O2 will unlock iPhones for UK customers looking to port to other networks.
The network launched the incentive on November 10, the same day its exclusive hold over the devices was broken.
O2 has promoted the service on its website. The service is free of charge to contract customers. Customers that insert a non-O2 SIM card into their iPhone will still have to honour the remainder of the term of their contract.
Unlocking can take place a year after iPhones have been purchased on prepay for a one-off fee of £15, which will be deducted from the customer’s airtime balance.
Customers must complete the unlocking form on the O2 website. It will then take up to 14 days for the device to be unlocked and O2 will text the customer to confirm the unlock request. They then must place their new SIM card in the iPhone and connect to iTunes via a USB cable, with iTunes then confirming that the iPhone has been successfully unlocked.
An O2 spokesperson said: “Unlocking iPhones is the transparent thing to do and that’s the way we operate.”
Members of the independent unlocking community said they could still offer a superior iPhone unlocking service to O2.
Fone Doctors proprietor Faisal Sheikh said: “Unlocking mobiles is a whole new territory for any network to enter and O2 won’t know enough about how it all works.
“Customers won’t wait up to two weeks to get their iPhones unlocked – it’s far too long when we can turn them around in a day. Most of these customers will also want to jailbreak their iPhones but O2 isn’t offering this. I struggle to see the full benefit in getting an iPhone unlocked if it can’t be jailbroken.”
Ace Fones assistant manager Dan Shortall said: “The 14 day period is a long time compared to what we can do the unlock in so it’s not a concern really. The biggest worry is that the iPhone is now available across more sales channels.”
Meanwhile, a new unlocking solution for the iPhone has surfaced, with unlockers claiming it’s one of the best they’ve seen.
Dealers claim that Geohot – a well known iPhone hacker – has a crack to unlock and jailbreak all current versions of the iPhone. The solution, called Blackra1n, is available to download in both Windows and Mac versions.