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168 posts

Master Geek

#151039 11-Aug-2014 21:58
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I have been given a "Sim-free" iphone 4 in the UK (currently on holiday)
The details with the phone say it will lock to the network it is first used with.

I'm struggling to find information on how it actually works?
Is it a feature or software on the phone? Is it a feature of the uk networks pushing settings to the phone?

What is the best way to make sure it works in NZ?
Do I just leave it in the box till I get back to NZ or am I best to use it and then get the network to unlock it while in the UK?

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2596 posts

Uber Geek

  #1106764 11-Aug-2014 22:03
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Quick easy google search : 


How do I unlock an iPhone from Three?


Pay Monthly & Pay As You Go. Three can unlock your iPhone at any time. To request an unlock, fill out the form on Three’s website. There is no charge for this service. The details you provide on the form must match up exactly with those on your Three account (i.e. you’ll need to provide the details of the bill payer).


If you don’t currently have an active account at Three, you can unlock your iPhone by first ordering a free SIM card. Activate the SIM card before filling out the unlocking form. You don’t need to be the original owner of the device.


Usually the unlock process is permanent. One example is the AppleiPhone, which is officially unlocked (when applicable) every time during its activation step

501 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1106774 11-Aug-2014 22:16
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I suggest you check it while you're in the UK. Easy check would be to pop your NZ sim in the iPhone 4 and see if it works.

As it's an iPhone 4 I'm guessing it's not new, which network was it connected to?

As far as I understand sim lock is controlled by Apple but requested by the network that originally sold the iPhone. The UK networks are usually happy to unlock as long as there isn't money owing to them.


168 posts

Master Geek

  #1106793 11-Aug-2014 22:37
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The phone is a brand new sealed in box. Is an insurance replacement.
I hadn't heard of this "sim-free" deal before in NZ so do t know if the phone will or won't lock or just not register?

Starting to think using it and unlocking it is the safest option

3444 posts

Uber Geek


  #1106794 11-Aug-2014 22:38
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Going by this:

It would appear "sim-free" just means not locked?

168 posts

Master Geek

  #1106799 11-Aug-2014 22:52
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sidefx: Going by this:

It would appear "sim-free" just means not locked?
with the exception of iPhones that lock to the first carrier used, but there is no info on how this works internationally

501 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1106800 11-Aug-2014 22:55
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I'm pretty certain you'll be safe then as long as it's not designated for a particular network. Sim free should mean that it's not connected to a particular network but you just never know if people are using the wrong terminology.

All phones in NZ are unlocked so wouldn't need to be referred to as sim free which is why you wouldn't hear it here.

501 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #1106802 11-Aug-2014 22:58
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Gozer: with the exception of iPhones that lock to the first carrier used, but there is no info on how this works internationally

It doesn't lock automatically to the network of the first sim that went in, it's requested by the selling network and will only activate with a sim from that network.


168 posts

Master Geek

  #1106809 11-Aug-2014 23:16
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iPhone is unlocked when you buy it SIM free but Apple's software means it locks to the first network you use it with. To find out about a particular model

It's not a carphone warehouse phone but the info with the phone says the same.

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