How to perform a carrier unlock on an iPhone 4S

If you're suffering from iPhone 4S envy, chances are you're stuck in a contract on a non-iPhone network like T-Mobile. Now, according to a developer's post on Pastebin, users can unlock their iPhone 4S for use with any network, without any software or hardware hacks.

Image composite by Joe Aimonetti

If you're suffering from iPhone 4S envy, chances are you're stuck in a contract on a non-iPhone network such as T-Mobile. Now, according to a developer's post on Pastebin, users can unlock their iPhone 4S for use with any network, without any software or hardware hacks.

Before we get started, this is one of those workarounds that should be done with caution. As with any unauthorized cellular usage, charges incurred cannot be predicted. That being said, T-Mobile has been extremely iPhone user-friendly in the past, even offering official help pages on its Web site.

If you are attempting this and have already set up your iPhone 4S, you should definitely make a backup of all your data and settings before continuing.

  1. Insert original carrier AT&T SIM card
  2. Dial 611 for AT&T customer service hotline and drop the call
  3. Turn on Airplane mode
  4. Take out AT&T SIM card
  5. Insert T-Mobile SIM card
  6. Make sure Wi-Fi is off (also tap on "Forget this Network" to make sure it doesn't connect automatically later)
  7. Switch off Airplane mode and the iPhone will search for the network. This is followed by the Apple splash screen appearing.
  8. Activation Required will be displayed on the screen
  9. EDGE network will activate automatically--notice the "E" on the top left corner of the screen
  10. Wait for about 20-30 seconds and turn off the phone
  11. Turn on iPhone and the same Activation Required screen will be displayed
  12. When you see one signal bar, tap on Use Cellular Connection
  13. Eject SIM card
  14. Activation Required screen will be displayed the second time
  15. Insert SIM card
  16. Unlocked!

Of course, you can also purchase an unlocked iPhone 4S directly from Apple and avoid the mess.

Screenshot by Joe Aimonetti

I personally do not have access to the necessary components to test this unlock method. If any of our readers try this, post in the comments about your successes or issues!

 

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