Why does iPhone unlocking take so long?

You may have had a phone unlocked in the past few years and noticed how it could be done almost instantly. How come this isn’t the case anymore?

Sadly iPhones cannot be unlocked like that. How a standard phone gets unlocked by us, is that the software on the phone would get modified in such a way to give us its unlocking code, or to directly unlock the phone itself. Android devices and older phones have the ability to do this as they are open source devices (anyone can dive into their inner workings and see how things are done) which means that we can access key areas which are normally locked off to a standard user and gain the information we need.

iPhones and iOS devices on the other hand aren’t as easy as this sadly. iOS is heavily locked down from any third parties having access to their system files. They are also closed source with the keys being a heavily guarded Apple secret. This thankfully doesn’t affect our ability as such to unlock the devices, because unlike Android devices, the unlocking process doesn’t take place on the phone itself. It takes place at Apple.

To unlock an iPhone there’s a series of steps involved, the number of steps and complexity is what can make the price for unlocking vary between networks.

Once an iPhone is booked in, its immediately put through a CheckMend report. This is to ensure that the financial and owner history is clean on the device and that there isn’t a likely hood of it being rejected from later stages. This costs us a small fee.

We then have to speak to the Carrier of which the phone is locked too, most times this requires an administration fee to gather the documents we need to proceed.

Once we have everything we need from the carrier, which can take a day or so, we then have to speak to Apple and inform them of the decision to unlock the device. Again there is a licence fee to access the unlocking database with Apple. We would pass over all the information we have including the confirmation from the carrier to approve the unlocking request.

Finally, it’s Apples final decision on unlocking the device. This can take anywhere between a day to a whole month. Normally this is done within 10 days but if we are made aware of any delays we would tell you as soon as possible, if not at the time of booking in the device. Once the device is unlocked from the Apple database, they send a small file to your phone containing the unlocking information and a new certificate to allow it to operate on every carrier. To accept this file usually you have to put another sim card into the phone from a network that it’s never been used on before, or plug it into iTunes.

We hope this explanation of iPhone unlocking helps you understand why they take so long. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience this may cause. Don’t worry about the fee’s mentioned, they’ve already been calculated into your unlocking cost!

In conclusion, it should take normally 3-5 working days should everything go smoothly. It can take up to a maximum of 15 working days but this is on a very rare occasion.