Unlock Your Off-Contract AT&T iPhone 5 For Free Using iTunes

BY Jason

Published 27 Sep 2012

iPhone 5

If you’ve bought an AT&T iPhone 5 without a contract then you’re probably aware that you can request AT&T to unlock it.

Few weeks back, AT&T made it easier to unlock the iPhone by launching a new web form where customers can request for the unlock online.

You can also call AT&T’s toll-free number and request for your iPhone to be unlocked.

But TechCrunch reports that you don’t have to wait for 5 to 7 days for AT&T to process your request to unlock your iPhone 5, if you’ve bought it without a contract. All you need to do is restore your iPhone 5 in iTunes and you will get the “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked.” message.

You can then use the unlocked iPhone 5 on any carrier. Romian Dillet of TechCrunh confirms that his iPhone 5 works on T-Mobile’s network after unlocking it this way.

After receiving the notification my new iPhone was unlocked, I cut a micro-SIM card into the shape of a nano-SIM by using the AT&T SIM card that was already in the iPhone 5 as a guide. The most difficult part was to make it narrower so that you can close the tiny nano-SIM tray, though some have reported that this step may be optional.

In a couple of seconds, the iPhone was able to pick up the T-Mobile network, and calls and EDGE data connectvity worked as expected.

Dillet goes on to explain:

When you buy an iPhone, the device is added to Apple’s big iPhone database thanks to the IMEI, which is used as a unique identifier. Full price and subsidized iPhone 5 models apparently don’t have the same status in the database as it is flagged as “ready to be unlocked” when purchased without a contract.

Check out our step-by-step guide on how to restore your iPhone. The only downside of the method is that, it can be a time consuming process as it depends on the amount of data contained in the backup and on the speed of your Internet connection (if you backup using iCloud).

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of restoring your iPhone 5 using iTunes then you can wait for iPhone Dev team to release a new version of Redsn0w that supports iPhone 5  that should allow you to unlock your off-contract iPhone 5 using this method.

As always, let us know how it goes in the comments.

[via TechCrunch]