Friday, November 9, 2007

Wanna Unlock your IPhone in India ?

Raza Noorani (20) and Nigel Jairaj (21); main occupation: B.Com students; side occupation: unlocking Apple iPhones (till recently, it was cracking PSPs)...

Apple Computer may delude itself that the India launch of its iconic iPhone is slated for not before next year, but iPhones are proliferating ever since the gizmo's US launch about a month and a half back. Both Noorani and Jairaj are ready to swear by this!

Today, you can get an iPhone for around Rs 31,000 from 'Alpha Electronics'; for about Rs 27,000 from 'Heera Panna'; for somewhere between Rs 27,000 and Rs 30,000 from any custom-notified shop. A month and a half back, the prices per iPhone were in the region of Rs 45,000 to Rs 50,000.

The gray market has its own sources for sourcing these iPhones; the usual suspects being contacts in customs, or carriers who come to India loaded with iPhones, or simply people who travel to- and fro- between India and the US.

"You've paid for the iPhone. The tie-up is between Apple and AT&T. It's their problem entirely. So there's no big deal about using iPhones in India, way before their official launch," quip Noorani and Jairaj.

The duo use a Windows-based software for unlocking iPhones. Originally into cracking PSPs, their iPhone foray began with a night well spent fiddling with a friend's iPhone. The morning saw the iPhone unlocked, much to their delight. That's how they got hooked onto the idea.

Subsequently, they bought an iPhone SIM free unlocking software online for nearly GBP 70, and have been cracking iPhones since -- for a price!

Customers based out of Mumbai are charged Rs 2,000, while those based outside of Mumbai (even outside of India) are charged Rs 2,500 per unlocking. In case of the latter, CDs containing software are sent to these customers, after which Noorani and Jairaj instruct them over the phone as to unlocking of their iPhones.

Otherwise, the process takes place pretty much from the comfort of Noorani- and Jairaj's homes. All they need is the iPhone that is to be unlocked, the accompanying USB cable, and a computer with Windows XP Service Pack 2. No need for an Internet connection.

Within a span of 15 to 20 minutes, a single iPhone gets unlocked. However, each iPhone is different by virtue of the fact that it's been manufactured under a different batch. To that extent, the unlocking process differs from phone to phone.

All said, Noorani and Jairaj are not alone in this venture. Some of the shops in Heera Panna, and a handful of individuals in this city claim to be able to unlock iPhones.

However, doing a good job is an entirely different story. Every now and then, the youngsters get customers coming to them, who've bought 'unlocked' phones from somewhere for a hefty price, and whose phones are now no longer working properly. It's up to the twosome to fix these iPhones. They say they charge about Rs 500 for fixing such iPhones, simply because they don't want to fleece customers who've already been fleeced more or less.

Besides, they've undergone a similar experience. They recall a gruelling week spent working for a shop in Heera Panna, within which time, they would've unlocked at least 30 iPhones a day. But, were paid just Rs 1,000 per unlocking, while the shop charged its customers up to Rs 4,000 only in unlocking charges per iPhone.

Going-it-alone, are they making much moolah? They won't tell but looks like it's enough to keep them going!



Sammrkasha said...

Please let me know the contact numbers or email ID'sof Mr. Jairaj and his partner. I need to get in touch with them to get an iphone unlocked. J P Rao

PD said...

Sammrkasha, I dont have their email ID's, but if you're interested in buying or unlocking your iPhone, see this post

jo said...

there are lots of unlock source avail; across the gloge,before get unlock source should aware how to utilize the source inorder to that i found unlock guidence where can get clear picture about how to use the source or unlock.