If you bought your iPhone from a network provider it is likely to be locked. Network providers lock their iPhones so that customers are prevented from using a sim card from another provider with the phone. If you try to insert a new sim in your locked iPhone, you’ll receive a message on your display saying ‘sim not valid’.
If your iPhone is locked to EE, Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 or another network provider, you will need to unlock your iPhone in order to use it with a new sim card. There are many reasons to unlock iPhone from its original network, including:
- Unlocking your iPhone lets you take advantage of cheaper call and data charges from a different provider.
- An unlocked iPhone can be used with a local sim when travelling abroad, letting you avoid steep roaming charges.
- It is much easier to sell an unlocked iPhone or to pass it on to family and friends. If the iPhone is unlocked, this enables the new owner to use their own sim in the second-hand device.
How do I know if my iPhone is locked?
Before you think about how to unlock an iPhone, it’s worth making sure it’s locked in the first place! It’s easy to do this. Simply insert a new sim into the phone, and if it works then it isn’t locked. However, if it displays a message on the iPhone saying ‘sim not valid’ then the phone is locked. This means you’ll need to unlock the handset if you want to use a new sim.
What is the best way to unlock iPhone?
We found the best way to unlock your iPhone is by using a specialist third-party service. These service providers work in the same way as networks, but are usually cheaper, easier and much faster than asking the network provider. When wondering how to unlock an iPhone, we think this method should be at the top of your list.
Whether you are looking to unlock iPhone 6, unlock iPhone 7, unlock iPhone X or unlock another model of iPhone, third party services can help. You can find websites online offering official and guaranteed unlocking services. However, it is vital that you do your own research to find out which one is the right for you, as there are some which aren’t always trustworthy.
The iPhone unlock service we found the best and are happy to recommend is iPhone Approved Unlock. This service can unlock all models of iPhone safely and easily within 24 hours. All you need to do is give them your IMEI number, which is the unique identifier number of your iPhone – this can be found by typing *#06# into the keypad or checking your iPhone’s sim tray, or sometimes the back of the phone. They charge from £14.99 for their service, which is substantially cheaper (and easier!) than going through your network provider.
Once iPhoneApprovedUnlock.com have your IMEI number, they will unlock your iPhone in the Apple database, which guarantees an official and permanent unlock. This works remotely over-the-air, so you can keep your device with you at all times. It will also leave your warranty unaffected, so Apple will still cover you for any issues with your phone.
It is totally legal to unlock iPhone, there is nothing stopping you from unlocking your iPhone and using a new sim in the device. The only thing to remember is that unlocking your iPhone doesn’t affect your contract. This means you will still need to continue paying your contract each month if you have signed a deal with a network provider.
From all the services we have assessed, iPhoneApprovedUnlock.com is the fastest and cheapest option available to unlock an iPhone.
Can a network provider unlock my iPhone?
When looking into how to unlock iPhone, network providers can sometimes help you. However, the unlock services available from network providers can take a long time, sometimes many weeks and will require detailed account information.
The reason the stores lock iPhones to their network in the first place is because they usually subsidise the cost of the phone. Perhaps they even gave it to you for free in exchange for putting you on a 24-month (or longer) contract.
The retail value of the latest iPhones is certainly a lot more than customers pay for the phone, so the network wants to lock you to their service to give them some security.
Commonly, a network provider will want you to have been a customer for a certain length of time. They may also need you to buy out your contract if it still has some months left, or charge you an extra fee for unlocking the phone if it’s still under contract.
Getting your iPhone unlocked at a network store can mean a lot of hoops to jump through. It can feel quite daunting, take a long time and cost you a substantial fee. Don’t worry though, we have found a much more convenient and cheaper way to permanently unlock iPhone!