It is very important to know what are the available unlocking methods for all the iPhone models (iPhone 2G, 3G, 3Gs, 4, 4s, 5, 5c, 5s, 6 and 6+), all the iOS and baseband versions and all the Mobile Networks.

By knowing what methods exists, you will also know how they work, what are their requirements and which one suits you better, so let’s dig into them.

General iPhone Unlocking Methods – Three Available Solutions

First of all, there are a lot of rumors about the legality of unlocking an iPhone, so let me clear things out for you. There was a legality problem is the USA, but now everything is back to normal. The president of USA, Obama, made the iPhone Unlocking a legal action again, which means that you will be able to use ANY of the following unlocking methods, and not have any problems with the law!

Generally, there are three unlocking methods, the Software, the Hardware and the Official IMEI Method. Not all of them will be able to unlock your iPhone, so lets see how those methods work.

Software Hack – iPhone Unlocking Methods

The Software Method is basically a hack, which means that it exploits bugs of the iOS (iPhone Operating System) and it makes it to use any Mobile Carrier the owner wants. As you probably already figured out, Apple is not a supporter of that method, and it is trying to “eliminate” it. Since the iPhone Unlocking is legal, its only way to “eliminate” it is by patching up its iOS, and they manage to do that!

The new iOS version (Actually from iOS 7 and above) is fully patched by those exploits, and they cannot get unlocked with that method.

The Software method supports the following iPhone models and iOS versions:Software Unlocking Method

  • iPhone 2G, 3G and 3Gs
  • iPhone 4 (Only up to 01.59.00 Baseband version)
  • Up to iOS 6.1.6 version

The procedure is pretty simple, just follow the steps below if you met the above criteria:

  1. Jailbreak your iPhone
  2. Through Cydia, install Ultrasn0w app
  3. Your iPhone is now unlocked

Since it supports specific iOS/Baseband versions, you will not be able to upgrade to other versions, because it will lock your iPhone!

You should know that, the Software method cannot unlock the latest iPhone models and iOS/Baseband versions, so be extra careful not to get scammed by shady online companies!

Hardware SIM – iPhone Unlocking MethodsHardware Unlocking Method

The Hardware Method is also taking advantage of iOS and hardware bugs, but the procedure is different. You need to purchase a specially designed SIM-Card, and put it in the SIM-Tray of your iPhone with the SIM-Card you want to use (So you will have two SIM-Cards inside your SIM-Tray). This will trick your Mobile Network that you are using it, but you will use a different Mobile Network.

Hardware Method also supports specific iPhone models, but the results are not 100% guaranteed. You might not even get an unlock, or even if you get you will have a very low voice quality and sudden drops of phone calls. User feedback is very negative towards this method, so we do not recommend it at all! It supports Specific iPhone models and iOS versions, which means that you will not be able to upgrade your iOS (If you upgrade it your iPhone will get locked again).

Official IMEI Method – iPhone Unlocking Methods

The Official IMEI Method is the only method that is approved by Apple and all Mobile Network Companies. It is not working with bug exploitation, but it focuses only on the Mobile Network you want to unlock.

The greatest advantage of the Official IMEI Method is that it provides a permanent unlock. It supports all iPhone models and iOS/Baseband version, and also allows you to upgrade to ANY future iOS version. It will whitelist your iPhone’s IMEI number from Apple’s and Mobile Network Companies databases, and mark it as unlocked.

This is not a free service, since it can provide a permanent and guarantee unlock, and the price depends on the Mobile Network you want to unlock.Official IMEI Unlocking Method

The procedure if very simple if you know which IMEI Unlock provider to use:

Conclusion for all those three iPhone Unlocking Methods

  1. If your iPhone is supported by the Software Unlocking Method and you do not mind have a Jailbroken iDevice, then you should go for it. It is free and you have nothing to lose.
  2. If your iPhone is supported by the Hardware Unlocking Method, then you should give it a second thought. This method does not have guaranteed results, and it also costs a few bucks (Around $50).
  3. If you want to go for the Official IMEI Method you must first find out the Mobile Network you want to unlock and its Blacklist Status. If you do not know those two, then the Official IMEI Method will fail, and the IMEI Unlock provider you have chosen will not provide you a refund of your money. In order to find the Network of your iPhone and its blacklist status, you must first find the IMEI number of your iPhone (Click to find your IMEI number).
If you already know your IMEI number, click on the following link to find out your Mobile Network and Blacklist Status:

IMEI Network and Blacklist Status Check Service (From $0.99)

IMEI Index iPhone Network Lock Blacklist Status Checker

Straight from Apple’s GSX Database:

The following information are available to our customers by ordering a Full IMEI Check Report:

IMEI iPhone Check

General Information:

IMEI Number: 013428009xxxxx8
Serial Number: C38KXXXXXX19
iPhone: iPhone 5 16GB Black
Phone Age: 2 Years, 1 Month, 26 Days
Model Number: A1428
Production Week: 17
Factory: C3/CHINA (Possible Refurnished)

Network Check:

Lock Carrier: T-Mobile US
Activation Policy: US T-Mobile Locked Activation Policy
Network: GSM
Activation Status: Yes – Activated

Blacklist Check:

Blacklist Status: BLACKLISTED
Blacklist Reason: Reported LOST/STOLEN
Blacklisted By: T-Mobile US
Blacklist Country: UNITED STATES, CANADA
“Find My iPhone” Status: OFF
The Blacklist Status of that iPhone can be by-pass with the WorldWide iPhone Unlocking Method. It supports all iPhone models, all Mobile Networks and both CLEAN/Blacklisted IMEI Numbers.

Warranty Check:

Warranty Status: Expired
Phone Support: Expired
AppleCare Protection: No
Service Coverage: Expired
Purchase Date: 06/21/2013
Purchased Country: UNITED STATES
Replacement Check: No Replacements
Active IMEI/Serial: 013428009xxxxx8 – C38KXXXXXX19