Difference Between Jailbreak and Unlock

Jailbreak vs Unlock

Today we’ll be talking about a regular confusion that can be seen in Apple iOS users. Often times than not, people tend to use these two terms interchangeably and interpret them as the same thing. This may be because the outcomes of both actions are vaguely similar; providing more control over your iOS device. However, they are fundamentally different things, and while one can be done independently, the other is dependent on the former. Hence let us discuss all about Jailbreak and Unlocking in a detailed overview of both, followed by a brief comparison with facts about each action.


Jailbreaking is essentially lifting off the restriction posed by Apple iOS that dictates that the user can only install apps that are vetted and available in Apple iTunes. This enables Apple to exert a tight control over the apps that are available for users. Apple may restrict an app from the iTunes store for violating terms or service or for competing with Apple’s own applications. Sometimes some applications are discarded because of poor security or code quality issues. When you jailbreak your iOS device, you will have the ability to install any third party apps available for iOS from alternate markets such as Cydia which is considered as the top alternate app store to iTunes. Jailbreaking is a simple process, and there are a lot of tutorials available on how to do that. Essentially what it does is modifying your iOS firmware which incidentally voids your warranty. Hence if you are going to jailbreak your iOS device, do it at your own risk.


Unlocking is all about lifting off the carrier restrictions imposed by the manufacturer and carrier. Typically almost all the iPhones in the USA is offered carrier locked. For instance, if you get an iPhone from AT&T, you can’t use the same handset with T mobile. What unlocking does is eliminating this carrier lock imposed on your device. So after you’ve unlocked your iOS device, you can use it with a different carrier, as opposed to the one it was purchased from. The Unlock needed is often based on your cellular communication device which is technically known as baseband. So you may need to be mindful about what unlock you are going to apply to your device and have to make sure that it is compatible with your baseband. The interesting thing about unlocking is that you need to have a jailbroken iOS device in order to unlock. This is because unlocking comes as a third party app that is not verified and offered in Apple iTunes store. Unlocking will void your warranty just like jailbreaking so do it at your own risk for it inherently carries a possibility to render your device useless.

Jailbreak vs Unlock

• Jailbreak is modifying the firmware of your iOS device that enables you to install and use third party apps on your device while Unlocking enables you to liftoff the restriction of carrier lock.

• Jailbreak is an independent action while Unlocking needs a jailbroken iOS device.

• Jailbreak and Unlocking may void your warranty, so do it at your own risk.


Jailbreaking and Unlocking are two popular processes among advanced iOS users. Different people may have different needs so whether you need jailbreak or unlock depends on your own requirement. However, as a rule of thumb, if you don’t need to lift off the carrier lock, you wouldn’t need unlocking but, if you need to unlock your iOS device, you will have to jailbreak it first.