Problems With Unlocking an iPhone


The Apple iPhone is a revolutionary piece of technology with full Internet browser, excellent 3G Internet speed, an intelligent and user-friendly operating system and a sleek, stylish design. The only problem is your iPhone works with only one carrier. This means you cannot jump to another carrier and carry your iPhone with you. Also, there are many applications not hosted by the Apple app store that cannot be uploaded to your phone for use. Unlocking the iPhone, making it available for use with other carriers and making it able to download third-party applications, may seem like a good solution, but even good solutions carry problems.

Unlock SIM Failure

  • The majority of unlock failures come in the form of an "Unlock SIM Failure" error. This means that while the phone has been unlocked from its original carrier, the SIM card recognition software does not recognize the card inside or the number to be used. This error will appear when powering on the phone with the SIM card inside. This is also the issue if iTunes does not display an "unlock complete" sign when the unlock process has finished. To restore the phone to working condition, first verify that your phone service carrier is authorized to accept signal from an unlocked iPhone. (Consult Apple support for a list of authorized carriers.) Once your carrier has been verified, remove the SIM card and replace it in the device. If this does not solve the problem, restore your iPhone to factory settings by connecting it to iTunes and selecting the "Restore" option.


  • The main concern with unlocking an iPhone is the possibility of "Bricking" the phone, or making it unusable and completely unresponsive. In fact, iPhones rarely "brick," and when they do the problem can usually be solved by a simple system restore. To do this, simply hold the power button and the "Home" button down as you would an iPod Touch. Hold for five seconds and the system should restore to factory settings. Your apps, music and documents should still be available on the phone.

    If a manual reset of the iPhone does not restore your phone to working condition, simply connect your phone to iTunes from your computer. Clicking the "Restore" button on iTunes will restore your phone to its original state.

Update Error

  • Unlocking your iPhone may make it susceptible to Apple's attempts to catch illegal unlockers who are attempting to "jailbreak" their phone in order to run unauthorized programs on it. This will happen when you sync your phone to iTunes for a firmware update. The only way to solve this problem is to restore your phone to factory conditions by clicking the "Restore" button while the iPhone is connected to iTunes.

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