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Unlocking an iPhone 4S Orange UK


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Old 07-03-2013, 16:16
coli-kins
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Hi,

I bought an iPhone through eBay that is locked to Orange UK. I figured unlocking it would be simple....apparently not.

They want me to purchase a SIM Card (I did this reluctantly so that I could activate the phone - 10 pay as you go SIM), have this SIM Card activated for 6 months and then pay a 20ish fee at the end of the 6months to unlock the phone.

I currently have a contract with O2 which runs for another year yet so I would like to just unlock the iPhone and switch it over without going through this 6month period that they are enforcing.

So here's the question...I have a family member that has an Orange phone. If I was to phone up and give Orange that phone number and my IMEI number would this be enough to unlock the phone?
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:19
jon41
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No, Orange are very strict with this. They log all IMEI's so they'll know if you've just put the SIM in for one day / week / month. Only way with them is to put the SIM in for the full 6 months and then they'll do it.
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:22
coli-kins
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So, if I was to put a SIM Card that has been activated for over 6months into it they'll know? And then I won't be able to unlock it?

I'm thinking the best bet here is now just to return the iPhone to the person who sold it to me....
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:24
coli-kins
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That wasn't very well worded, sorry. I mean to say that if I put my family member's SIM Card (which is older than 6months) into my new iPhone 4 they will know that I have personally not had the phone for over 6months and will not allow me to unlock it? Even though there is a SIM Card that is +6months old in the phone.
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:27
jon41
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Yes, everytime a SIM connects to the network the IMEI is logged and that's how they know you haven't been using the handset for 6 months.

It's a shame that they stick to the rules, but in all my time with Orange they've never budged on the issue.

Sorry
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:29
coli-kins
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Its a shame they have such awful rules - even the guy at Apple thought it was ridiculous.
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:41
jon41
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up until last month it was only 3 months that you had to wait, but they changed it for some reason.

It really is ridiculous, only way to go really is see if anyone you know who is on Orange and see if they will buy it?
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:45
coli-kins
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Yeah, I dont know anyone. I think I will have to return it to the seller on eBay unfortunately. I love the phone, it was a great deal and I really just want to use it though. Why are things not in favour of the customer?! I will be paying them 30 at the end of the day to get this unlocked - what benefit is it to them that I wait out 6months?! It's a lose-lose situation. On to customer services again for the third time, lets see if it's third time lucky.
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:49
JulesandSand
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Yeah, I dont know anyone. I think I will have to return it to the seller on eBay unfortunately. I love the phone, it was a great deal and I really just want to use it though. Why are things not in favour of the customer?! I will be paying them 30 at the end of the day to get this unlocked - what benefit is it to them that I wait out 6months?! It's a lose-lose situation. On to customer services again for the third time, lets see if it's third time lucky.
Assuming you bought it knowing it was locked to Orange, if I was the seller I wouldn't take it back. If it was sold as being unlocked then that's a different matter.
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Old 07-03-2013, 16:56
davybhoy
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I got a new contract when mine expired last September/October and gave my phone, an iPhone 4S, to my brother. I had to get it unlocked as I was Orange and he was O2. I rang Orange, gave the phone number of what was now attached to my iPhone 5, and new contract, to the girl on the phone along with IMEI of the 4S and it was unlocked within a few days.

I'd ring up and chance your arm. At the end of the day the phone was bought from eBay so has probably been attached to the Orange network by the seller for quite some time! It's not like they subsidised this handset - you bought it yourself!
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Old 07-03-2013, 17:04
BKM
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So, if I was to put a SIM Card that has been activated for over 6months into it they'll know? And then I won't be able to unlock it?

I'm thinking the best bet here is now just to return the iPhone to the person who sold it to me....
Could you not get offer the eBay SELLER another 20 and get them to do the unlocking request to Orange???? They must (as it is a locked phone) have been routinely using it with their Orange SIM for some time!
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Old 07-03-2013, 20:50
Lidtop2013
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Could you not get offer the eBay SELLER another 20 and get them to do the unlocking request to Orange???? They must (as it is a locked phone) have been routinely using it with their Orange SIM for some time!
I was going to say this, get the seller to unlock it for you, theres no reason why they wouldnt if you pay them, give them money for the unlock and then an extra 5-10 for good will. Job done.
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Old 07-03-2013, 20:54
jon41
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Seems the best idea, although it is a pain in the first place that Orange are so strict with unlocking.

They must have a had alot of people taking out contract, getting it unlocked after 3 months and then doing a runner.
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Old 07-03-2013, 21:44
BKM
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Seems the best idea, although it is a pain in the first place that Orange are so strict with unlocking.

They must have a had alot of people taking out contract, getting it unlocked after 3 months and then doing a runner.
You can get Contract iPhones unlocked quite easily on other networks (eg Vodafone and O2) after quite short times - but it does not get you out of paying the rest of the contract! They have credit checked you before the contract starts - so it is pretty hard to vanish!

It is typical Orange stupidity!

It's also what put me off eBay iPhones (except the network unlocked ones). Once locked ones have been sold (on any network!) it always seems FAR harder for the new owner to get them unlocked than it would have been had the seller done it!
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Old 07-03-2013, 22:20
jon41
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You can get Contract iPhones unlocked quite easily on other networks (eg Vodafone and O2) after quite short times - but it does not get you out of paying the rest of the contract! They have credit checked you before the contract starts - so it is pretty hard to vanish!

It is typical Orange stupidity!

It's also what put me off eBay iPhones (except the network unlocked ones). Once locked ones have been sold (on any network!) it always seems FAR harder for the new owner to get them unlocked than it would have been had the seller done it!
Yeah I know you get credit checked and whatnot but I guess people must do that or something.

Yes same here I wouldn't touch anything unless it said unlocked or I'm on the same network. I think someone posted the other week about EE or T-mobile also increasing their unlock period as well.
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Old 25-03-2013, 19:39
Delicious11
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It is very tricky

At the moment I am looking for an unlocked Iphone 5 via Ebay. Most of them claim to be unlocked which they truly are but I understand that once the first sim is inserted the phone automatically locks to that network. Most of the sellers on Ebay do not know this and are selling as 'unlocked.

Apparently only Iphones bought directly from Apple are truly factory unlocked in that they can be used with multiple sims without the fear of being locked permanently to a network. PAYG IPhones bought from the mobile network (orange, o2 etc) or (cpw, p4u) are not really unlocked even though you pay the full price for them.

Best to get the phone from Apple or question the seller on Ebay as to source of the phone i,e apple or network carrier. If from network carrier ask them to enquire about getting it unlocked first before putting in your bid.
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