The process of unlocking an iPhone 5, also known as having a SIM-free or contract-free phone, can be done through iTunes or through using the IMEI code retrieved from the phone by dialling *06#. To unlock the iPhone 5, first place a request with the network provider.
Install the iTunes software and make sure the phone has the latest version of iOS downloaded. After inserting a new SIM card, connect the iPhone 5 to the computer using a USB cable and wait for iTunes to detect the phone.
Disengage the phone from the computer and wait 20 seconds. Connect again and allow iTunes to detect the phone, which should now be unlocked. Apple should send a confirmation email.
To get the 15-digit IMEI code from the Apple database, select the iPhone carrier from the unlock list. Find the name of the carrier the phone is locked to by clicking on the unlock button and inserting the full name, email and address of the phone's owner. After that, select the preferred mode of payment.
Once payment is received, a confirmation email is sent. Another confirmation email is sent to the owner's email address to confirm that the phone was unlocked successfully.