How to Change iPhone Carriers

Written by chester rockwell
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How to Change iPhone Carriers
(old lock unlocked image by ennavanduinen from

Despite the fact that the iPhone has exclusivity agreements with some wireless carriers, buyers can still switch to a carrier outside of the agreement provided that their new carrier uses a GSM wireless network. Before the switch can be made, users will need to first modify their device by "jailbreaking" and unlocking it so that it can be used on a non-native wireless network.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • iPhone
  • USB cable for iPhone
  • SIM card activated for use with a GSM wireless provider
  • iPhone pin or a thin paper clip to remove SIM card tray from iPhone
  • A jailbreak and unlocking tool

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  1. 1

    Connect your iPhone to your computer and open your selected jailbreaking and unlocking tool.

  2. 2

    Disconnect your iPhone from iTunes after you complete the jailbreak and unlocking process and turn off the device.

  3. 3

    Insert the iPhone's SIM card pin, or a thin paper clip, into the side of the SIM card tray to pop the tray out. The tray will be located at the top of the iPhone if the device is an earlier generation, or on the right side if the device is an iPhone 4.

  4. 4

    Slide the SIM tray out of the phone and insert the activated SIM card from your new GSM wireless provider into the tray.

  5. 5

    Gently slide the SIM tray back into the device. Once installed, power on the iPhone.

  6. 6

    Reconnect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes to sync and save the device's new changes.

Tips and warnings

  • The iPhone can be used on any GSM carrier once it has been unlocked, but due to exclusivity agreements that exist between Apple and some wireless carriers, users may lose some of the device's features if they switch to a carrier that does not have an exclusivity agreement.

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