How to Send an iPhone in the Philippines (Part 2)

This is the second part of How to Send an iPhone in the Philippines. Find out how to back up your iPhone on the first part of the post.

As promised this post is less technical but with more personal experience on how I deal with customer service of different carriers.

Step 2: Unlock the iPhone

Apple recommends unlocking the iPhone by contacting the carrier. In Canada, the national telecom companies are Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility, and Bell Mobility, which are also called the Big 3.

Which one is your carrier? My carriers (three so far) were subsidiary brands, one of which is Fido (this is not a recommendation).

You maybe tempted to try the following ways of unlocking the cellphone out of curiosity:

  1. Go online and pay for unlocking service
  2. Go to a cellphone repair shop or the kiosk at the mall

We’re all curious but be more cautious.

I unlocked my two iPhones by contacting the carriers. Conclusion: I had a peace of mind following Apple’s advice on unlocking the iPhone.

And you should do the same.

Send an iPhone in the Philippines

Unlocking the iPhone in the Philippines?

This was my first mistake. Unlocking the iPhone in the Philippines is more expensive. The cost range from Php 3,000.00 and up.

Do you want to find out how much I paid in Canada?

  • Freedom Mobile/Wind: approximately $30.00
  • Virgin Mobile: approximately $50.00

I’m not sure why it is cheaper to unlock the iPhone through Freedom Mobile/Wind than other carriers. I’ve been told by the customer service that Freedom Mobile has the lowest rate; $50.00 is the typical cost charge by most of the telecom companies in Canada.

Tip: Don’t jailbreak the iPhone if you plan to update the iOS. It’s a tedious task.

Have I convince you already to do the RIGHT way of unlocking your iPhone? You choose wisely, no doubt.

Contact Your iPhone Carrier

It’s time to call the customer service; show how prepared and excited you are. But don’t overdo it.

Get a pen and paper (and statement of account just in case) before you do the following steps:

  1. Write down the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI): Settings > General > About. Apple has different ways of finding the IMEI and serial number. While MakeUseOf explained what it is for and the not-so-good facts that you have to know
  2. Call the carrier. Here are some questions with (my) polite answers:
    • Q1: Is there a problem with the phone?
    • A1: No. None at all. (Thanks for the concern.)
    • Q2: Why are you unlocking the phone?
    • A2: I intend to put a different SIM card on some occasions. (Travelling overseas is a good reason of using a different SIM card to save on international charges.)
  3. Check if the phone is unlock by calling the customer service. If you have another SIM card and able to make a phone call, then the phone is successfully unlocked. Lastly, you can register online to check the status of the phone and other information.

Fee: You maybe asked for a credit card number on which the service to unlock the phone is charged. Otherwise, the cost is added to your next bill.

After calling the customer service, the phone will be unlocked within a few hours.

For Freedom Mobile/Wind, it took longer than I expected and so is the conversation with the customer service. All I wanted to say is “Unlock my phone and charge my card.” But I didn’t say that because it’s better to be reasonably kind.

Tip for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD):

Don’t forget to bring a copy of your statement of account and IDs (driver’s license, PR, or citizenship card). I called while I was at the mall so that I can unlock the phone and transfer to another carrier right away. Wirelesswave signed me up and gave me a new SIM card.

I found out that my phone is unlocked when I put the new SIM card and follow the instruction. I was able to successfully make phone calls and send text messages.

What You Can Do with Unlocked Cellphones

  1. Browse the web or use app while connected on Wi-Fi
  2. Use another SIM card or a prepaid roaming SIM card when travelling overseas

Step 2 seems daunting at first but it will save you and the recipient of the phone a lot of time and money.

In the future, you can buy unlocked phone that is not blacklisted (lost/stolen).¬† The next steps require effort from you. No more calls or registration. It’s just you and the phone.

Step 3: Sign out of iCloud and the iTunes & App Store

  • iCloud: Go to Settings > iCloud > Sign Out
  • iTunes & App Store: Go to Settings >¬†iTunes & App Store > tap Apple ID: [your emai] > Sign Out

Step 4: Reset the iPhone to factory settings

This is the final step of preparation before giving away the phone, that is, if you haven’t changed your mind.

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. If you turned on Find My iPhone, you might need to enter your Apple ID and password.

Once the iPhone is reset to factory settings the Find My iPhone and Activation Lock are turned off. The passcode (four-digit combination) is removed.

When a new SIM card is inserted, you or the recipient have to set up the iPhone using Wi-Fi and email. But I would suggest you to let the recipient in the Philippines to set up the iPhone.

Send the iPhone in the Philippines

This is last part and has been a mystery for every Filipinos in Canada. I’ve searched on the Internet, yet I’m still skeptical on how I can send an iPhone in the Philippines through international shipping services.

These are the guaranteed and cheapest way:

  1. Send the iPhone through balikbayan boxes
  2. Ask someone, “Pwede padala ng iPhone”

I’ve done both and didn’t have any trouble. The balikbayan boxes arrived in good condition (no sign of missing items) within two months.

And by asking a trusted friend or relative to bring the phone, I saved $70.00 which is the cost of shipping balikbayan box from Canada to the Philippines.

One more thing before you go, I have to mention that I’ve seen cellphone boxes in Canada Post but I didn’t ask how much is the shipping rate. I doubt if it will arrive in the Philippines. You already know what I mean.

Did you have any trouble following the four steps? Let me know in the comment.

More Content

About Pwede Padala Gal

Pwede Padala Gal loves to share tips on how to save in Canada and the Philippines. Someday she'll finally teach her Aspin at least one dog trick and keep a cactus alive. Chat with her on Facebook and reddit.


  1. Hello! Can I ask, did you declare the iPhone in balikbayan list items when you send to the Philippines? My relative told me that I shouldn’t declare any gadgets if you will send it with balikbayan box because someone will be interested to steal it from the box? Is that true? Thanks!

    • Pwede Padala Gal says

      I didn’t have to list all the items in the box and definitely not include the iPhone on the list. Choose a reliable freight forwarder that can deliver the box as is, in good condition and in time. So far, my boxes were not opened other than by my family though not always in schedule due to some mechanical or administration issue. Like right now, it’s been two months and my box hasn’t reached Manila yet; maybe, it will at before the month ends.

Reminder: For clarity, don't use shortened words similar to text messages. Let's have a better communication. (And oh, comments will be edited or deleted.)

Share Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.