Apple to Reportedly Unlock All Canadian iPhones Over-the-Air Next Month: Report [u]


When December 1 rolls around, a CRTC mandate will require all cellphones to be sold unlocked in Canada, while fees to unlock existing devices will also be banned.

According to a leaked document from retailer WOW! Mobile, seen by MobileSyrup, older iPhones in Canada will “automatically be unlocked over-the-air effective December 1st,” by Apple.

Wow mobile

Screenshot 2017 11 01 17 51 47

While the process for unlocking all iPhones in Canada can be controlled easily by Apple, the story is different for Android devices, as they will still need to be unlocked manually when purchased.

WOW! Mobile is a national retailer which only sells smartphones for Rogers, Fido, Chatr, Telus, Koodo and Public Mobile.

No word on Bell, but given Apple’s full control of carrier updates when iOS updates are released, they could easily just similarly send out an over-the-air unlock, too.

Ahead of the December deadline, Rogers, Telus and Bell have already been selling iPhones factory unlocked, or waiving unlocking fees for customers. Some carriers such as Bell have added a $40 mark up to iPhones for outright purchase, which some could see as a way to offset ‘free’ unlocking.

We’ll have to wait and see if this Apple iPhone unlocking policy actually happens. Stay tuned!

Update Nov. 3/17: According to an update to MobileSyrup’s article, this isn’t happening anymore:

Carrier sources tell MobileSyrup that while an over-the-air update was initially planned for unlocking iPhones, that plan is no longer going forward.


  • Great, so I’ll finally be able to unlock my iPhone 4!

  • raslucas

    Certainly possible, but I feel like somebody needs to tell Apple to do it. I’m pretty sure Apple has bigger fish to fry than monitoring the rules of the communications regulator of a country with a smaller population than California… from a logistics perspective, the carriers doing it themselves wouldn’t make much sense.

  • raslucas should request A response from Apple. I guarantee you we’ll get a “Apple makes its best effort to obey the rules of all countries it does business in” type of response.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    This is the kind of thing the CRTC should do more of. There needs to be a better balance between corporate and taxpayer needs (and yeah, I think it’s fair to divide them that way since corporations barely pay any tax) and this is a step in the right direction.

  • Flash

    Uhh, you know you could have just paid $25 to get it unlocked before right?

  • erth

    and…. this was happening when the PCs were in control. don’t expect more of it with JT at the helm…. Liberals are all about control and taxes.

  • Geoffrey Spencer

    Agree with erth.

  • And I’d pay to have an old iPhone 4 phone unlocked because…?

  • speedracer99

    I thought carriers were charging $50-$60 for unlocks?

  • Jack

    I have a Telus locked phone, when I called them for unlocking for free, they said I need to pay $50. Called twice on different days and both times I was told the same.

  • Try mid December, and if they refuse tell them that it’s illegal to refuse to unlock your iPhone for free.

  • Jack

    yes, thanks!

  • Don

    I e-chatted with the CRTC and they told me that in order to get your phone unlocked for free from Rogers/Bell etc. you must be a current customer using their wireless service.

  • Unless Apple flicks the switch and unlocks every locked Canadian phone.

  • Oni

    I brought my iPhone 4 to get unlocked and they told me ‘It would cost more to unlock than the phone did.’ so the cost of unlocking an iphone 4 is debatable.

  • Steve

    Mid-Dec? You mean Dec 1. By the way, all iPhones will be unlocked by Apple via OTA at that time.

  • Turbojugend

    All this is going to do is create bad credit for people. They’ll all just think they can go to another carrier whenever they want. Almost every person I sell a phone to has no idea what phone financing is and thinks the up front cost they pay in store is what the device costs overall.

    Also, most places won’t sell phones outright anyway, so unless the ruling says they have to, this won’t change much.

  • TheRathead80

    Hate to burst your bubble but the PC’s have been defunct since the 90’s the current Conservatives are a merger between the Canadian Alliance and the Reform Party. and BTW Harper was all for Corporations making money.

  • Update: Source article updated to say plans have changed.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I totally believe you when you say most people don’t know their phones are subsidized. Thant’s a problem. We need the government to step up and do their jobs – people are either just not educated enough to understand and so we need educational reform, or the ads are misleading or both. It should not be normal for people not to understand something so basic.

  • Turbojugend

    Get rid of phone subsidies. If you can’t afford to buy it, you don’t need it.

  • Peter Jones

    Does that sentiment applied to food and rent as well?

  • Turbojugend

    Lol. Comparing a stupid phone to food and rent. That makes sense.

  • We can unlock your Rogers iPhone (ANY Model) just for $9.5 – in 1-12 hours.