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Why is it so difficult to unlock?

2: Seeker

So I wanted to get a second sim so I can have a work number

Ordered a second sim from vodafone only to find that iPhone 11 does not use 2 physical nano sims - one has to be an e-sim (vodafone knew what sort of phone I had so could have spotted this - not too difficult for the technology?)

So I then find that vodafone does not support e-sim

I have to get an e-sim from another carrier

They send me a physical sim (rather than asking me or sending both)

So I have to wait another day to get an e-sim in the post (why the post!)

Install it, nothing happens.. 

Looking on forums it seems I have to unlock my phone (nobody told me this)

Ask for an unlock code (NUC) - after a couple of days I get two emails which say I can unlock my phone but contain no code

So I spend 30 minutes on the phone to vodafone (no idea why it takes so long) only to be sent some instructions by text. 

The instructions are years out of date as they say I have to use iTunes - which does not exist any more. 

So I am trying to follow these out of date instructions using finder to backup my phone. And putting it in recovery mode using a totally different procedure. You know I have an iPhone 11 pro but you are still sending me out of date instructions. 

I cannot get it to work. I think the whole thing is hocus pocus because you do not want me to unlock my phone. 

The irony is I never wanted to leave vodafone. You just could not support e-sim so I had to. But my second number still does not work. 


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17: Community Champion

Hi @davidtittle 


I totally get why your frustrated.


Unfortunately Vodafone are not offering the esim at this time.


Unlocking an iPhone is very different from unlocking other phones as Apple do the unlocking.

An iPhone is not unlocked via inputting a Nuc {unlocking code} like other phone models are, but instead is unlocked remotely by Apple themselves and their Database.

So no actual Nuc is sent by Vodafone UK. 

The Vodafone Network lets a person know by email it's unlocking has been requested to Apple after accepting your Nuc online unlock request. 


Please Note > The iPhone isn't actually usually unlocked to all networks at this stage when Vodafone email you. 


What happens is Apple then process the Networks request and occasionally this can take Apple approximately from a few days upto a further 30+ days sometimes from Vodafone's email to complete an unlock request made by a Network. 

To complete the process please periodically insert an active i.e. connects to mobile network data, alternative Networks Sim Card in the iPhone with hooking upto iTunes is only typically needed if its an iPhone 4 or older although it wouldn't harm to do so. 

From the iPhone 5 onwards there's not normally the need to hook up to iTunes to complete the process. 

When it's unlocked you should see a pop up message and the alternatives Networks name will show in the iPhone's status bar. 

Current Phone > Samsung Note 10+ 5G _256Gb > Model: SM-N976B.

Samsung One Ui 2.1  / Android 10.


Samsung Gear s3 Frontier Watch.

Samsung Galaxy Buds.

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2: Seeker

So the email attached is not telling me that it is unlocked already?  It sure looks like it. 

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@davidtittle Have you tried re-syncing the iPhone to iTunes on your Desktop? This is commonly used to finalise the unlocking process, following the email you received. 

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2: Seeker

Please read my original email before you comment. iTunes is not longer available. My MacBook is 4 years old now. I don't think it has ever had iTunes on it.  Syncing is now done through finder. Somebody in one of your call centres sent me a text with those instructions that mention iTunes.  You really need to get up to date. 

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