07-27-12 01:41 AM
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  1. Tronyx's Avatar
    This topic is simply to let people know what unlocking and unbranding are in an effort to reduce the amount of threads that get created regarding these two subjects. Please add anything that I may have missed so that I can make this a complete article (I know I missed a few things with the unbranding section) either for a sticky or for us to link to if someone does happen to ask.

    To start off, I would like to clarify that Unlocking and Unbranding are two COMPLETELY different things and doing one does not cause the other to happen. Unlocking does not Unbrand your device and Unbranding does not Unlock your device. There have been rumors that Unbranding can Unlock your device, but nothing was ever confirmed.


    Unlocking:

    Unlocking your device simply allows you to use it with any other GSM carrier in the world. It is a good way for you to not incur roaming charges since you can travel out of the country and pick up a prepaid SIM card from a local cell phone service provider and use it in your device. It does not damage your phone, disable any features or functionality and does not void the warranty. Unlocking your phone can also increase its value since it is now able to be used by someone who may not use a carrier that offers the Bold. A set of instructions for unlocking your device can be found HERE. There are some carriers, however, who do not like to give out the Subsidiary Unlock Code (such as Rogers) and you will have to pay to have someone provide you with a Subsidiary Unlock Code. There is a method to check to see if your device is unlocked or not and thank you to Garz for bringing it to our attention.

    Do this:

    1. Go to Options
    2. Then Advanced Options
    3. Then Sim Card
    4. Then type MEPD (you will not see what you are typing)
    5. Some additional items will appear at the bottom of the list of information
    6. Network, Network Subset, Service Provider and Corporate. All of which will say Disabled


    Unbranding:

    Unbranding, or debranding as it is some times referred to, is where you remove the carrier branding from your device. This will in fact void your warranty since you are essentially removing any and all carrier affiliation (except for the network logo on your home screen) from your device. It is possible for you to "rebrand" your device with your carrier again, but it seems like it is hardly worth all of that work. One of the effects of unbranding is that it will remove the carrier splash screen that is displayed when your phone is turning on. It will also revert your device back to the factory defaults. These default settings include:

    1. The RIM splash screen is typically displayed displayed, but there have been cases where it is just a white screen
    2. The engineering menu is now typically accessible by pressing Alt+Shift+H where the Help Me screen used to come up
    3. Several items within the menu now have more advanced details listed then they did before. GPS is one of the few items that gets changed.
    4. With an AT&T device you will gain the ability to switch between 2G, 3G and 2G + 3G within your Mobile Network options. To some this is a huge benefit because it really helps with the battery life of the phone. Some carriers, AT&T for example, limit you to just 3G.
    5. Depending on your carrier, certain applications may even become available to you as well.
    6. Some carriers do not allow the use of uploaded MP3's as ring tones because they want you to purchase ring tones from them. Unbranding your device will allow you to do so.

    There are some downfalls and/or bad possibilities of attempting to Unbrand your device. You could brick your phone and it may or may not be fixable. You may or may not lose the ability to use AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots, if you have AT&T of course. Last, but not least, you void your warranty, hands down. No if's, and's, or but's.

    Actually unbranding your device is not illegal, but there is a lot of debate that the software that currently exists that allows you to do so is. It was leaked from someone at RIM and has since spread all over via torrents and such. The main reason that it is a taboo topic here at Crackberry is because there are people out there that use this software to change PIN numbers, IMEI numbers, etc. to scam good people. Those people then end up with a pretty useless Bold that they most likely spent a decent amount of money on.

    For those of you looking for how to unbrand your device, try Google, because it is doubtful that anyone here will be able to help you or want to help you with it. This is not us being mean or rude, rather us respecting the wishes of the Mods and owners, as well as, the morals that the boards and their users like to uphold. Discussion on what you can do after the device is unbranded, what exactly it does, etc. are more then welcome, however.

    Chris
    Last edited by Tronyx; 05-24-09 at 03:00 AM.
    03-12-09 11:51 PM
  2. wirelessgal's Avatar
    Wow, that was quick!

    Can you also add, unlocking your phone will not void your warranty.
    poloandpearls likes this.
    03-12-09 11:58 PM
  3. Tronyx's Avatar
    Wow, that was quick!

    Can you also add, unlocking your phone will not void your warranty.
    Good call, edited.

    Thanks.

    Chris
    03-12-09 11:59 PM
  4. nm1k0's Avatar
    Good stuff. Hopefully this will cut down on the huge amounts of new threads that start every day about all of this.
    03-13-09 12:02 AM
  5. Kronk's Avatar
    Does unbranding your phone have any effect on your warranty?
    03-13-09 12:03 AM
  6. wirelessgal's Avatar
    Good call, edited.

    Thanks.

    Chris

    You're welcome.
    03-13-09 12:04 AM
  7. wirelessgal's Avatar
    Does unbranding your phone have any effect on your warranty?

    Yes, it voids your warranty. Chris you might want to add that on there too. LOL
    03-13-09 12:05 AM
  8. nm1k0's Avatar
    Does unbranding your phone have any effect on your warranty?
    I'm pretty sure you could just rebrand it to your carrier and then it would still be under warranty and there's no way they could tell. But I'm not 100% sure.
    03-13-09 12:05 AM
  9. Tronyx's Avatar
    Yes, it voids your warranty. Chris you might want to add that on there too. LOL
    Did that when you told me to add that unlocking doesn't void the warranty. It sparked a long train of thought for me, lol.

    I'm pretty sure you could just rebrand it to your carrier and then it would still be under warranty and there's no way they could tell. But I'm not 100% sure.
    Just added something about that as well.

    Chris
    03-13-09 12:05 AM
  10. wirelessgal's Avatar
    I can confirm that by unbranding your phone, it will void your warranty. But if you are able to brand it back to the carriers' original OS, then you're ok.
    03-13-09 12:12 AM
  11. Tronyx's Avatar
    I can confirm that by unbranding your phone, it will void your warranty. But if you are able to brand it back to the carriers' original OS, then you're ok.
    Yep, put all that into the article.

    Chris
    03-13-09 12:14 AM
  12. wirelessgal's Avatar
    Yep, put all that into the article.

    Chris

    Good stuff!
    03-13-09 12:17 AM
  13. olaf_d's Avatar
    A+! No hard feelings about my thread earlier? I had an idea but it obviously didn't fly. Sorry if I was short or rude at all about it.

    Good article, spot on.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-13-09 12:37 AM
  14. 8ball-mb's Avatar
    awesome information, thanks!
    i just unlocked my bold from "cellunlock.net" giveaway! what a steal!!

    sorry if this sounds stupid, but will updating phone software (like from the stock .162 im on to something newer) void warranty as well?
    03-13-09 12:38 AM
  15. Tronyx's Avatar
    Good stuff!
    Thanks, hopefully one of the gracious Mods sees this and decides it's good enough to be made into a sticky.

    A+! No hard feelings about my thread earlier? I had an idea but it obviously didn't fly. Sorry if I was short or rude at all about it.

    Good article, spot on.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    No hard feelings at all. I just didn't like the idea that's all. Didn't want to see someone's device get bricked or anything. The experiment was a good one though.

    awesome information, thanks!
    i just unlocked my bold from "cellunlock.net" giveaway! what a steal!!

    sorry if this sounds stupid, but will updating phone software (like from the stock .162 im on to something newer) void warranty as well?
    Upgrading your OS does not void the warranty at all.

    Chris
    Last edited by Tronyx; 03-13-09 at 12:40 AM.
    03-13-09 12:38 AM
  16. wirelessgal's Avatar
    awesome information, thanks!
    i just unlocked my bold from "cellunlock.net" giveaway! what a steal!!

    sorry if this sounds stupid, but will updating phone software (like from the stock .162 im on to something newer) void warranty as well?

    Yes it will unless you are able to brand it back to the stock OS. It's in the write up.
    03-13-09 12:40 AM
  17. wirelessgal's Avatar
    Thanks, hopefully one of the gracious Mods sees this and decides it's good enough to be made into a sticky.

    Chris

    I'm sure one of our excellent Mods will. I'm sure they see the same question asked everyday in all sections of this forum.
    03-13-09 12:41 AM
  18. Tronyx's Avatar
    Yes it will unless you are able to brand it back to the stock OS. It's in the sticky.
    He means doing an OS upgrade and that will not void the warranty from what I have been told. If you look at the bottom of the first page, I did respond to him, but you were faster.

    Chris
    03-13-09 12:41 AM
  19. 8ball-mb's Avatar
    thanks for the quick reply.

    BUT i'm not talking about "UNBRANDING" the phone (as in the sticky), rather just updating the software on it.

    That is my question - will software update (like some people are on .247 i think) void warranty??

    thanks in advance!
    03-13-09 12:43 AM
  20. wirelessgal's Avatar
    He means doing an OS upgrade and that will not void the warranty from what I have been told. If you look at the bottom of the first page, I did respond to him, but you were faster.

    Chris

    If the OS is not approved by the carrier it will void the warranty. This is according to the Rogers techs I have asked. If the OS is not on their site, they cannot guarantee they will honour the warranty. It's a touchy topic.
    03-13-09 12:43 AM
  21. Tronyx's Avatar
    If the OS is not approved by the carrier it will void the warranty. This is according to the Rogers techs I have asked. If the OS is not on their site, they cannot guarantee they will honour the warranty. It's a touchy topic.
    Hmmm, good to know, I will have to call AT&T and see where they stand.

    Chris
    03-13-09 12:45 AM
  22. olaf_d's Avatar
    You can always downgrade to the latest official OS released by your carrier though.
    You can check your carrier's site or blackberry.com for the latest approved version.

    Tronyx; are you branded or no?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    03-13-09 12:46 AM
  23. wirelessgal's Avatar
    Hmmm, good to know, I will have to call AT&T and see where they stand.

    Chris

    Yeah call them up. Each carrier is different so AT&T might be ok with it. Rogers on the other hand, don't get me started!
    03-13-09 12:50 AM
  24. Tronyx's Avatar
    You can always downgrade to the latest official OS released by your carrier though.
    You can check your carrier's site or blackberry.com for the latest approved version.

    Tronyx; are you branded or no?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Despite what I say about it now, yes, I am unbranded. I did it right when it came about and I had just gotten my Bold. This is my first Blackberry, let alone smart phone. Inexperienced to say the least.

    Chris
    03-13-09 12:59 AM
  25. Tronyx's Avatar
    Depending on the phone and model, by restoring to manufacturer's (factory) defaults, you can gain access to certain applications which your carrier may hide (i.e. video camera).
    As well in some branded phones do not allow .mp3s to be used as ring tones because the carriers want you to purchase from them. Debranding will allow your phone to use your uploaded .mp3s as ringtones.

    Cheers!
    Thanks for the additional information. I'm adding it to the guide now.

    Chris
    03-13-09 01:15 AM
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