There is a bizarre bug in iOS 5 found by Daniel Scaleb that allows for an iPhone 4S unlock. It requires a T-Mobile microSIM card and associated data plan. The directions are as follows:
- Start with your active AT&T card in the phone. Make a call and drop it.
- Put the phone in airplane mode.
- Remove the AT&T SIM card and put in the one from an alternate carrier. This unlock has been tested with T-Mobile.
- Switch off airplane mode and let it search for a network. During this process, make sure Wifi is off. The Apple activation screen will load telling you that activation is required. Don’t do anything. If you’re using a T-Mobile SIM card, you’ll see the Edge ‘E’ pop up in the status bar with one bar of signal. Wait about 20 seconds and turn of the phone.
- Turn it back on the iPhone 4S and you’ll be back at the activation screen. Make sure Wifi is off and tap “Use Cellular Connection”.
- Remove SIM card out. and then put it back in and you should be unlocked.
According to the founder of this unlock, it could take up to 20 times for this to unlock, so be patient.
Pretty crazy method, but if it works, this is would be excellent news. The author warns users that it “could mess up your cellular radio, though it’s very unlikely“. Who wants to give it a try?