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With the new iPhone 5s and 5c rolling in and many users wanting to upgrade to the new devices, it might be wise to increase the value of your phone by unlocking it. Chronic Unlocks, the go-to company for unlocking iPhones (and various Nokias, LGs, BlackBerrys and other smartphones), offers a quick, reliable, and low-cost unlocking service.

An unlocked phone means that the device is no-longer connected to the carrier for which you purchased the device. You can then put in any SIM-card and use the phone worldwide. With international pre-paid SIM-cards and an unlocked phone, you do not have to worry about international roaming charges. For those in the U.S., unlocking an AT&T iPhone would allow you to connect the device to T-Mobile.

Chronic Unlocks also tells us that it has been seeing an average of $100+ extra resale value on iPhones that are sold as unlocked devices. Phones can even be unlocked if the phone is currently on a contract:

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To use the Chronic Unlocks, you head to their website, pick a service based on your phone model, carrier, and desired turnaround time…

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After picking the service you are interested in, you need to locate and enter some specific information about your phone (as seen above). The only information needed that you may not know off hand is your phone’s IMEI number. You can locate this in your iPhone’s Settings app (near where the Serial Number and other information is listed) or by dialing *#06#.

Even though the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are new devices, they are fully supported by Chronic Unlocks. Some have been concerned about the legality of phone unlocking, but Chronic Unlocks completely transparently explains its process and how it is different than other unlock providers:

The number one advantage would only apply to USA users. Because Chronic Unlocks is based in the United States, we must follow US law, including the new provisions that went into effect in January 2013 which supposedly outlaw third-party unlock solutions. We are proud to say that we have worked with our lawyers to structure our system to be 100% in compliance with the letter of the law (perhaps not the “spirit” of it, but that’s not a crime). We realize that there are many competitors out there in the mobile phone unlocking industry, some are legitimate and some are flat out scammers who will mislead individuals, and others are simply not US-based and yield a higher profit margin by providing a solution for US customers that isn’t legal for them to use (and often won’t inform the customer of this, either because they are unfamiliar with the new US laws that are in place or they may not care about liability on their customer’s end). There are different specialty unlockers in this industry and there is room for everyone to thrive, so we’ve made it our goal to focus efforts on being the best, 100% legal, and most reliable provider that we can be. And although we cater to US customers by ensuring all of our methods are only ones that are in compliance with the new laws, we most certainly also offer unlock solutions for a range of other countries, and have many happy customers from such places (Spain, France, UK, Australia, UAE, and more!)

Additionally, the company is offering up a notable discount program for 9to5Mac readers. To get 20% off of an unlock, just enter the following discount codes depending on the service you’d like:

  • AT&T Fast unlock (normally $34.99): 9TO5MACATTFAST
  • AT&T Normal unlock (normally $24.99): 9TO5MACATT

Additionally, the service is offering 15 free unlocks to our readers. To enter for the free unlock, leave a comment explaining why you would like the free unlock. We will message the winners in a week.

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213 Responses to “Want to increase the value of your iPhone? Chronic Unlocks offering 9to5Mac readers 20% discounts”

  1. Patrick Choi says:

    here’s my reason for needing the unlock… my family members couldn’t afford to stay with att…so they need to move to help them save money. It’s a desperate time.


    • Craig Hart says:

      Even if you unlock it you still have pay AT&T an ETF fee which would also unlock your phone. You signed a contract saying that you will keep a plan including voice and data with AT&T for two years in order to receive the iPhone at a lower price. Unlocking a contract phone is for people who what to roam but still keep service with their current carrie without paying high roaming fees.


  2. We need to unlock our iPhone as we travel to Europe enough times for it to make financial sense. Please pick me.


    • That is exactly why I use services like this to unlock my devices. The carriers already have me locked into a 2 year agreement. If I break agreement they still get the cost back or most of it anyways in the form of a ETF. So I should be able to unlock my phone to use local sim cards while overseas instead of being forced to use their expensive foreign usage fees.


  3. oobeto says:

    I posted a comment yesterday, but it doesn’t seem to appear. I would love to have the freedom an unlocked phone would provide. It would have been great if this offer had come around a few weeks earlier as I am currently in Australia paying exorbitant roaming fees to ATT.


  4. woody168 says:

    I’d like to get an unlock code as I travel to different countries and can use their local SIM cards. Thanks!


  5. Craig Hart says:

    One thing that should be mentioned is (if I am correct) even if you iPhone gets unlocked you still have to pay an ETF to AT&T. When you bought the phone through AT&T you agreed to have two years of voice and data with them. The unlock would be for people who want to travel and not pay roaming fees, but keep their service from AT&T and use a local provider when they travel. Everyone that believes that unlocking an iPhone allows you to uses a different network is true, but you have to pay an ETF if you don’t plan on using AT&T’s network in this case. Paying the ETF would also unlock your phone.


  6. Philip Hunek says:

    I would love to unlock my phone so that I can give it to my sister who really wants an iPhone but can’t afford it and is on a different carrier than I am.


  7. tm4489 says:

    Would love to have an unlocked phone for traveling overseas


  8. I’m constantly in fear that Straight Talk and/or AT&T will make it so AT&T branded iPhones no longer work as BYOD phones on Straight Talk.


  9. Alin Matei says:

    My brother’s iphone 4 is locked and he is using it as an iPod. I would like to surprise him with an unlock. It would make him so happy.


  10. Air Burt says:

    I want it for a friend who wants to sell his 4S and get the 5S. He could use the extra cash because he will probably be buying the 5S outright in order to keep his unlimited data on Verizon.


  11. My phone bill is too high. I’m recently separated from my spouse, have child support bills, a new car bill before the separation, and recently had my hours cut. My food money is counted on to the cent. I’d like to get on T-Mobile’s new uncarrier plans and save about $50 per month.


  12. bernier18 says:


    I’d love to win because I’m always travelling and would like to use my phone in different countries.


  13. I will give away 15 free “Normal” unlocks to the first 15 people who respond to this message!


  14. iPhone 5 vodaphone UK is it unlockable?


  15. Blake Smith says:

    I would like to win the unlock as it would come in handy and 9to5mac is the best tech website on the net! FOWWW


  16. martinchaser says:

    Hi there, I am ordering new iPhone 5s on my aunts AT&T plan. After 7 years in this awesome country i am moving back home to Europe :(

    The iPhone is so expansive there that its crazy; therefore, it will be nice to save some money and to try your service. I have used last year different site to unlock my old iphone which I sent to my mom and it worked great yet little bit too long like 4 days. And it was more expansive since it was in pounds.

    Hope you pick meeeeeeee ;o)

    ps. this is my first comment wohooo


  17. Craig Hart says:

    Did you contact the winners yet?


  18. I would like the free unlock because ever since the first iPhone I’ve been buying and selling my phone to always have the current model. This is the first year I haven’t been able to sell my 5 and upgrade and that saddens me greatly.

    Thanks for the chance to win.


  19. chrstncrz says:

    I’m on a verizon contract and would like to settle down to a no contract carrier like Cricket. I can’t afford contract plan anymore since I lost my job.


  20. rokikirokiki says:

    im a poor guy, unfortunately one (orange austria) is too expensive carrier to unlock. Please help me, i cant find a job without unlocked phone and my personal situation is very bad. like my english.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. strafciger says:

    why this unlock is to expensive it was really cheep after some time…




  23. Jen Melton says:

    I paid for an unlock on March 5th. I emailed the company on March 12th to see how it was coming along, as this was past the time estimate given. I received a response asking me a couple questions about my phone. I answered them. Since then I have not heard back from Chronic Locks and they wont answer my emails. They delete posts on facebook from upset customers facing the same problems. It seems as though if they are able to unlock your phone, then you’re fine. But if they can’t, they just ignore you and refuse to give you a refund. Not impressed. Be wary of this company.


  24. Marty Breen says:

    Purchased an iCloud Unlock from Chronic Unlocks on October 15th. Today is November 18th and still nothing. I requested I receive a status update several times with their support with no response. Finally had to inform them to give me a status OR provide a refund if they can’t give me a status. They replied with a refund and stated I threatened them. I believe they are doing this service just to take money. There is nothing that will work and will never do business with this company again. There is no reason not to return emails to customers that have waited past the 30 day period that the site states. If it takes longer, they need to state it and not leave people hanging wondering whats going on with their money.


  25. IT’S A SCAM! 5 weeks later and no unlock. I have emailed three times and no response. You will throw away your money.
    Here are the emails:
    Sent 26th february
    On the 27th of january I received confirmation that my unlock was being processed. It is now a full and I have had no update as to the status of my device. This is far beyond the 5-15 business days advertised. Please unlock the phone as soon as possible and respond with an explanation of the delay.
    2nd march:
    Dear Sir or Madam,
    It has been over a month since submitting payment for my phone unlock on January 26th. I wrote on February 26th have received no response.
    If I do not receive a response by 5pm EST TODAY, I will be initiating a chargeback on the transaction. For the delay I expect to be compensated by a refund of $20. This represents half the original cost, as it has (so far) taken twice as long as advertised.
    3rd of march:

    me to Chronic
    Show more
    1:02 AM
    I am now initiating chargeback proceedings. I will also be submitting these emails to technology blogs and any review sites that i can find. appears to simply be a scam shell company. I am shocked that you are still around.
    I hope that no one else has to deal with this.

    DON’T GET RIPPED OFF! Take your business somewhere else!