How to Change iPhone Carriers

by Chester RockwellUpdated September 28, 2017
old lock unlocked image by ennavanduinen from

Items you will need

  • iPhone

  • USB cable for iPhone

  • SIM card activated for use with a GSM wireless provider

  • iPhone pin or a thin paperclip to remove SIM card tray from iPhone

  • A jailbreak and unlocking tool

Despite the fact that the iPhone has exclusivity agreements with some wireless carriers, buyers can still switch to a carrier outside of the agreement provided that their new carrier uses a GSM wireless network. Before the switch can be made, users will need to first modify their device by "jailbreaking" and unlocking it so that it can be used on a non-native wireless network.

Connect your iPhone to your computer and open your selected jailbreaking and unlocking tool.

Disconnect your iPhone from iTunes after you complete the jailbreak and unlocking process and turn off the device.

Insert the iPhone's SIM card pin, or a thin paperclip, into the side of the SIM card tray to pop the tray out. The tray will be located at the top of the iPhone if the device is an earlier generation, or on the right side if the device is an iPhone 4.

Slide the SIM tray out of the phone and insert the activated SIM card from your new GSM wireless provider into the tray.

Gently slide the SIM tray back into the device. Once installed, power on the iPhone.

Reconnect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes to sync and save the device's new changes.


The iPhone can be used on any GSM carrier once it has been unlocked, but due to exclusivity agreements that exist between Apple and some wireless carriers, users may lose some of the device's features if they switch to a carrier that does not have an exclusivity agreement.


Photo Credits

  • old lock unlocked image by ennavanduinen from

About the Author

Chester Rockwell began his professional writing career in 2003, as a beat writer for local publications and an analyst for market research firms. His writing in business and efforts as a publicist have been recognized in outlets such as Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, "WIRED" and "BusinessWeek," among other publications. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology.

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