Unlocking an iPhone became something of a fascination with people some time ago, and it still goes on today. While there are many ways to do it described online, most notably by the people over at the DevTeam and their unofficial unlocking process, people tend to want it done for them, and even if they have to do it, they don’t want a lot of steps. Let’s consider the fact that many people who go through the unlocking process might not know exactly the ins-and-outs of what their doing, so going through the process might terrify them, and even warrant a pass on the whole ordeal altogether.
Getting an unlocked phone means that, as long as you’re on a GSM-based network, you aren’t locked to using the device on one network. Here in the States, you could buy an iPhone 3GS, unlock it, and utilize T-Mobile USA’s network without worry. There are some limitations of course, but that’s on the network end of things. For example, no 3G if you’re using a T-Mobile USA phone on AT&T’s network, and vice versa.
Over at TheAppleBlog.com’s website, Olly Farshi claimed he legitimately unlocked his old iPhone 3G by paying off his previous two-year contract in one lump sum, therefore he bypassed an apparently European loophole. Farshi is on the Finland-based carrier Sonera, the exclusive network with the iPhone. Apparently, after he paid off his former bill, Sonera forwarded an unlock request to Apple, and then the next time Farshi synced his phone he was prompted to install a carrier update. Farshi said that when customers upgraded to their 3GS devices, Sonera prompted those with previous iPhone 3G two-year contracts to pay off the balance, and therefore gave the option to unlock their phones. After syncing, a message appeared on the screen and told Frashi that his phone had been officially unlocked.
Frashi claimed that “going the legit route was a much more painless process than using a proxy SIM or the Dev Team’s unofficial unlock”. And even better, he claims that the update/unlock is permanent, and that he can continue to update his iPhone 3G’s Operating System (OS) and utilize any GSM-based carrier. Upon getting in contact with AT&T, we were told that even if you pay your bill off, “there is no way to get an unlock code for the iPhone.”
[via Register Hardware]