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Author Topic: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?  (Read 1235 times)

gt94sss2

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Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« on: August 09, 2016, 01:59:44 PM »

Does anyone have any experience in the best way to arrange for an overseas iPhone to be unlocked so that it can be used in the UK?

I have an old iPhone 5S that I used to use in Japan and thus it is carrier locked to SoftBank..
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HPsauce

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 03:32:13 PM »

That will probably be difficult, you need the network provider (SoftBank) to authorise it to be unlocked via Apples servers, usually by a request from the account holder who acquired it. Whether they will do this at all will depend on what policies they have and the law in Japan.

We've recently acquired (from family members) a couple of similar models locked to Vodafone, they had to go via their Vodafone accounts to request unlocking.
In one case they had already moved their mobile contract to another supplier, fortunately the Vodafone account was still in existence so it was doable. Vodafone unlock for free after a certain age of device/contract.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 03:35:18 PM by HPsauce »
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gt94sss2

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 04:19:48 PM »

I am/was the account holder. Unfortunately, Japanese carriers are only required to unlock phones sold since May 15 and my phone predates this.

Also, Japan is very 'traditional' in many ways so even if I was entitled too, I would need to attend a store personally in Japan which isn't an option.

However, I understand some firms have 3rd party access to Apple's servers who can arrange for phones in this circumstances...
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HPsauce

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 10:01:20 PM »

Best of luck then, but I doubt it.  :-X
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psychopomp1

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2016, 02:48:40 PM »

Apparently this US based company can, charging $80 and taking 5-21 days. Its looks legit but i would pay by credit card just to be on the safe side (S75 protection).

http://www.unlockmyphone.io/
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Ronski

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2016, 10:11:50 PM »

But he still wouldn't be covered because S75 protection only kicks in on items or services over 100, and even if it did I'm not sure it would cover the phone as it would be the service he's paying for.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2016, 10:52:54 PM »

My own assumption would be that all iPhone unlocking services are scams.

At best, they'll be charging a huge markup just to fill out the paperwork, that anybody could do themselves, to have it officially unlocked by the network that 'owns' it.  At worst, they will just rip you off and no nothing.

I do emphasise that is just an assumption, based on the steps tha I believe to be involved in unlocking an iPhone.   I can offer no evidence that any particular vendor is behaving dishonourably.
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psychopomp1

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2016, 11:32:41 AM »

But he still wouldn't be covered because S75 protection only kicks in on items or services over 100, and even if it did I'm not sure it would cover the phone as it would be the service he's paying for.

Fair enough. In that case paying by PayPal is probably the best option, I know paypal has a horrible reputation (well deserved imho) but they're usually quite good for helping out buyers who haven't received their goods or services as described by the seller.
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psychopomp1

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2016, 11:57:00 AM »

My own assumption would be that all iPhone unlocking services are scams.

I wouldn't go that far. I've used one or two iphone unlocking services on ebay over the years without any issues and yes quite often they do charge more than what the networks themselves would charge, however due to competition not all of them charge a huge markup and the extra cost is well worth it if you cannot get the iphone unlocked through the official channels. The unlocking service seller will have access to that network's apple database (probably a rogue employee) but this practice has been going on for a while so if it was illegal I'm sure Apple and/or the UK networks would have clamped on them by now - though for obvious reasons most, if not all unlocking companies are unable to get blacklisted IMEI's unblocked. A good analogy is getting an overseas visa from a foreign embassy in London - you can either get it yourself or get it through a visa agency who will add on their own fees but who will save you the hassle if you are unable to visit the embassy yourself. Its a demand led market :)
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 11:59:16 AM by psychopomp1 »
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gt94sss2

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Re: Best way to unlock an overseas iPhone?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2017, 06:22:57 PM »

Just to provide an update on this.

I finally got around to unlocking my Japanese iPhone using a provider on eBay which was quite trouble free apart from having to wait a few weeks for the relevant unlocking code to appear (which is advised at point of sale).

It works perfectly and even with the cost, is worth it for us as it means my mother gets a 'new' barely used iPhone - for much cheaper than buying a new one - and a big upgrade on her old one which was on its last legs

I would say, that I am sure these firms have a healthy mark-up but there are times such as in my case that you can't get a network to unlock a phone and/or its impractical to do so.

Certainly if it was a UK phone, I wouldn't have gone down this route but would have been able to go direct to the carrier but mine was locked to a Japanese carrier and the rules re: unlocking were different there..
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