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Most of us are already familiar with the traditional method of jailbreaking and unlocking our iPhones -- which usually breaks with each new iOS update from Apple. But now there appears to be a more permanent solution available -- for a price.
ModMyi.com is reporting that a handful of websites are now offering a remote unlocking service for the iPhone, including Negri Electronics, who the website recommends as the most reputable source. The only catch is the cost: $175, although that appears to guarantee you a permanent, iTunes-based unlock that will survive all future iOS updates.
How does it work? Essentially, the service is the same as officially unlocked iPhones sold in many countries -- your device’s IMEI number (a number exclusive to each and every handset) is put on Apple’s official “whitelist,” and the next time you sync with iTunes, you’ll be notified that your device is unlocked. No jailbreaking, no Cydia, no Dev-Team -- it’s basically the same as having a factory-unlocked iPhone.
The real question is, how are these services suddenly getting such access to Apple’s database? No one knows for sure, although all of the unlock services appear to be using the same source -- a number of such services popped up on the radar on Wednesday, and Negri is offering a remote unlock with 24 hours.
There has been some debate on the ModMyi.com forums as to the legitimacy of this IMEI unlock service, although the general consensus is that once your device is unlocked this way, it will remain as such forevermore. However, some forum members have proposed the theory that Apple could just as easily identify these gray market unlocks and disable them -- so as always, buyer beware.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter
(Image courtesy of Negri Electronics)