Here’s the Latest iPhone Unlocking Information for US Carriers (2018)

We’ve got the latest information on how to unlock iPhone that’s locked AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and other smaller US carriers including blocked, lost, stolen or blacklisted.

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With the vast amount of information on the internet, it gets really confusing on how to unlock your iPhone especially if it’s purchased from US carriers.

Some information you found on the internet may no longer be valid due to rapid change in the iPhone unlocking industry.

However, we’ve done our best to compile the following information and is valid as at April 2018 and can be used as reference over the next few months.

This article covers all the information on unlocking iPhone that’s locked to the following carrier:

  • AT&T
  • Sprint
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon
  • All other carriers such as Xenon, StraightTalk etc.

For those who have been using the iPhone from the beginning, the method to unlock it was simply by hacking it using a jailbreaking software.

This is no longer working since the iPhone 5 so if you’re looking for a software method that’s free you can really forget about it and stop searching for a solution.

The explanation below also covers from iPhone 4 and above only since the earlier models are really obsolete as listed below:

  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8+
  • iPhone 8,
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7+
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 6S+
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 4

Additional details such as blacklisted or blocked iPhone will also be provided since unlocking it and the blocked status are very much interrelated.

Unlocking and Un-blacklisting iPhone

AT&T was the first US carrier to offer the iPhone and the unlocking method goes a long way back.

Hackers used to develop methods to unlock it which is no longer applicable.

However, the most iPhone can be unlocked using the official method which essentially means your iPhone is officially marked as ‘unlocked’ on the Apple database.

Around three years ago, all US carriers implemented blacklisting iPhone if the device is lost, stolen or has unpaid bills.

This limits any iPhone from being used on other carriers.

Current Ranking of Unlocking US Carrier iPhone

The ranking below is based on reliability, speed and price to unlock iPhone from the following carriers.

1. T-Mobile iPhone

T-Mobile is the best option if you would like to purchase an iPhone right now due the affordability to unlock it and also the possibility of removing any blockage or blacklist associated with the T-Mobile iPhone.

Services to unlock T-Mobile iPhone is available here and to remove any blacklist is available here.

The service to unlock it is amazingly fast at the moment with the typical completion time if 24-48 hours.

2. AT&T iPhone

Unlocking the AT&T iPhone has the best pricing but only if the device is clean which means the bills have been paid, out-of-contract and not blacklisted in any way.

Even if the device is still under contract or has unpaid bills, it can be cleared using this service. Once it’s cleared, you have the option to unlock it.

There are many AT&T iPhones which have been reported lost or stolen and this is by far the costliest to unlock it, which is currently priced above $100. This is usually known as premium AT&T unlock.

There is also a huge backlog right now which causes delay of up to 3 weeks.

Services to unlock AT&T iPhone is available here and to remove any blacklist is available here.

3. Verizon iPhone

Most Verizon iPhones especially the later models are usually unlocked unless if specified otherwise on the carrier or Apple database.

The most common issue with getting a used Verizon iPhone is the blockage by carrier which makes it impossible for you to use on other carriers even if unlocked.

This can be fixed using the remote Verizon ESN clearing or cleaning service.

4. Sprint iPhone

What used to be the best option has now became the worst due to stricter policy on Sprint.

If you’re lucky enough to get a Sprint device that has unpaid bills, the status can be fixed using the service here.

Getting a lost/stolen Sprint is bad at this stage because of the possible delays to unlock or to remove any blockage on it.

Most sellers who don’t have direct access to the source may not even able to unlock it.

5. Other Carriers

How about other smaller carriers such as StraightTalk, Cricket etc? It is still possible to unlock them for as long as they’re not blacklisted. Currently, there’s no way to remove the blockage for these carriers.

Summary

It is rather confusing on all the different requirements to unlock US iPhones. The blockage and blacklisting of iPhones add another layer of complexity.

Before getting a used iPhone, the article above should give you some adequate guideline to let you choose the best option based on your budget and your willingness to wait for any possible delay.

[photo credit: daily dot]

The Only Price Comparison Chart to Know to Unlock iPhone by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile & Verizon

Too confused with overwhelming information on the internet just to get your iPhone unlocked? This table summarises everything you need to know.

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The table below is a summary of the cost to unlock your iPhone from one of these US carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Table: Price Comparison to Unlock iPhone by US Carriers

AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon
Clean $0.95 $18.95 $99 FACTORY UNLOCKED
Lost/Stolen $85 $39.95 icon FACTORY UNLOCKED
Fraud $85 $39.95 icon FACTORY UNLOCKED
Unpaid bills $85 $39.95 $127 FACTORY UNLOCKED
In-contract $85 $39.95 $127 FACTORY UNLOCKED
Notes 24 hours service If unpaid bills, can be cleared If lost/stolen, can be unblocked If blacklisted, can be cleared

Unlike in the early days, you now have to consider various status of an iPhone which is shown in the left-most column before attempting to unlock your iPhone.

Everything else is straight forward with the price ranging from as low as $0.95 to as high as $127.

A few years ago, AT&T iPhone was the best iPhone to be unlocked. Due to stricter policy and access, the price has gone up over the past 12 months.

T-Mobile is the most painful and the costliest carrier to unlock right now. However, if it’s blocked due to lost/stolen, it can be unbarred under $10 as shown here.

Most Verizon iPhones are already unlocked but if it’s blocked which you can use this free tool to verify, it can be unblocked using this service.

For now, Sprint provides the most value for money in terms of unlocking with price range hovering under $50.

If you’re curious about speed, the table below provides rough estimation for the relevant carrier to unlock your iPhone.

Table: Speed Comparison to Unlock iPhone by US Carriers

AT&T Sprint T-Mobile Verizon
Clean 1-2 days 1-3 days 7-15 days FACTORY UNLOCKED
Lost/Stolen 1-3 days 1-3 days icon FACTORY UNLOCKED
Fraud 1-3 days 1-3 days icon FACTORY UNLOCKED
Unpaid bills 1-3 days 1-3 days 7-15 days FACTORY UNLOCKED
In-contract 1-3 days 1-3 days 7-15 days FACTORY UNLOCKED

In general, the speed is relatively fast for both AT&T and Sprint.

Is there anything else that you need clarification? Please leave your comments below.

Finally, here are the direct links to unlock:

[Table last updated: March 31, 2017]

How to Remove or Bypass Samsung Galaxy S8 Reactivation Lock Remotely

Stuck on the Reactivation Lock on your Samsung Galaxy S8? Try these possible solutions to get your account.samsung.com unlocked.

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Just like Apple’s iCloud activation lock feature, Samsung Galaxy S8 has a similar function called Samsung Reactivation Lock or Samsung sCloud.

This new feature which is preloaded on all Samsung Galaxy devices (and newer Samsung devices) which is designed to prevent access to the device after it has been reported lost or stolen.

Factory Reset Protection (FRP) is also another term used for this. In the past, it was relatively easy to bypass the FRP simply by flashing the device.

Flashing here means wiping the data of the smartphone completely.

It uses a Samsung account to regain access and use of the device. Samsung account authenticates and authorizes protection of your personal information and the device too, at the same time.

When Reactivation Lock is enabled, it activates a special flag set in a secured memory storage area of the device. When active, this flag cannot be disabled by performing a factory reset or Android recover reset.

Note: It is ideal to set up your Samsung account credentials prior to enabling Reactivation Lock.

To reset your device, select Settings > Backup and Reset > Factory Data Reset > Reset Device. If you try to reset your device with Reactivation Lock enabled, you will be required to log in to Samsung account. You must first enter your password before deleting all data.

If that doesn’t work, you can use our Samsung Reactivation Lock Removal service to unlock account.samsung.com account. Below are just some of the samples of more than hundreds of Samsung devices which we have helped to activate.

All you need to do is to provide the 15 digit IMEI and there’s no need to ship your phone.

Some Samsung devices are tied to Google Account which is shown below. In this case, it can be removed as well through the help of our specialist, providing remotely assistance.

s7_screen_scloud_google_removal

Then we will provide the username and password for you to sign-in to your Samsung. The service has 99.99% success rate, and we provide 100% refund (Payment via PayPal) if we are not able to provide the username and password.

The service takes between 1 to 3 working days under normal circumstances.

Great! Remove My Samsung Reactivation Lock Remotely Now!

10 Things You Should Know about Unlocking iPhones

Unlocking your iPhone for the first time can be an overwhelming experience. Here are the 10 things you should know about unlocking iPhones.

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In many parts of the world, people don’t have to deal with unlocking their iPhones because they are already unlocked when purchased.

An unlocked iPhone simply means you can switch SIM card from any carrier without any problem.

However, most iPhones sold in the USA, Canada and some countries in Europe are usually locked which doesn’t allow you to switch carrier unless if you pay the device in full etc.

So what are the 10 things you should know about unlocking an iPhone? We compile a list for your below.

1. Increases Value

There’s no solid reason why you shouldn’t unlock your iPhone because unlocking it allows you to change carrier freely. It also allows you to use it overseas when traveling. Ultimately, an unlocked iPhone will increase its value.

2. Software Method

A few years ago, it was possible to unlock an iPhone via software. Essentially, it’s a process of ‘jailbreaking’ the device and then installing some software to unlock it. This method is now obsolete unless if you still own an iPhone 4.

3. Hardware Method

At one point, hardware method was the only way to unlock an iPhone. This is done by using a tiny piece of hardware interposed together with the SIM card. This method is still being used but can be a hassle.

4. Official Method

Official unlocking method is how Apple designs it to be – by marking the device as locked or unlocked on the Apple database. Once the iPhone is marked unlocked by your carrier, connect your iPhone to iTunes or swap it with a non-official SIM card (different carrier) to unlock it. This article explains in detail about iPhone unlocking for US carriers.

5. Variable Completion Time

This indicates the completion time to unlock your iPhone. The reason it can’t be immediate is because the orders are processed in bulk and not individually. The completion time can vary between a few hours to 3 weeks, depending on the carrier. Some examples below are the current time frame to unlock:

  • AT&T iPhone 7, 7 Plus (and earlier models) – 24 hours with premium service
  • Sprint iPhone 7,  7 Plus (and earlier models) – 1 to 3 business days with premium service
  • T-Mobile iPhone 7,  7 Plus (and earlier models) – 7-10 business days only for non-blacklisted iPhone
  • TracFone, GSM Default Policy etc. – 10-20 business days but low success

6. Mostly done by Third Party

Third party here means vendors or sellers providing iPhone unlocking service such as the ones you see on our online store. Apple or the carrier rarely unlock the iPhone unless if you’ve fulfilled with their unlocking criteria.

7. Carrier Blacklist

Bad IMEI is also another way of explaining carrier blacklist. Usually carrier will blacklist an iPhone if it has unpaid bills, reported lost/stolen, fraud and other reasons. You can use this website to check the blacklist status for free. Most blacklisted iPhones can still be unlocked to be used overseas.

8. Some Carriers Can’t be Unlocked

There are certain carriers which are extremely difficult to be unlocked such as TracFone, StraightTalk and some other smaller carriers. It may be possible using Worldwide unlock service but it has re-locking risks.

9. iCloud Locked

You need to be aware that you’re able to activate an iCloud locked iPhone before attempting to unlock it. Even if you’re able to unlock it from carrier restriction, an iCloud locked iPhone will not do you any good since you can’t even access it.

10. Lucrative but Risky Business

If you’re looking into doing your own unlocking business, it’s lucrative but risky as well because of various reasons such as the possible delays and stiff competition. You can learn more if here if you wish to do your own iPhone unlocking business.

Those are the 10 most important things about unlocking an iPhone. If you have any question please leave your comments below.

5 Things You Can Do with a Bad ESN Samsung Galaxy

Samsung Galaxy! It’s either you love it or hate it. But you’re going to hate it if it has a bad ESN. So here’s what you can do with it.

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Just a few days ago someone leaked on the internet of the new Samsung Galaxy S8. If you’re a Samsung Galaxy fan, of course you would think it’s gorgeous.

Since this website is not going to be 100% on iPhones, we will occasionally write about Samsung too.

What if you bought a Samsung with a bad ESN, or in other words a Samsung that is blacklisted, or has a bad IMEI?

First of all, you’re probably upset with yourself right now for buying a bad ESN Samsung Galaxy because no one has ever advised you anything about what to do before buying a used smartphone on the internet or from a stranger.

You probably found this article because you realised that you bought a blacklisted Samsung Galaxy, which you may think a bit too late now.

While it’s crucial to find a way to get out from this mess, perhaps you should first know why smartphones can have bad ESN.

ESN or MEID or IMEI are the unique identifier of any smartphone. Each one is unique and no single device will have the same ESN or IMEI despite having so many different smartphone manufacturers.

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The ESN can be found by dialling *#06# followed by the dial button or behind the battery.

Prior to 2012, phone theft was growing an alarming rate around the world because stolen smartphones can be re-used again simply by changing the SIM card.

Thieves were able to get away with it and constantly making money by stealing and reselling these devices.

However, that was addressed in a way that carriers can block devices that are reported lost or stolen from connecting to the network.

This is typically what happens especially if you’ve purchased a used smartphone, used it for a while and then suddenly you’re getting a ‘no service’ message on the phone.

Smartphones don’t only get stolen or lost, but some people take advantage by filing insurance claims.

All of these contribute to smartphones being blacklisted.

Well, not to worry yet. Let’s go through each one below and see what’t the best thing you can do if you’ve already got this Samsung which you can’t use.

5 Things You Can Do if You Have a Samsung Galaxy with Bad ESN

1. Verify Your Samsung’s ESN or Smartphone Status First

This is probably the first thing you should be doing. A lot of sites in America provide free checks to verify if your Samsung device has bad ESN or not.

Here are some websites you can use to check:

  • CheckESNfree.com – allows checks for multiple carriers including Canadian blacklist. All you need is the 14 or 15 digit ESN/IMEI, choose the carrier and click submit. It will return the status immediately. You are entitled to do free 30 checks daily
  • Swappa.com – this page is only accessible in the US. So if you’re trying to access from countries outside of USA, you will get an error message. The checking procedure is the same as using CheckESNfree.com.

2. Call the Carrier

There’s always a small possibility that the result from the two sites above may not be 100% accurate. If you know what carrier is your Samsung Galaxy locked to, call the carrier directly to verify.

For your convenience, here are the customer service numbers for major US carriers:

  • AT&T: +1 800-331-0500
  • T-Mobile: +1 877-453-1304
  • Sprint: +1 888-211-4727
  • Verizon: +1 800-922-0204

Before calling them, get the ESN ready so that you are readily to pass the ESN for checking.

3. Get it Unlocked

If you managed to confirm that the ESN is bad, then consider getting it unlocked.

Normally, if the Samsung Galaxy has a bad ESN, blocked or blacklisted due to unpaid bills, unlocking it still allows you to switch to another carrier.

Unlocking a Samsung Galaxy is slightly different compared to iPhones. It relies on getting the network code from Samsung database.

The code can be obtained by using this service. Once the code is ready, all you need to enter the code on your Samsung and you’ll be able to change to another carrier SIM card immediately.

The service stated here supports all US carriers.

4. Get the ESN Fixed or Cleared

This is one of the most interesting and unique solutions available for your blacklisted Samsung Galaxy. Another term used for this service is unbarring. Some people refer it to ESN cleaning service.

Did you know that it’s possible to get the ESN fixed or cleared remotely? It’s done by removing the blacklist remotely on the actual carrier database through a third party service.

Currently, the following carriers are supported but with certain limitations:

  • AT&T – This service here removes the blacklist of your AT&T Samsung Galaxy. It is done remotely by a technician (the full instructions are provided after the service has been purchased and rendered).
  • T-Mobile – This supports all devices which are lost, stolen or marked as blocked. It doesn’t remove any financed Samsung Galaxy or if it has unpaid bills.
  • Sprint – This services cleans for unpaid bills only for now but do check from time to time.
  • Verizon – This clears all ESN issues. Once cleared, you can activate it on Verizon network.

In all the carriers above, fraud devices are not supported. In some cases, once it has been cleared on one network, it will be cleared on all network.

Refer to this link here to view all the available unbarring or ESN cleaning services.

5. Sell Your Samsung Galaxy

If you have tried all the possible 4 solutions above but none is suitable for your Samsung Galaxy with bad ESN, then perhaps the best way is to sell it.

Selling it locally within the US won’t get you a good price so you should consider selling it internationally via eBay or similar.

Getting it unlocked first will bring up the value even more so do consider unlocking it as well before selling it.

I know it’s a tough situation to be getting a bad ESN Samsung Galaxy. No one wants to buy a device that’s blacklisted.

However, with all the 5 possible solutions above, I hope that you can enjoy your Samsung Galaxy again, and it doesn’t matter if you have the S3, S4, S5, S6, S7 or even the upcoming S8.

The advise above are applicable for iPhones and Android phones as well.