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  1. Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  
    back2oz's Avatar
    iPhone Nanite

    1 Posts

    Default Unlock softbank (Japan) iPhone 3GS

    I purchased an iPhone 3GS a month ago from softbank in Japan. I was (mis)informed by the store that if I left Japan I could have the phone unlocked and used overseas.

    I'm moving back to Australia soon and would like to use it there, where the carriers will let you use any unlocked phone.

    Through much discussion/ arguament with softbank they flat out refuse to unlock the phone.

    I spoke to Apple and using carefully guarded language (both myself and the operator) I managed to learn that softbank and Apple have some special way of locking the phones which differs from what seems like every other carrier worldwide.

    According to apple, the phone is locked using the IMEI number on the Apple servers. They said that the profile for the phone is stored on there and locked to softbank and softbank themselves can't change this.

    They then alluded to the fact that it might be possible to unlock the phone (and lose their support and warranty etc, of course) and then use a different carrier's sim.

    From what I understand from JB I can get the phone to accept another sim and work - what i'm not sure about is if I can ever have the profile on the Apple servers updated.

    I'd still like to be able to use iTunes in Australia, app store, get MMS (phone number->email address) working properly too and don't really wanna have an iPhone where some of the features just don't work.

    Can someone with some actual knowledge on this please shed some light? If anyone has actually done this and managed to "unlock/ clear" the profile of the phone with Apple then I'd like to know how.

    Appreciate your knowledge on this!

  2. #2  
    flyingember's Avatar
    iPhone Elite

    1,986 Posts
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    2,026 Global Posts


    I would buy a new phone in Australia as you'll need to get service too. Sell your current phone to someone in Japan or who needs one for Japan to cover your cost. At least in the US phones not needing a contract gets a premium over the subsidized price. Oh, and from what I understand, it will be much more expensive for the service in Australia vs Japan.

    Also, don't trust it will be unlocked. Ask.

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