My iPhone 3G contract was completed a while ago. I have the 3GS now. I would like to give it to someone else who is not on AT&T. I called AT&T and they wouldn't do anything about it. I heard it can be unlocked after jail breaking. Is there an alternative? What happens if I jail break, unlock and then restore? Would it still be unlocked?
Official iPhone unlocking can be done and is handled by Apple. You need to call your mobile phone operator, ask for the unlock, and they contact Apple (or have a special application, I don't know) where they will send your phone's IMEI.
After a few days, when you sync your iPhone, iTunes will show you a screen telling you your iPhone has been unlocked.
Calling the carrier is the right thing to do. They are the ones that are responsible for unlocking the phone.
At least it is that way in Germany.
Perhaps trying again to call AT&T does help. In my experience calling a hotline again if the first operator cannot handle your request to your liking does help. Sometimes one just gets a bad call center agent or the agent had a bad day.
This is an old question, but I'm adding an (AT&T and possibly US specific) answer, as it seems AT&T's policies have changed since the question was first asked. And there are some new answers suggesting paid unlock services that are not necessary.
AT&T's current (April, 2013) policy is that they will unlock iPhones if all the following are true:
AT&T will unlock an iPhone under the following circumstances:
- The person requesting the unlock is:
- A current AT&T customer, or
- A former AT&T customer who can provide the phone number or account number for the account.
- The iPhone was designed for use on the AT&T network.
- All contract obligations, including any term commitment, associated with the device to be unlocked have been fully satisfied.
- The iPhone has not been reported lost or stolen.
This is covered on AT&T's web page. The current link is http://www.att.com/esupport/article.jsp?sid=KB414532