Unlocking the iPhone 3GS: Is it Safe?

The iPhone 3GS is now several models removed from the current option that is available and on the market; however, it still functions perfectly fine, and is one of the best options available if you want a smart phone without spending an arm and a leg to obtain one. Unfortunately, the iPhone 3GS is only made for AT&T, so if you are using any other wireless service, you are out of luck with using this phone. That is unless; you unlock the phone.

When you unlock the phone the service coding that blocks out other wireless services is removed, allowing you to take your mobile device to another mobile provider. This way, even if you are not on AT&T, or if you are and you are switching but want to keep using the same phone, you will still be able to. Although the unlocking process is easy to do, you do need some specific coding help, which you must obtain before you can unlock the phone. Without the code, this will not be possible.

When you unlock the 3G iPhone 3GS, you are actually jail-breaking it. Jail-breaking means you are essentially busting it out of its code locking with the specific mobile service; thus, freeing it up for use on other platforms. Of course, there are a few specifics you need to take into consideration before you decide to jail-break the iPhone 3GS.

For beginners, after you adjusting the programming, you are going to void the warranty. Once this is done, if there is a problem with the internal workings of the phone or if the programming is not functioning correctly, you are not able to take the phone in and have it fixed. Since you have changed the programming and functionality of the mobile device, you are no longer able to take it in for free. Essentially, you are going to be forced to either just troubleshoot the situation yourself, or go and purchase a brand new iPhone 3GS (which you probably don't want to do).

In addition to this, you are only able to use the iPhone 4 and 3GS on another mobile service that uses the GSM based wireless network. There are two main networks inside the United States. GSM and CDMA. CDMA is a completely different network used by Verizon and Sprint, while GSM is used by companies such as AT&T and T-Mobile. GSM wireless devices use a SIM card to house the phone information and number, plus the actual internal hardware is different, so if you are a Verizon or Sprint user (or any other network that uses CDMA), you are not going to be able to use the unlocked iPhone 3GS, due to this issue. Before you go about performing the jail-break process, you need to know exactly what wireless network your carrier uses. For the smaller carriers, it is essential to contact your service department and see exactly what network they use, so you don't go out, spend a good deal of money on the wireless iPhone 3GS, and not be able to use it.

Of course, if you are just looking to sell the mobile phone, you are actually going to receive more money for the device, if you have already performed the jail-break process. This is because more individuals are going to be able to use the device, and you have saved them the time, money and energy of unlocking the phone yourself. With the phone unlocked, you are going to see a substantial increase of the device over the cost of a standard iPhone 3GS that has not yet been jail-broken. So you are sure to find that spending the few minutes to jail-break the phone is going to be well worth your time, after you receive the additional amount of money for the device.

The entire process of unlocking the phone is extremely simple, and even if you have never programmed a mobile device or tinkered with the internal programming of the equipment, you are going to be able to produce and complete the task process in only a matter of a few short minutes; although, you will need a bit of help in order to do so. You will not be capable of unlocking the phone without the code. Once you pay for the unlock code, there is detailed information on how to use the code in order to remove the programming from your mobile device. With the programming code information in hand, you are able to get to work and unlock the phone in only a matter of a few minutes.

Once you have unlocked the phone you are not able to return the device back to the original factory settings. It is still possible to do this, but you are going to lose the unlocked ability of the device, as the mobile network programming is placed back onto the phone. Occasionally you do need to reset the device back to the factory settings, due to a hardware or software issue. Such issues do not normally occur with the Apple iPhone, but it has been known to occur from time to time. When this happens, you just need to jail-break the iphone again. You can, thankfully, use the same unlock code you purchased and obtained, so you don't need to spend any additional money in order to perform the process; you are just going to be forced to perform the unlocking process once again.

If you want to update the mobile phone, as Apple does release a number of updates for the phone that you upload directly to the Apple iPhone, you might be required to restore the device back to the factory settings first, then upload the new update. This is because on occasion iTunes is not going to let you perform the task while the phone is "not programmed". By returning the device back to its original settings it is able to upload the new data and information. As with the previous step, you will need to jailbreak the device again. Thankfully, it does not take a long amount of time in order to jail-break the phone, so the process is going to be complete in just a matter of minutes. Just make sure to keep the code around and on hand. This means either saving it to your computer, or writing it down. Most likely you are going to want to use a system update, when it is made available, as many of these releases allow you to correct issues with the phone. In order to take advantage of the issues you need to update the phone, then jail-brake the iphone once again.

If you currently have the Apple iPhone 3GS, but want to take it to a different wireless network, you are in luck, as it is possible to unlock the phone and remove the specific AT&T programming. This is not complicated, and is actually very easy to perform since you just need to download the appropriate unlocking key code. Once the code is available, it will show you exactly how to unlock the phone. You just need to make sure that you are going to use the iPhone 3GS on another GSM based network, otherwise it is not going to work.




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