iPhone 7 Plus- Unlock issue


Active Member
I bought an unlocked iPhone 7 plus as a refurbished phone from Game, here in the UK, a few years ago. I put a 'Three' sim only sim in the handset, and have used it on three for the last few years.

I bought a new handset in the last week or so, and now want to trade my iPhone in for some cash, but when I went to trade the phone in, at CEX, the handset is showing as locked to Three. I know some iPhones locked themselves to the first sim put in the handset, but I did I full restore of the handset trough iTunes, which I was led to believe would restore the handset to unlocked in those circumstances, but it hasn't done so.

The problem I have is that CEX do not take handsets that are locked to Three, for some reason, and I am at a loss as to how to unlock the iPhone. I have filled in the unlock request on the Three website, haven't heard back yet, but the staff in the 3 store indicated that was unlikely to help, as I would need to get Apple to unlock the handset, as they said Three don't lock handsets as new as the 7 to their network. My understanding is that Apple will not unlock an iPhone without the original purchase receipt from Apple, and obviously I didn't buy it brand new from Apple.

I am now stuck between a rock and a hard place, and could really do with some advice, on how to get the handset unlocked. I want to avoid using any dodgy and expensive unlock websites, but need to be able to trade in the handset to offset some of the cost of the new handset I have bought.

-Does anyone know how to get it safely unlocked? How does the whole locking of iPhones actually work?
-Are there others shops that anyone has used that do take iPhones that are locked to Three, other than CEX who apparently don't any longer? I would rather not send off to any website based company who buy phones.

I appreciate any advice.


That’s strange as all phones sold by Three are unlocked, and have been for a number of years?

Have you actually tried another SIM card in the phone from a different network just to confirm it’s locked to Three?

There’s also the option of selling on EBay or Gumtree, I’ve sold all my old iPhones on Gumtree. Sometimes they sell within 2/3 days, other times it takes 2/3 weeks, but they always sell on there, and for much more money than CEX/Game would ever pay!


Well-known Member
Three didnt lock handsets after a certain point but phones from Carphone Warehouse would lock to the first SIM that was put in which included Three. Could be related to something like that. This said i cant believe that Three arent able to unlock it for you, it doesnt need Apple to do it I dont think.

The latest video from AVForums

AVForums Movies Podcast: Streaming Theatrical Releases And The Future Of Cinema
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom