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How SAM Exploit Unlocked iPhone 4 Without the Original Sim Card

The old SAM unlock for iPhone was created by a Chinese hacker, called Loktar Sun. Standing for Subscriber Artificial Module it unlocked iPhone models as of 2012 but was apparently limited to only IOS 5 - 6.

iPhone jailbreak in progress

iPhone jailbreak in progress

The excitement in the jailbreaking community was about its ability to hack into all iPhone basebands (BB) by then including 04.12.01 and the notorious 4.11.08.

Another kudos for it was the sheer speed at which the process was done. As long as the iPhone was already jailbroken, the entire process could go for less than ten minutes, depending on how accurate the user was.

Note: When deciding to jailbreak the iPhone, users had to avoid upgrading the IOS (iPhone Operating System).

Newer IOS did not support un-tethered jailbreak. This simply means that whenever you were to reboot iPhone, it would need to be connected (tethered) to the PC and a reboot done via a tool like Redsnow.

Guides on how to sim unlock iPhone 4 and 4S

How to unlock using SAM. 1

How to unlock using SAM. 2

Video guides on how to unlock iPhone using SAM can be got here.

The unlock dilemma

The only catch in the unlocking process is that the user had to have the original sim card in order to make a successful unlock. SAM replaced the IMSI id in the new sim with the code provided by the original carrier. It basically spoofed Apple and iTunes into accepting the old ISMI and ICCID into the new sim.

The problem was that not everyone had the original sim card with which to complete the process. Some users purchased their iPhones from eBay or through other sources online. Still, others who traveled overseas found themselves stuck with bricked devices when new sims they purchased away from home failed to work.


Know the iPhone original carrier

If faced with this dilemma you could possibly make a few phone calls and inquire from your retailer as to where and from which network carrier your phone was purchased, hoping that you got the answers, you could go ahead and unlock your iPhone using the instructions mentioned in the links above.

There was a possibility that a user would know the country where the iPhone was purchased and not the carrier provider. Your options included toggling through all carriers in the country of purchase.

If however, you failed to get the information, and that the iPhone had not gone through numerous hacks and jailbreaks before, then there was an alternative hack which perfectly worked for me. (NOTE: Numerous exploits may sometimes make the desired data fail to appear in the next hack below!)

The first step was to download iTools. You had tounzip the setup onto the desktop. With your iPhone plugged into the PC, you executed the iTools.exe file. iTools would promptly load an info page, as shown in the illustration below.

This main page had basic information about the iPhone.

Important here were:

  • The status of the iPhone; whether jailbroken or not. It was important to remember that the iPhone had to be jailbroken before attempting to unlock it using SAM!
  • The region where the iPhone was purchased.
iTools, a great tool that knows your iPhone too well

iTools, a great tool that knows your iPhone too well

Scroll to Continue

Additional details would be shown if you clicked on View Details tab at the bottom. Important here included:

  • The region where the iPhone was purchased,
  • The original carrier of your iPhone.

Armed with this information, you could be able to feed the correct data under country and carrier in the Methods option in the SAM exploit page.

When feeding data into SAM these were important:

  • Name of the country, where the iPhone was purchased,
  • Name of the network provider,
  • The sim-ID. iTools would not have the sim-ID but fortunately for you, there were always a few of them on the list. You could always toggle between them until one of them worked for you.

After the above process, you had to navigate to SAM Details, where you copied the generated IMSI string. This was important before clicking on Spoof Real SIM to SAM.

After spoofing Apple, you could then paste the string you had copied over the IMSI string under Subscriber Artificial Module tab.

© 2012 Alfred Amuno


Luke on May 01, 2014:

Great job. I really liked that.

Arnold Palmer on December 23, 2013:

Great article man but when I tried to unlock with that Sam thingy my phone stucked at Apple mode any way I found this way to unlock

Lathika on September 13, 2013:

i have iphone 4 Tmobile lock my IMEI.

Romi on January 02, 2013:

Hi i have i phone 4 from Germany with Telecom SIM Lock

Alfred Amuno (author) from Kampala on December 04, 2012:

Thanks Sobhi.

sobhi on December 04, 2012:

Great article !!!!

Alfred Amuno (author) from Kampala on November 23, 2012:

Theses articles should help solve your problem:



Ricardo on November 23, 2012:

Can anyone gelo me out?

i've got An. iPhone 4 from canada, i need to unlock to portuguese network. iOS 6

Version mc605 v6.0.1.

audreyy on May 29, 2012:

Good Post!!Useful post for those who is in need of unlocking iPhone 4!! My sister unlocked her iPhone at using Remote unlocking service!!At wickedunlock the unlocking service is affordable and the unlocking process is simple to do!!

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