In my last post, I stated that US carriers do not carry “unlocked iPhones,” even if you purchase the phone and it is listed as “unlocked.” The only unlocked iPhones that exist are those that are jailbroken—and jailbreaks void your iPhone 4S warranty. Apple has a strict policy against the practice and calls it “software modification,” something that the Cupertino, California company does not endorse. With that being said, your iPhone 4S will remain bound and locked as long as you honor your Apple warranty and remain in the United States.
What many consumers do not know about the iPhone 4S is that, similar to other manufactured phones, there are two locks on your phone: 1) US carrier lock and 2) Apple lock. Think of the two locks as two gates that block access to files. If I can use an analogy, the locks found in your iPhone 4S are like two passwords that you must guess correctly in order to access certain company files. While one password protector is enough, the company provides two to ensure that its files are not accessed by anyone except company admin. The two “passwords” in the case of the iPhone 4S are the restrictions your carrier places on the iPhone and those that Apple places on the iPhone. While these two restrictions ultimately do the same thing, how they achieve the goal differs. The US carrier places restrictions on your iPhone 4S because you purchased the phone from the carrier; therefore, you must obey the carrier’s rules in order to enjoy monthly service from the carrier. If the carrier requires you to pay roaming charges on your monthly bill, you must pay roaming charges. If the company decides that you must pay for 3G LTE capability on your iPhone 4S (despite Apple’s new FaceTime over 3G feature), you must pay for 3G service. The carrier has a right to do this because you are paying the carrier monthly for phone service. You must abide by the carrier’s laws even if you decide to enter into a prepaid iPhone plan with, say, Boost Mobile or Virgin Mobile. Contract or no contract, the phone carrier has a right to implement restrictions and force customers to adhere to its laws.
The second “password” or lock on the iPhone 4S is that of the Apple Corporation. According to jailbreakers past and present, Apple does not consider your iPhone to be your iPhone; in the company’s mindset, your purchase of the iPhone 4S is nothing more than a loan, a borrowing of Apple’s technology. This does not make sense, particularly when you consider that a minimum of $500-$600 (if you purchase an unlocked iPhone 4S through a prepaid plan) for Apple’s latest technology. Nevertheless, company policy dictates that Apple’s customers pay for Apple technology in order to follow Apple’s rules regarding what they can and cannot do with its technology.
What are some things that Apple “locks” away from customers?
- Carrier Name
- Slide-to-unlock label
- Desktop wallpaper themes
- Increased folders for apps and other utilities
- Icon motions
- Additional emoji icons
Did you know that a jailbreak tweak called “FakeCarrier” will grant you the privilege of changing your carrier’s name? You can change the name of your carrier to anything you want, including your own name! If you want to put a special nickname or special name in the place where “Verizon” or “AT&T” now sits, you can do it by way of the FakeCarrier application. If you are tired of seeing the phrase “slide to unlock” at the bottom of your screen whenever your iPhone 4S locks, you can change the phrase of this function by using a jailbreak tweak known as “Springtomize.” Springtomize is considered to be one of the major jailbreak tweaks you will find at Cydia because it contains many jailbreak tweaks into one jailbreak application. When you activate Springtomize, there are many customizations you can make to your iPhone 4S, such as battery percentage, GPS tracking, voice control, multitasking, making your icons larger or smaller, and so on. If you select the “lockscreen” label in your Springtomize settings section, you can decide whether you want the traditional slider label or a customized slider label. These are customizations that you cannot perform on your iPhone 4S—as long as it remains under Apple’s control.
Desktop wallpaper themes are another customization that you can receive when you jailbreak your iPhone 4S. You may be surprised to learn that an iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC Hero, and Windows 7 phone can all look the same when you jailbreak your iPhone 4S. Cydia provides a number of wallpaper themes by way of an application known as “DreamBoard.” DreamBoard provides all sorts of smartphone themes that you can place on your iPhone. My iPod Touch 3G has the Windows Metroon theme, HTC Hero theme, Endroid theme, HTC Evo 4G theme, Samsung’s Ice Cream Sandwich theme, Windows 0S 7 theme, and so much more. The one theme I enjoy most on my iPod Touch is the “Blackberry Droid” theme, a desktop wallpaper that combines little “Android” and “Blackberry” icons for each application. If I do not like the wallpaper, I can download others and change it. Can you do this with your Apple-controlled iPhone 4S? It is very unlikely.
Last but never least, can you activate icon animations on your desktop with an Apple-controlled iPhone 4S? I’m afraid not. Apple has such tight reins over its iPhones that the company shuts out a lot of cool customizations from its customers. Apple tells you in its warranty policies that jailbroken iPhones and iPads are subject to slow processes, viruses and malware, and other dangerous events. I’m still at a loss as to how the company can claim this, when Cydia checks its applications to make sure there are no viruses or malware. There are third-party applications that Cydia warns you to stay away from (Cydia does not investigate or check those!), but the applications at Cydia are tested before they are released to the jailbreaking community.
Jailbreaking is the only solution if you want to perform an iPhone 4S unlock correctly and completely. For more details on how to unlock your iPhone 4S by way of jailbreaking, visit us at http://ijailbreak4s.com/.