AAPL Stock: 117.81 ( -0.22 )

Printed from

German iPhones unlocking through iTunes

updated 09:40 am EST, Mon November 26, 2007

German iPhone unlock

The ability to officially unlock German iPhones is already in effect, accounts say. The option reportedly first became available on November 21st, the same day T-Mobile announced that unlocked iPhones would be coming. Instead of buying a pre-unlocked device however, shoppers simply pick up a regular one for 399, and then pay T-Mobile the extra 600 premium. A phone's particular IMEI number is then forwarded to Apple, which updates its database such that the next time the device is synched, iTunes will unlock it automatically within a matter of seconds. A SIM card from any carrier can then be inserted.

No new firmware is required or installed for the unlocking process, which may suggest the potential for new exploits for American and UK iPhones. Traditionally, unlocking these has required methods used outside of iTunes, even to the extent of physically modifying the default SIM card to be used in tandem with another. Apple has so far resisted any attempts to unlock English-language iPhones, despite the fact that laws should permit the process; this is likely because it receives a portion of the carrier revenue for each phone's two-year contract.

by MacNN Staff



  1. ajhoughton

    Joined: Dec 1969


    "laws should permit..."

    It doesn't matter whether laws permit unlocking or not, because those same laws don't prohibit making it impossible to unlock the phones (outside France, anyway).

    People often confuse the idea of something being legal with the idea that the ability to do it may be mandated. Such thinking is a classic non-sequitur.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What if I choose NOT to use sinking?

    Does this mean that my legit [german bought] iPhone will not be unlocked?

    Or is tthis actually handled more along the Activation Process than the Syncing process?

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    uberfu questions: "What if I choose NOT to use sinking?"

    You had better know how to swim....

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This only goes to verify the fact that the ability to unlock an iPhone had been built-in to the system from the very beginning (or at the very least that the latest firmware made this method accessible).

    Locking an unlock via the iPhone IMEI number seems the most logical, as does the fact that the process is handled via iTunes, during the activation phase.

    Beast way to approach a hacked unlock, at this stage, is for the more reliable group (that would be, the iPhone Elite Team) to figure out the communication between iPhone and iTunes, and then spoof the 'OK' authentication from the mothership - though I suspect all of that communication is handled in an encrypted fashion.

    Nevertheless, the way I see it now, the best option (aside from a bruteforce spoofing) would be a small System Preferences or Extension file, which lies in wait, and tells iTunes it's 'okay' to unlock a given iPhone - then, any given iPhone should be able to be unlocked (that is, unless Apple has an extra safety in place that simply excludes all North American registered IMEIs from any unlocking).

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    An unlocked German iPhone

    ...for just $1,500? ($600 cost + $900 for the unlock service through iTunes) Wonder how that flies?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I wonder

    How much of that 600 euros goes back to Apple? And that's one h*** of a premium. I guess if they're going to let you get it unlocked, they still want their 2 years worth of forced payouts as well (as opposed to just paying for the actual cost of the device).

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The unlock is free

    All iphones bought after Nov19 in Germany have to be unlocked for free according to the injunction won by vodafone against t-mobile. That also means all 399 EURO once. Do so until they meet in court again on Nov29.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented