How to Activate an Unlocked iPhone 4S
If you buy an iPhone 4S off-contract from Apple, the phone comes unlocked. This means the iPhone can be used on any compatible GSM carrier as long as you have that networks micro-SIM card, and the device is activated on that network. This guide will show you how to activate the iPhone 4S for use on other networks.
Important: If you don’t own an iPhone 4S yet but you plan on buying an unlocked iPhone 4S in the USA, be sure to buy it directly from Apple and not from a carrier. Buying from a carrier locks it to that carrier even if you pay full price, while buying off-contract from Apple is unlocked from all carriers. This is the only guaranteed way to get an unlocked iPhone 4S in the USA.
Activating an Unlocked iPhone 4S
This has been confirmed to activate an unlocked iPhone 4S on any other compatible network:
- Be sure to have available wifi and internet access
- Remove the original AT&T micro-sim card
- Plug in the new carriers micro-SIM card
- Turn the iPhone on with the new sim card inserted, don’t do anything else on the phone
- Connect the iPhone to the computer by USB
- Launch iTunes
- Let iTunes find the iPhone 4S, and wait for the device activation to begin
iTunes will show you a “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked” message, indicating the device is carrier unlocked and can now use any compatible micro-SIM card.
Thanks to Steve, Marcelo, and Antonio for confirming this solution with unlocked iPhone 4S models in the USA, Brazil, and Switzerland with a variety of carriers.