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Buyer beware: Remote carrier unlocks for iPhone

Buyer beware: remote carrier unlocks for iPhone

A company by the name of Negri Electronics (among others) is offering a remote unlock for any iPhone model using the device's IMEI number -- the cost is a cool $175. They claim the unlock won't be affected by future software updates and back the service with a 100% money back guarantee.

This is the FIRST remote unlocking service for the iPhone. Any model, any carrier, any firmware, any baseband and a permanent unlock. YOUR PHONE WILL NOT RE-LOCK, EVER. This service is guaranteed. Simply send us your IMEI and within 24 hours yourself a permanently unlocked iPhone.

The way an official SIM-unlock from Apple works is that the iPhone's IMEI number is registered with Apple's activation servers so that, when the iPhone is connected to iTunes, it's recognized as unlocked, activated, and left open regardless of which SIM in subsequently inserted in the device.

Negri is not Apple or an official iPhone carrier, so there should be a big yellow sticky placed on it saying "buyer beware".

Even officially unlocked iPhones sometimes experience problems or need to be reset by Apple, which requires time on the phone with Apple support or a trip to the Apple Store. Needless to say, they won't help you at all with an unofficially unlocked phone.

So is this remote unlock worth dropping $175 on? Let us know what you think in the comments!

UPDATE: @CellUnlocknet on Twitter let us know they're not offering this service because, as mentioned above, Apple could discover the IMEI numbers unlocked through this process and relock them. So once again, proceed

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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There are 43 comments. Add yours.

Jeff says:

Negri Electronics is 100% legit and has been in business for years. This unlock is also legit for the time being. Shame on tipb for not doing their homework.

Rene Ritchie says:

We did our homework. How can anyone other than Apple offering unlocks be 100% legit? (Which is different than being 100% effective).
What happens in 3 months if you hook your iPhone up to iTunes and it's locked? We're not saying don't use it, we're just saying beware, i.e. make an informed decision, especially at a $175 price point.

Joe says:

Jeff, you must be associated with the company in question. I highly doubt the unlock is legit and wouldn't be surprised if it's free software repackaged. Shame on these scammers for trying to fool people

Frosko says:

Shame on you Mr! Try to read NegriElectronics reviews on Google Checkout https://checkout.google.com/reviews/merchant/endUserReviews?sellerId=142... !! Then decide that NegriElectronics is real or fake! Obviously, there is a try it - after you buy it

Daniel Smith says:

Im guessing they perhaps probably gained access/hacked into a carriers Apple iPhone account at Apple (which they use do to the unlocks).
So im guessing all them "supposedly" unlocked iPhones will get locked. I have a factory unlocked iPhone from Apple, most carriers over here (UK) that have locked iPhones (as part of a contract), charge in $, around $30 for an unlock, some do it for free.

olly.b says:

i can buy a new phone with that kind of money, UK networks only charge £15 ($30) to do the same kind of unlocking which will permanently unlock ur phone even if its updated to a newer IOS, i did so when my iphone 4 was on IOS 4.0.1 nw am on 4.3.1 and its still unlocked.....so good luck whith who ever wants to pay that kind of money just to unlock a phone.

DementiuS says:

You can buy a new iphone 4 for $175 without a contract? damn, wish I had your connections...

Richard says:

I can say with honesty that I'm a long standing client of Negri and not based in the US nor the UK. I'm a airline staff employee and there unlocked handsets work like a dream. I even had a BB from Vodafone which I unlocked and updated a few times with no issues. (I know the point is the IPhone and I understand that)
I have never ended up in a location where either of these unlocked handsets failed. I WILL always support them as there service is absolutely fantastic.
I'm in a country whereby it is law and written as such that states that NO and I mean NO handset from any manufacturer or Carrier may be locked in any way or form. SO if that means that I can have a unlocked Iphone months before launch here, as we have to always wait for the UNLOCKED handsets to finally arrive, well that put me in basket with perhaps some 3 millions other users that would use this service.
Regards R

Alastair says:

Nice try, Negri Electronics.

Richard says:

Nope sorry Alastair, I'm based in South Africa and no, no-one asked me to write anything. If that is what you imply.....?

Rob Terry says:

Not real clear about any advantage to this in the US. Say you buy an iPhone 4 (like off of eBay) you'll either have to use it on AT&T or T-Mobile. If you use it on AT&T, why not just buy it from AT&T locked at a subsidized price and use it.
If you have to have T-Mobile (for some reason) you'll have slower data speeds. Assuming the unlock works, $175.00 translates to $14.58 a month for a year.
@RobT43

batmandela says:

Rob - not everybody that lives in the US stays in the US. Some of us travel. and when we travel, ATTMobile unfortunately doesn't travel with us. So we have to roam. and when we roam, we pay through the nose for calls and data. So it sometimes makes sense to subscribe to a "local" provider in the foreign country in which we find ourselves. This usually requires using a new SIM... Hence an unlocked phone. Perhaps now it makes sense to you? BTW: Traveling is fun. You should try it. ;-)

dpscott says:

In the UK carriers offer legit unlocks (via Apple they say) for free on Contract or £20 on Pay as you talk. I've used it on all of my iphone before I upgrade to increase the resell vaule. Here is how simple O2 make ithttps://www.o2.co.uk/apps/help/help?qid=1&q1=2&route=unlocking

Pat says:

Here in Ireland there was a company offering €100 unlocks for iPhone. Presumably they are just giving our IMEIs to our carriers to submit to Apple, something almost all customers can do for free. Scam.

John says:

here in australia some companies unlock the iphones for $25, i know vodafone does. my friend got it done and i bought his phone from him.

MojoVersion8 says:

most Australian carriers will unlock an iPhone you got from them for free

Mike says:

The unlock works, what Rene is saying is that iPhone unlocking is done through Apple servers which means they can always reverse it if they find the breach as opposed to Blackberrys and other phones which are unlocked by code and once unlocked the manufacturer nor carrier can relock the phone. At $175 an unlock people need to be sure their phone will permanently be unlocked and unfortunately no one can guarantee that.

Huntaah says:

iPhone 4G HD... If that doesn't scream "This website isn't legit," I don't know what does.

Bill says:

You can't spell Nigeria without "Negri"; enough said!

Johnson Billy Goat says:

Billy, from your name I can glean that you have nothing upstairs. You know what, Nigerians are the one robbing banks, stealing ATMs,robbing convenience stores. I am sure if your bsleeps with your M you will say it is a Nigerian. Rene, why do you allow people to leave a sentimental remark on yoiur blog???

websyndicate says:

So buyer beware but TIPB hasn't tried it?

Rene Ritchie says:

Yes, buyers should often beware. It beats the alternative.

Lupita Stoutner says:

hello admin thanks for your article. I will share it. In case you like you can check my blog ipadappstalk.com. Maybe you will get some valuable info.

solu says:

I agree with you there .. I had lots of other phones unlocked by them and they have always worked. I am waiting for the price to come down before i unlock my iPhone with them.

Tony Dakota says:

Asking such a fee seems like something behind is not clear. (Or everybody is taking a hefty margin)
List of countries selling iPhones and if they are locked or not and can be unlocked.
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1937

Rene Ritchie says:

Please READ the article before commenting:
No one is saying this isn't a working solution, we're telling you how it works and what the risks are if you choose to use it.
We're informing you so you can make a better choice.
Use it. Don't use it. That's up to you. Just know that it works by having your IMEI inserted into Apple's activation server and that if it's not Apple or an authorized carrier offering it, you run the risk of it being undone (so a future sync re-locks it) or that if it ever re-locks for any reason (which has happened to officially unlocked phones), Apple won't help you.

emirsosa says:

http://cutyoursim.com
i have this friend with i4 bb 2.xx.xx and he paid $170usd and in 12 hrs he got the unlock
i think its dev sold the nck method darn you dev team

Martin says:

You guys also failed to mention that UltraSn0w hasn`t worked on any baseband released in about the last 4 months (Since FW 4.0.2)! This method works, time will tell if Apple will reverse it in the future but for most people this is the only solution and far more useful than a software hack.

c says:

If it gets relocked, will the unlock it again free of charge? $170 a lot of money, not so much if they provide lifetime unlocks if apple re locks the phone.

TenInchFryingPan says:

From their website:
UPDATE 9:25AM PST 4/12/2011: We have discontinued the service due to the amount of submissions. Once all IMEI's are processed we will continue to offer the service. All orders placed prior to this update will be processed and you will be notified in 24-48 hours when your device is unlocked

Bdigital says:

Unlock for free with the help of Tipb!!!!

Brian says:

I have known Ryan @ Negri Electronics for years now. Never have I been screwed by him or anyone that works for his company. They guarantee everything they sell and will stick to their work if something goes wrong with the unlock process.

Seabassthegreat says:

Hmmm Brian... That name sounds so similar to Ryan.... Just a b sound in front...

Pax says:

According to their website, service is discontinued.

bd21 says:

its discontinued because they're flooded with imei's from people who subscribed. they will be back.
P.S musclenerd from the DEV TEAM tweeted about this method being effective so tipb can suck it for all i care

arseve says:

The unlock through the IMEI is official (but not through Apple) "official" means, its done in the same way that any carrier would do to make it unlocked..however, this is not associated through any carrier ... as far as we know.
One sure thing, use SAM to save your baseband info (i.e. your) authentication token.. that will pretty sure make your iphone unlocked forever..irregardless of what apple or any carrier will do in the future.

arseve says:

Remember, any unlocked phone can become locked for whatever reason or incident, if you have not been "offically unlocked" then you could be stuck with a locked phone.

Justin says:

I am in serious consideration, but I agree - If we have to swap a phone out for any reason through Apple, or if for whatever reason Apple reverses this, are we out money? If any guarantee could be made, this decision would be easier.

Mamer00 says:

i think just buy unlock iPhone from apple or ask your carrier prvider to unlock the phone like Rogers and fido in canada it cost $50 CAD plus tax

amjad ali says:

Contact us to FACTORY UNLOCK your IPHONE mobile, 0092 313 4282339.We only require your mobile IMEI and CARRIER. ALSO contact to get Unlock codes for your HTC LG SAMSUNG NOKIA MOTOROLA MOBILES. We are just a call away.

Zoila Blalock says:

Apple iPhone 4 Baseband 04.10.01 Unlocked by Gevey SIM [Video ... Iphone, Jailbreak Unlock Iphone 4 2-10-04-and, 4-3-users-, also-able, baseband, gevey,

Raeann Bawek says:

I'm having the same problem, but with the Music.app, PhotoBooth.app and Reminders.app