AT&T's iPhone unlock process accomplished through Apple's iTunes

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 2015


AT&T has begun allowing out-of-contract customers to unlock their iPhone for use on other carriers, and the unlock codes are applied to the device after restoring through iTunes.



AT&T began offering eligible customers the ability to unlock their iPhone on Sunday. Customers who were among the first to take advantage told AppleInsider that after dialing 611 to speak with a customer service representative, they were met with a lengthy wait to speak with a technician.



Once that AT&T representative was on the phone, they asked a series of qualifying questions to ensure that the user was eligible for their iPhone to be unlocked.



The unlock process is detailed by AT&T in a PDF document shared by users who request the service. In it, the carrier offers a series of four steps that must be accomplished in order to complete the unlock.



The unlock code actually comes through Apple and is administered through iTunes. AT&T's instructions tell users to open iTunes on their Mac or PC, connect their iPhone via USB, and backup and restore their handset. Restoring the iPhone will unlock it for use on other carriers.











AT&T's instructions also include a link to a support document available on Apple's website. There, users are instructed to reseat the SIM card in their iPhone, restore their handset, or contact their carrier if they experience issues with unlocking via iTunes.



If the authorized unlock is completed successfully, users are met with the message: "Unlock Complete. Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked. To set up and sync this iPhone, click Continue."



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • therbotherbo Posts: 70member
    Its weird, us Europeans have never ever had to restore our iPhones when unlocking them, and we've been able to unlock them for 4 years.
  • eye forgeteye forget Posts: 154member
    "If the authorized unlock is completed successfully, users are met with the message: "Unlock Complete. Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked. To set up and sync this iPhone, click Continue."



    Don't be concerned if you don't get the message. I had my carrier in Europe unlock my iPhone and no message. It's worked great with 3 different services, an OS upgrade and 2 resets set up as new. Needs to be done with the carrier you started with (non issue in the USA).



    It was years ago but as I recall, that first sync to unlock is a restore. Any carrier specific settings are checked during sync and modified if needed.
  • tulkastulkas Posts: 3,689member
    The iTunes restore isn't necessary in most cases. I've had 4 iphones unlocked through Rogers in Canada and after the first I never did the itunes restore. I just popped in a foreign SIM and it worked fine. I think for one of the I had to reboot the phone before it recognized the SIM.
  • right_said_fredright_said_fred Posts: 721member
    Here in the US, i would have thought a carrier that offers a sim (plan) that can do voice only - no data plan at all would become very popular. I, and several friends have older phones that could be used by other members of their families (kids) and with this plan the phone is no more expensive on a plan than any other phone, and data is only Wifi
  • neilmneilm Posts: 445member
    Well, I think the resale value of my eligible iPhone 4 has just been considerably enhanced.
  • jdsonicejdsonice Posts: 156member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    AT&T has begun allowing out-of-contract customers to unlock their iPhone for use on other carriers, and the unlock codes are applied to the device after restoring through iTunes.



    [ View article on AppleInsider ]



    So I got my iPhone 3G unlocked this morning. It was a relatively simple painless process. I called AT&T Customer Service, they verified that the phone was not under contract, checked the IMEI number and passed me on to their technical support who updated their database,



    The next step was to backup and restore the phone. And as soon as the restore finished I got the message that the phone was unlocked.



    It took a total of 30 minutes on the phone to complete the process. AT&T Staff was very courteous and helpful. The only complain, if any, is the on hold music - it is one long ad for AT&T.



  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post


    Well, I think the resale value of my eligible iPhone 4 has just been considerably enhanced.



    It is enhanced for you if you now want to use it unlocked but as for resale value, you have to compare it to every other legally unlocked iPhone now out there on eBay, so its relative value is the pretty much same.
  • cheviotcheviot Posts: 12member
    Have any non-AT&T customers attempted to get their long out-of-contract phones unlocked? Success?
  • retrogustoretrogusto Posts: 420member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    It is enhanced for you if you now want to use it unlocked but as for resale value, you have to compare it to every other legally unlocked iPhone now out there on eBay, so its relative value is the pretty much same.



    I bet a lot of people don't know about this yet, so now might be a good time to sell if you're going to.



    The fact that they can do this makes me think it wouldn't be too hard for them to brick a stolen iPhone if they wanted to. That would be such a good service.
  • daving313daving313 Posts: 97member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post


    Well, I think the resale value of my eligible iPhone 4 has just been considerably enhanced.



    That would be false. Demand for unlocked iPhones has not shifted. Supply has shifted to be higher. If anything, the prices of unlocked iPhones will now drop.
  • applegreenapplegreen Posts: 421member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by daving313 View Post


    That would be false. Demand for unlocked iPhones has not shifted. Supply has shifted to be higher. If anything, the prices of unlocked iPhones will now drop.



    What used to be a locked iPhone is now an unlocked iPhone. That is why its resale value has gone up. Little to do with supply and demand.
  • mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleGreen View Post


    What used to be a locked iPhone is now an unlocked iPhone. That is why its resale value has gone up. Little to do with supply and demand.





    As Retrogusto pointed out. That may be true for the very short term while there are still locked phones to compare it to. In a very short period of time there will be no locked phones on the secondary market so the price will flatten out to where the market value is competitive. I suppose if you want to leverage this short term phenomena you could buy up some locked ones, unlock them and profit.
  • apple v. samsungapple v. samsung Posts: 389member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cheviot View Post


    Have any non-AT&T customers attempted to get their long out-of-contract phones unlocked? Success?



    I am a CSR with the AT&T tech support. I unlocked several dozen yesterday and the ones out of contract where the same.
  • marku5marku5 Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post


    I am a CSR with the AT&T tech support. I unlocked several dozen yesterday and the ones out of contract where the same.



    Is there any other way to contact at&t support than by phone? (EMAIL !!? )

    i read something about online "live chat" on the at&t website but i it can't get there because it requires a wireless number to activate my newly made account.. (or something like that..)

    I´m not in the states and would prefer getting my iPhones unlocked without having to call them.

    (would`t be cheap i guess...)



    I`d be very glad if you could help me with this!
  • itisoleitisole Posts: 7member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple v. Samsung View Post


    I am a CSR with the AT&T tech support. I unlocked several dozen yesterday and the ones out of contract where the same.



    When I called Sunday morning, I pressed "Technical Help" menu option and talked a rep.

    She asked me for IMEI number, created a "case" which later would be forwarded to "Unlocking Dept" and said someone would contact me within 5-7 business days.

    She also asked for my email. So far I did not get any emails from ATT.

    My phone is 3GS, out of contract and not active. I do not remember whether I bought it through Apple or ATT.



    I really need to have it unlocked by Friday, because I was going to give it to someone going to Europe that day.



    I will probably give ATT another call today, hoping to run into a CSR who could help me unlock the phone sooner than 5-7 business days...
  • apple ii plusapple ii plus Posts: 20member
    You lucky AT&T out-of-contract customers! In Canada I have to pay my carrier, Fido, $50 to unlock the phone after it is out-of-contract. Highway robbery. I wonder why AT&T is so magnanimous in doing the unlock for free. I am out of contract up here in Canada so why should I pay to have it done?
  • tulkastulkas Posts: 3,689member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple II Plus View Post


    You lucky AT&T out-of-contract customers! In Canada I have to pay my carrier, Fido, $50 to unlock the phone after it is out-of-contract. Highway robbery. I wonder why AT&T is so magnanimous in doing the unlock for free. I am out of contract up here in Canada so why should I pay to have it done?



    It's Rogers, so of course they want to gouge you if they get the chance. They aren't the most hated company in Canada for nothing.



    At least they will do the unlock. Bell still refuses and Telus still says they want to but that they have 'technical' limitations on unlocking iphones, which is a bold faced lie.
  • boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 926member
    So... if the contract is bought out, will the phone be eligible unlocking? I heard no, but wonder if in all the confusion maybe?
  • tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    I'd argue that the value might go down. Unlocked iPhones were more valuable because they were harder to get. So, it is possible locked iPhones will further decrease in value, and unlocked ones might go down as well.



    MIne are not officially unlocked. I will wait until the jailbreak community gives the OK.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    It is enhanced for you if you now want to use it unlocked but as for resale value, you have to compare it to every other legally unlocked iPhone now out there on eBay, so its relative value is the pretty much same.



  • thecobrasnakethecobrasnake Posts: 1member
    Hey. My name is Matias. I'm from Argentina. I have a iphone 4. I want to unlock it. (Sorry, my English is not good.) I read that I need an account to unlock it. I wanted to sign up forat & t but could not because they ask me for phone number. From my country I can not call at & t. Does anyone can help me? thank you very much, greetings from Argentin
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