Bell iPhone Unlocking Coming Soon, Possibly in a ‘Couple of Weeks’ [Update]


bell iphone unlock

According to Apple’s wireless support and features page, only TELUS, Rogers and Fido offer carrier supported unlocking for the iPhone. Rogers and Fido introduced iPhone unlocking back in December of 2010 at a charge of $50. TELUS introduced iPhone unlocking this June for $50, but it has since been reduced to $35.

Now, it looks like Bell is finally unlocking iPhones as their policy was recently updated. iPhone in Canada reader ishwari notes Bell offered to unlock his iPhone for $70. The process involved providing his IMEI number and then restoring his iPhone in iTunes, similar to other unlocks (we’re going to verify soon it worked for him).

To clarify the situation ourselves, we called Bell support (a few times) and were told by one rep it would cost $70 for the unlock, which is ‘not operational yet’ but would be ‘coming in the next couple of weeks’. Anything can change, but it was pretty convincing from our conversation with them.

From the sounds of it, after speaking to Bell, iPhone unlocking will be coming soon. I know many of you have been patiently waiting. Stay tuned.

…more to come

Update: A reliable source familiar to the matter speaking on the condition of anonymity tells us this is “coming soon, very soon”. No other timetable was provided but all we can do now is wait for the announcement.

Update 2: Reader ishwari tells us a Bell rep called him and said the iPhone unlocking policy will start on Monday. We’ll find out soon enough.


  • Gus Fosarolli

    Sadly though Fido only unlocks after your contract is up with them and not before. Do we know if that is still the case? Don’t carriers have to unlock your phone now after your contract is up with them since your subsidized cost has been paid in full?

  • Yes, once your subsidy is up then they should unlock the phone. So what Fido is doing is normal.

  • Sean

    HALLELUJAH!!! $70 is a bit of a prison rape, but I’ll gladly pay it to be able to use my phone when I travel for work.

  • Now that’s one way of describing it.

  • gtasscarlo

    You can pay off your balance as well. But this only applies if you got a iPhone after Jan 22, 2012

  • jabohn

    $70 is a ripoff, but if they will let you unlock it before your contract is finished then it might be a good trade-off.

  • Med

    But you’d still have to pay the $50 right? Even though the subsidy is paid off?

  • crosseyed_mofo

    Telus is clearly the winner here, not only the cheapest but you dont even have to be off contract… what is their policy 90 days in?

  • ticky13

    For the ridiculously expensive plans carriers charge, the least they could do it unlock it for less than $50. Where’s the CRTC when you need them?

  • Limech

    The problem is that they should never lock the phone in the first place. I’m signed up for a 3 year contract in exchange to them subsidizing the phone. If I decide after a year to buy a new unlocked phone and continue my contract with them, they should unlock the original phone. I’m not leaving, I’m still with them for another 2 years. Forcing me to sell my old phone locked is keeping my phone hostage. You already have me.. let my phone go! Set it free!

  • Yes

  • Assumes

    Lol then that’s not normal. Oh and btw, I need more
    Podcasts. Love your shows with Justin.

  • Jbog

    with just over a month when I got my iPhone 5 from Koodo, They have just unlocked it for $50, and I am not on a contract.

  • IH8Mndays

    Bell customer service says everything should be in place on November 26th. Didn’t know the price details, just assuming it’ll be the same as it is currently ~ $70

  • 🙂

  • Umm ya that description is a bit much, I think. But to each his own!

  • Sean

    I’ve flagged it as inappropriate because I can’t find a way to delete it. Sorry for the descriptive phrase. Won’t happen again.

  • Sean

    From what I’ve been able to get off the Interwebz, Bell’s current unlocking policy doesn’t require you to complete your contract before they unlock the phone. Can someone verify this is true?

    If so, I hope they don’t change the policy just because it’s an iPhone. The whole locking/unlocking thing is still baffling to me.

  • Noel

    The main issue is more about WHEN they unlock not IF they unlock. An unlock after you have finished your 36-month contract is worth nothing as the phone is so outdated by then. We need unlocks when the phone is useful to us, ie like in the beginning. Telus’ policy of unlocking 3 months after the contract starts is useful. Rogers/Fido’s is USELESS

  • MJ

    I just talked to Bell’s customer service. They will start unlocking iPhones on November 26th.

  • Kidami

    I just called into Bell requesting an unlock for my iPhone 5 that I bought unsubsidised only because I was told with absolute certainty that I could get it unlocked by Bell.

    The person I spoke to at Bell said they cannot and will not unlock any iPhones, and that there has been no information about them allowing such a thing to happen. The person I spoke with claims they get told news like that 15 days in advance and as of yet have heard nothing.

  • Weird. Maybe it hasn’t trickled down the chain yet but this is real. I’d try another agent.

  • Ben

    So.. I called Bell today and even though I paid for an early upgrade and am now on a 3 yr contract with an iPhone 5, they refuse to unlock my iPhone 4, because according to them … it’s “technically” on contract until 2014. how does that possibly make sense ….

  • Kidami

    Instead of trying a different agent I called into technical support and they got me to the right people. However if you are on a contract (even though the phone you want unlocked is not on the contract) they will not unlock it. I spent over an hour on hold last night just to be told that.

  • zubair

    where is the place that u unlock your iPhone

  • NothappyWithbell

    So you have to get a contract with Bell, be on it 30 days, then pay to have it unlocked from the convo I just had with bell. Yeah, why would I get a bell contract just to unlock a phone and go somewhere else?

    So I’d be paying the 70 bucks to unlock the phone, and then XXX hundred bucks to break the contract? No thanks

  • I don’t like the fact that after paying for 3 years on a contract that now I have to pay an additional $75 to be able to use an asset I own. There is nothing in the contract stating that Bell/Rogers etc retains ownership of asset. This is another example of these large monopolies screwing over consumers. It should be that at the end of the contract Bell automatically unlocks the handset as the contract between the two parties is now complete. As far as I’m concern it’s like if you’re leasing an item and the contract states that at the end of 3 years the asset is yours, then it’s yours to do whatever you want to….there is no mention that your phone remains the property of Bell, Roger, telus etc etc

  • Terry

    Mike, with that sort of charge the after market expense adds that much to the price. I mean really turn those pockets inside out, they are asking a bit much it costs me about two bucks to unlock an ATT

  • Kelly

    Does this mean we will be able to unlock our iphone without having to go on their 90 day policy ?

  • If you are already an existing customer, you can unlock right away (as long as you have been on for 90 days). But if you bring in a new iPhone, it needs to be connected for 90 days.