How to Unlock iPhone 4S : The Basics

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There are several good reasons that you might want to find out how to how to unlock iphone 4S.  The basic goal is always to makes it possible to use a different sim card, and therefore network service with your smartphone.

iphone 4S

You might be chasing a better deal on data or calls, and still be under contract to the network that supplied the phone.  Alternatively, you might have been given the phone, or bought it second hand, and want to have the freedom to shop around for the best deals, and not be stuck with what is offered by just one network.

Perhaps you are happy with your existing network in general, but travel a lot and want to avoid high roaming charges by being able to switch when required, and use a local sim in the country you are in.  Whatever your precise motivation, a site like can provide detailed instructions on how to unlock iPhone 4S.

Giffgaff specialises in offering sim only deals, and so the reason that they offer information on unlocking phones is that they hope you will then accept the offer of a free sim card, and use their services.  The giffgaff site contains an extensive resource on information on the different options for unlocking specific models of mobile phone.

Along with this list of the companies that can provide unlocking services, there are also reviews from giffgaff customers who have actually been through the process, which can be helpful when you are trying to decide on which route to take – and there are several options.

The safest route is to enter a software unlocking code directly into your iPhone 4S – and in fact this applies to all mobile phones.  There are other methods that can be used to unlock a mobile, like altering the hardware in the phone, or connecting it up to a specialist device or third party software, but these can risk damaging the device.

When you request an unlocking code, the provider will ask for the IMEI (International Mobile Station Equipment Identity), a serial number which is unique to the phone – every mobile device has one.

You will be able to find the IMEI of your iPhone 4S by one of the following three methods.  You can try entering the ‘Settings’ menu, selecting ‘General’ and then ‘About’.  Alternatively you can connect the iPhone to a computer, open ITunes, and then click on your phone number in the iPhone information page, and flick through the information listed until you find the IMEI.  You can also enter *#06# on the keypad, and the IMEI should appear on the screen of your iPhone.  For more on finding the IMEI of your iPhone, look here.

As well as the third party unlocking specialists listed on the giffgaff site, you can approach the network that originally supplied your iPhone 4S for an unlocking code, but they will generally only help under certain circumstances.  In general, a minimum portion of the contract that came with the phone has to have been completed, and a fee of up to £20 is usually payable.

Whoever supplies the unlocking code, it can take between about 72 hours and 14 days for the phone to be unlocked, with many of the quicker services demanding the highest charges.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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