Experience and issues with official iPhone unlock on O2

I got my first iPhone on day one when if first became officially available in UK. Since then I’m on my third device, original iPhone was replaced with 3G and that 3GS recently. So basically I have 2 phones laying around collecting dust, I got really excited about a possibility to unlock them and use on the other networks or while travelling.

I did unlock my iPhone 3G before, when I was travelling to Bali, but I absolutely hated the fact that I needed to jailbreak it.

On 10th of November I went straight to O2 website and filled in the unlock form. O2 said that they will contact me back in 14 days to let me know when my iPhone is ready to be unlocked. I decided to try and unlock my original iPhone first.

Today I finally got a text saying that my iPhone is now unlocked to use non-O2 SIM. All I needed to do is to connect it to iTunes to finish the process.

After connecting it to my MacBook Pro and launching iTunes, I got the following screen:

I had to agree to T&C, but the text was blank. Clicking on FAQ button doesn’t give much more information ether.

Hopefully Apple will add some content in those boxes in the future. After clicking Continue on the first screen, iTunes starts to activate the device.

And finally success!

My 2 first attempts to unlock it were unsuccessful, iTunes was stuck at Activation screen. But in the end I got there.

There are a few issues I’ve encountered:

First of all, for some reason every single time when I inserted a new SIM card, my iPhone was showing me ‘Connect to iTunes’ screen. Even after changing cards and then later putting back the card that was working before, I still had to start unlocking all other again from very beginning. I hope it won’t always be like it, especially it will be a pain when travelling. I won’t always have Internet connection on my laptop abroad.

Another issue is the I didn’t manage to get it working with any other SIM, but Orange. I had a few SIM’s form virtual carriers and a few foreign ones but iPhone would refuse to take any of those.

This is the message that iPhone with wrong SIM shows.

Connecting to iTunes doesn’t help, it’s still stuck at this screen.

I really hope that by allowing to ‘unlock’ iPhones, O2 and Apple doesn’t mean that it will only work on authorised, official carriers like Orange.

Unfortunately I didn’t have any other major mobile operator SIM cards, like Vodafone, T-Mobile, Mobile 3 and others, but I ordered some already. I will do more testing once I’ll get those cards.

Another thin is as I said that even if I remove working SIM, and then put it back, iPhone will ask me to activate and unlock again. Well, it doesn’t always work, I had to do the whole process 3 times to get my Orange SIM working again.

Overall the unlock process is far from being as smooth as it supposed to be. I feel a bit disappointed that I couldn’t get it work with other SIM cards, but Orange. Hopefully this will be fixed in the future. There is a possibility that there was something wrong with SIM cards that I used or some other problem. I will try to unlock my iPhone 3G soon and do further testing with new SIM cards.

4 thoughts on “Experience and issues with official iPhone unlock on O2

  1. swerve66

    this is exactly the same problem i have now. is there a solution??? even if i turn off the iphone and turn it back on it needs to be activated again :S

  2. ivan Post author

    I haven’t really looked in to it since I’ve unlocked my iPhone in November. Did you find a solution? If not, I can have a look and post in a few days.

  3. ivan Post author

    Thanks for the info mate! I’m looking forward to start using my old iPhone again, especially for traveling.


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