Unlocking My iPhone

So I am unlocking my iPhone. I’ve ordered the $99 iPhoneSimFree software from Wireless Imports and now I have to activate and jailbreak before I can run the unlock software.

I want to activate with a prepaid plan. I’ve read that the best way to do that is activate via iTunes and then type in 999-99-9999 when asked for a SS#, and that will fail the credit check and lead to a prepaid option.

I’ve got two questions.

1 – should I activate on the machine I ultimately want to sync music and photos and other stuff with (which is my daughter’s computer since she is going to get the iPhone when I am done unlocking it) or can I use any version of iTunes to unlock?

2 – does the above method for getting a prepaid activation still work and is is the best way to do that?

Thanks everyone. I’ll let you know how it goes. I hope to have an unlicked iPhone in the next couple days.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. JoeSmith

    Fred, I really identify with you as a user — so please tell me: why are you unlocking your iphone? What is the benefit? You still need to use a SIM card/GSM carrier, so T-Mobile is the main U.S alternative right? You talk about unlocking to use a (AT&T?) pre-paid plan. You don’t need to unlock to do this, do you? Sounds like you just need the activation work-around. What does $99 unlock software actually get you? Tks. I’m very curious.

    1. fredwilson

      it lets me run the iPhone on T-mobile which i much prefer to AT&T. I keep my sim card, can use it on my blackberry, can give it easily to my daughter who has a t-mobile sim card too.

  2. Billy

    Why pay $99 when a free GUI unlock was made available in the past 24 hours?

    1. fredwilson

      i bought it a couple days ago

  3. Jed Christiansen

    “I hope to have an unlicked iPhone in the next couple days.”Fred, have you been having issues with your iPhone being licked? What exactly were you doing at the Wallstrip Blackberry/iPhone shootout?

    1. Ryan Crocker

      Licked iPhones were a common occurence on launch day.

  4. jackson

    Seems likea lot of work for a phone.

  5. Shivering Timbers

    On point 1, there’s no need to activate the phone on the same computer you’ll ultimately sync it with. I activated my wife’s iPhone on my computer (then sealed it back in the box so I could give it to her fully ready to use), and when she connected it to her laptop, iTunes recognized it right away and already activated and ready to go.

  6. Scott Yates

    The thing with prepaid is that after every time you interact with ATT you get a notification that you have just used 13 cents, and you have 47.87 left, or whatever. Even when you are using the web and have something that costs 0 cents, you get that. Super annoying.

  7. Michael Sitarzewski

    Hi Fred, you may not have seen this yet, so I’ll paste a link: http://iphone.unlock.no/ It is free unlocking for the iPhone. There is now a GUI to do it too. I have no experience with the two questions you asked, however 😛

    1. Michael Sitarzewski

      Wow, didn’t see the other comments before I made mine. Sorry about that 😛

  8. stan

    just a warning, after you use it for a while you’re gonna want to keep it for yourself which may upset your daughterThis was written on my iPhone

  9. Robert Seidman

    Is this some kind of Mt. Everest “because you can” quest? If so, fine but since you will take your blackberry everywhere why not sell your still in the box iphone and just buy an iPod touch? You love music and you can get a16gb model. You will appreciate the extra memory and you werent a likely candidate for doing email from the iphone.If it’s the Mt. Everest thing, enjoy the summit!

  10. JT

    You’ve just wasted a lot of money. The $99 piece of software you just bought is now free.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, i guess that’s the way it is with the iPhone. my family paid $200 too much to give it to me as a gift because they didn’t wait another couple weeks. and i paid $99 too much for the unlock because i didn’t wait another couple days. i guess the thing with the iPhone ecosystem is you wait and prices come down or go away.

  11. Stephen L. McKay

    Fred,I’m not wealthy. My net worth is probably one tenth, and probably somewhat less than that of yours, but please, give your daughter a contract plan. Teach her responsability, by giving her some!You seem like such a great dad, but prepaid is so expensive Vs. a plan, and if you are the owner of the phone, you have ultimat control.Why would you go with pre-paid?

    1. fredwilson

      i am not going with pre-paid Stepehen. i am just doing that to activate the phone on AT&T (you have to sign up for some kind of plan to activate the phone). then i am unlocking it and running it on our t-mobile family plan.

  12. Dan Keldsen

    Have not (yet) bought an iPhone, still weighing my options while remaining blissfully mobile mail free at the moment.However, I’m going to Denmark in a few months – anyone who has unlocked an iPhone and traveled abroad, I would love to hear about the experience, as it would be awfully handy (no pun intended) to have mobile mail/web available for this trip, and others brewing that will have me untethered for a good amount of time.

  13. Jason Preston

    I’m looking at buying an iPhone now and unlocking it with the free software, and I’m curious about the answer to Fred’s 2nd question. It looks like nobody knows?Also, can you unlock the iphone without first activating it? And are there ways to activate it that don’t involve buying a plan or a pre-paid plan?Can I have a friend, who already has an AT&T plan, activate my phone with their sim card?

    1. Jason Preston

      I may have answered my question with a little Googling. It looks like there’s an app called iActivator that activates your iphone sans-plan.http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/…I wonder if that’s enough for the phone to be unlocked. Might try that, Fred!

  14. Jeff Roth

    I live in a town where AT&Ts service is a joke. I bought the iphone and switched fro Sprint to AT&T, but I literally drop 5-10 calls a day and I cannot use the $500 + phone at my home. It is too late for me to return the phone so I am looking into unlocking it and using it w/ Tmobile which has much better reception in this town. I have a few questions for anyone with knowledge about these issues. I would pay for the help if it were possible. Here are my questions;1. What website should I use to unlock my iphone? I am o.k. with paying for the software, but I do not want to gewt screwed and I want to make sure that I am getting what I pay for.2. If I have already set up my iphone through apple, can I still unlock it? is there anything special I need to do to accomplish this?3. What will I be able to do once I have unlocked the phone.I hope someone answers me, this is the first time I have ever written anything on a blog, that is, if this is a blog.PLEASE HELP. I WILL BE VERY GRATEFUL FOR ANY INFO.

    1. Jeff Roth


    2. fredwilson

      Jailbreak the phone and then unlock it and use it on tmobileI did that for my daughter and it works greatGoogle unlock iphone video and you’ll find a video that shows how its doneFred

  15. Jeff Roth

    how can i tell if anyone has responded to my questions. I am new to this and i cannot figure it out.

    1. n8k99

      you probably already figured out that disqus emails you notice that someone has commented, and if you have disqus tied into your friendfeed account, you do have a friendfeed account don’t you, then it will show up there as well.

  16. aa

    wow I wish the iPhone 3 g was only 200 dollers it says that it is only 200 but when u buy the phone from rogers they get you right in the ass the phone cost me 600 dollers which I kinda think was a complete rip off