O2 iPhone unlock site goes live

9 November 2009

iphone_unlock Here is the news. The days of O2’s iPhone exclusivity are now OVER! It is OFFICIAL!

As of tomorrow (Tuesday 10th) Orange will be offering the little-known handset that has rapidly become known as the ‘JesusPhone’ in certain circles, and like decent honourable sorts, O2 are now allowing their iPhone-using customers to unlock their phones, enabling them to switch to another service provider – and here’s the official website telling you how to do it.

Contracts being what they are, if you’re locked into a deal with O2, you’ll need to honour the remainder of the minimum term with hard currency if you choose to go elsewhere. Pay and go customers will have had to have been with O2 for a minimum 12 month period, and they’ll be charged a one-off disconnection fee of £15.

With the Orange offering coming in somewhere on the scale between ‘more or less the same as O2’ and ‘piss poor’ it’ll be interesting to see how many O2 customers migrate.  Still, it gives us an excuse to pump another JesusPhone story into your shattered faces…

[Thanks to Bitterwallet reader Amzmalhotra for the tip]

TOPICS:   Mobile

57 comments

  • Andy
    I'm so annoyed that you have to have had your iPhone for 12 months on PAYG to get it unlocked. Surely the whole point of PAYG is that there is no contract!!!
  • GerraJob
    But O2 still have to subsidise the phone, even for PAYG customers. And believe me, these things don't come cheap.
  • Bill B.
    Er... so does this mean I'll have to pay the remaining 6 months or so of my contract in one go if I unlock? Even if I plan to use my O2 contract in another phone?
  • Iphonic
    Just bought a new one need to wait 12 months to unlock it..... thats a bledy ****** thing from o2. Rather I go to a local mobile shop and get it unlocked for a tenner...
  • veedubjai
    Try buying a iPhone 3G/3GS CONTRACT-FREE & see how much it cost without a voice tariff, then you will count yourself lucky not having to fork out so much in the first place. Even PAYG handsets are subsidise & that doesn't apply only just O2 network.
  • Marvin
    Does that make the HTC Hero the GodPhone?
  • moazzam
    so what happens if you buy the phone from apple? its still locked to o2, who unlocks that?
  • Len
    "" Posted by veedubjai | November 9th, 2009 at 8:34 pm Try buying a iPhone 3G/3GS CONTRACT-FREE & see how much it cost without a voice tariff, then you will count yourself lucky not having to fork out so much in the first place. Even PAYG handsets are subsidise & that doesn’t apply only just O2 network"" You can't buy a factory unlocked sim free version of the iPhone that is made for the UK, it simply does not exist over here. The ones you see available for the much higher prices are from Italy etc and that, along with the fact they are factory unlocked, is the reason they are so much more than a PAYG iPhone from o2. Im sure they do subsidise the iPhones partly, but once they get 12 months of top ups and then the £15 unlock fee, they are laughing all the way to the bank! Paying £440 for ANY phone is more than enough to say it is YOURS.
  • tin
    One reason people might be off - o2's 3G coverage is piss wet. You'd think some lazy arse would have done something to improve it given all the iPhones belong to them.....
  • vaga222
    Just a reminder that if you have the free internet on the iPhone via 02's P&G offer you will lose it if you put your sim card into a different handset (I guess they check the IMIE number). Took me a few days to get them to re enable it when I moved my sim card into a N95 for a week :(
  • veedubjai
    @ Posted by Len | November 9th, 2009 at 9:40 pm. Are you sure? Check out the prices from a established online retailer, http://www.play.com/Search.aspx?searchtype=allproducts&searchstring=iphone&page=search&pa=search Fair enough, surely but O2 needs to protect it revenue at least the minimum term after sending so much on getting the iPhone contract from Apple in the first place. Apple could have easily said, stuff you O2 rather then let Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone or 3 to get the licence. Could you imagine if the other networks have the license? Why did Apple choose O2 network? On what grounds/factors did Apple decide the licence to sell the iPhone on O2 network in UK? Would Apple jeopardise it own premium brand name on a smaller network that may not have the bigger infrastructure to support it? That's like saying expect a brand name like Porche or BMW to sell themselves cheap but expect premium quality materials used? What about the after sales service commitments? Don't you think that Apple would not do their homework before giving the license to O2? Don't think Apple are dumb enough to do that & ruin its name for the sake some customers want it cheap, cheap, cheap. They are still people who are quite happy to pay fot it in the first place & know what they are getting. No one is forcing you to sign the contract. If the price is too much, buy a cheap phone for what you can afford. By the way, I like iPhones but I have never had one & still use my SE K800i & Nokia 6100. End of day, it's just a phone to make calls, not a computer.
  • evilsheep
    So, will o2 be unlocking iPhones bought second hand by non-o2 customers? Having just looked over the online unlocking form it would appear not. I guess my only option is to custom restore or go the blackra1n route. Allegedly, if I restore and update to 3.1 via iTunes, the phone will lock to Orange if the Orange SIM is inserted first. Not sure I'll be the first one to gamble on that though. Anyone else?
  • Frugal
    Current iPhone PAYG Pricing: * iPhone 3G 8GB - £342.50 * iPhone 3GS 16GB - £440.40 * iPhone 3GS 32GB - £538.30 Unlocked from cex.co.uk for 32gb version, £700 So the £10 jail break option is quite good value, who cares about O2's rules, although I do wonder how legal they are, it's cheap to unlock :)
  • Meesh
    This site is also pretty popular for the factory unlocked (i.e. never-locked iPhones). It was set up by a guy i worked with while i was at carphone warehouse . They're only a bit cheaper than play.com, so it shows that play aren't making a killing from these. http://phonedevil.com/index.php/factory-unlocked-apple-iphone-3gs.html What's interesting to read is their comparison of the price of an O2 contract versus a factory unlocked version. Lots of savings to be made if you can bear the initial pain!
  • Sriks
    Why are u guys willing to shell out 10 quid for an unlock when you can do it for free. Google for Dev Team or Blackra1n
  • Antony W.
    The changes we have seen to mobile phone tariffs 1 Vastly increased roaming charges 2 Ability to unlock Are, I believe, due to new EU laws that come in in July 2009. Maybe BW can illucidate theis?
  • Jayme
    Posted by veedubjai | November 10th, 2009 at 12:57 am @ Posted by Len | November 9th, 2009 at 9:40 pm. Are you sure? Check out the prices from a established online retailer, http://www.play.com/Search.aspx?searchtype=allproducts&searchstring=iphone&page=search&pa=search Fair enough, surely but O2 needs to protect it revenue at least the minimum term after sending so much on getting the iPhone contract from Apple in the first place. Apple could have easily said, stuff you O2 rather then let Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone or 3 to get the licence. Could you imagine if the other networks have the license? Apple have an agreement with O2 for several years to provide the iPhone, they have just lost the exclusivity. They dont have an option as such to just say "stuff you" Why did Apple choose O2 network? Apple took several factors into account, not least the infrastructure of the company, the excellent reputation for providing great customer service, along side that Apple also mystery shopped every network in the UK and O2 came out on top. On what grounds/factors did Apple decide the licence to sell the iPhone on O2 network in UK? O2 were/are the biggest network in the UK with a vision to become even bigger. They are looking to move their brand forwards and expand into new markets. Apple are looking for a forward thinking company. What about the after sales service commitments? Don’t you think that Apple would not do their homework before giving the license to O2? All warranty issues with iPhones, no matter if they are from O2, Craphone Whorehouse or Apple themselves can be dealt with in an Apple store. Mine was purchased from an O2 store but exchanged under warranty in an Apple store.
  • Tom
    @SRIKS ... EXACTLY ... paying £10 for someone to run a downloaded application. The person doing it won't be able to guarantee that they will replace your phone if they brick it. So better to do it yourself. I totally agree. I wonder how I sit with O2 with regards to the unlocking process. Since I had my initial iphone replaced under the insurance policy, since it got broken. So while it appears to be a new purchase, I've had an iphone for over a year! hmmm.
  • David
    The question is WHY are O2 suddenly offering this service - is it a case of jump before it's pushed - is there some pending legalisation??
  • James
    I wish all of you who leave o2 to go to Orange the very best of luck. I notice that they sit at the very bottom of the charts for broadband customer satisfaction (33%) and I bet they would get similar results in mobile charts, though of course miles below orange would be Three.
  • Rob B.
    I've got an O2 (non-iPhone) contract sim in a second hand (ex contract) iPhone. I've filled in the form anyway so will see if the honour it!
  • MARK
    Where in O2 Terms does it say that you have to have a PAYG phone for 12 months IT DOES NOT so send an email to the CEO asking him where it is he will like that!
  • veedubjai
    @ Posted by Jayme | November 10th, 2009 at 8:20 am Fair point. Now, will this mean to others not to rely on cost alone as the deciding factor on signing up for 18M/24M term contracts. Sick & tired of hearing people complaining it's too expensive to own a iPhone in the first place. Think the bigger picture here guys. Let's just wait & see the results from ex-O2 iPhone customers who either intend to migrate/migrated over to Orange/Vodafone network in the next few months & 3/4 part of their contracts & see how they value their relationship. Will be an eye opener to see was it worth the hassle by changing mobile networks just to get a cheaper deal on iPhone & what ex-O2 iPhone customers will gain from it. You pay for what get at the end of the day.
  • MARK
    if you got a PAYG phone you should be able to use it with any network that has this phone O2/Orange they can not refuse it as its against the law.
  • veedubjai
    @ Posted by MARK | November 10th, 2009 at 6:56 pm http://www.o2.co.uk/termsandconditions/yourairtimecontract# Pay & Go Pay & Go Consumer Service terms & conditions (June 2008) The following terms and conditions apply from 1 June 2008 Tariff transfer and Mobile Phone locking 13.1 If you wish to transfer to another O2 tariff, please contact O2 Customer Service, for applicable qualifying criteria and charges. 13.2 Your Mobile Phone is likely to be locked to the Network. If this is the case, you must not insert another operator's SIM card into the Mobile Phone without an unlatching code (which is not your PIN code). We will on request provide an unlatching code after a qualifying period. Failure to enter the correct unlatching code may result in your Mobile Phone becoming permanently blocked. We can accept no responsibility for Mobile Phones blocked in this way. Contact O2 Customer Service for further information on the qualifying period, applicable conditions and charges. This clause 13.2 does not apply if you have purchased a SIM card only and, at the time of purchase of the SIM card, you are connected to a network other than the O2 Network. @ Posted by MARK | November 10th, 2009 at 7:27 pm if you got a PAYG phone you should be able to use it with any network that has this phone O2/Orange they can not refuse it as its against the law. Why does it say it is against the law? Have you got anything to back this up?
  • MARK
    This clause 13.2 does not apply if you have purchased a SIM card only and, at the time of purchase of the SIM card, you are connected to a network other than the O2 Network.
  • MARK
    Where does it say in the O2 contract that you are tied to them for 12 months on PAYG
  • MARK
    Also where does it state in the terms the length of the qualifying period.
  • veedubjai
    @ Posted by MARK | November 10th, 2009 at 7:56 pm Contact O2 Customer Service for further information on the qualifying period, applicable conditions and charges. @ Posted by MARK | November 10th, 2009 at 7:58 pm Contact O2 Customer Service for further information on the qualifying period, applicable conditions and charges. @ Posted by MARK | November 10th, 2009 at 8:01 pm Contact O2 Customer Service for further information on the qualifying period, applicable conditions and charges.
  • MARK
    In there terms and conditions of the iphone PAYG or the Airtime terms and conditions they do not state the exact lenght of the Qualifing period.
  • Kay C.
    @Mark - veedubjai is correct. Although other countries do have the law against phone network locking unfortunately for us in the uk it doesn't. What others have said about the subsidised PAYG iPhone price tag is exactly the case. I'd assume one way of getting around it though would be calling O2 and offering them to pay the full price of the handset (like in a contract situation) but then again it's back to square one. I agree with everyone who's written about people complaining about the price. I was one of them I was an iPhone hater because of it but once I had my wife's for a week I can't think of myself without one so now we have two in the house. All the excitement about it being on Orange and being cheaper is useless. Orange has set out a carbon copy of O2's iPhone tarriff and prices but to make things hilarious Orange has allowed it's iPhone customers 750MB data (ridiculously enough - on wi-fi aswell!) each month in contrast to O2's actually unlimited offering (fair usage applies but very huge, unspecified allowance). So shame on Orange because they haven't changed anything other than offer the iPhone to ongoing or prospective Orange customers not the other way round (i.e. Get on Orange because of the iPhone). No informed prospective or transition iPhone owners would side with Orange over O2, except for maybe coverage issues in the user's area, or they come to their senses and reduce their tarriff or offer something extra other than 241 Orange Wednesdays. So big disappointment Orange, bring on Vodafone! Only thing good thing about it is that I can legally unlock my iPhone now. Everyone who's on iPhone contract with O2 - good news! You can unlock your iPhone anytime you want but obviously have to continue paying for the contract. Everyone with O2 PAYG iPhones - Hang in there guys, it's only a year (could be worse!) and look on the bright side you're getting free unlimited web and wi-fi for the duration!
  • mark
    As I said where does it say in O2 terms of conditions that all PAYG customers sign for 12 months wether they are iphone users or normal PAYG with £20 Nokia's and also where in the terms does it say the exact lenght of the Qualifing period, because it does not. So how can O2 now say that you have got to stay with them. I will be switching my Iphone off and never toping up my PAYG account so O2 are not getting any money out of me and reporting the to ofcom.
  • mark
    Found thi item in O2 customer complaint forum: Interesting response to the unlocking question from O2 Boss ttp://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/telecoms/article6886886.ece Q: Is there any truth in the rumour that after Orange and Vodafone are able to sell the iPhone you will not allow people to unlock their iPhone, even if they are out of their contract period? If so, how can you justify this action if the customers have paid for the phone over the life of their contract and you will not be the sole carrier? Do you not think this would possibly be illegal under EU law? Andy McConn, Glasgow Andy, There is absolutely no truth in that rumour. Once the iPhone becomes available on other UK networks, we will allow O2 customers to unlock their iPhones, although of course they will still need to honour any outstanding contract period they have. At the end of their contract period, they are entirely free to move to another operator — though naturally we hope they won’t want to! So where is a PAYG phone a contract phone then.
  • msyder
    This mean iPhone 3GS users categorically cannot unlock their phones unless you've been with them for 2+ years.
  • Tom
    Well my family unit has two iphones: 1) a 3G PAYG which will be 12 months in January 2) a 3GS PAYG that was an insurance replacement for another 3G that was originally bought in January. Each of the phones were purchased from O2 store, as I avoid Carphone whorehouse like the plague. Each of the phones have only ever had the initial £10 top up applied and that was it! Got a it stuck asking for regularly called numbers and when my last top-up was on the form! I've never used the sim-cards other than for activating the handset!!! I've applied for both to be unlocked ... don't hold out much hope. But would rather the handsets are legally unlocked, as I can then upgrade as appropriate! I fully appreciate that I bought a phone tied to O2 network. I had the option of getting a legitimately unlocked one from Italy (before Play.com started selling them). But I'm just an impulsive shopped and bought them both. So, if I have to wait, then I'll be miffed. But I'm getting more than I certainly expected O2 to do.
  • mark
    A man from CEO office at O2 phoned me today after I left an email with the CEO of O2 after complaining about the poor customer service I had about unlocking my PAYG iphone and has said they will not unlock any Iphone PAYG unless it has been used for 12 months on a PAYG contract even though it does not say in any of there terms and conditions, but as from 10/10/09 they will unlock any contract phone as long as you bay your O2 bills till the end of the contract, he also said if you sold you previous Iphone 2G/3G and bought a PAYG 3gs and used it on your existing iphone contract they will not unlock it at the end of your first contract, you then have to put a PAYG sim in it and then wait 12 months before they will unlock it. My point I pointed out to them was if its not in any of there term and conditions how can us the customer agree to it, they say they wont unlock any PAYG Ipone unless it goes past the qualifying period which does not state the length of in any terms and condition which could be 1day / 1month / 1 year or when hell freezes over, they they have put this in there terms so they won’t lose any customers and keep making money out of us, so I asked him how much credit I had left on my iphone which was £4.20 so I said I will use this credit up and switch the iphone off until my 12 months have come then I will ask to unlock my phone, if they haven’t change the lenght of the terms again. If you have any complaints please email the CEO of O2 on the following email address he will thank you for your imput in this matter. [email protected] The more emails the better.
  • brandycmc
    Well done Mark. It took a note from the CEOs office for you to actually believe all of the answers (that everyone had already given you on this forum). My uncle always said that we have two ears and one mouth - and that they should be used in that ratio. To everyone else - has anyone heard about exactly how the unlock will be done? Yes - I've heard the bit about getting an unlock code from O2 and then syncing it with iTunes - but does it over-write the carrier lock in the baseband so that the phone is effectively 'permanently' unlocked making it like the official unlocked phones you can get in some countries - or is it more of an Apple database change thing, which might thereore be reversible? Secondly, has anyone heard of any unlocks actually happenning yet? I'd be keen to hear/read a user's experience. thanks
  • mark
    No just another con given by the network to have customers by the bollocks my point is when is a PAYG phone a contract phone nobody signs for it some im not going to use it so nu money for them then. I will my Orange contract phone from now on. (JB)
  • Kay C.
    @brandycmc - well said mate! You took the words right out of my mouth! @mark - please try to understand a PAYG iPhone is not a contract phone but you still got it at a subsidised price which means O2 paid for a part of the price of the iPhone you are enjoying. O2's way of getting that money back is by making you stay for 12 months getting your top ups over that time. Now you can either go with that or do what you intend to do. Either way you get 12 months free unlimited Internet and wifi which I don't need to remind you is not cheap. Just look at what Orange is offering in my previous post and you'll understand what I mean. Even if you go for your solution you get a very cheap iPhone at the price of twelve months' time at O2's expense. So both ways is a win win situation for you. Thing is I'm not advocating for O2. I hate them as much as you do but not for the same reasons. The issue you're addressing is pretty fair in my eyes. Look at it this way, things could be much worse. O2 may not have allowed any unlocking at all or delay it by months but they didn't. They started doing it the same day orange released the iPhone. So like I said before things could be much worse. Look at orange, everyone, including me, thought hurrah!!! Change is here!!! End of the day orange has made a mockery of themselves!
  • Kay C.
    @brandycmc - about the unlocking, I read in another forum a person from another country described the process. Basically you give your imei no to the network they pass it on to apple and apple removes the network restriction from that particular iPhone. Now I'm not sure if it is permanent or not. But I assume ( and hope and pray! ) that it is because the person said that you can use any sim from anywhere ( given that it's bandwidth is supported ) around the world. Which to me means you can use it on not only apple authorised iPhone carriers ( in the UK - O2, Orange & Vodafone - for now ) but also in the others ( 3, T-Mobile, Virgin ). Hope that helps even a little bit. Going to unlock wifey's iPhone in the next couple of days. So might be able to shed some more light into it then.
  • Kay C.
    @msyder - please read my previous posts, your answer is there. I don't know why I wasted so much time writing it if no one has the time to read it. No, you don't have to wait at all, contract iPhone owners can get theirs unlocked anytime. By honouring the contract the O2 CEO meant paying for the rest of the contract, either you use the minutes and texts or not.
  • Ten B.
    [...] Unlock your iPhone from O2 – many terms and conditions apply of course [...]
  • Robin
    Just got a text from O2 UK stating that my iPhone 3G is now unlocked! Only had the contract for 11 months so far.
  • Tobi
    I got an iPhone on PAYG, never used the PAYG sim but put my existing O2 contract sim in instead which expires in 1 month, after which I'll go on simplicity. I only bought the iPhone it 3 months ago, but O2 sent me a text saying your iphone is now unlocked. Tested it and works! Result!
  • iD
    just filled up the form, 1 month left on the contract but my iphone i bought as pay as you go 4 months ago
  • How p.
    [...] O2 iPhone unlock site goes live | BitterWallet [...]
  • Ashraf H.
    Ok guys I bought this iPhone 3G about 4 months ago second hand, I currently have the simplicity 20, I filled in the form about 2 weeks ago, today I recieved a text from o2 my iPhone is unlocked and to insert a different sim and connect to iTunes, I did that and it was unlocked :) I tried every sim card and it works, altho I won't leave o2 the phones value has increased as it is now a factory unlocked iPhone and not a jailbreak hacked one, now I'm happy whenever I go abroad
  • Ashraf H.
    Also I don't think you have to be with o2 for 12 months on pay as you go simply because on the form you fill in it says you will lose your free 12 months web and wifi bolt on, after 12 months it will expire anyway :S
  • Ross C.
    My girlfriend paid a full contract with O2 for her iPhone and is now on a PAYG sim with them. We've filled in the form to get it unlocked. We have also readily credited the phone with £15 IF there is a charge, seen as it is PAYG now but hopefully O2 will take into consideration that this is an ex-contract phone. But lets just say we're not getting our hopes up. We'll keep you guys updated on what happens....
  • Tony H.
    Unlocking your iPhone From 10 November, the iPhone can be unlocked for O2 customers in the UK. Pay Monthly customers Your iPhone can be unlocked at anytime free of charge. If you unlock your handset and place a non-O2 sim into it, you will still have to honour the remainder of the minimum term on your contract. iPhone Pay & Go customers Yes, you can unlock your iPhone for a one-off cost of £15. You'll pay for this from the money topped-up on your phone. But if you unlock your iPhone less than 12 months after you bought it, we'll take off the free Web & Wi-Fi Bolt On (that we added for the first 12 months). You can buy a Web & Wi-Fi Bolt On for £10 a month when you fill in the unlocking form. Find out more about the Web & Wi-Fi Bolt On here. What do I need to do? Firstly, complete the unlocking form - it will take up to 14 days for the iPhone to be unlocked and we'll text you to confirm the unlock request. Then place a non-O2 sim into the iPhone and connect to iTunes via a USB cable. iTunes will confirm that the iPhone has been successfully unlocked.
  • Alan
    HELLO MR ROB B, WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR ATTEMPT? DID YOU GET YOUR IPHONE UNLOCKED? I'AM IN SIMILAR SITUATION, HAVE NON-IPHONE TARIFF AND A USED O2 IPHONE, JUST WONDERING IF I WOULD BE ABLE TO UNLOCK IT IF I FILL THE FORM. PLEASE REPLY TO [email protected]
  • Unlock 3.
    I am looking for iPhone 4 jailbreak and unlock. Is it out yet? All i see are iphone 3.1.3 3GS unlock.
  • James n.
    Have just upgraded to iphone4 have business contract - have been on contract for 16 months - still have old iPhone 3G which want to give to wife on existing vodaphone contract (want to take out sim) - vodaphone contract with unlimited data from htc hero and put in old iPhone- have filled in unlocking form on 02 website for old iphone - am using new micro sim but with my same number ( on renewed 2 year contract in new iphone4) therefore old phone now has no working sim - will unlock request still work (I'm hoping it dosent need working sim in it to be unlocked) -
  • HLL
    I rang them today james and they told me it doesn’t need the sim in, it just needs hooking up to itunes with any sim when the text comes. Does anyone know how long they are taking to send the text? Thanks, Helen
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