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Finnish carrier offering legal iPhone 3G unlock?

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Mon August 24, 2009

Legitimate iPhone unlock?

It is now possible to legally unlock an iPhone, one website claims. One of the site's writers claims to have unlocked an iPhone 3G as a result of paying for the remainder of a two-year contract with Sonera, the exclusive iPhone distributor in Finland. The writer gave his IMEI number to a Sonera store manager, alleged authorized to submit IMEIs to Apple using a "special piece of software." The manager informed the writer that the next time the phone was synced with iTunes it would be unlocked via a carrier settings update.

Following the update, an official unlock screen is said to have appeared. The method is described as permanent, unlike illegal unlocks, which force users to avoid official iPhone firmware updates until new hacks can be devised. Other accounts of official unlocks have yet to be reported. Owners commonly unlock iPhones using third-party software such as purplera1n, or those by the iPhone Dev Team.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. rytc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -5

    ?

    Why is this even interesting? Plenty of countries offer unlocked iPhones for sale. In New Zealand only unlocked iPhones are available through Vodafone or the Apple Online Store.

  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +12

    We live elsewhere...

    Because most of us don't live in New Zealand (or any of those other countries where iPhones can be bought unlocked).

    In the US, AT&T (and all other GSM carriers) provide unlocking instructions for ALL of their GSM phones, upon request, if the customer is eligible for it (usually as little as 6 months of regularly paid service bill). All, except for the iPhone. By now, we have hundreds of thousands (close to one million) of users of the original iPhone who have completed their first two year contract. They have long paid off the AT&T iPhone subsidy to Apple. They are still paying the full monthly iPhone plan. And AT&T is pocketing the amount that went to the subsidy. And they STILL won't allow their customers to unlock those iPhones. This is simply UNACCEPTABLE. Regrettably, vast majority of US customers is oblivious to the whole unlocking business, and they're perfectly happy with their phones. That's just too bad, for those of us who'd love an unlocked iPhone, free to roam from SIM to shining SIM...

  1. njfuzzy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    Wow

    This is an interesting development. It means Apple has a system for this.

    Except, if it is real, why is everything in English? Wouldn't iTunes, and the message about the unlock, be localized to Finnish?

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +7

    AT&T needs to offer this!

    If Sonera can do this, there's no reason AT&T can't. We need to pressure them to allow this to qualified customers!

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Re: Wow

    Except, if it is real, why is everything in English? Wouldn't iTunes, and the message about the unlock, be localized to Finnish?

    No, it all would be localized to whatever language his Mac is set to, one would hope.

    Or do you presume everyone who lives in Finland has Finnish as their primary language?

  1. neilmcg

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    Unlocking in Sweden

    With TeliaSonera in Sweden you can pay to have the iPhone unlocked after 12 months on your 24 month contract - the unlocking costs - 300 SEK ($40).

  1. macnixer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Lawsuit Anyone?

    While we all want the option to unlock the phone when the contract is up or when getting out of the contract after paying $175 (pro-rated), who will make ATT realize this?

    I believe that we must complain to FCC or form a group and file a class-action lawsuit against ATT & Apple for keeping the United States iPhone Users from fully enjoying the benefits of their purchase.

    Any lawyer here?

  1. wolwol

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    telkomsel as well

    Well, this has been the case in Indonesia, Telkomsel, the operator which is carrying the iPhone 3G, apparently they're unable to clear their sets enough heard they're having 40k sets and was previously sold as a locked phone.
    Just upgrade it to os 3.0 and voila! it's unlocked and they've been doing it quietly.

    ps: their launch windows for 3GS is supposed to be this month, Aug.....

  1. Chimaera.fr

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Groundbreaking....

    Seriously, I fail to see what is groundbreaking with that so called "news": In France, since ever, you can pay 60 euros, anytime, during your contract and have your iPhone officially unlocked by Apple or you can have it unlocked for free after six months of contract. It's simply the law here. I already used that procedure twice in the last 12 months and it is as simple as saying "Bonjour!".

  1. DarkVader

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    illegal? NOT!

    There's no such thing as an illegal unlock.

    Unlocking a phone is explicitly legal in the US, no matter how you do it.

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