The Top 4 iPhone 11/Pro/Max Unlock Providers Tested and Reviewed

In Short: I’ve tested all three commonly mentioned iPhone 11 and 11 Pro unlock methods: software unlocking, hardware unlocking, and factory (IMEI) unlocking. Software unlocking stopped working when new modems were used in the iPhone …

In Short: I’ve tested all three commonly mentioned iPhone 11 and 11 Pro unlock methods: software unlocking, hardware unlocking, and factory (IMEI) unlocking. Software unlocking stopped working when new modems were used in the iPhone 4. Hardware unlocking can work intermittently but will void your warranty and destroy your phone. The means the only reliable way to unlock your iPhone 11 is IMEI unlocking.

I’ve read hundreds of review and tested the top four IMEI unlocking companies. The results of my tests have confirmed that best IMEI unlocking provider is IMEI Doctor.

 

BEST IPHONE 11/PRO/MAX IMEI UNLOCKS: IMEI DOCTOR

IMEI Doctor is my choice for the best iPhone 11 IMEI unlocking service for one very simple reason: they’re the only iPhone unlocking company that has been able to unlock every iPhone I’ve sent them. This include the iPhone 6, 7, 8, X, and obviously 11/Max/Pro.

On top of this, they’re fast, reasonably priced, and have reliable customer support. The tick every box in an industry riddled with less-than-satisfactory suppliers so they’re an easy #1 choice.

 

RUNNER UP: DIRECT UNLOCKS

If IMEI Doctor isn’t available, check out Direct Unlocks. They were also able to unlock all four iPhone 11’s I tested and also tick the other boxes (price, speed, and support), but their overall success rate of 80% across every iPhone model I’ve tested means they come up #2 on my list. They still provide a great service and are reliable, just not as reliable as IMEI Doctor.

If, for some reason, you can’t find what you’re looking for on IMEI Doctor, Direct Unlocks is a great second choice.

 

HOW I REACHED MY CONCLUSIONS

  1. Why I’m an expert on iPhone Unlocking
  2. Why you should unlock your iPhone 11/Pro/Max
  3. Determining the unlock method
  4. How I picked the companies
  5. How I tested the companies
  6. The best iPhone 11 unlock
  7. The second best iPhone 11 unlock
  8. The other iPhone 11 unlocks
  9. Conclusion
 

WHY I’M AN EXPERT ON IPHONE UNLOCKING

To put it simply, I’m an expert on iPhone unlocking because I’ve done this more times than I could possibly count. I ran my own smartphone repair shop for a little more than 8 years and unlocked hundreds and hundreds of iPhones in that time. Since selling that business, I’ve stayed very active in the smartphone space writing hundreds of articles for most of the leading technology websites.

To help make sure I stayed objective in this review (rather than just recommending the suppliers I’ve used and know personally), I’ve recruited three buddies from my smartphone shop days to get their input on what’s happening in the industry.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD UNLOCK YOUR IPHONE 11/PRO/MAX

There are a few reasons you should unlock your iPhone. These are, in no particular order:

  • Be able to get better coverage from a different provider
  • Avoid paying massive global roaming fees
  • Finding a cheaper provider
  • Finding better customer support
  • Selling your iPhone 11 or 11 Pro and wanting to get the best sale value

Or, just being able to choose what you’re able to do with an iPhone you’ve paid hundreds of dollars for.

 

DETERMINING THE UNLOCK METHOD

Determining which unlock method to use was simple for me, given my experience in the space.

SOFTWARE UNLOCKING

I still remember when software unlocking was all the rage. Some very clever people discovered that in some iPhone 3’s if you installed a specific piece of software, you could trick the phone into thinking you were calling from a specific network when you were really calling from a different one.

This worked very consistently until Apple upgraded the modem in the iPhone 4 and stopped this exploit from being used.

HARDWARE UNLOCKING

Hardware unlock is dangerous. Period. It can damage your phone and void your warranty and unless you’re comfortable destroying your iPhone 11, then you need to stay away from it.

The way hardware unlocking works is by adding a thin casing around your sim card that tricks your phone into thinking you’re calling through a specific network, when really, you could be calling from any network.

I have heard stories about people making this work, but in 99% of cases, it results in one of three things.

  1. You can’t get the sim card into the slot and so you’ve just wasted money
  2. You get the sim card in but the sim in mis-aligned so doesn’t work, leaving you out of pocket with nothing to show for it
  3. You get the sim card in but mis-aligned (so it doesn’t work) and damage the phone getting it out, leaving you with a broken phone that is no longer covered under warranty

Obviously, none of these are ideal so if you value your money and your iPhone 11, don’t waste your time with it.

IMEI OR FACTORY UNLOCKING

IMEI of Factory Unlocking came on the scene when I was still running my smartphone shop and it was a game-changer. It allowed people to move freely between carriers and have the freedom to choose what they did with their iPhone without having to pay thousands in release fees.

The way factory unlocking works is that there’s a database of all the iPhones in the world (using their unique IMEI number) that records whether or not the iPhone is locked to a particular network or able to be used on any network.

IMEI unlocking is where you get someone with access to that database to change the status of your iPhone 11/Pro/Max from locked to unlocked.

This makes it safe, simple, and permanent — increasing the value of your phone, saving you hundreds or thousands in fees and charges, and giving you the freedom to do what you want with the phone you’ve paid for.

The only challenge with this method is that you can’t just login to this database and change the details for yourself. You need an Apple or carrier insider who will change your phone status for you. This is where IMEI unlock providers come in.

 

HOW I CHOSE THE UNLOCK PROVIDERS

The process of choosing which unlock providers I tested was simple.

The first step was compiling a list of all the providers available. This involved a lot of Googling and reading through various forums and advice sites trying to find any and all players in the market.

The second step was reading online reviews. Unfortunately, this industry is filled with dodgy companies who will try to rip you off and so reading through sites like TrustPilot, TrustReview, and ProductReview allowed me to eliminate obvious scams.

I also asked my old connections from my smartphone shop days about their experiences — who they were using and who they were avoiding —