So you finally bought that iPhone at a cheaper price, you inserted your SIM to activate and that dreadful message “SIM Not Supported” appears. For some of you, the guy selling it to you had a smooth mouth. He told you it’s easy to unlock, you believed it and now here you are. What are you going to do?
Maybe unlike others, you travelled to Ghana and decided to get yourself a local SIM to use with your precious iPhone. But you get the message that the SIM is not supported. Don’t fret, we have written this article to help you out. We have taken the time to explain what a locked iPhone is, why it has been locked, and the legality of unlocking it. If you already know this, scroll down to the four (4) ways to unlock your iPhone and use it with any Network Carrier here in Ghana
What is a Locked iPhone?
A locked iPhone means that it can only be used with a single Network Carrier or operator. E.g. Vodafone, Sprint or MTN. An unlocked iPhone means that you can use it with different network carriers. You can switch from one Network to the other just by replacing the SIM card with your preferred Network operator.
This is not to be confused with the lock screen that asks for your 6 digit passcode before getting access to the phone.
Why do Network Operators Lock iPhones?
Let’s face it, iPhones don’t come cheap. Network Operators on the other hand need more customers to make money. So they go into an agreement with Apple, procure their iPhones and put a SIM lock on it (We’ll explain SIM lock later). Now these Network Operators heavily subsidize the price of the iPhone and sell it to their customers through a contract agreement. In the contract, the customers are expected to pay monthly fees ranging for a period of 2 to 4 years depending on the nature of the contract.
By the end of the contract period, the customer would have paid the full cost of the iPhone to the Network Operator. As the customer uses the phone over this period, he’ll certainly be making calls and using the internet. This is where the Network Operators make their Money. This cost is added to the monthly bill to be paid. To be fair, this is a win-win situation since most people cannot afford to pay for an iPhone upfront.
The SIM Lock is simply a software that is built into the phone that restricts it to accept only one network carrier. Read more here.
Is it Legal to Unlock iPhones?
There has been a legal confusion as to whether unlocking an iPhone is legal and a consumer right. In the US, it was decided for good in 2014 when President Obama signed into law that allowed customers the right to unlock their mobile phones. Even though certain countries have some form of SIM locking laws specifying the period of SIM locking and the cost of obtaining an unlock code, it’s fair to say that, unlocking an iPhone is almost universally legal.
Now that you understand what an unlocked phone is, why it’s locked and the legal implications, let’s get to the crust of the matter. We present to you Four (4) ways to unlock an iPhone with a recommendation as to which method is the safest and most reliable. They are, unlocking through the Network Carrier, Professional unlocking by IMEI, Hardware unlocking, and unlocking by Ultrasn0w.
Four (4) Ways to Unlock any iPhone and use it with telecommunication networks in Ghana
Unlock iPhone through Network Carrier
This method involves contacting the Network Carrier that the iPhone is locked to, and requesting them to unlock it. After submitting the request it might take some few days to complete. Most Carriers are ready and willing to unlock your iPhone for you only if you have completed the stipulated contract period or you pay an early termination fee. This method is the best out of all the options as it is permanent, works with all iPhones and iOS versions, and don’t require any software hacks.
Even though this is the best option, you’re likely to face problems if you are in Ghana here. Aside the challenges of getting in contact with the Network operator abroad, you need to remember the account details off head.
If you’re like most Ghanaians, your Uncle or Sister abroad gave you the phone. It’s most likely they haven’t completed paying the contract, therefore you’ll not be eligible to unlock it. Besides this, there are those who have made it their business to buy locked phones and sell it cheap here. If you’ve bought such a phone, rest assured that this method won’t work for you.
Unlock iPhone by IMEI
If you’re confronted with any of the challenges above, then this is the recommended method for you. It works just like the official carrier unlock, which means it’s legal, permanent, works with all models and OS versions, persists even after a restore, and doesn’t require a jailbreak or any other hacks.
There are a lot of IMEI unlock providers out there, but it’s best to go with trusted providers like UnlockMyPhoneGhana, as there are a lot of scammers out there. The price to unlock iPhone varies based on the network carrier it’s locked to and the country of origin. The unlocking services of UnlockMyPhoneGhana supports all iPhone models such as iPhone XS Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and iPhone 4.
How Does the iPhone IMEI unlocking works
Apple keeps a large database of all of its phones, locked and unlocked on its servers. When a customer requests for an unlock from Network Carriers or third-party unlock companies like UnlockMyPhoneGhana, the SIM Lock status of the iPhone is changed from locked to unlocked on Apple’s servers. The IMEI number is a 15 digit number unique for every mobile device. This is used to identify the customer’s specific phone on Apple’s servers. This process is completely legal. Does not exploit any holes, and the iPhone will remain permanently unlocked even if it’s updated with the latest iOS version. We recommend all customers to use this method.
iPhone Hardware unlock
The iPhone Hardware Unlock method relies on a spoofing chip which looks like a SIM card created by some hackers and placed in between the iPhone’s SIM Tray and the actual SIM Card. This SIM actually tricks the phone to behave like an unlocked phone. The popular ones are Gevey SIM, R-SIM, and X-SIM.
Disadvantages of Hardware unlock
- The spoofing SIM’s have a very low success rate. Some of them don’t work for certain version of iOS as such the probability that what you’re buying will not work is high.
- This spoofing chips actually exploits the iPhone’s software to behave as unlocked. Apple engineers are always on the standby and they always re-write codes to block such malicious activities. Therefore anytime there’s an iOS update, the Gevey SIM will not work. The hackers have to write another code, package and sell it again. Meaning you keep on buying Gevey SIM anytime Apple updates its software.
- Another alternative is not to update at all, but if you’ve used iPhone before, you’ll realize you need to constantly update the iOS to enjoy the latest features.
- Another disadvantage is that, anytime Apple updates its iOS, you have to wait till the latest spoofing SIM is available. This can take like a week to several months.
Why go through this stress when all you need to do is invest a little to unlock with the IMEI method and enjoy your freedom
Unlock iPhone through Ultrasn0w
The Ultrasn0w method is a much older unlocking method which exploited iOS flaws to remove the SIM Lock from an iPhone. It is not relevant right now for a number of reasons.
- It works only with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G.
- It requires your iPhone to be jailbroken.
- Even on supported devices, it requires baseband version 01.59.00, which you most likely don’t have.
- You’ll lose the unlock if you upgrade or restore your iOS firmware
For any iPhone model that you have, our recommendation is to use the IMEI unlocking method as this will guarantee you peace of mind whilst enjoying your iPhone. Your next important step is to choose a professional and reliable unlocking phone service. Like we stated earlier, there are several of them including scammers. To guide you, we recommend choosing a company that offers 100 percent refund in case they cannot unlock your device. Also it is best if they are within your locality or country. This is useful when you need to communicate with them and when you need your refund. Unlock your phone here today with UnlockMyPhoneGhana