If you live in Kenya like me then you know that iPhones are sold quite expensive by the few authorized apple dealers. These include telecommunication companies such as orange and Airtel who got authorized recently to start selling apple devices. IPhones bought directly from the shop are quite expensive and that’s why most people opt to import Locked phones then later unlock them to use any Sim card in Kenya. The price of an iPhone 5 bought directly from the shop cost around 70,000/= 16GB, 75,000/= 32GB and around 80,000/= for 64GB. Remember this is just a rough estimate. According to apple only orange appears on their website as an authorized dealers and distributors. But other companies like Elitedigital also have some kind of dealership with apple. At the end of the day most Kenyans cannot afford this kind of overrated kind of phones. But I have seen incredible cheap prices for the same device on OLX and jumia website for guys selling their iPhones at a cheap price.
This post is not exactly aimed at people who want to buy brand a brand new iPhone in Kenya but rather those whose iPhones are lying idle locked to international networks such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Verizon, Orange and the list goes on. What happens abroad is when you buy a phone its tied to a contract by the mobile service providers since you get into some kind of contract unlike in Kenya where most us buy phones directly from shops on cash basis. If you purchase directly from apple you will get the device at higher price since its unlocked but if you want to get it cheaper you can buy under a contract which makes it cheaper around $100 – 150 but provided you stick to the contract of using that specific network i.e. AT&T or Verizon.
Locked iPhones get their way to Kenya through people who have relocated to Kenya from abroad and the device are still locked to their original carrier and therefore cannot work with simcards in Kenya. What you need to know before you unlock this kind of phones is the carrier will not unlock them freely unless you have been a loyal customer on their network and have spent quite some money on their pricing plans that they offer both prepaid and postpaid. So how can you unlock them if they are still locked by their original carrier? Different companies have different rules for unlocking; I will try to cover AT&T because I have dealt with iPhones locked to this network frequently.
Since most people don’t meet the requirements of getting the phone unlocked at no cost you need to use a third party unlock solutions to get the device unlocked. The most important thing with your phone is it needs to be “CLEAN” that means it has not been reported lost, stolen or barred by the carrier due to unpaid bills. Once you provide us with the IMEI of the device its checked against carrier database to confirm its clean. Most devices that land in Kenya sometimes are either reported lost or the owner had some unpaid bills with previous carrier abroad.
This kind of iPhones can be unlocked by either normal cheap service or premium service if blacklisted or barred. A couple of websites run paid services to check if the device is Blacklisted or what network its locked too if you can’t tell or access the device to see. Once the status is confirmed you can go ahead and order the service. If the device is clean you can try to use the cheap option (70-80% success rate) or you can go for the premium service which is guaranteed to unlock it (100% success rate).
This is where I come in if you want to unlock your device I can assist you confirm if its blacklisted, or what network its locked to. This is very important for new buyers who have never used iPhones. Before you buy always confirm the device is not blacklisted or iCloud locked (refer to my previous post). I have seen naïve people buy devices that are as good as a Toy. Especially iCloud locked iPhones in Kenya. Also blacklisted iPhones are a bit expensive to unlock.
What the unlock is in simple language is your IMEI is submitted to apple servers by your carrier as unlocked that means it can connect to iTunes and apple servers deem it unlocked. Remember this is a joint effort between apple and carriers. Once the device IMEI is unlocked you can connect the phone to iTunes and the device communicates with apple servers and will give you a status unlocked if successful. If unsuccessful you will get a message "the sim card inserted in this iPhone does not appear to be supported. Please contact original carrier”.
If somebody tells you he is going to unlock your iPhone using some kind of software don’t fall that lie. It used to be done but apple have sealed all loopholes and starting from iPhone 4s and above only solutions is factory unlocking or by use a Sim interposer the likes of GEVEY or RSIM or XSIM…don’t mind the jargon/lingo used here.
I cannot be able to explain everything on a single post. But if you own an iPhone, iPod or iPad that’s locked I can help you get it unlocked at a good deal. If you need my help feel free to contact me.