Friday September 28, 2012 2:43 pm
How to unlock your iPhone 5 right now
It's been widely reported that the Verizon iPhone 5 ships with an unlocked SIM slot, which means you can insert any 3G nano SIM into its tray and you can use it with any carrier. The AT&T model isn't as forgiving, as all AT&T iPhone 5 (see out iPhone 5 review) models ship locked to that specific carrier. However, there are a few ways of unlocking the AT&T model for use with other carriers, like T-Mobile.
First, you can purchase the iPhone 5 at full price. That means no carrier subsidy, but also no 2-year contract to get locked into. This puts the price of the iPhone 5 at $649 for 16GB, $749 for 32GB, and $849 for the 64GB model. Take the phone and plug it into iTunes and select the Restore option. Once the phone is restored, iTunes will let you know that it has been successfully unlocked!
Of course, we understand that the vast majority of purchasers aren't buying the iPhone 5 at its full, unsubsidized price. This means that the simple iTunes restore unlock won't work for you. Luckily, there are still options. You can find many services out there offering to unlock your device for you. We tested one that was recommended to us, and it was quick and painless. All you need to do is contact @iPhone5_nerd on Twitter for details. After sending over a $35 payment and the IMEI number of the iPhone and we were able to unlock it using the same iTunes method that the full price iPhone 5 used. This works for other iPhone models as well, as we also tested it with an AT&T iPhone 4S.
Those are your options for getting your new iPhone 5 unlocked right out of the gate. Of course, you can also ride out your contract, and once it ends, you can request that AT&T unlock your device.
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