Iphone unlock with Wal-Mart Family Mobile

Hello everyone, and sorry i have not been blogging very much. I have had many great shoots in the last couple of months which has forced me into editing instead of actually Blogging. Today I’m going to be a little bit off topic from the photography area, but i promise i will be returning to show you some of the cool shoots that i have been doing. So with that said one thing that has been grinding my gears lately is the cost of cell phone service. It would seem that today’s concept of a cell phone service provider is to charge you an arm and a leg for a product that they know You need and know you will pay for.  let’s face it today a cell phone is a required commodity, and there is practically no competition between the dominating company’s so they think they can gouge there customers with outlandish data plans, text plans, and minutes usage. If you’re unaware recently Wal-Mart released their own unlimited talk, text, and payed data usage plans starting at prices far more affordable then at&t. Now I love saving money just like the rest of us, but as a photographer i also love all things having anything to do with Apple computers, Ipads, or I phones. So needless to say i did not want to ditch at&t if i had to say good bye to my Iphone. This had got me thinking whether or not it was possible to run an Unlocked Iphone on the Family Mobile service provider. I looked all over google trying to find something mentioning the compatibility, but to my surprise there was not one piece of information containing an answer to my question and no wireless associate was able to give me any information on the subject because they simply have never seen it happen. So i bit the bullet and found out the answer, I spent a good majority of the day learning how to jailbreak and unlock an Iphone. At this point i had to go to Wal-Mart and purchase a 25 dollar activation kit which contained my new sim card, I was so happy to see the “family Mobile” service letters at the top left of my phone i about screamed (not really) but i was pretty happy i mean who would not be happy about saving money. The associate at Wal-Mart was also thrilled to see it work because he originally thought there was no way and had been telling customers the same thing since the family mobile plan came out. So for all of you out there that are looking to save a little “Green” this is one way to do it. There are however some disadvantages to the switch. One being that you are no longer on a 3g network, rather a 2g network. And the other is that instead of having an unlimited data plan (which is now extinct thanks to tethering) or other data plan automatically billed once a month by at&t you have to do the loading by purchasing a reload card. So there you have it, hopefully people looking for similar information on the matter can now find successful Google results on the topic (within a photographers blog of all places) And also please be sure to check out my website here


About P & L Photography

Hello my name is Preston, and I’m a photographer based out of Central Florida. I started my journey into photography the first year of high-school and it quickly became a passion, I completed a total of 4 years of beginning and advanced photography classes where I learned everything from darkroom developing to the digital processing of today’s modern generation. Straight out of high school i began work as a photo specialist in charge developing for customers in a more commercial environment. While this was just a stepping stone in life for me, I missed the creative process that I once fell in love with and 4 years later I began my college studies within the art of photography at the Academy Of Art University pursuing my Masters in fine arts. Today I am the Owner of P and L Photography where I specialize in Wedding’s, and events. I am very blessed to be doing what I love on a daily basis and take pride knowing that all of my hard work and knowledge that ive learned over the years is placed inside each and every one of my photographs. Lastly I could not be where I am today without the love and support from my wife, she has been my best friend since the first time I saw her on that yellow school bus, and our relationship is built on a foundation stronger than any words can begin to express. View all posts by P & L Photography

41 responses to “Iphone unlock with Wal-Mart Family Mobile

  • Jessica

    I can’t get it to work on mine. I do not know what I am doing wrong.

    • P & L Photography

      Hey Jessica, the best advice i can give to someone having troubles with this process is to find reputable company local to them that can jailbreak the phone for them. Since ive done mine i have found numerous businesses that specialize in this market (1 of which in my local mall) The problem is without going into to much detail is that it that their are many variables that make or break the success of jail breaking the phone such as the Baseband and your current operating system. I did alot of research and failed many times before i got mine and my wifes working. Today i would gladly pay the cost to have someone jailbreak my phone, because for 1 i just am not tech savvy on cell phones (computers yes) but cell phones are just an entirely different system, and 2, the money saved from not paying the big companies is priceless ! i pay 49 dollars a month for unlimited talk an text vs my old pill of 130 and thats with 2 phones. I wish you luck getting it done its very worth it in the end. Thanks Jessica

  • Ryan

    Did you have to jailbreak and unlock your iPhone ? I have the 3GS iPhone with version 5.0.1 and want to do the same thing you did…how did you go about jailbreaking and unlocking your phone ? Thanks Ryan

    • P & L Photography

      Hey Ryan, i utilized a utility called “redsnow” to first jail break the iphone, and then by accessing the “cydia” application i installed the unlock software called “ultra snow”. Hope everything goes well for you. I as well am still using my original 3GS and i have no complaints at all with the service.

      • Ryan

        Well I was wrong I have version 5.1 which I jailbroke last night and the only version they make is tethered…did you find an untethered version for the one you did ?

      • P & L Photography

        Actually i have not upgraded to 5.1 so im still tethered, But i cant say that i mind because unlike my previous freebie phones (disposable) i never really have to restart any of my apple products. Just make sure you plug them in at night.

  • Matt

    I have an unlocked Cell IPhone 3GS as well. It works but it is only picking up the EDGE network. The service isn’t that great for the EDGE service in my area. The 3G is picked up much better. How can I get my iPhone to pick this up? Do you know?

    • P & L Photography

      Hey Matt, Unfortunately their is no way to utilize 3g on the family mobile plan because family mobile does not have 3g service. although it would be an additional expense if you must have faster internet you could always utilize a wifi hotspot from any of the major providers. I never really looked at having slower internet as a bad thing because i was just happy to be saving so much. Also i only use smaller apps such as movie times and such. Fingers crossed that family mobile picks up some faster internet someday 🙂

      • Stacey

        Family mobile does have 3g, im actually using 4g 🙂 but towards the end of the month I get a txt that my 4g has ran out so it switches to 2g but thats like 2 days before I have to pay again so no biggy.. And im on my internet all day everyday… Plus free hotspot 🙂 love this company… Never switchn to anyone else… Mayb just depends on what areas we live in… Im from texas

      • P & L Photography

        Thats Great Stacey, i had no idea that T-Mobile had 4G. My hopes is that more people will realize this and with a little research they can certainly effect the big companies wallets while at the same time help their own. Enjoy the savings !

  • Andre

    Well I have 2 Iphone 3G on Famile Mobile, unlocked and jailbroke them , all is fine
    however after every call I get a searching for service on both????
    it connects after a few minutes back to the Service but it is so annoying….
    Any ideas?

    • P & L Photography

      Intresting that you mention this Andre, Ive ran into the same problem before and im sorry to say that i have never found a fix. I agree it is very annoying, but everytime i go over the numbers and profit that im saving i always pick the annoyance. Some things i have found to remove the searching is to place the phone into “airplane” Mode. and also disable the 3g connection in settings. you wont be needing it anyways since family mobile is not 3g. I will say though that this problem does not happen to me much outside of my home. it would seem that if your service is limited within the home it has the most problems. Good luck Andre ! hope this helped a little.

  • Arec Freibott

    good stuff thanks for posting this. now where can i get my hands on an iphone for a good price!? 🙂

    • P & L Photography

      Your very welcome ! not sure i can help in the pricing department, my phone was from my out of contract ATT service. Im sure you could find some great deals on un-jailbroken phones on ebay. 🙂

      • Dominic

        Hi I have an iPhone 3GS on family mobile and it’s working great except for mms is there any special thing you did for mms to work ? Thanks

      • P & L Photography

        Hey Dominic, sorry for taking a bit to get to your question, i oddly enough dont send any MMS. you will be happy to know that my phone as well does not send MMS. I wonder if this would be fixed with a quick phone call to customer service, i hear that they have a filter on the comes default with all new contracts. good luck Dominic, and thanks for the question.

  • Sean

    Not sure if I missed it but which iPhone were you using? From my understanding family mobile does not have a micro-sim card available and the iPhone 4 and 4s use micro-sim. How did you work around this?

    • P & L Photography

      Hello Sean, You are absolutley correct. Family mobile uses full size cards, but if you look at the differences between the two size cards you will find that the contacts are actually the exact same. This being said all you need to do is purchase one of these slick little gizmos from amazon and your good to go. The rest of the process is the same at this point, their are some “how to” vids on cutting your sim down your self, but for 2 bucks i think its a steal to not have to apologize for a botched sim. Thanks Sean !

  • Alexandria

    Hi I currently have family mobile and I really want the iphone but they told me if i got it i woulf not be able to use any internet service. So you can use internet and everything with yours? and what isnt unlimited with the iphone?

    • P & L Photography

      Hello Alexandria, Im sorry its taken a little while to get back to your post and hope you already found your answer. Ive been very busy this few months and have not had much time to blog. As for your question, from my experience i am able to use what what T-Mobile calls the “Edge” network which is much slower then 3G, but none the less gets the job done for what i need it for in other words don’t plan on streaming content such as netflix or hulu as it does not have the bandwidth to do it. This being said whoever told you internet would not work is incorrect, now i have heard of people being able to utilize 3G with the Iphone (some commenters in this blog actually) i for one have not been successful in acheiving this. I hope this helped Alexandria, take care 🙂

      • Andre

        That is correct, if they go by the book
        They will tell you it doesn’t work
        However being an ex mgr of Walmart I can tell
        You differently. I purchased 2 IPhone 3G on eBay for less than $100 each and got the family mobile starter packs at Wm and bam it works. Yes Internet is not fast, sometimes service is sketchy but for the price, who cares?
        And if you have wifi close? Use it

  • Sam

    Anyone done this with the IPhone 4?

    • Zulu

      Yup, it works like a charm on iPhone4. I’ve also got 3G connectivity in certain parts of the city and I live in Boston.

      • Christina Sverak

        I am currently on family mobile and have one of their phones and have everything… i live near denver. i want to get an iphone 4 and cut the card, and do this … i am just very nervous to buy a used iphone off of ebay and then have this not work… Does everything work for you like mms, internet, apps? Thanks for any kind of info you can give me on how you successfully did this. I really appreciate it!

  • jibril

    can u get family mobile plan with a cdma iphone(no sim card) please respond asap.

  • Andre

    Here is a question?

    Is there a way to block a specific number from calling you or texting you on Family Mobile with an IPhone 3G?

  • Scott

    First off, thank you so much for the helpful post! I’m running into the same problem you had right now. I have a walmart family mobile plan (unlimited everything) but was recently given an iphone 5 and I had no idea how to make the transfer. Any idea on whether all of this information still stands with the iphone 5? I’m really tempted to trim my walmart family sim card for the iphone 5 but I’m afraid I’ll only get the 2G when I could stick with my current phone on 4G. Thanks again!

    • P & L Photography

      Hey Scott, you have a very interesting question that I myself have been wondering, I have not done much research on the Iphone 5 as of yet, but I would assume that the jailbreak is months away with 3rd party programs. That’s not to say that you could not simply purchase a factory jail broken phone and just downsize the card though. As for the internet I would imagine you would still be stuck with the slow 2g equivalent internet, But I have heard others state they were using it with 3g. Maybe this is based on location, but as for my phone I have the slow internet 😦

      • tanisha

        I have myfamilymobile also and when i started i had the blackberry which i could not get or recieve picture and i couldnt use the web. i was told that the iphone and blackberry will not be able to do that. can you get on the web nd send pictures?

  • tIFFY


  • Quinn

    Jessica what if I buy the iPhone at Walmart

  • Tenisha

    Which IPhone was it?

  • Tracie

    I need to unlock The Iphone 3GS and switch to family mobile..How do I start this without paying someone to unlock for me

    • Brian

      You can look on YouTube for tutorials to unlock the I phone your self. I saw some good ones and I will do my iPhone 3GS tonight. Then I will get the start kit from walmart and go from there.

  • Rickie

    Hi could you help me? ASAP

  • Megan

    Hi i was wondering if you get good service on the iPhone 4 because my mom uses her blackberry on the plan and gets bad service anytime she enters buildings and if i was going to do this i wouldnt want to pay all the money and get bad service everywhere. Thanks!

  • Shannon

    i cut my sim card and did all the unlock and jailbreak, but my service does not show up on the top left

  • David

    I have an iphone 4 that was AT&T, they unlocked it and I have phone working as well as WiFi but I can’t get data to work. It is IOS 6.1.2. Do I need to jailbreak it in order to use cell data on Family Mobile?

  • Neil

    Does it have to be jailbroken? Will just unlocked do the trick?

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