Following my comments on the iPhone 4 it turns out that if you are determined enough to deal with Vodafone’s unlocking team, you will get success with a Box-Only iPhone 4 purchased from Vodafone Retail. Or at least, should – your mileage may vary. Read more for the results…
When I originally requested an unlock from Vodafone, I had no real preference between the iPhone 3GS on contract since January, or the replacement iPhone 4 I’d bought from the Vodafone store. The crucial part of that store purchase turned out to be the receipt; clearly stating “Box Only”.
Vodafone’s objection to unlocking was naturally the subsidy, and given that this wasn’t a handset tied to PayG or a contract, they should have unlocked it without argument. In the end it took 3 weeks and 16 emails before the unlocking team actually actioned it (but not before they’d said it wasn’t possible, then that it was but would take a week, then said my unlock code would be in the post…)
Crucially I had to remove the Vodafone SIM and put a different carrier’s SIM in before it would check the system and reactivate the phone, but finally – almost a month after I requested the unlock:
So: Vodafone CAN and WILL unlock the iPhone 4; they have a request form on their website and you may be required to sent a scan/copy of the receipt from the store you bought your Box Only iPhone 4 from. This should show not only the price and “Box Only” status, but also the IMEI.