So you’ve got an iPhone 4 and want to move networks. You own it outright, it’s out of contract but it’s still tethered to a provider. So what can be done to unlock it safely? Follow this easy guide on how to unlock an iPhone 4, which will help you break free from the shackles of your old service provider.
How to Unlock an iPhone 4
Firstly, it is important to consider that you need to unlock your phone safely. You could possibly unlock it yourself – a practice known as ‘jailbreaking’ – but this is very technical and should not be attempted unless you are an expert, as this could invalidate the warranty on your phone. Also, the iPhone 4 does not support self-unlocking so for you this is not an option.
Secondly, speak to your network, as they might be able to help. You might automatically assume that they wouldn’t want help you unlock your phone (why would they let you go off and spend your money elsewhere?) but it is actually in their interests to do so. Even if you are still in contract with them, you’re liable for the line rental for the rest of the agreed term, so they get paid either way. Plus any unlocking services charge a fee for unlocking it for you, so your provider can bank this too. Ofcom have called locking phones to networks an unnecessary restriction on people’s freedom, so you are well within your rights to have it unlocked.
There are a number of independent unlocking providers out there but, ironically, it turns out that your network is probably the cheapest. If you head over to the giffgaff YouTube channel you can find guides on how to unlock an iPhone 4. Plus the giffgaff website has a feature that allows you to compare the network prices against the leading independent providers, such as myPhone unlock codes, Mobile Unlock Codes.
On average, networks charge between £15 and £20, whereas the independent companies ask for between £44 and £58 for the same service. The only drawback is that O2 can take up to 7 days and T-Mobile up to 28 days for the unlock to go through, whereas the independents get the job done in 72 hours maximum.
If your iPhone is still within the 12 months warranty period, you need to be aware that even a legal unlock could invalidate your warranty. However, once it is out of this period then there is no warranty to invalidate. If you are unsure, speak to Apple, who will be happy to give you more information. Otherwise, once you’re happy that your phone can be safely unlocked, check out the great deals to be had for unlocked phones with giffgaff.