Thursday, January 10, 2008

Aftermarket SIMs that spoof ICCIDs on the iPhone Short Guide

I had the chance to try out one of those SIMs that claim to unlock the iPhone. In actuality they spoof the ICCID of a known legitimate carrier, this tricks the iPhone into thinking it is using the correct SIM. This particular iPhone had the 4.6 bootloader and was purchased in the U.S. I let the customer know there was nothing I could do with this iPhone (short of jailbreaking it) and recommended that if he wanted to use it as a phone right away, that he purchase an aftermarket SIM. The customer got a hold of a SIM and sent it to me. He knew nothing about it as far as who made it or how it was to be used. I decided to just go for it and install it and see if it would work. Some refer to this as a PSS (which I've seen on a certain site for sale at a fair price), some referred to it as a 3GPP. Whatever it is called, this particular SIM will only work on U.S. iPhones. I know because I tried it on a U.K. iPhone and it failed to function (the iPhone sent an alert message right away about the SIM being invalid).

  • Next, I put a SIM (ignore the fact that this is an AT&T SIM, I merely practiced cutting on this SIM before using my Cingular SIM) next to the aftermarket SIM and marked the area which I needed to remove. You must do this so that the chip on the aftermarket SIM will fit into the slot in the top of the iPhone. I used an X-ACTO knife and took my time. I also cleaned up the edges where I cut so that the SIM was as smooth as possible. Some have said they used sandpaper to reduce the thickness of the SIM. If you do that be very careful, you don't need to take much off, and you don't want it to be loose insde of the iPhone as it could cause service interruptions if the contact points aren't being maintained.

  • Some put double sided tape between the SIMs to hold them together. I didn't have any issues, and didn't use any tape. Make sure the SIMs are square and hold the bottoms of them tightly as you insert them carefully into the slot on the top of the iPhone. If you aren't careful, it's easy for the aftermarket SIM to get caught and bend and not go in. Another thing I noted is that U.K. iPhones have much shallower SIM trays (so it's an even tighter fit) than U.S. SIM trays.

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