Now that it's legal, will you unlock your iPhone 5s?

Discussion in 'iPhone 5S' started by chris, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. chris

    chris Administrator
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    So I've been hearing that it's once again legal to unlock your iPhone and any other smartphone for that matter. I'm not sure of the particulars, but it does appear there are an influx of unlock services available once again through eBay. I've used these before and had good results. I'm sure results do vary by vendor, so be sure to check feedback. The last unlock I bought was for my iPhone 5 and it definitely helped with the resale. The gentleman who purchased it was sending it overseas, so the unlock was appreciated.

    I looked at prices today and it appears they are around $30 or so. I think I may take the leap at that price. Let's face it, the iPhone 6 is around the corner and anything that will boost resale is worth it. I think $30 will easily be offset by a higher resale.

    So are you unlocking your iPhone 5s? If so, why? International travel, higher resale, because you can?
     
  2. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
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    But if it's legal and easy to do, will there still be demand enough for a higher price on an unlocked phone? I got to thinking about that last night. There doesn't seem to be a selling price advantage anymore with an unlocked phone. Or have I missed an angle?
     
  3. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    They don't sell for that much more when it's legal and easy to do (it was legal for about a year up until January 2013), but it does make them easier to sell since you aren't just selling to customers of your carrier. IMEI unlocks only took six hours to go through back then and cost around $5 at the time, so I unlocked I got my 5 and 4S unlocked right away since I suspected it wouldn't last. Hopefully, the ruling isn't reversed again.
    I thought we were still waiting on Obama to sign it? I know it passed in the house and senate and he was anxious to get it signed.

    My 5s is already factory unlocked or I'd do it in a heartbeat. I always keep an old iPhone around for usage on T-Mobile prepaid for a backup. It also makes sale easier when I'm ready to sell and helps a little with resale value. It could be made illegal again, although it's unlikely this time, but it's will be a good idea to get it done as soon as the price comes down and the turnaround time decreases.
     
  4. AeroCare

    AeroCare Zealot
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    Before it was not a law it was just an opinion of the Library of Congress I think or whoever. Now it's going to be a law so in order to reverse it Congress would have to do it. Since it's bi-partisan, something we haven't seen in so many years I thought they forgot how to do it, I'm thinking it won't get reversed any time soon.

    My question is it going to be like the previous time where they just unlocked the sim tray to use overseas or is it going to be an unlock where I can use any domestic carrier? Until I read the law or someone does it to their phone I'll still have my doubts.
     
  5. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    The previous ones were full unlocks that work with any GSM carrier. You're referring to the unlocks done by Sprint while still under contract. IMEI unlocks are full unlocks that are equivalent to factory unlocks. This is what we were able to buy for just a few dollars in 2012 before it was made illegal in early 2013. I had two phones unlocked by eBay vendors. They are full unlocks that work with any GSM carrier, not the limited unlocks that Sprint provides. The unlocks we will see shortly will be full, permanent unlocks as well.
     
  6. AeroCare

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    I remember. I did a couple of 4s, one Sprint and one AT&T for a couple of dollars each back then.
     
  7. Matt Reid

    Matt Reid Member
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    I remember using something off cydia called SAM unfortunately that's patched now :( it was dead handy


    ~Hartly
     
  8. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    SAM enabled a quick activation without restoring. It made the process easier, but only worked with jailbroken phones. You have to restore to apply the unlock otherwise, but that's fine since there is a current jailbreak. I'm sure they'll update it once the unlock vendors get up and running again.
     
  9. Matt Reid

    Matt Reid Member
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    You think they will update the SAM tool? It's been "out of order" for like 2 years now maybe more no?


    ~Hartly
     
  10. Thedugschucks

    Thedugschucks New Member

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    There's a campaign here in the UK to have ALL phones unlocked for free at the end of the 2 year contract. This is to allow people to choose a different network with a SIM only deal
     
  11. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    Obama signed the unlocking bill yesterday, so it is now legal for consumers in the US to privately unlock their cell phones. It shouldn't be long before we see eBay vendors providing cheap (about $5), permanent unlocks that are ready in six or so hours.
     
  12. chris

    chris Administrator
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    Just in time to sell my iPhone 5s for the iPhone 6. Last I checked, they were still around $30 and took 4-5 days. I like the sound of $5 and a few hours much better.

    This becoming legal, most won't go out unlocking their iPhones before they sell on Craigslist or eBay. I think it gives a decided advantage to those who take the time to do it. There's always a market for an unlocked iPhone vs a carrier locked version.
     
  13. AeroCare

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    So how does unlocking going to affect phones that have bad ESNs? Is that going to flood the market with bad ESN iPhones? For example if I buy a 5S that Sprint blacklisted because the owner didn't pay, if it's unlocked could I go to AT&T and stick a sim card in it and it's all good?
     
  14. RBNetEngr

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    I'm not sure what all the excitement is regarding this law signed by the president. As far as I can tell, it doesn't change anything. The carriers will unlock your phone once it's paid off. This law doesn't change that. So if you bought a locked phone with a 2-year contract, you still can't unlock it until the two years is past, when you own the phone.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2014/08/01/cellphone-unlocking-now-legal/
     
  15. Ledsteplin

    Ledsteplin Genius
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    Depends on the carrier. Verizon will not unlock a phone unless it's for travel overseas. They won't do it when the contract's up, unless for travel. If I wanted to switch to AT&T from Verizon, I would not have been able to do it before the signing.
     
  16. chris

    chris Administrator
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    Looking at the various eBay auctions, these are only for out of contract iPhones. Little incentive to go that route, when you can go direct to the carrier for the unlock.

    I wonder how they'll handle an iPhone that is 'technically' out of contract, if a user upgrades. The new iPhone becomes the 'contract' phone, at least that's what I would think would happen.

    Most of the auctions are very specific, meaning an in-contract iPhone seems to have little chance at being unlocked.
     
  17. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    That is incorrect. Prior to this law being signed, you had to wait until your contract was fulfilled and then have your carrier unlock the phone. Now that it has been signed, you can unlock it privately while it is still under contract. Carriers will only unlock phones for their customers, so if you needed a phone unlocked and were not a customer, you would have been stuck prior to this law. Now you can bypass them and get it unlocked privately. It's nice for customers because they can unlock it while it's under contract and then use it overseas with prepaid SIM cards rather than owing their carrier a large roaming bill when you return home. Also, you could sell it or trade it with someone on a different carrier. IMEI unlocks can be done for anyone and they are typically provided faster than the carriers will complete them.
     
  18. AeroCare

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    Ledsteplin, when you say "If I wanted to switch to AT&T from Verizon, I would not have been able to do it before the signing." and Europa, when you say "Also, you could sell it or trade it with someone on a different carrier."

    These comments make me think that the IMEI is tied to the sim card and NOT to the iPhone itself then. Is there anyone here who can confirm this? If this is the case then you keep your AT&T sim and stick it into a Sprint 5s and it will work no matter if it's blacklisted or not. What I find hard to believe is that the CDMA carriers will lose that blacklisting power since we already know the unlocked GSM phones will take any GSM sim card and work.
     
  19. Europa

    Europa Moderator
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    It is definitely not tied to the SIM card.

    I'm talking about IMEI unlocking locked GSM iPhones. It's different with CDMA carriers. However, Verizon sells their newer iPhones unlocked, so you don't need to worry about about getting it unlocked. Just pop an AT&T SIM card in it and it will work out of the box. It's not going to run on AT&T LTE on an iPhone 5, though. You're stuck with 4g HSPA+. It lacks the hardware for that band on AT&T. I'm not certain if a Verizon 5s can run on AT&T LTE, but I think it can.
     
  20. AeroCare

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    Now I'm confused. You say it's NOT tied to the sim so then if I take the sim out of an iphone and stick another one in, the IMEI of that phone stays the same in SETTINGS >GENERAL > ABOUT? Then it would not get the new phone number. I still think the IMEI follows the sim in other words is tied to the sim.
     

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