any SIM card. Use our network finder if you need to find out your iPhone’s original carrier.

2. Is your iPhone blacklisted by the original carrier?

There can be many reasons why your iPhone can be blacklisted by your carrier such as reported missing, stolen, unpaid bills etc. If you plan to purchase a used iPhone, I would suggest that you read my earlier article on ‘5 Tips on Buying Used iPhone Online on eBay or Craigslist to Avoid Scam‘. Two extremely important reasons why you need to know this in advance:

  • So that you can use your iPhone without any problem as blacklisted iPhone can’t be used on any network
  • Normally, blacklisted iPhones would cost more to be unlocked (premium service)

It is highly recommended that you do a blacklist check first before purchasing a used iPhone (we do provide this service here).

3. Check whether the unlocking service has special requirements

Before making your purchase, reading the terms and conditions of the service is vital. Most vendors will refund if they cannot unlock your iPhone. Some vendors will not refund if you submit the wrong IMEI or carrier. iPhone locked to certain network such as Switzerland Swisscom can be unlocked only if it’s already out of contract (we can do both). iPhone 3GS with baseband 6.15.00 must be downgraded to 5.13.04 otherwise you won’t be able to activate it.

4. Submit your order with the correct information

You must submit your iPhone’s IMEI correctly otherwise your order will be delayed or interrupted. This will slow down the whole unlocking process because the vendor will have to contact you and ask for the correct information. Double check your iPhone’s IMEI and submit without entering any space. Avoid using the IMEI from the box or SIM tray because they get switched. There are several ways to get your iPhone’s IMEI correctly:

5. Follow the unlocking instructions carefully

As soon as you’ve received notification from your vendor that your iPhone is ready for unlocking, they would usually include a set of instructions or steps as shown on our website on how to perform the unlock. The unlocking steps are standard and easy for all iPhones. In our case, if you order an official AT&T iPhone unlock, you won’t need to wait any confirmation from us. As soon as your order hits the time limit, simply proceed with the unlocking steps as shown here. Currently we provide 4 different types of unlocking speed for official AT&T iPhone unlock:

  • 5-60 minutes (but usually done in less than 15 minutes)
  • 1-10 hours
  • 24 hours
  • 48 hours

Hopefully these 5 tips will make your iPhone unlocking process as seamless as possible. As an iPhone unlocking service provider we’ll be very happy if you can use the tips above but in any case if you need any help at all, our support team will be more than glad to assist you.

Here’s Why Superior SIM for Unlocking iPhone 4 Baseband 04.12.05, 04.12.02, 04.12.01 is Fake

Heard about this unlock device on tech forums or blogs recently? Don’t be fooled because it’s fake.

Not too long ago, using SIM interposer such as Gevey SIM was the only way to unlock iPhone 4. However, ever since officially iPhone unlock such as this one for AT&T became available to the masses, using Gevey SIM is no longer popular and officially obsolete. Consider yourself lucky if you were able to officially unlock your iPhone 4 as there are still many people stuck with if their iPhone 4 are on baseband 04.12.05, 04.12.02 or 04.12.01.

If you’re one of those folks who have been Googling for a solution to this problem, you’ve probably seen some websites appearing that they can now unlock iPhone 4 on baseband 4.12.05 and below using something called ‘Superior SIM’. Despite their claims, I can conclude that it’s fake after I did my own basic investigation. Mind you this isn’t the first time someone claimed that they can unlock baseband 4.12.05. DowngradeiPhone has scammed far too many people with their ‘baseband downgrader’ program and Rebel SIM once tricked people into buying their SIM interposer.

1. Fake Address

I won’t share their web address here to protect our followers and fellow readers. Just Google for the product name and it should appear on top of the list. So I went to their website and clicked on ‘Contact Us’. So, their office address is in London, UK. OK, great. Let’s Google for the address, shall we?

After checking Google maps for the same address, it is actually a dental clinic occupying the same address as shown above. Don’t tell me these dental practitioners are also selling iPhone unlocks!

2. Dodgy Facebook Page, Website and YouTube Videos

Unless if you’ve only been on the internet yesterday, I’m sure you can tell that their website looks a little bit too dodgy. The Facebook page is not really a ‘page’ but a ‘person’s profile’ who’s trying to be friends with everyone. Some of the YouTube videos trying to prove how it works are simply too unconvincing. I guess you’ll be able to judge that for yourself.

3. Our Reliable Supplier Said It’s Fake

I contacted our supplier for R-SIM 7+ for iPhone 4S/5 again today using WeChat just to be 100%. They said it’s confirmed to be fake because if it’s already available, they will be among the first to know.

Having said that, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s fake or not. If you managed to get yourself one of these and you can confirm that it’s working, please let us know. Who knows, I may be wrong.

Meanwhile, do check our online Store for possible official unlocking options for your iPhone 4 as there are many supported network right now, especially our AT&T iPhone unlock.

SemiRestore Restores or Refreshes iOS 5 – iOS 6.1.2 without Losing Your Untethered Jailbreak

If you ever need to do a full restore on your iPhone, you’re usually left with no choice but to update it to the latest iOS and risk losing your untethered jailbreak. SemiRestore will solve this problem.

If you’re a seasoned iPhone jailbreaker and love Cydia tweaks, at one point in time you may have installed something from Cydia and messed up your iPhone. Usually you are left with no choice but to do a full restore using iTunes. That’s a pain because if you have an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5, there’s no way you can install the same iOS version that has an untethered jailbreak. This is due to Apple’s restrictions and you can only install or restore to the latest iOS.

Let me give you an example. Assume that you currently have an iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1.2 which is jailbroken with evasi0n. You were just trying a couple of jailbreak tweaks on Cydia but suddenly your iPhone 5 keeps on crashing. That’s going to be a pain because the only way to make your device into a usable state again is to do a full iTunes restore. You can only install iOS 6.1.4 (currently the latest version) because Apple is no longer signing iOS 6.1.2. That means you will lose your jailbreak and you will have to wait until the next untethered jailbreak becomes available. It can be a long and painful wait.

SemiRestore, developed by @coolstarorg, is a wonderful and a new addition to jailbreaking tools will allow you to refresh your iOS without having to do a full restore. You won’t need to lose your untethered jailbreak ever! It takes out SHSH and APTickets out of the iOS restore equations that enables you to restore your iOS quickly and painlessly. It’s fully compatible with all jailbroken iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad mini models running iOS 5.0 through 6.1.2.

There are already some basic information on his website including requirements:

  • 5-10 minutes of your time!
  • A computer running Windows or Mac OS X
  • OpenSSH and APT 0.7 Strict (NOT THE LIB) installed on your device
  • An SSH client on your computer (USB version coming soon)

… and some FAQs:

Can I use this to go from firmware x to firmware y?

No, this only allows you to go to a fresh version of your current firmware.

Do I need SHSH blobs or APTickets for this semi-restore?

No, since this is not a full restore and is at the userland level, this doesn’t require blobs.

I have a question regarding the jailbreak process or jailbreaking in general.

Please go to the Jailbreak QA dedicated website or try /r/jailbreak on Reddit.

SemiRestore is currently in Beta stage but the developer may allow you to test it. Check out his Twitter here and send make a request by sending him a tweet if you’re interested to be part of the Beta testers. Some people who helped testing it already gave him rave reviews of this excellent tool.

Currently there’s no ETA of the release date but the website shows a progress bar to show the current status of the development. When I last checked it was already 60% done and at round 2 of Beta testing.

It has been a while since we last saw a tool like this that can benefit so many people in the jailbreaking community. One thing for sure that iDevice jailbreaking is not dead and will continue to reign for many years to come.

How to Fix iTunes Error 3194 When Updating iPhone 5 to iOS 6.1.4

As trivial as this may seem, I’d still like to write about this because many new iPhone users out there are stuck with this problem. Don’t worry, it’s an easy fix.

You’re probably trying to restore your iPhone 5 using iTunes but kept getting this error. If you’re new to using iPhone, one of the most important things you need to know is you can never downgrade your iOS. This is by designed, and of course, how Apple wants it to be. The main reason is that Apple doesn’t want you to jailbreak your iPhone. For example, iOS 6.1.2 has exploits that can untether jailbreak the iPhone 5. Since Apple can no longer patch or fix previous releases of iOS, they can only do it on the next update e.g. in iOS 6.1.4.

Now let’s go back to your iTunes restore error 3194. This is a very common error if you’re trying to restore your iPhone. Error 3194 is a response from Apple’s verification server (or by Saurik’s server) telling you that your iPhone is not eligible to be restored to a particular iOS version. Apple will only allow you install the latest iOS, but why are you still getting this error if the iOS version you’re trying to restore to is already the latest? Well, the problem lies with your computer’s hosts file.

iTunes uses your computer’s hosts file to “communicate” with Apple’s iOS restore verification server. It exists in both Mac and PC. If your hosts file is modified, you will definitely get this error message when updating to iOS 6.1.4 using iTunes.

So, how did your hosts file got modified in the first place? Jailbreaking software such as TinyUmbrella and redsn0w are the culprits. If you’ve used one of these programs before, they will modify your hosts file to trick iTunes to NOT connect to Apple’s iOS restore verification server. Why you may ask? On older devices, it IS possible to restore to an older iOS for as long as you have the SHSH saved. This is a separate topic but is related so let’s discuss about this another day while we work on fixing this issue.

How to Fix iTunes Error 3194 When Updating iPhone 5 to iOS 6.1.4

Scenario 1: if you need to restore to a firmware version that is currently being signed by Apple (latest iOS):

Apple OS X Snow Leopard & Leopard

  1. Open Terminal (Click Spotlight, or press Command+Space. Now type terminal.)
  2. Copy and paste the following code into Terminal
    sudo /Applications/TextEdit.app/Contents/MacOS/TextEdit /etc/hosts
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Remove any line that says 74.208.151.171 gs.apple.com or similar.
  5. Save by pressing Command+S, click Save.

Apple OSX 10.4.X Tiger

  1. Open Terminal (Click Spotlight, or press Command+Space. Now type terminal.)
  2. In Terminal type, ‘sudo pico /etc/hosts‘, press Enter.
  3. Remove any line that says 74.208.151.171 gs.apple.com or similar.
  4. Press Ctrl+X, then Y to save.
  5. Type ’sudo niload -v -m hosts . < /etc/hosts’, press Enter
  6. Type ‘lookupd -flushcache’, press Enter.

Microsoft Windows 7 / Vista

  1. Click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories.
  2. Right click “Notepad” and select “Run as administrator”
  3. Click Yes on the UAC prompt.
  4. Click File -> Open.
  5. Change the file filter drop down box from “Text Documents (*.txt)” to “All Files (*.*)”.
  6. Browse to “C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc”.
  7. Select “hosts” and click “Open”.
  8. Remove any line that says 74.208.151.171 gs.apple.com or similar.
  9. Close Notepad. Click Save when prompted.

Microsoft XP/2003/2000

  1. Browse to Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad.
  2. Click File > Open.
  3. Browse to “C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc”.
  4. Select “All Files (*.*)” from the Files of Type drop-down menu.
  5. Select “hosts” and click “Open”.
  6. Remove any line that says 74.208.151.171 gs.apple.com or similar.
  7. Close Notepad.  Save when prompted.

Scenario 2: if you need to restore to an earlier firmware version and if your SHSH blobs is saved in Cydia (Saurik) server:

You will need to add the following line to your hosts file using the same steps above.

74.208.151.171 gs.apple.com

Well, remember to close iTunes or reboot your computer after modifying your hosts file. If you managed to fix this problem, please share, tweet or like below.

The ‘Unlocking Technology Act Bill’ will Make iPhone Unlocking 100% Legal in the USA

iPhone unlocking is a gray area and US congress declared it as “illegal” last year. Here’s how to show your support so that this can be reversed.

The Librarian of Congress determined in October last year that unlocking mobile phones were illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Any iPhone or smartphone that’s purchased or made after January 26th of 2013 cannot be legally unlocked unless permitted by carriers.

However, this act is deemed to be very vague and falls in a huge gray area. No one really understands what it means, at least for the general public.

Now, a bill called the “The Unlocking Technology Act” has been introduced by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and co-sponsored by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) – that would completely fix Section 1201 of the DMCA, making unlocking and jailbreaking cell phones, tablets, and game consoles completely legal.

In order for to this happen, if you’re based in the US, you must sign this petition and show your support so that the bill can be passed.

This is important for anyone living in the US because unlocking your mobile phone, jailbreaking your iPad, or modding a game console can land you in court because of the DMCA’s poorly-written “anti-circumvention provision.”

The proposed bill would permanently legalize all such modifications, as long as the purpose of the modifications isn’t piracy or copyright infringement. The bill mentioned on fixthedmca.org has three main parts:

  • It amends Section 1201 to make it clear that it is completely legal to “circumvent” if there is no copyright infringement.
  • It legalizes tools and services that enable circumvention as long as they are intended for non-infringing uses.
  • It changes Copyright Law to specify that unlocking cell phones is not copyright infringement.

“Lock-out codes” are increasingly being implemented by vehicle manufacturers. These codes are used to prevent maintenance by independent repair shops. Again, no copyright infringement is involved in repairing a broken car, truck, or other device, but the DMCA’s vague language can make it a crime,” stated on their website.

You have the rights to do anything with your property so don’t let the DMCA take control of your life!

Since our business is located outside of USA, we are not bound by the law above and can legally unlock any AT&T iPhone or any US mobile phones. Beware of unlocking your iPhone with US-based vendors such as this one as there is a risk that you may be prosecuted!