Is iPhone 3.0 Software SIM Unlocked?

Before you answer “no” have you actually tried it on either an already activated phone or a non-activated iPhone with the 3.0 software (meaning 3GS, out of the box.)

Jolene has a non-3G, non-iPhone SIM that is with AT&T that previously didn’t work in:

– 2G iPhone with 1.x or 2.x software

– 3G iPhone with 2.x software

Tonight on a whim, I popped her non-3G, non-iPhone SIM into my 3G iPhone which has the 3.0 software and it worked. Made calls, received calls, called into VM fine (since it’s not enabled for Visual Voicemail.) I then put her SIM into my 3GS and it worked there too. On a further whim, I put in an old non-connected T-Mobile SIM… the iPhone did not reject it. Obviously I couldn’t place a call but in the past I had gotten a “this is an unauthorized SIM” message. I even went ahead and wiped the 3G iPhone clean and put the SIM in: worked there as well.

And so the questions in my head are:

– Does this only work on purpose or is this a bug in the 3.0 firmware?

– Has anyone activated a 3GS with a non-AT&T SIM?

– If not, does this only work on activated phones?

Or is this breaking news and I was the first guy to stumble into it?

8 thoughts on “Is iPhone 3.0 Software SIM Unlocked?”

  1. Never activated? That I don’t know. In fact, I wouldn’t think so, only because I had an enabled SIM and that didn’t auto-activate the new 3Gs out of the box.

    That said, if you have a friend first sync it with their SIM, you should be able to use your SIM after that, *if* you turn off (and leave off) 3G on the phone. I know that when I tried a non iPhone SIM on my iPhone with 3G turned on, it worked but I was sent a TXT message saying HEY! WE SAW THAT! COME GET A PLAN UPGRADE! – they aren’t allowed to auto upgrade the plan but who needs TXT reminders?

  2. Gotcha-so if I were to use a friends sim to turn on the phone, then I would be able to ‘activate’ the phone, hook it up to the computer, then unlock, could this damage their sim card? then us nearly any sim card.

    I bought software from Global iPhone Unlock, while reading the directions is when I realized this would be an issue. Haven’t bought a phone yet.

    Thanks for the info!

  3. In theory, yes. What happened for me was that I activated my 3Gs and then put my gf’s AT&T SIM into it, and it worked. That surprised me… now can your friend activate another 3Gs with iTunes and not sign it up for a new contract? That I don’t know.

  4. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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