Alfred is a long-time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.
The best way to unlock and activate any iPhone is through use of IMEI request. By choosing the IMEI unlock option you are able to get permanent activation and factory unlock for your iPhone. This allows you to use it with any sim card anywhere around the world. IMEI request is the utmost choice and one that will provide the most desirable and fulfilling unlock.
IMEI unlock can however be prohibitive for some, viz-a-viz the cost of unlocking iPhones with bad ESN or for other reasons. Thus many users go for cheaper and where possible, free unlock options.
R-Sim Unlock and Activation
One rather popular procedure to unlock and activate the iPhone is done by use of a special sim card interposer known as R-Sim.
The R-Sim interposer sits onto a provided tray, and lies just beneath your new sim card.
All you have to do is assemble the tray, interposer and sim card into one, and then stick it into the iPhone and follow the clearly written instructions!
What makes r sim unlock somewhat comforting is that you do not have to jailbreak your iPhone. Since jailbreak software are usually released weeks or months after the release of new iPhone Operating Systems (IOS), you do not have to sit and wait for the a jailbreak before you can unlock.
R-sim works out of the box and supports new IOS firmware up to IOS 7x.
How R-Sim Works on IOS 6X
In order to unlock using rsim, you need to have purchased the appropriate interposer. The latest rsim is R-Sim 9+ nano cloud which supports up to IOS 8. But other preceding r-sims like 8x, 7x work just as well and support IOS 7.
Once you have acquired your copy of r sim, all you have to do is insert it with your new sim card into the iPhone. If you have not yet powered up your iPhone do so.
If you are not automatically prompted to start the unlock and activation process, just go straight to Phone Settings app, select Phone, and tap on SIM Applications. You will see a page similar to the one below.
You will be shown the Select Carrier, Get Carrier Code and Edit IMSI options. The bottom two are designed for manual manipulation of the unlock and activation. Only opt for these if the first option in Select Carrier fails.
Go ahead and choose Select Carrier. You will be redirected to a long list of different carrier networks. Select the carrier that came with your iPhone. You must select a carrier that originally shipped with the iPhone to be unlocked.
NOTE: If you do not remember the original sim card for the iPhone in your hands, go find out via a number of tools and websites. The easiest way is to google your model number and the word carrier. The model number is found under Settings> General> About. It reads something similar to this – MD636LL/A. For example, google 'MD636LL/A carrier' and hover through the search results. One of the links on the first page of your search results should somehow indicate the original carrier for the iPhone.
After selecting the carrier that came with your iPhone, you will be directed to a new page showing a number of iPhone models, yours inclusive.
Select your iPhone model and you will be shown another screen alerting you that the setup is ok. (see image below) You will also be asked to restart your iPhone.
Tap on Accept at the bottom right of the screen and restart the iPhone.
All should be fine and as long as your iPhone was not locked to carriers like Sprint, Verizon and Japan AU, the iPhone should work as good as any.
If however it does not run smoothly, you should then download and run a special patch provided by R-Sim5.com. It is a small file of less than 10MB and should help kickstart your stubborn iPhone into new life.
Patch for CMDA iPhones from Sprint, Verizon and Japan AU
Users of CMDA iPhones from Sprint, Verizon and Japan AU must install an auxiliary patch in order to get their iPhone unlocked and most importantly, activated.
The listed iPhone above will work with voice function following the procedures already explained, but they will not work with internet and SMS services.
You will be able to make and receive phone calls, and receive SMS, but will not be able to use internet services and send SMS! And because of this, you will keep getting a reminder popup that the iPhone is not activated! (See image below)
This where the auxiliary patch comes in.
As shown in the above image, the rsim interposer can identify and work well with voice related carrier networks: being able to call and receive calls but will not be able to access internet or send SMS.
In order to offset this problem:
- You must install the free auxiliary patch in your computer and purchase an activation code, both from from r-sim website.
- You should also make sure that you have the latest iTunes installed in your computer before attempting this procedure.
- Only one activation code will work with any one iPhone.
- R-sim 8 and at least R-sim7+ will give you the best results.
The auxiliary patch dialog box looks similar to the image below.
A detailed explanation about how to use the auxiliary patch can be found HERE.
Alternative Unlock Solutions
As noted much earlier, the iPhone can also be unlocked through means other than r-sim.
- IMEI request: Factory unlock.
- Ultrasn0w Unlock: For iPhone 4S that have preserved unlock-able base-bands.
- Gevey Sim unlock.
© 2013 Alfred Amuno
Alfred Amuno (author) from Kampala on November 27, 2017:
Purchase the right interposer for your iPhone and it should work out. Read the info on the interposer pack about IOS compatibility before paying for it
moses on November 26, 2017:
my iphone is having an activation error, can any of the sims be used to activate it?
Parineeti Chopra on April 05, 2014:
Good Post. I would like to share unlocking experience here. I unlocked my iPhone using remote unlocking service. I got the remote unlocking service for my iPhone from http://www.theunlockarena.com/apple/rs13wp8/ at affordable cost with easy unlocking guide.