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.