Unlocking US iPhone 4s to work in SA on Vodacom

bigboy529

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Hi
A friend of mine has a iPhone 4s which I want to buy. The phone was baught in the US on AT&T and as far as we know the phone won't work on SA networks because of AT&T locking it. I firstly want to find out if this is true and if so, how can I unlock it to work on Vodacom? I understand jailbreaking can unlock it but I only want to jailbreak as a last resort so will a iStore be able to officially unlock it? I don't have the phone with me right now so can't test it and I anyway don't want to cut my mini SIM to a micro SIM if it won't work on Vodacom.
I don't think the issue with the 4s is different variants with different cell radios like the iPhone 5 has, this is a GSM phone it's only locked by the AT&T software. I asked Vodacom and the only thing they said is that they can't definatly say that it will work.
 
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Gambit

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Based on certain criteria regarding your friends account with AT&T, he may be able to request that the phone by unlocked by asking AT&T. Only AT&T can officially unlock the phone. Once they unlock the phone on their system then as far as I know you just connect the phone to the itunes app with the cable and it gets unlocked. (might need to restore the phone) I have not done this but read about it on numerous forums. If you use the google machine you should find all the details.

In some cases depending on what version software is already on the phone you might be able to hack the network lock after jailbreaking but this is not ideal as you can't easily upgrade the software afterwards without loosing the network unlock. I'm not 100% sure if the hack can be done with the 4s, it was something that was definitely possible with older iPhone models.
 

bigboy529

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Thanks for this, problem is, he is already back from the US and won't be able to unlock it through AT&T. I'll just get the phone and try it out even if I have to jailbreak as a last resort. Luckally I won't be waisting money, my friend said if I get it working I can buy it, otherwise he'll just take it back.
 

Gambit

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He can have it unlocked just by emailing or phoning AT&T from SA. They just mark it unlocked on their system and when you connect the iPhone to your pc with the usb cable then the iTunes software will do the unlock on the iPhone itself. So the physical unlock can be done using your pc in SA and doesn't have to happen in the US.
 

shogun

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www.imeiunlockiphone.com (there are others)

Trying this at the moment. Apparently takes 2-10 working days. Was suspicious at first, but so far seems legit. Won't be sure it's legit until the phone is actually unlocked though. Might be school fees.

From what I can tell, they request the unlock on our behalf (probably pay the service provider a fee, hence the charge). Waiting for the confirmation email. Could be a few days still. You need to make sure you know what network you want to unlock from (in your case you know, but if you don't, you can find it on the phone (think it's something like SAM or something?) to find the network ID in settings, then use a lookup table on the net to find the correct telco).

Jailbreaking after moving to ios 6 didn't help at all for us. The only jailbreak we found (this is an iPhone 4) was tethered, and after the jailbreak it still said "No Service".
 

eboo

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www.imeiunlockiphone.com (there are others)

Trying this at the moment. Apparently takes 2-10 working days. Was suspicious at first, but so far seems legit. Won't be sure it's legit until the phone is actually unlocked though. Might be school fees.

From what I can tell, they request the unlock on our behalf (probably pay the service provider a fee, hence the charge). Waiting for the confirmation email. Could be a few days still. You need to make sure you know what network you want to unlock from (in your case you know, but if you don't, you can find it on the phone (think it's something like SAM or something?) to find the network ID in settings, then use a lookup table on the net to find the correct telco).

Jailbreaking after moving to ios 6 didn't help at all for us. The only jailbreak we found (this is an iPhone 4) was tethered, and after the jailbreak it still said "No Service".
There is no need to use a third party to get it unlocked. You phone or email AT&T directly. They will most probably request proof of purchase. You then wait a few days and it will be sorted.
 

shogun

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There is no need to use a third party to get it unlocked. You phone or email AT&T directly. They will most probably request proof of purchase. You then wait a few days and it will be sorted.
Agreed, phoning them could yield good results. If you have the proof or purchase, or other required documentation. In my case it was not AT&T, it was O2 in Ireland, and the phone was bought second hand here in SA without original proof of purchase (not everyone keeps proof or purchase, or has it available if the phone is second hand).

Sending it away here locally for the Factory Unlock would take 4-6 weeks and cost R1700... so that was out of the question.

Different ways to do it (I was mentioning this one, as it's what I am trying). At least Jailbreaks aren't required if all you want to do is network unlock the phone.
 

bigboy529

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There is no prufe of payment from AT&T because this phone was baught second hand in the US. Thanks for all the info, once I get the phone I will investigate my options.
 

Dave

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Use one of the iPhone unlockers around, AT&T is one of the cheapest, I'm sure there were plenty of users on MacRumours who are discussing one of the unlockers called something like "unlock_fusion" who unlocks them via Apple for around $5. Many of them were actually American AT&T users who were being messed about by AT&T refusing their requests.

Search the iPhone section at MacRumours for more info.
 
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bigboy529

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Got my 4s yesterday and ordered unlock service from www.officialiphoneunlock.co.uk AT&T unlock costs 25 UK pounds. I had to verify some stuff and did it this morning after which they said the unlock takes round 6 hours but it was 11 this morning so doubt I'll get results before Monday because they don't do processing over weekends.
 

Dave

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Got my 4s yesterday and ordered unlock service from www.officialiphoneunlock.co.uk AT&T unlock costs 25 UK pounds. I had to verify some stuff and did it this morning after which they said the unlock takes round 6 hours but it was 11 this morning so doubt I'll get results before Monday because they don't do processing over weekends.
If you had done some research at MacRumours there are US unlockers who do AT&T unlocks for around $3.

Edit
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1453734
$2.50

Page 2 of their iPhone section, for example


I just ordered two unlock codes from unlock fusion for $2.50 buy it now on eBay for the 12-24hr turnaround. Hope it works and I will update when I receive the unlock email from them. http://www.ebay.com/itm/190777316220?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
A couple of posts later he reported both unlocked.
 
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bigboy529

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My phone is unlocked, I just recieved the mail from www.officialiphoneunlock.co.uk and it cost me R350. I looked at cheaper sites as well and read a lot about these services before I chose one and though more expensive, this one was rated by some credible sites to be the most lightly one to not be a scam.
Note that from what I gathered the time it takes all depends on the network it was locked to, AT&T takes aprox 6 hours or in my case 10, but other networks can take days.
 

BrightLight

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Hi
A friend of mine has a iPhone 4s which I want to buy. The phone was baught in the US on AT&T and as far as we know the phone won't work on SA networks because of AT&T locking it. I firstly want to find out if this is true and if so, how can I unlock it to work on Vodacom? I understand jailbreaking can unlock it but I only want to jailbreak as a last resort so will a iStore be able to officially unlock it? I don't have the phone with me right now so can't test it and I anyway don't want to cut my mini SIM to a micro SIM if it won't work on Vodacom.
I don't think the issue with the 4s is different variants with different cell radios like the iPhone 5 has, this is a GSM phone it's only locked by the AT&T software. I asked Vodacom and the only thing they said is that they can't definatly say that it will work.
You can Unlock the iPhone 4s using Remote Unlock Method which is safe and easy. You don't need to jailbreak to unlock using this method.You can get the Remote Unlock Service from Onlinegsmunlock.com . There you have to give your Country and current network name along with your IMEI number to get Remote Unlock Service . After unlocking you can use the iPhone 4s with any GSM network Sim card.
 

s erxson

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It's one year later and I now have the same issue...

Can someone tell me if the sites still do this? I tried Onlinegsmunlock.com but it says it has no ulocking service for a 4S + AT&T combo...

:'(
 

Dave

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It's one year later and I now have the same issue...

Can someone tell me if the sites still do this? I tried Onlinegsmunlock.com but it says it has no ulocking service for a 4S + AT&T combo...

:'(
There are still some unlockers doing it, but it's gone up in price quite dramatically. I think the cheapest I've seen is around $40 from FlyUnlock.com.
 

Dave

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Why pay £50 ?

if you have a pay as you go with O2 its only £15. And if you had a contract, is free

The price should be the same for all UK providers. US providers may even be cheaper.
Nope, US networks have really tightened up up since the DMCA ruling, AT&T don't even want to unlock for current subscribers until the contract is over. It used to just be a internet form to fill out but not anymore.

All networks have different pricing/requirements.

The non-official Apple server unlockers have seen that AT&T have made it so much more difficult so put the prices up (as they have for UK EE/T-Mobile/Orange, which is over £100 now that they won't unlock for non customers and only for customers who have used the IMEI for a minimum of 6 months on network).

At the OP, I know of one person who used FlyUnlock, they had no problem, I was recommended http://www.unlockiphone.co.uk by someone else today.
 
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