It’s been three years since I’ve been unlocking iPhones with my own website. It’s been quite a challenge trying to deliver a service that’s in demand for the cheapest price offered. Many things have happened since I decided to get involved with unlocking mobile devices. I’ve decided to summarize my experience with this post:
- Unlocking iPhones: Is it everything I thought it would be?
- Building an Unlocking Website: Is it worth all the effort?
- Third Party Unlocking: Why is this business considered a scam?
Unlocking iPhones: Is it everything I thought it would be?
Nope. Most of the first year was working out the kinks in automating the unlock order submission and reply system for my Drupal powered website.
I was new to structured Drupal development, so I had to learn the rules regarding code formatting and documentation before having my stockunlocks custom Drupal module approved for distribution. That whole process added another six months or so to my “finished” target date.
This iPhone unlock as a business experience has been twofold :
1. Most of what I expected has proven true: It takes time and money to find a website design that’s attractive and easy to navigate. I’ve redesigned my website three times already. Also, if people are going to find your website, you need to either buy ads or seriously optimize the website for search engines.
2. What I didn’t expect was how hard it would be to maintain my initial enthusiasm. In the beginning, I was thrilled to offer iPhone unlocking services to the masses. Helping frustrated individuals who weren’t able to get their iPhones unlocked due to either never having an AT&T iPhone account because they purchased their iPhone from Craig’s List or eBay or maybe the iPhone was given to them.
After going through the big AT&T iPhone unlocking shut down a couple of years ago and having to deal with a handful of scamming customers, I started asking myself, “Is this the business I want to be in?”
That leads me to the next question …
Building an Unlocking Website: Is it worth all the effort?
Yes, it has been. Despite the challenges, I’ve learned so much along the way. From managing an iPhone unlocking website as a business to exploring new app development opportunities and technologies, I know the StockUnlocks project opened the way to all of that. It has been worth it.
Third Party Unlocking: Why is this business considered a scam?
I do hear certain Podcasters refer to most unlocking websites as scams, warning their listeners to avoid “unofficially” unlocking their iPhones by these means.
I understand where they’re coming from, because it is kinda strange that if your iPhone is still under contract and AT&T won’t “officially” unlock it for you, all you have to do is come to a website like StockUnlocks.com and have it done within a day or two. How is that?
As a third party supplier, I’ve been trying to get the answer to that question for years and you know what? I don’t care anymore. Here’s what I do know: in the three years I’ve been processing iPhone unlocks, I’ve never had one relock again. Someone “over there” is approving and processing these iPhone unlocks. I say kudos to AT&T for cashing in, even if it’s on “the down low”.
Next Steps …
What’s in store for next year and beyond? As long as this website can pay its hosting and related fees, it will exist. Striking a balance between offering the cheapest iPhone unlock and staying profitable is not easy. Supplier’s prices change often and PayPal’s fees will always be there. Outside of that, I’ll continue to learn and explore other ways to help people because, in the end, that’s what keeps me going.
All the best,