Are you looking to find the cheapest way to get your AT&T iPhone unlocked? You are definitely not alone. There was a time when the only way to be able to use your AT&T network locked iPhone outside of the USA was to either Jailbreak it or to use some kind of hardware insert in the SIM Card tray called “GEVEY Sim” or “Turbo Sim”. Eventually, AT&T allowed customers with accounts in good standing to unlock up to 5 devices per year for free – you can’t beat that for cheapness.
Here’s a link to a post that goes into greater detail regarding the AT&T approved unlock: “How to Officially Unlock 5 AT&T iPhones for under $50 – ATT Sanctioned”
Not everyone is a customer of AT&T, of course, and the iPhones that run on AT&T’s network are often sold or given away to family or friends. These iPhones are very popular because they are capable of being used on most networks around the world.
Options for Unlocking Your AT&T iPhone
Since non-AT&T customers cannot request an official unlock from AT&T, they are left with the following choices:
- A hardware solution
- A third party, remote unlocking solution
To Jailbreak or Not to Jailbreak your iPhone?
Jailbreaking is still possible and very popular. It also comes with certain risks that, if you’re not careful, can turn your iPhone into a beautifully expensive brick. You need to follow very closely the most up-to-date instructions for Jailbreaking your device to be successful.
Sometimes it’s necessary to avoid updating your iPhone’s iOS (operating system) to the latest version until a proper, working Jailbreak becomes available for the iOS version you’re using. There is also the possibility of exposing your iPhone to viruses or other security vulnerabilities because the Jailbreaking process defeats certain protective measures that are standard with every iPhone.
As far as cost is concerned, the software for Jailbreaking is free. Just another one of the cheapest ways to unlock your iPhone. It will require some time to gather all of the customizations or “tweaks” you desire and having everything in place. Technically, the actual Jailbreaking process should take around 10-15 minutes. All in all you’re looking at anywhere between 30 minutes to a couple of hours when completed.
Hardware Solution: “Hi-Jack” that SIM Card Tray
The “GEVEY Sim” or “Turbo Sim” is primarily a hardware solution. They’re known to be safe and reliable. This unlocking method should not damage your iPhone.
How cheap is this hardware unlocking solution? At the time of this writing the hardware Sim tray unlock method costs anywhere between $10 and $15. This price also depends upon your iPhone model. The older the iPhone, the cheaper it costs.
If you’re not requesting your iPhone unlock from AT&T, there may be some questions regarding the legality of any other unlocking method for your device. We’re not addressing whether or not these unlocking methods are legal or not. There’s lots of conflicting information regarding this. Please do your own research before making a decision.
Third Party iPhone Unlocking
The “official”, permanent way to unlock any iPhone would be to submit the IMEI or International Mobile Equipment Identity to a website. If you’re not using AT&T’s website to unlock your iPhone then you’re using a third party or a so called “direct source” wholesale provider.
The submitted IMEI uniquely identifies the iPhone. The unlocking process can take a matter of minutes or days once the IMEI is submitted. The time it takes to complete the unlock applies both to the free AT&T unlocking request and the third party submission methods.
How the AT&T iPhone Gets Unlocked
If the iPhone is approved to be unlocked, Apple will “white-list” the IMEI in its database. This action identifies the device as “queued to be unlocked”. You’ll receive an e-mail notification from AT&T or the third party website whether approved or not. The next time the iPhone is connected and synchronized via iTunes or set up via Wi-Fi, it will be unlocked.
The iPhone may now use a SIM card from another network provider/carrier to make/receive calls and SMS messages. If you’re curious, read the instructions regarding this process here: “How to Unlock the Apple iPhone”
Is it Really Cheap to Unlock the AT&T iPhone?
How much does this third party AT&T iPhone unlocking service cost? Prices vary greatly depending on the model of the iPhone and whether or not it’s still under contract with AT&T. There are many Direct Source Providers out there but before comparing the prices please keep this in mind:
The Mobile Unlock wholesale prices displayed below are for RESELLERS ONLY and may vary depending on your direct negotiation with the Direct Source Supplier(s).
If you are searching for the cheapest way to unlock an iPhone and you only have one device to unlock then it might be best to ask the website owner for a link to their retail website, if they have one.
Wholesale Prices from Direct Sources
OK, here’s what the direct suppliers are charging to unlock the AT&T iPhone:
How can Direct Source Suppliers offer such low prices?
A Direct Source can offer the cheapest mobile unlock prices because they sell in bulk. Their customers are usually “Resellers”, other website owners or businesses. Many resellers provide a constant supply of steady revenue for them.
Just think about the mega wholesale stores out there selling goods in large quantities. These bulk sellers can afford selling things cheap because of the sheer quantity and movement of goods from their stock to their customers.
Ready to Start Your Own Remote Unlocking Business?
After seeing the wholesale price of unlocking and realizing the potential profits to be gained, some retail customers may decide that owning a website that sells mobile unlock codes might be a business that will work for them.
StockUnlocks provides resources for you to get started in this mobile phone unlocking business. This is something you can do right from home and it’s not too expensive to get started.
See for yourself in this post “Stay Organized When Building Your Unlock Website”
We hope that this gives you plenty of information regarding finding or even selling the cheapest AT&T iPhone unlock.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them down below.
All the best,