All You Need to Know About Using iPhone IMEI/NCK Unlock Method via iTunes

(Last Updated On: July 23, 2019)

You’ve probably heard by now that there’s another way of unlocking via your iPhone’s IMEI. This works on any iPhone model irregardless of software or baseband version.

UPDATE: Official permanent unlock for AT&T iPhone is now available. Unlock your iPhone now. If you have non-AT&T iPhone, it can be unlocked as well.

How does it work?

This unlocking method is not new as other brands of mobile phones can be unlocked using IMEI number. The process is simple, you send your IMEI to the unlocking company, they will send the request to mobile service provider or manufacturer for the unlock code, and they send the unlock code to you.

However, it is slightly different with iPhones as unlocking is done via iTunes. When you connect your iPhone to the computer, iTunes will read the IMEI and send it to Apple’s activation server. The server then checks the NCK database that stores information on every iPhone that was ever produced to determine if your iPhone is eligible for unlocking. If your iPhone has been “flagged” as “OK to unlock”, iTunes will receive the status and unlocks your iPhone automatically.

Obviously, “somebody” may have direct access to the change the unlock eligibility status of your iPhone. How this happens, no one knows for sure.

The next time you do a full restore, the steps explained above will apply. @MuscleNerd confirmed this process yesterday on his Twitter:

What are the risks?

It costs between US$160 to US$199 for this unlocking method. That shows how high the risk is. If altering of the Apple’s database is authorized, then you can walk away with a factory-unlocked iPhone. If your iPhone’s unlock status is changed at any point in time, your iPhone will lock up again when you do a software update and you can say good bye to your hard earned dollars; unless if the unlocking company is willing to refund you.

You can read this Apple discussion thread which an iPhone 4 user lost his factory-unlocked status after updating to iOS 4.3. He needs to contact Apple support and after checking his eligibility (receipts etc), his iPhone 4 unlock status was changed and he got his iPhone unlocked again. This shows how Apple can easily revoke your device’s unlock status with a simple switch.

We still think that Gevey Turbo SIM is still the way to go. It’s guaranteed to work, virtually risk-free, robust and stable.

How about Rebel Micro SIM? The production is delayed according to our sources.

Did you purchase an iPhone 4 with a blocked IMEI? You may want to consider replacing it.

UPDATE: Official permanent unlock for AT&T iPhone is now available. Unlock your iPhone now.


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