It seems that U.S. iPhone users can start getting excited about their legitimate unlocking prospects: i.e. without the use of third-party software or hacking mechanisms to ensure they can use their carrier of choice.
A bunch of websites, such as Negri Electronics, have started selling a “permanent” unlock for iPhones were you pay in the order of around $175, email them your IMEI and you get an email in the next two days or less telling you your iPhone is now unlocked. The companies doing these unlocks are getting so many requests that they’re being forced to discontinue selling this until they take care of the orders they already have.
This might look like a scam at first but many are reporting it to work. And the amount of unlock requests companies are getting only shows that U.S. customers need this, as the United States is the only country remaining where the iPhone is still locked to a specific carrier, with no means of having it unlocked except buying one from other countries, such as Canada, France, etc…
This unlock currently works only on GSM iPhones (i.e.: the iPhone that work on AT&T), not Verizon’s CDMA iPhone.
Pictures showing the legitimacy of the process: