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It seems like there's no questions about unlocking iPhones here so forgive me if this is counted as off-topic.

I recently received an iPhone 7 from a friend that is locked to Sprint's network through what I think is a US Reseller policy which is a special kind of SIM lock that isn't done through a carrier but by the phone itself. I've been trying to find ways around unlocking the phone - it's near impossible. One route I've considered is purchasing an unlocking chip that some people sell (I'm not going to provide a link because I'm not sure that they're not a scam, that's part of what I'm trying to understand).

My question is how do unlocking chips work?

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So, the carriers collectively manage a database of identities they all agree to block so to get your device unblocked - there are four avenues:

  1. Hack into the carriers and change it without them knowing.
  2. Social engineer the carriers (bribe / inside job) to have someone with access ignore the rules.
  3. Convince the carriers the rules have been followed and get a proper unlock.
  4. Hack the phone so that it has a “new” identity.

Since you mention a “chip” I’m guessing you seek more details on #4 but unless that CHIP is a hardware modification, it’s likely #4 but could be any of the three other options if it’s a legit attempt to get your device working again.

It could also be a scam.

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