iOS 5 Bug Lets You Unlock Your AT&T iPhone 4S For Free, No Jailbreak Required [Update]

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A method has been uncovered that unlocks the GSM iPhone 4S for T-Mobile. By taking advantage of an alleged bug in iOS 5, you can supposedly unlock your iPhone 4S on AT&T without jailbreaking.

To perform the hack, you’ll need a T-Mobile Micro SIM and your AT&T SIM from your iPhone 4S.

The method was tweeted by the famous hacker known as Chronic:

  1. Insert original carrier AT&T SIM card
  2. Dial 611 for AT&T customer service hotline and drop the call
  3. Turn on Airplane Mode
  4. Take out AT&T SIM card
  5. Insert T-Mobile SIM card
  6. Make sure WiFi is off ( also tap on ‘Forget this Network” to make sure it doesn’t connect automatically later)
  7. Switch off Airplane Mode and iPhone will search for network. This is followed by the Apple splash screen appearing.
  8. Activation Required will be displayed on the screen
  9. EDGE network will activate automatically – notice the ‘E’ on the top left corner of the screen
  10. Wait for about 20-30 seconds and turn off the phone
  11. Turn on iPhone and the same Activation Required screen will be displayed
  12. When you see one signal bar, tap on Use Cellular Connection
  13. Eject SIM card
  14. Activation Required screen will be displayed the second time
  15. Insert SIM card
  16. Unlocked!

While this workaround has not been definitively proven to work, many seem to think that following these steps will actually unlock the 4S.

Here’s danielscaleb’s success story:

After a little playing around, I confirmed that a certain iOS 5 bug leads to an unlock.  Note, this will only work on GSM models.  I’m going to figure out CDMA models next.  Basically, you’ll need a GSM iPhone 4S, an AT&T SIM card, and a T-Mobile Micro SIM.  Also, you could actually mess up your cellular radio doing this, though its very unlikely.

While this workaround seems like a hit or miss, it also seems to have worked for many people.

Apple sells the GSM iPhone 4S unlocked in the US for the full retail starting price of $649. Keep in mind that, although unlocking does free you from AT&T’s clutches, the iPhone can only use T-Mobile’s slower EDGE network in the US.

Update: It appears that this unlock may only be temporary. According to MuscleNerd, unlock expert for the iPhone Dev Team: “Unfortunately it’ll just relock again once a new TMSI is required (various normal network operations require TMSI refresh)”