Unlocking your iPhone is nothing new. In fact, users have been doing so for years, ever since the original iPhone was released exclusively for AT&T in 2007. People wanted the freedom to be able to use their iPhones on the network of their choice instead of being restricted to just one carrier, and thus, various tools were introduced online. There are unlocking and jailbreaking programs for the iPhone, no matter which version you own, that are fast and effective. Some of these require a fee to use.
One thing to keep in mind is that when you unlock your iPhone, you will only have the option of using it on a GSM carrier. In the United States, this means the only other choice of network aside from AT&T is T-Mobile. Unfortunately, all the other major and smaller wireless companies run on CDMA, which is a completely different frequency, so your unlocked iPhone will not work on those networks.
Another important aspect that all iPhone users looking to unlock their device should know is that unlocking an iPhone will automatically void its warranty. In 2007, when the unlocking hacks were first introduced, Apple released the following statement: “Users who make unauthorized modifications to the software on their iPhone violate their iPhone software license agreement and void their warranty (…) The permanent inability to use an iPhone due to installing software is not covered under the iPhone’s warranty.”
The voiding of the warranty is certainly something to think about, especially if your iPhone is under one year old. Should there be some sort of manufacturing defect present, you will not be able to take advantage of your warranty when you unlock a locked device. To that end, it might be in your best interest to buy one that is factory unlocked directly from Apple. However, if you are a particular bold type, you might want to spend the $20 to use a good unlocking hack so that you can use your iPhone on the GSM carrier of your choice instead of being limited to AT&T, which has a sordid history of poor service, data connection and customer service.